5 things your HR department isn’t telling you

The Human Resources department is presented like an employee concierge service but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

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From the September/October 2012 issue of the magazine.

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1. We’re not your friend. The Human Resources department is presented like an employee concierge service, but be careful, says former HR executive Cynthia Shapiro. In recent years, most HR departments have morphed into legal protection arms of the company. “If you disclose anything to HR that could potentially cause the company inconvenience or money, they are required to take action against you,” she says.

2. Your performance review is your secret weapon. Don’t avoid performance reviews: insist on them. Rusty Rueff of employment website Glassdoor.com says performance reviews are your ammunition when negotiating a raise, more vacation time or a promotion. It’s hard to deny reasonable demands when the proof that you deliver results is right there in black and white. If your repeated requests for a review go unanswered, write your own assessment and ask your boss to sign off on it. If your boss isn’t willing to do it, go to HR.

3. You aren’t necessarily getting a good deal on insurance. Employees at big companies typically get group insurance, but don’t assume your employer has secured the best rate for you. While you’ll have to stick with any mandatory coverage, be sure to shop around for additional coverage and see if you can get a better rate elsewhere.

4. We give away free money. Many companies offer pension plans or will top up your RRSP, but the onus is on the employee to join. As long as your company is contributing some money, these programs will boost your overall compensation, so be sure to sign up.

5. You can negotiate a termination package. If you suspect your company is preparing for a round of layoffs and you’re ready to leave on your own terms, consider stepping forward. Chances are you’ll get a fatter compensation package if you do. But first, make sure your intelligence is correct. “You’ve tagged yourself and they won’t forget that,” says Rueff.

3 comments on “5 things your HR department isn’t telling you

  1. This is the way HR is done in many companies but it's completely wrong. HR should be there to find, hire and keep the best talent you can possibly find for your company. Unfortunately, HR has turned into the hire them and fire them department. And, no, HR is never your friend regardless of how friendly they appear. Having been unceremoniously removed from a job, due to "restructuring" (a thinly veiled firing), I can say that you should keep HR at arms length whenever possible. After you're hired the next time you deal with them will be when you're fired.

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  2. The traditional ways that HR do must be change for better performance of the company.

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  3. HR departments are in place to protect the best interests of the company NOT the best interests of the employee. HR departments are evil. Procced with caution.

    If your employer has an Occupational Health and Safety business unit use this unit as your HR portal. By law (Canadian) they cannot disclose the employees information, however they will work in your favour to resolve your issue.

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