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The 21st Century Human Resource Office

Via LinkedIn : I have been in the employment world for over 25 years. As such I have dealt with many human resources personnel. I have also heard the latest trending “lingo” that HR recruiters and others in the industry use when referring to certain HR processing.

To me some of these new terms and practices that are a bit odd or impersonal it seems. It seems gold old fashioned office talk has gone out the window with trending up and coming HR professionals. Here is a list of some of the lingo that needs revisiting.

1. Onboarding. This is meant recruiting new employees and bringing them in. Does this mean we are on a ship? The company is a ship and when we reach a port of call are we offboarding? Or could offboarding mean separation from employment. If we are disciplined at work for any reason are we waterboarding?

2. Reach Out. I have been contacted by a few companies that state “if we are interested in meeting with you further we will ‘reach out’ to you.” I always understood lines like “we will contact you,” or “don’t call us we’ll call you.” I had a recruiter “reach out” to me for an interview. That is great! Can’t the contact person just say we’d like to interview you? If I contact company for a status update am I now “reaching in?”

3. Auto generated emails are a pet peeve of mine. They have catch phrases in them such as “you have excellent qualifications” or “it was hard for us to make a decision because of all the qualified candidates.” Then after the cliche email at the bottom it states “do not reply to this email.” What if I have questions about the job, why I was not the successful candidate, or feedback on my interview? It seems like the HR at that company does not want you to contact them. It also seems very impersonal as well. Furthermore many of these emails cause my phone to go off between midnight and 3:00 AM causing an alert. What is the reason for this is to cause insomnia?

It seems that HR people are forgetting the “human” in human resources. They are dealing with people and not numbers. As impersonal as the recruiting process has become it seems like HR people are jumbling the recruitment process with more jargon words we should all get such as “onboarding, reach out,” in addition to “termination, resignation in lieu of termination, separation from employment and full time equivalent.”

It also seems to me that as a job seeker I am also making a decision on whether or not to work for Company X. I am not begging for a job. I am asking for an interview because I feel I meet the qualifications specified in the job specifications. I should not have to catch up on the latest lingo from HR in or out of the office. I also should not get an impersonal email that has nobody with a contact number if I have any questions or concerns.

Will the term “networking” be replaced with “chain human communication?” Also we deserve better from companies than a form letter which in my opinion is more fabrication than truth about how they came to their conclusions. Maybe based on HR responses I should draw an inference about that company. But I don’t hold the entire company prejudiced, but the trending of HRs across the land are “impersonal connection” and “robotic communication.”

When you screen someone out you may be bypassing the best person to come along in quite a while with all the knowledge, skills, ability, and experience you need. They are a great cultural fit. There may be a ton of resumes to go through for a position. But starting out with just throwing the ones that don’t catch the recruiter or manager’s eye on the pile means you as the employer have given up an opportunity for better or worse.

In summary keep the language simple and not jargon that people don’t understand. Be personal by allowing people to communicate with recruiters even if the applicant is not chosen for the job. And don’t send cliche form letters that everyone knows are fluff and nothing more.

David Jolley, MPA

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