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I hate victims who respect their executioners



Two years ago, I started a blog called L’enfer c’est les autres, which 6 months later became My Hell is Other People.  The aim at the time was to shake up the predominantly dull and dismal world of UK HR blogs and to provide both a little light relief and some realism.  There weren’t many HR professionals blogging and the field was bogged down with over earnest consultants trying to prove how clever they were in order to promote their businesses. Nothing wrong with that, but not really my thing and not really the thing of many of us actually doing the work.

The last few months have seen a number of HR professionals starting to blog and talk about their experiences and at the same time mixing it up with more personal content rather than just banging on about the same old boring HR stuff.  Has this blog been any kind of inspiration or driver to that? I’m not so sure, but if I’m honest I hope so.

Way back at the start I could never have imagined this.  I never really had a game plan, I wasn’t trying to make money, I have never accepted advertising or sponsorship,  I wasn’t trying to make a career out of my blog or blogging.  Just trying to provoke, shake things up and start people thinking.

Since my first post there have been hundreds of other posts and over 2,500 comments.  Traffic continues to grow each week, each month and (since I moved sites) just shy of 60,000 visits later, here I am, opening up WordPress each morning and writing away.  Through the blog I’ve met great people in real life and in the virtual world. We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, we’ve argued and bitched and we’ve made friends and enemies. You have inspired and challenged me, you have made me think and you have helped me to grow as a person.

So what now? Well the answer is nothing. The words that you’re reading are the last words to be written by TheHRD, the last words from My Hell is Other People.  All good things come to an end and today is my end.

From the bottom of my heart I thank every single one of you who has contributed to this project.  This would not have been the success it is without you. On a number of occasions people have described this blog as a “community”.  Every tweet, every, comment, every idea and thought that you have contributed has made it that way.  This has been your success much, much more than it has been mine. Have you changed things? Too right you have.

I want……need, to turn my attention to other things now, other projects, other ideas…..things in completely different areas and none of which will involve TheHRD or this site.

So it has been a blast people.  Be good to yourselves, don’t listen to the shit that they tell you.  Ask questions, be difficult, strive for excellence and remember to enjoy yourselves on the way. No-one can tell you what to do, or how to be, only you decide that for yourselves. You have the power within yourselves to change your lives and the lives of others for the better. Use it.

The clock is ticking, it’s time for me to check out now.

TheHRD has left the building…….


You’re always a day away….



There is no reason to put off what you can achieve today.  Life is finite.  Every second that you prevaricate is wasted.  Every moment that you hesitate is lost.  You and only you have a responsibility for your actions. Your inaction is also your responsibility.  There is nothing getting in your way other than your self.

Every question has an answer.

Every decision can me made. 

There are no wrong choices, only different options.

Never look back, that is wasted time and effort.  You can’t change the past, you can only make the future.  Rush at it with strength, determination and a blind belief in your own capabilities.  Back yourself 100%. And know that the only failure is the failure to act.

Make the decision today that you keep on putting off until tomorrow.  The only voice you need to listen to is the one inside you. I can guarantee that you know what you need, to do and you know why.

So why wait?

Webbed feat



So unlike the Institute of Recruiters, the CIPD actually managed to launch a website yesterday. All I can say is…. 1-0 to the old skool……

Is it any good?

Well first impressions of the home page are that a four-year old has imbibed a value pack of Fuzzy Felt downed 2 litres of coke and allowed nature to take its course on an unsuspecting screen. It ain’t pretty, it ain’t engaging and quite frankly my 8-year-old could design better. Too many random black blocks and lettering and things that scream in your face. It makes me want to shut it down before it takes control of my brain and forces my eyeballs to bleed…..

But….BUT (that is a big but….girls….you know I’m looking at you!) I’m not a shallow man, to be shallow you need to have depth and I have none. I had a dig around and you know what? It isn’t bad.

