Everywhere you look, people want to disrupt HR. Books have been written, conferences held, hashtags created. Many in the HR profession look at the way that Uber, Airbnb, Ryanair and others have disrupted their industry and wonder how we can do the same. Now I can exclusively reveal that the seven hacks below will ensure that you can disrupt HR whatever your business or sector.
1. Remove all pencils from the HR office (or in a tech company, hide all the iPad chargers). All HR work will soon grind to a halt.
2. Respond with “Yes, let’s be just like Enron” whenever the phrase “war for talent” is mentioned. Most HR people won’t actually have read the book to be aware that Enron was one of the key case studies.
3. If anyone in HR refers to the above concept as the “war on talent”, smile pityingly at them. This will disconcert if not completely disrupt.
4. Replace all ergonomically designed office chairs with three legged stools. Defend any subsequent health and safety claims with “we were only implementing the Ulrich model”
5. Suggest ignoring employment law if it doesn’t fit in with the preferred solution to a problem (I saw this genuinely proposed by a qualified HR person on a LinkedIn discussion topic, so this disruptive tactic has clearly gone mainstream).
6. Ask “have you any evidence this will work?” next time they propose a new initiative. Repeatedly doing this will either a) make them leave you alone or b) find some evidence to support their argument.
7. For maximum effect, switch on the sprinkler system during the CIPD conference this week. This will disrupt more HR people in one fell swoop than points 1-6 put together.
I completely understand that many in the HR world think things we do could be done differently and better, or even not done at all (I am one of them). And perhaps I’m being too literal by taking the dictionary definition of ‘disrupt’. But the word conveys the snotty-nosed punk rock attitude of ‘let’s smash everything whether it’s good or not’ (fine if you’re 17 and in a band, perhaps not so in a world of work). Moreover, with the disruptive chickens coming home to roost for many of the companies above, should this be a bandwagon that we just watch as it goes hurtling by?