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An Open Letter to the Human Resources Industry

April 30, 2014


Recently there’s been a spate of articles on ostensibly penned by so-called Human Resource Managers voicing their pet gripes when it comes to the quality of applications they receive from job seekers.

It follows the similar vein of recent editorials highlighting the pet peeves of airline cabin crew when dealing with the traveling public.

It seems that almost anyone in the service industry these days has a gripe and the somewhat pedestrian pages of News Limited publications are becoming the popular forum to air these grievances.

According to one recent article, a survey of Human Resource Managers listed their so-called “worst job interview crimes” as being:

• Turning up under the influence of drugs or alcohol

• Refusing to answer certain questions

• Acting arrogant or as if the world owes you something

• Being overly emotional

• Talking too much, not engaging in a two-way conversation

• Failing to prepare and research the company or industry

• Badmouthing previous bosses

• Swearing and being abusive

Other common complaints include; failing to include a cover letter explaining your suitability to the role and why you want to work for this particular company, failing to address the selection criteria in your application, as well as spelling or grammatical errors in your CV.

Certainly some of these grievances are legitimate, and naturally, turning up to a job interview “wasted” is hardly a recipe for success. However given the ardent generosity of those from within the so-called “Human Resources” profession to share their pet gripes with regular perpetuity, we here at The Gutter Trash feel it is only fitting that we return the favour with some advice of our own.


Dear Sirs or Madams, or as I would prefer to call you; a collective pack of arseholes,

I read with interest your recent splattering of complaints with regards to the quality and calibre of applications you receive from job seekers on a number of Australian mainstream media web sites.

I find it interesting that the profession you have wilfully chosen as your preferred career, seems to cause you so much grief. Whether you realise it or not, you are actually in the “service industry” and as such you will find that “dealing with people” is a key component of your job.  Granted, your client is the one who pays your commission for securing a suitable employee but your callous disdain towards job seekers does you no favours.

Allow me to provide you with some constructive feedback.  Take for a moment your job title. Human. Resources. Manager. First of all it’s worth pointing out that humans are actually ”people” and treating them as such would be a good first step.

Secondly, when you complain that job seekers fail to include a cover letter or fail to address the selection criteria in their application, perhaps consider for a moment that a well-constructed application along these lines would take several hours to prepare.  Do you think it’s reasonable to expect this level of investment when you yourselves arrogantly state in your advertising that “only successful applicants will be contacted?”

Is it really that difficult to acknowledge a job seeker’s application with even a standard email response acknowledging their existence?  I wouldn’t have thought so. Heck it won’t even cost you a stamp anymore.

But hell no, that would require some skerrick of service that as a profession on the whole you have decided you are unwilling to provide.  Perhaps if you lifted your game in terms of the service you provide to job applicants you may find that job seekers take a little more effort in the preparation of their applications.

Thirdly, when you complain about the odd spelling or grammatical error that may have failed the spellchecker, which caused you to recoil in horror and relegate that particular CV directly to the trash can, you may wish to consider the all-too-common errors that appear in your own advertising such as “Key responsibilities of the roll” or “Manger” instead of “Manager” which happen all too often, because, quite frankly if you can’t even get the most basic of spelling and grammar right then quite clearly your client isn’t worth working for.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you may wish to ocassionally step outside of the sanctimonious and odious little zone you have created for yourself and realise that your profession has the well-earned reputation as being akin to used car salespeople, real estate agents or prostitution.  Actually, no scratch that last one, at least prostitutes provide value for money (or so I’m told).

You may be able to justify your extortionate fees to your clients with your hamster-like personality tests that pigeon-hole people into bizarre little categories that only you can understand and ascribe any real meaning to, and yes, that may prevent some psycho from joining BHP (or not), but simply leave the rest of us bewildered.

Questions like “if you saw a friend on the other side of the street would you cross the road to greet them?”