The old site….well frankly it was designed by an OCD Accountant on beta blockers with a penchant for self asphyxiation and dressing as a baby. It wasn’t good in more than three ways and it wasn’t the public representation of a modern, forward thinking institution but more akin to the reluctant “going through the motions” actions of a long married couple on their anniversary night.

The new site opens up more content to non-members. This is a good thing and will be something that will attract members and not deter them. If I can get that for free….can you imagine what I can get as a member? The organisation of the information has moved from confused, drunken Alzheimer’s patient to slightly scatty but beloved Aunt.

And this is a step in the right direction in many ways. The site may not be perfect, but it is better.  The digital marketing team are engaging with people like me (and like you) to try to put across their message through collaboration and not indoctrination. And quite frankly if I had to look at that old s(h)ite for much longer I might have started to swear, get aggressive and pick fights with random people.

And you really don’t want that do you?

So where am I on this? Well 3 out of 5 increasing to 4 on the basis that I’m in HR and I can’t count and the fact that there is an intent to make things better.  Compared to Think Stink, this is a major step forward.

Ladybird steps CIPD, Ladybird steps…..but putting one foot in front of the other is the start of a journey and your openness and willingness to engage deserves a (seated) round of applause.

The secret of happiness


What you do doesn’t really matter. If you stopped doing what you do, the world would not end and the sky would not fall in. You are busy driving yourself to an early grave fulfilling unimportant man made tasks that have no sense, reason or importance.

You don’t create, you don’t make. People don’t need or use what you do nor do they ask for or require it. You are a purposeless blot on an already bloated and disease infested corporate nonsense that they call the world of work.

You’ve created ridiculous concepts such as engagement and being “social” to make up for the fact that you’re actually just wasting your lives in the pointless execution of aimless frippery. None of this is real. Stop fighting it, stop struggling to explain your value and accept that you have none.

That is your first step to happiness.

London, farewell and cheese…..



It is Friday and I’m writing a post.  I never write on a Friday….well almost never.  But yesterday was so full and busy that I didn’t have a chance.

Yesterday afternoon was spent at #truLondon where I participated in a track with Laurie Ruettimann on the lack of strategy in Recruitment and HR. We weren’t saying it had to be more strategic…..far from it, the position was that it wasn’t a strategic function to stop pretending it is.  How did it go? Mixed I think…the reaction was so-so but seeing as people were still talking about it today then that can only be a good thing.  It would have been much easier to stand there and talk about some happy clappy recruitment bollocks and get everyone to go “ohh wow, I’ve seen the future”. But that was never going to happen a) because it is all bollocks and b) because we are not spineless arseholes c) because we are right.  If you want to hear an honest appraisal from Laurie then you can check it out here.

Today, I’ve been working like a nut and packing as we head out-of-town for a week away tonight.  You’ll hear nothing for me, which is a reason to be cheerful on a Friday afternoon.  I’ll be back though, don’t you worry about that.

And that brings me to the last point.  On 5 March there will be the first and probably last #HRclubbing event, held at the palace of taste and pleasure that is Club de Fromage and is organised by the wonderful, hugely talented and pint-sized Charlie Duff. It promises to be a night not to remember as you’ll get the chance to see lots of other people, including Mrs HRD (which should be interesting given the whole anonymous thing and her tendency to talk). We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.  You can get your tickets here for next to nothing and come and see how badly HR people dance.

It would be great to see some old and new faces there.  Until then…..soyez sage mes amis.

Why O R?



I’m on record repeatedly as saying that the recruitment industry needs to up their game….and it seems I’m not alone.

Or am I?

So there has been a lot of talk….talked….about the IoR….otherwise known as the Institute of Recruiters….a yet to be launched saviour to the image of recruiters, taking them away from the “estate agent in the 80s” image. Or is it…..?

Now before I go any further, there is a caveat here, I’m working on a lot of third hand information, but I have no reason to question the accuracy of the sources. And that aside, we live in a democracy where people are legitimately allowed to raise questions and furthermore….when did I start giving a fuck?

