Are HR Practitioners Considered Professionals?

Are HR Practitioners Considered Professionals?

When it comes to occupations which people consider as professionals, Human Resources usually do not come up on top of people’s mind. The common groups typically include lawyers, accountants, doctors and engineers among others. Why is that so? Is it really the case? Or are we just not marketed and recognized in a way that we rightfully deserve?

Common perception on what HR does:

  • Administrative tasks
  • Event organizers 
  • Payroll and claims processing
  • “Police” and guardian of policies
  • Support function

While watching the NetFlix drama, Suits, it struck me that in fact, there are a lot of similarities in what we do as compared to other professionals, in particular the lawyers. Let’s take a look at some similarities that I have observed.

What we do as HR professionals can actually be very valuable and exciting. It’s just a matter of perspective and how far we want to go to achieve our goals. Perhaps one of the next steps is to secure professional accreditations which helps put us in a better position to pitch ourselves as professionals. This is a good time for HR, especially in Singapore, where the government is rolling out the National HR competency framework in early 2017. 

Without a doubt, more work has to be done for HR to realize its full potential. However, it has to start from within where each individual HR professional believes in the value that we can bring to the organization. Thereafter, it’s about equipping ourselves with the necessary skills progressively to establish credibility before truly “having a seat on the table”. It’s a long and tough journey to change the mindset of others, but as with any other change movements, it takes time and grit to pull through. Collective effort is required and that starts from small pockets of passionate HR individuals who are keen to get this going. Together we are a stronger community!

To my fellow HR professionals, next time someone questions our profession, I want you to tell them confidently that we are not like what most people say we are. Let’s continue to take pride in our roles and bring the profession to greater heights together

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