What the fuck is that all about? Does it really have any relevance to an individual’s ability to carry out a particular job function?  I mean, I might cross the road if it’s someone I haven’t seen in ten years, or I might not, if it’s rush hour on a rainy night and they’re standing on the other side of Collins Street.

You see, little HR people. The gig is up.

Yes you have, up until now, successfully created your own little niche industry – apparently devoid of scrutiny – because supposedly  you operate in some ethereal sphere of your own – not quite inhabiting the real world where other mere mortals are subject to the perils of employment, redundancy and dismissal. One where you have fabricated some mystique around what it is you actually do; all carried out from behind the frosty veneer of your power suits, pinned back hair and black framed spectacles.

But as evidenced by your pompous,  condescending and self-satisfied rants in our local media it’s clear that you have zero understanding of the service industry, and a callous disregard for those you should be seeking to engage.

As a profession you deserve the contempt and derision you so clearly attract.

Oh, and one more thing…

Fuck you all.






25 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2014 5:38 pm

    Non productive assets, they is.

  2. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 30, 2014 6:03 pm

    This is a human resources manager?

  3. TB Queensland permalink
    April 30, 2014 6:32 pm



    I remember an old joke when HR were called Personnel …

    A personnel secretary used to watch her boss, the personnel manager, before he signed a document, slowly slide his top drawer open and look inside before he signed it.

    This had her fascinated for years and then he suddenly resigned … naturally she was curious to see what he looked at before he signed … when she pulled open the drawer she saw a piece of paper sticky taped inside the drawer – two NNs and one L ….

    I once had to complete a management survey for JH … it was supposedly anonymous … so I left out any information that could identify me (eg what state, department do you work in etc) … I secretly marked my reply on every page …

    About a week after I had sent it to Sydney I was called into the Personnel Manager’s office (my immediate boss) and handed my survey back and asked to complete it … luckily I’d started my business a month ago so I gave him my impression of “anonymous” … ah, those were the days …

    What pisses me off with HR is that line managers actually let them recruit at all – its the line managers job as is termination and discipline, H&S and training and development … HR is an advisory role … but like IT managers they like building empires …

  4. April 30, 2014 6:43 pm

    l am not alone, so it seems.

  5. April 30, 2014 6:50 pm

    Another bunch of shiny bums that companies keep, while at the same time kicking coal-face workers to the curb or `casualising` them to junk-job status.

  6. April 30, 2014 6:52 pm

    On the upside, job-seekers in many industry`s know that when they have to apply via hr/labor-hire out-fits, you will be working for the industry mutt.

  7. April 30, 2014 6:54 pm


  8. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 30, 2014 6:58 pm

    Hooray for overheads!!

  9. April 30, 2014 7:02 pm

    Love it Reb! Well said and certainly not before time. In fact I might include a copy of this post in my next job application,

    The question that give me the utter screaming shits is; ‘have you ever encountered a situation where you’re not sure what you should do and could you give an example?’

    Sure! As a matter of fact I’m wondering whether to tell you to get fucked and walk out or tip that glass of water over your head, tell you to get fucked and then walk out.
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. egg permalink
    April 30, 2014 7:02 pm

    If the human resources lady is plain, a pretty female applicant need not apply.

  11. April 30, 2014 7:15 pm

    plain jane won`t hire busty betty or sexy suzie, just as `alpha` males don`t allow other alpha`s to come along and out-do them dumpty, pretty standard stuff to maintain the usual mediocre management we all know and love

  12. April 30, 2014 7:37 pm

    “Sure! As a matter of fact I’m wondering whether to tell you to get fucked”

    I got a lot of LOLS out of that! 🙂

  13. May 1, 2014 8:21 am

    Interviewer: What would you say is your greatest weakness?

    Applicant: I think I can be too honest at times.

    Interviewer: I don’t think that honesty is a weakness.

    Applicant: Who gives a fuck what you think.