So as I see it, these two dudes Dave Barber and Azmat Mohammed have decided that there is a need for some sort of standard setting in the industry. And they are probably not wrong.  Are these the guys to do it? Well, I’ll leave you to make your own minds up on that one.

Dave Barber is shown on Linked-in as being the owner of a company called The Recruitment Guru which he describes as “the best business decision I have made”.  A quick shufti at the website shows that there are indeed some vacancies with the self-styled guru of recruitment. Azmat Mohammed is a “Multi Award Winning CEO | Business & Technology Visionary”. A quick squiz at Companies House and a search of his Company name “ID Interactive”, however, shows that the company is currently subject to a proposal to “strike off” apparently following a failure to submit either accounts or a return since July 2009.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything does it? No….not in this day and age at all…but it does raise questions and it raises doubts.  And when these are compounded by what appears to be an evasive approach to communications, then in my opinion, they are going to have an uphill struggle.

Take the communication that was received by Katie McNab when she raised the question on their registration. Katie’s question was fair.  The response was fair. But it left me with more questions than answers. Why would two people living in Britain, using an website address, then go and register their business in the US? And why then would you state, ” the IOR wanted to be seen primarily as a professional body that has an international audience” but on your website profess to be “a professional body for recruiters in the UK”?

It is just all a little bit confusing……

In fact the whole thing is a little confused, apparently they are talking about working with Harvard University on an entrance exam.  Well, Universities are commercial organisations that will go where they think there is a buck to be made, but if you were a premium brand University, would you take a punt on an organisation with no track record, no discernible presence (as yet) and no membership base?

I’m not convinced……..

Then there is this claim about a technical offering that is “probably the most radical the industry will ever see.  It will make businesses more profitable and cut thousands off costs”. OK… I have a technological solution that is really game changing….that will cut thousands of pounds off costs….how am I going to bring this to market? Am I going direct to businesses or am I going to incorporate it in an Institution membership structure?

And I have to say my heart sinks…..

Suddenly, I find myself sitting on a cheap MFI sofa…..the Iron Lady is in number 10, Frankie Goes to Hollywood are number one….and this guy in loafers is talking to me about this bijou property with amazing potential and some original features…there is the smell of Brut in the air…

Time to get in my Cortina and head out for a pint of Hoffmeister….

Personally, I’d rather follow the bear……

UPDATE: So as Russell pointed out below, he raised this post on the IoR LinkedIn discussion board. And as Matt has pointed out, there is a reply of sorts on there, although Matt’s comment doesn’t seem to have been moderated yet.  For those of you without access to the Group, here is a screen shot.

5 people myths we need to blow….



1) Employees are not just a means of production – Let us stop talking about the nebulous concepts of employee engagement. People are a resource, that is all. At the root of this is a fair deal for labour, you provide that and you have a quid pro quo. Does that make me a Neanderthal? Well, I don’t believe in sweatshops, but I am realistic about what most employees want, a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. The rest is neither here nor there.

2) Equality is important – We are not equal, we will never be equal. What we need to address is a “level playing field” the ability for everyone to perform, but with that goes an understanding that given that level field, some will perform better than others and they will be treated and rewarded better than others. That is true fairness, but it isn’t equality.

3) HR is a strategic function – This is the biggest load of bollocks that exists. You may be contributing to the business strategy, granted. You might be adding value, I get that. But as a function you are not strategic, you do not need to be strategic and you will never be strategic. So shut the fuckwittery down right now and accept it.

4) Being a good employer and delivering profits are opposing forces – You mention profit and all of a sudden the crunchy granola brigade start banging on about evil corporations. The vast majority of businesses do not want to shaft their workforces, they don’t want to cut corners.  Most organisations look after their people and try to make a profit. Because that is what commercial organisations do. Get over it.

5) New is better – The continued push for newness and reinvention as a means of improvement is one of the most short-sighted  and wrong-headed assumptions belittling the effectiveness of business people across the board.  Just changing for the sake of newness will not solve a problem nor will it enhance or embellish.  There is nothing wrong with the tried and tested per se…..just the way in which you are approaching it.