How Valentine would select his HR Director

  • Post published:14/02/2024
  • Reading time:7 mins read

IMG-0428The overwhelming demand for HR talent clearly outstrips the supply. Thailand is simply not producing and graduating enough HR people.

How would Saint Valentine, the reason for celebrating Valentine’s Day in February, select his HR Director?

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 is coming from the HR desks nowadays. Thailand should be no different, right?

We are talking about a missing generation

On one hand, we have Gen X who have years of experience in HR but with no theory of HRD (human resources development) and OD (organizational development). The HRD and OD curriculums were sparingly or nonexistent at university level back then.

Then there is the younger Gen Y who brings the theory but not yet ten to fifteen 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 and Organizational Development and also then will have real-life and work experience. Hence the term “missing generation”.

Did Saint Valentine have an HR Director?

Well, I don’t think so. But since we are celebrating Valentine’s Day the 14th February (the day this article was written), what an opportune time to wonder what if?

Valentine’s Day is associated with romantic love and has evolved into a time when 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 in the air between the two parties, employer and employee.

Why is HR not taking more pride in their profession?

IMG-0511But you tell me why so 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 on the subject, and 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.

Now check yourself; here are three questions that any HR should get right. But sadly don’t.

  • What does the labour law say about the probation period?
  • The second question: If you wish to terminate an employee’s employment, what advance notice must you give according to the labour law?
  • The third question: If the person you wish to terminate is still in the probation period, what is the advance notice?

The correct answers are at the end of the article. Now, let me explain why I pay so much attention to how candidates handle these questions.

And I don’t care and I don’t buy that you have subordinates in charge of these things. Here is why.

Admitted, there are many complicated rules and regulations in the labour law and it’s difficult to remember every single detail. Fair enough.

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 says so much more about the individual.

It shows a complete lack of interest in the HR profession. It’s neglecting duties; it’s taking a laid-back approach and not giving a darn about being up-to-date. This is about attitude and ambitions.

Helloooo? Where have you been in the last 15 years?

Answers to the 3 HR questions

Answer to HR question 1: The Labour Protection Act no longer mentions anything about the probation period. There is no requirement by law and it’s at the employer’s discretion to have one or not. Severance payment has nothing to do with probation. Severance pay is a compensation to employees whose services are terminated.

Answer to HR question 2: Section 17 paragraph of the law states that the employer or the employee can terminate employment by notifying the other party on or before wage payment, for the termination to take effect on the day of the next wage payment.

Answer to HR question 3: Since the law has no mention of probation, there is no difference in termination notice as the probationary period is also considered a part of the employment contract. Notice to terminate is always the same no matter how long the employee has been employed.

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.