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Who let the dogs out?



As well as being an HR ninja, father and all round international superhero I am also a dog owner. That’s right, not a dog lover, a dog owner. Dog lovers are weird people who smell a little strange and have that thousand yard stare thing going on. Dog owners are the ones that aren’t afraid to give the pooch a sly kick when they are being disruptive. See the difference?

Anyhow…..before the RSPCA come to take me away I better get to the point. So they have this thing where they say that dogs look like the owners, or their owners look like their dogs….or I guess logically both (chicken and egg moments are so not made for a Monday morning). Which got me to thinking…..if HR was a dog, what dog would it be? And then I stopped thinking that because it was too much like my favourite interview question, “if you were a biscuit what biscuit would you be?” – pause and watch the candidate’s head explode…..

Of course, it is far too simplistic to generalise…..HR is a broad church… here I unveil the various characters in HR…..have fun now!

The Trainer

Loyal, dependable and ultimately stupid, the Labrador pup of the HR world. The ability to get distracted by the sun reflecting on the wall. In time they overeat, under exercise and die of a heart attack. Because they are stupid. Did I say that already?


The Rewarder

Or otherwise known as the Schnauzer. Think about it, take a minute……doesn’t the sound of it just fit perfectly. I tell you….by the end of the day, the next time your comp and ben guru tells you that you can’t do something that you know is eminently sensible, you’ll be thinking, “Sod off shnauzer!”. Of limited intelligence and a bit beardy weirdy…


The Recruiter

Because everyone who owns one will tell you how loyal and lovely they are…..until they bite the head off a small defenseless person. Ok so that may be a bit over the top….they only maul you right? But they’re playing….. Oh yeah….and they’re all ugly too…..but so would you be if you had to kiss arse all day…..(that is the recruiters….not the pit bulls).


The Systemiser

I kid you not…..these dogs are vicious….you think the pit bull is scary?…..get a look at this bad boy…. The Papillon one of the most intelligent dogs, but with an attitude that sucks big time. Now can you just run me that report? Ok,…… away! Because you systems guys…..we know that you do weird things at night when the rest of us are asleep… beating up grannies and stuff…..


The Generalist

Hardworking, loyal, incredibly intelligent and damned good-looking to boot. The HR generalist is, in an understated way, the king of dogs. Balanced perfection and boundless energy. But with a track record of worrying sheep…..still we all have our peccadilloes…..

So there you have it, the career may be a total dog….but at least we have variety…..and that my friends is the spice of life.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/15/2010 12:09

    I choose to bypass the rest of your post, and focus on your interview question, “if you were a biscuit what biscuit would you be?”

    When prepping candidates for interview, I would tell them to expect such questions, and tell that it’s perfectly OK to reply by asking why the question was asked – along the lines of.
    “That’s a very strange (stupid) question. Why would you want to ask me this in a job interview?”

  2. 11/15/2010 13:07

    Tetchy, nice. Does the analogy stretch to the propensity to pee on the carpet or consume one’s own vomit? Might make a nice follow up.

    On the biscuit question, is there a favourite answer? A custard cream would have to work hard to persuade me to take them on, although I’ve known a few Jammie Dodgers in my time. Me, I’d be my own biscuit of course. Recognisable as a biscuit but unique. Oh, is that vomit on the carpet again …

  3. 11/15/2010 14:37

    Woof, bark. Pant pant. Psssssss.

    That’s dog speak for “I’d be a Bonio. And now I’m having a piss.”

  4. david permalink
    11/15/2010 17:30

    In France Labradors are called carcass-carriers because that’s all they are good for. Cruel I know but gives another perspective on Trainers…

    Also there’s got be a place for the Churchill dog in here somewhere surely… an artificial caricature of a creature good for not a lot but always saying “Oh yes!” I know a few HR BP’s like this….

  5. KarenF permalink
    11/15/2010 18:57

    Well HRD, funnily enough despite my dubious past I have never actually been called a dog. I have however been referred to (by a departing disgruntled employee) as a rottweiler! Charming! I can recognise these types but I note the missing prize poodle who loves itself and thinks it is the best thing since sliced bread. Oooh they really get my goat, but thats another blog altogether…..)

  6. Betty permalink
    11/15/2010 20:09

    Is that in-house recruiters who are ugly, agency recruiters, or both?!? 🙂

  7. 11/16/2010 14:52

    Who is the cat – aloof, indifferent, expecting you to clean his poop out of the box, only nice to you when it’s suppertime – in this scenario?

  8. 11/17/2010 10:56

    @Stephen O’Donnell – My response would be, “It is my fucking interview and my fucking job, I will ask you what the fuck I want fuckhead”. – I’m all about the employer brand.

    @Anthony Madigan – Thanks for commenting and welcome. Must of the output from an average HR department has less value than dog sick….perhaps there is something in that…..?

    @Doug Shaw – You will forever be Dog Slobber to me now……

    @david – “Oh yes, yes, yes………”

    @KarenF – I eat poodles for breakfast…….with milk….

    @Betty – Same breed, different kennel 🙂

    @The gold digger – Good point! Sounds like the CEO to me…….


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