  14. May 1, 2014 8:40 am

    Oh what will I do with my Psychology degree? I really don’t know anything about people other than my school mates….Hmm 6 years experience before I can get licensed? Oh well I will go into HR… Then there is the Pommies who seem to dominate the industry and the CES (or whatever they call it this week) Job provider network…… 🙄

    Well Said Reb… my contempt for these parasites that have attached themselves to companies is stratospheric. Most are neither Human nor a resource 😦

  15. egg permalink
    May 1, 2014 9:46 am

    ‘Applicant: Who gives a fuck what you think.’

    Having a good chuckle over that.

  16. TB Queensland permalink
    May 1, 2014 10:36 am

    I’m wondering whether to tell you to get fucked and walk out

    ee, did that twice … with great satisfaction …

    … one twit wanted to interview me in the lunch room – during lunch!

    The other was with the Qld Forestry Dept … the dept head was about to offer me the job and brought in the branch head who would be my boss … she looked over my resume and the face became darker every second – then came out the stupid defensive questions … I walked … tip – always look for the next job when you have a good one …

  17. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 1, 2014 11:51 am

    Most are neither Human nor a resource

    I agree, I see them as similar to debt collectors, profiting off human misery, they advise on how to screw the employees over in wages and conditions and not pay them what they are worth or for the work that they do [unpaid overtime etc].

    Takes a certain type of person who will happily do that imo, of course always protected from any employee backlash by placement in ivory towers and company policy. Never having to meet the results of their human destruction face to face ie the angry out of work employee.

  18. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 1, 2014 11:56 am

    Yesterday we had 20 jobs being interviewed for in my workplace and all the ‘workforce management team’ who spend their days making sure we staff don’t get a cent more than they need to give and make up policies to ensure we work harder for less, were absent doing the interviews, apparently ‘picking the cream of the crop’. Poor things, human cannon fodder for the machine.

  19. egg permalink
    May 1, 2014 2:45 pm

    Its a horrible thing when you bother to dress up for an interview, with half a dozen senior staff testing your metal, only to recognise within a couple of minutes that they have already chosen someone internally.

    It was all preordained, but they had to go through the process of fairness.

  20. TB Queensland permalink
    May 1, 2014 6:10 pm

    Yeah, been there too, egg …

  21. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 1, 2014 6:11 pm

    Job Titles – The Good Old Days vs Today

    Today – Director of Human Capital & Capability
    Back Then – Personnel Manager

    Today – General Manager, People Development
    Back Then – Personnel Officer

    Today – Manager, Development and Talent Acquisition
    Back Then – Personnel Officer

    Today –Manager, Employee Engagement and Alignment
    Back Then – Personnel Officer

    Today – General Manager, Workplace Relations
    Back Then – Personnel Officer

    Today – Manager, Diversity and Opportunity
    Back Then – Personnel Officer

  22. May 17, 2014 9:36 pm

    When a `casual`, `part-time` junk-job paying minimum $rate is having ””about-300”” job-seekers interviewed for the job,

    ya`gotta ask ya`self,
    Who the fcuk is this `really` benefiting.?

    The employer/client.? Nah.

    lt`s about `justifying` all the HR shiny-bums existence.

  23. May 18, 2014 6:49 pm

    Mr-Rabbit and his zombies have recently reheated John-W`s
    theory of `Work Till You Drop` and my 72 year old neighbor,
    who is desperate to work again, (even 2 or 3 days per week)
    as `pension` income is so small, and struggles financially.
    How is HR shiny-bums going to find work for him.?

  24. TB Queensland permalink
    May 18, 2014 6:54 pm

    How is HR shiny-bums going to find work for him.?

    He’ll just have to go back to TAFE and learn something he can do in the Brave New World …*

    That was a rhetorical question I take it … I know two people almost half his age who have been job searching for six months …

    He can only earn so much before it affects his pension anyway … if he could …

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