When I started to work for american companies some twenty years ago I had to get used to the term for what’s in german ‘Personalabteilung’: Human Resources.
But thinking about it of course it only describes what we had learned in economics at university about factors of production (land, labour and capital), not so strange after all.
One would think that HR should then pay good attention how the resources it’s responsible for are managed but lately I’ve come to describe them rather as Human Wasted Resources.
Being part of a company which has been acquired by another one lately I’ve seen colleagues (and myself to a certain extent) sit idle for months. Rather than actively manage the set of employees and their skills and seeking places for them in the company and trying to use their skills for the good of the company HR has done: nothing. There hasn’t been any management of existing (human) resources at all. A company must be pretty rich if it can afford to have a number of employees sit around and do nothing.
Well done, HR.
Of course there’s a scheme behind it: the company is laying off people now saying that they don’t have work for them whereas they haven’t even bothered to look (there are numerous jobs available). The resources were never meant to be used but only time needed to pass to get all the RIF letters done.
Very well done, HR.