HR background needed to run HR: Survey

But non-HR people can learn from experience and bring different skills to department
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/04/2009

The majority of people in the HR community think only people with an HR background should run HR departments, according to the latest Pulse Survey.

The survey of 2,650 Canadian HR Reporter readers and members of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) finds 56.7 per cent think it’s definitely or probably a bad thing when someone without any specific HR training or experience is put in charge of an HR department.

Often people outside of HR don’t appreciate the effect HR programs have on productivity and the success of the organization, instead seeing the function as a cost centre. This is especially true of finance professionals, said Bernie Hagan, an HR professional in Toronto. Of the five finance people she has reported to in her career, only one truly understood the value of HR, she said.