What does "human resources" even mean, anyway?
Now that I'm gainfully employed at MTV, I've been enjoying receiving boilerplate rejection emails from other companies. When one unexpectedly pops up in my inbox, I think: oh, okay, yeah, I remember you guys--I would have never worked for you anyway. Which may or may not be true--but the sting of rejection inspires such a response, regardless. One example:
Thank you very much for your interest in Lime Wire's film project and for taking the time to complete the first-round interview process with us. We very much enjoyed reviewing your application. Blah, blah, blah. However, although your skills and experience are impressive, we feel that your qualifications are not a match for our needs at this time. Thanks again for your interest in Lime Wire; we wish you the best of luck in your job search.
Human Resources Associate
The Lime Group, LLC
First of all, if I were a HR person, I'd occasionally put the "blah, blah" in there just to be a dick. Within a split-second of opening the email (or envelope), the applicant knows that he or she didn't get the job, so the contents of the notification are just a formality anyway. On the other hand, actually hearing back from a job, one way or another, is better than not hearing back at all.
Second, if I were a HR person, I'd have to ask myself, what the hell am I doing?
Dealing with HR is widely accepted to be a consistently shitty experience. I know more than one person who had their hiring nixed by HR, even though their interviewer and potential boss wanted to hire them. So what, exactly, is the point of HR, other than to entangle employees (and potential employees) in a mess of red tape? HR seems to exist primarily to make things more difficult in life. Institutions that serve such a purpose make life so much more enjoyable. That was sarcasm.
It's no coincidence that the job that ended up working out for me was the rare position that did not involve going through HR--but that's another story, which I'll get to soon. The point is, HR department infrastructures are so bloated, it seems to me that anyone who could come up with a new way of leveraging online applications to streamline the admin processes--thus cutting out 75% of the personnel required to accomplish an inane task, and opening up more direct channels of communication for employees--could change the very definition of human resources, and make a fortune in the process. Of course, HR is another in a long list of institutions that are overdue for revolutionizing. Another obvious one? The film industry.