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Anyone can do HR – right?

We have a new word in Finnish everyone knows by now. It’s valelääkäri, fake doctor. A couple of individuals have been able to practice medicine without necessary training and certificates for quite some years without anyone noticing. They did their work well enough – not leaving too many visible mistakes behind. Anyone can practice medicine – do you agree?

So, what about HR? I have heard “anyone can do HR” in different circumstances. I want to prove you right. Let’s start with what HR is. Is it strategic work that contributes to business by the means of attracting, developing and retaining people? Is it leading minds, building engagement and supporting capabilities? Or, is it being part of creating an environment where everyone can give their very best? My humble opinion is, that the answer depends on what is needed. But as most of you probably agree, we are all in it together, independent of what your title says. I would actually want to change the title to “each of us should do HR (every day)”.

My 7-year-old son asked me about the difference between a graduate degree in engineering and a Master of Science in Technology. I tried to explain to him first of all, that he did not have to choose yet, and secondly that studying is most importantly about learning a curious mindset, identifying and solving problems and of course creating new solutions. Following your heart on what you are passionate about, rather than making sure you have a certain level of degree (although a degree would be nice).

HR is a multitasker and problem solver

So, is it about a degree (as in medicine) or about working with what you find inspiring that makes one successful? In HR, I find that it’s about behaviour rather than background. We in HR have as versatile a background as in any other management field. A brilliant person working in HR is more about what the person does and how and less about what they know or don’t know. If they don’t know, they’ll find out.

HR is all about service attitude, desire to learn and emotional intelligence, although I also appreciate that there is the other side of the coin, where one needs to master employment laws and create efficient processes. Still, it takes as much talent to be excellent in HR as it takes to master any other field of work. It all depends on your strengths and motivation.

HR is your hidden resource of multitaskers and problem solvers, who lead people through almost anything related to work and life. And make it look easy! So celebrate your brave HR forerunners and show them that each of us will do HR every day!​