Typical HR Stereotypes and Ways to Avoid Them

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HR Stereotypes
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Humans tend to judge anything and everything that they face. This is why we have stereotypes about every profession and HR is not an exception. When people think about it they might not be thinking the truth about HR. All these assumptions are products of perceptions formed through limited exposure. The stereotypes last long after they lose relevance. They are broad generalizations and may not stand correct anymore.

These misconceptions become the filter people look at things. This is bad because it mostly emphasis on negative experiences that people get. So it is very important to break the assumptions and to change the mindset that is already formed. This blog will discuss few such common HR stereotypes and how to avoid them.

  • Corporate Enablers

The human resource section is there to protect corporate from getting into legal trouble. It also guards employees against being ill-treated at their workplace. Provide a safe and healthy working environment. The trouble starts when the two motives overlap and no solution can benefit both the owner and the worker. In such conditions, HR management usually chooses to protect the firm. In the big picture, it makes sense. If there is no workplace there will not be any workforce to be taken care of anymore.

While going through such an experience people do not understand and look at things in the same direction. Often the motive behind the decisions which they see as unfavorable to them is not explained properly. They may think of a human resource person as someone who is acting against their interest. This is why it is important to explain the reasons behind such a decision. Try to make them understand why it is necessary.

  • Technical Incompetence

Most people look at the human resource department as someplace where only formalities are done. They do not see the contribution of the branch to make an organisation even more productive.

Corporates understand that the presence of HR contributes to the competence of the corporates. The branch has been given importance and being included in management decisions. We see it as a source of data-driven insight into the effectiveness of the company’s policy. They can help to strategies for its better implementation.

  • Unskilled People

In some organisations, the people working in the HR department are not trained for the job. They do not have relevant experience. Sometimes they come from unrelated fields in the same company like marketing. This creates friction between other members and the department. When there is some trouble and they need help from human resources, such untrained staff fail to manage the issue. As they do not have any idea about how to deal with it. In these cases, they get the impression that it is just a formality and is not of any use to them.

This type of situation should be always avoided. The recruitment should make sure to take in qualified candidates with experience in the area. In the scenario where corporates encourage interdepartmental exposure, they must provide proper training. Irrespective of experience the person has to be empowered with the tools and tactics to tackle the issues as and when they arise. This affects not only what the staff thinks about HR but the organization in general. A competent set of human resource personnel sets the message that the company cares about its workers.

  • Dishonest Department

Many people complain that they find the HR department very dishonest. Sometimes they experience a lack of proper communication after the complaint. Employees think that their issues are being miscommunicated to the management. They think that they are being lied to and ignored to cover the absence of any real action. They lose their trust in the system.

To avoid such occurrences it is important to keep a written record. There should be a policy with a deadline according to the extent of majors required for the said issue. It will bring much-needed transparency and restore trust. It also makes the sector more approachable and empowered with a strategy and process at a place.

  • The Rule Keepers

Many employees look at the HR workforce as an entity that only makes sure that everyone follows the rules. Most people think that the rules are not necessary and are forced on them without any purpose.

Nobody likes the rules, but guidelines are important for any system to run smoothly and so does the firm. While enforcing the rules, regulations and company policies tell them why it is important to follow these guidelines. They should know how the rules are benefiting them. See that it keeps everything running without any obstacles. Have a keen examination and eliminate unnecessary conditions.  Discard anything that just adding to the paperwork and frustration to workers.

  • A Cost Center

The HR department is also been looked at as a group that spends money and does not contribute anything to the bottom line. That they are constantly conducting some pointless activities and trying to be productive. The efforts are seen as being pretentious or fake. The programs that are arranged tend to get a similar reputation.

The intention behind any initiative or activities conducted should be communicated clearly. Employees should know how it will benefit them and will be proven as a profitable investment and not some unnecessary act.  Activities like training with evolving technologies and tools can upscale and increase productivity.

HR department contributes indirectly to revenue generation in many ways such as:

  • Optimizing the processes
  • Find growth opportunities
  • Bringing skilled and talented people into the company
  • Resolve any ongoing issues
  • Eliminate any kind of friction between management and team members
  • Alienated Group

Employees, as well as managers, consider HR as something that is not part of the ordinary workforce. They try to avoid the branch as much as possible unless it is necessary. They are seen as tools of higher management and a source of trouble or bad news.

Managers and team members should understand that HR is for the betterment of the entire workforce as it is for benefit of the organization. Managers can work with them to speed up the processes and implement any new initiative to increase productivity.

  • Firing Machine

For many, the image that is stuck in their minds is concerned with the responsibility to fire people from their jobs. This is one of the many duties that the HR arm has. It is also essential for the productivity of the firm to eliminate an incompetent workforce.

Those who think that HR is a firing machine tend to ignore the fact that the same department is also responsible for recruitment. They also work for the betterment of employees. Bring an end to this thinking by encouraging interaction beyond hiring and firing activities. Communicate various training programs scheduled for skill development in the firm. Encourage the workforce to seek help whenever they need it.

  • Spokes Person for the Organisation

There were days when it was a segment only to protect a company. Make sure that no legal complications arise against the company. HR has changed to huge extents since the stereotypes got formed. These days, emphasis is on the physical and mental health of people in the firm. Guarding them against any inconvenience or injustice at the workplace.

HR department today can be approached for any kind of trouble or unfairness that employees experience. Issues related to the working environment that need to be resolved. Helping in interests of corporates doesn’t mean that they are against the wellbeing of other members. The two motives can go hand in hand and staff can be benefited too. The staff members can make their working experience better and get their grievances resolved by approaching HR.


HR has evolved a lot since the stereotypes are made. The picture today is completely different. Assumptions themselves are not the truth. These are just a few experiences that happened long ago. If those are still happening to some extent they need to be corrected. These misconceptions can’t be general statements for any group.

Stereotypes generally focus on negatives because we tend to remember them more. It should be taken as a responsibility to show the purpose behind the decisions and the actions. There must be a constant flow of communication so that everyone understands that it is there for their benefit too. The company should make a conscious effort to make sure that they are not adding to typical HR stereotypes. Make sure that it does not come across as pretentious. Make sure that the employee could see that the human resource branch is there to help them. And like any other department HR significantly contributes to the bottom line of an organization.

To learn more about the latest HR trends, read our blogs here. 


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