What's Missing from your HR Team? A Secretary. | HR Fishbowl

Written on August 6, 2010 by Charlie in #TrenchHR, HR Profession secretary-5805498

When it comes to funding, the HR function typically gets the short straw. We live in the perpetual state of doing more with less. And we’ve learned not to whine too much about it. The day will come, my friends, when these tables are turned…I think…maybe…ok, probably not.

Does your HR department have an administrative assistant? Not one that you only have “access to” or one that you “share” with some other group. I mean one that is fully dedicated and has a tattoo across his/her forehead which reads “Property of HR.” If you don’t have one, it’s probably because a) you haven’t asked for one, b) the other business leaders think you’re all administrative assistants anyway, or c) someone’s not playing fair. This may seem simple to you, but you’d be surprised how many HR teams go a lifetime without this basic – yet crucial – level of support. Next time you think you need to augment your staff – think about an admin assistant before anyone else. Here’s why.

  • They are cheap.
  • They are organizational (as in organizing) masters and we usually are not.
  • They can keep more balls in the air than most.
  • They get the stuff done that no one else wants to do…and they shame you into wondering why it didn’t get done sooner.
  • They will also do all the stuff that has to get done, takes gobs of time for you to do, and adds very little direct value to your employees; they’ll help the whole team focus on stuff that matters.
  • They can run interference like it’s nobody’s business; they know how to keep the wolves at bay.
  • They’re good at office social event planning and although this falls on to HR desks by default, we hate doing it!
  • They validate your department…every other department has one, why not yours?
  • They get all the good gossip and we don’t.
  • If they are good, they’ll make you look great…

If I were faced with the opportunity for one and only one more headcount in my HR department, I wouldn’t go after a manager, or a generalist, or a specialist. I’d go after a good ole’ fashion administrative assistant.

Photo Credit: Ning

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