How Valentine would select his HR Director

  • Post published:15/02/2018
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Last night over a nice Valentine’s Day dinner, I asked myself if he had an HR Director? I mean he as in Saint Valentine.

Well, I don’t think so. But since we were celebrating Valentine’s Day, what an opportune time to wonder what if? Valentine’s Day is associated with romantic love and has evolved into a time where lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, greeting cards and confectionery.

To complete a successful hire there must be some kind of affection and love in the air between the two parties, the employer and employee.

The overwhelming demand for HRD talent clearly outstrips the supply. Thailand is simply not producing and graduating enough HR development people. In reality we are talking about a missing generation here. On one hand, we have Gen X (over 35 years of age) who has the years of experience in HR but with little theory of HRD and OD, because the curriculum was non-existent when they left university. Then there is Gen Y (below 35 years of age) who brings the theory but not yet the ten years of work experience. I reckon it will take another ten years or so before we see an abundance of HR talent who graduated with a degree in HR Development and also now has real life and work experience. Hence the “missing generation”.

There is no doubt in my mind why the demand for really pro HR talent has surged. International companies can see in other countries, where they operate, how top HR managers and directors work as real business partners to the Managing Director. These companies realise how much more value are coming from the HR desks nowadays. Thailand should be no different, right?

But you tell me why relatively few HR experts do not take more pride in their profession? Why is it that most candidates I meet at managerial level have not continued their interest in HR and continued to study, reading books, following the trends in Europe and USA? Let me give you a few examples of the sorry state of affairs in this functional area.

My personal stats show that 90% of the candidates I meet for Director Human Resources or HR Manager jobs, do not know the correct answers to the most basic of basic labour law questions. As a starter.

Admitted, there are many complicated rules and regulations in the labour law and it’s difficult to remember every single detail. Fair enough. But on the other hand, Managing Directors expect that HR can provide immediate advice on the most basic principles regarding probation and how to fire people with proper notice. But to me, not knowing the correct answers to the questions say so much more about the individual. To me is shows complete lack of interest in the HR profession. It’s neglecting duties; it’s taking a laid back approach and not give a darn about being up-to-date. This is about attitude and ambitions.

Helloooo? Where have you been the last 10 years?

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.