This is an open letter to those with whom I have crossed paths during the screening process, have hired, trained, and let go.
There was a management need and I know I had the skills to find the right fit for them. One way or another, I may have met you through a screening process – be it through your submitted resume, a phone interview, a face-to-face interview, or a zoom interview. I am also, at times, the one sending messages to you hoping you are open to exploring job possible opportunities even though I know you are currently employed. And I know this may sound like an excuse but please do understand that I may have missed updating you regarding your application because I have a lot in my mind with other applicants left and right. I know this may have upset you but while it is ideal to respond and update everyone, I couldn’t do so. I too, can forget, can get overwhelmed, and can be swamped with other work. Believe me when I say that I am blessed to have the opportunity to meet with different people for a job. It is like finding a rock that has a gemstone in it – you may never know if there’s a gemstone inside unless you break it however, the screening process is not gonna breaking you yet. It is to tell if the surface has a hint of a precious gemstone inside once harnessed. Screening hundreds and thousands of people to do a specific job is not easy. It is filtering and scrutinizing your knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits, to check if you’ll be a job fit/skill fit, and culture fit. If I just want to make my work life easy, I could just pass and recommend anyone – but no.
It was your first day at work and I am not sure whether or not you have received the ‘welcome’ that you imagined but I am happy to see you finally joining us. I was looking forward to doing your orientation, guiding you on your onboarding, and being like a 24/7 concierge for you. As much as possible, I wanted to answer all your questions so you won’t feel like a new kid at school. I am passionately saying this because I too have been there. Just like a shepherd, I would want to see you fit right in the flock. Just like a mother, I would want to see you make new friends at work (even though I know that work is not the main place for friendship, it is just to void the hostility). Just like a supporter, I would want to see you and your skills shine as was expected during the screening process. It may seem not to like it but I am looking after your growth and success while you are in the company. Your overall performance at work may speak if you’re a good or a bad hire but always remember, I rooted for you first.
We could have crossed paths again during one of your training sessions, be it another company policy refresher or a soft skills training. I love seeing you enjoy your stay and being open to receiving knowledge despite your tenure. Remember, we do not stop learning because we get old, we get old because we stop learning. I know we learn differently and I am looking for ways to tap your potential as I believe you can do much more if given the right platform and support. We grow as big as the place we were planted and giving you more soil, through training, can help you extend your roots. I also trust that you know what your wants and needs are, I am waiting for your suggestions on how to improve the processes, your learning path, and also your vision for your career. I would want to hear about it and see if I can help you with anything to achieve your end mind. As I see it, working together means having a mutualistic symbiotic relationship. We benefit from each other and your voice and ideas are equally important as the others. I just hope you accept the recommendations given for lateral transfers, additional tasks, and promotions the management had planned for you. Coming from my experience, be like a sponge. I cannot dictate how you love your work but receive all the learning you can get. These are not to make you feel underpaid and along the process, you would get to grumble about it; This is to test you, to stretch you, and in the end, trust me, it’ll benefit you.
Letting an employee go is never easy and it will never be easy as we deal with something far from what we see, it concerns finances that may affect the support of their own families. However, just like in a country to be disciplined and avoid lawlessness, we have rules to abide by. The HR process is a cycle and seems like a never-ending courtship and breakups – if I may describe it. Ever since I recommended you for hiring, I have always believed in you. There could have been some bumps along the way and sometimes we failed to make it work. I know that my part is to be by your side while you’re an employee but don’t forget that I am the management’s representative as well. I represent both you and our management therefore, I could not take sides when things get rough. I need to be objective and even though I have the heart to listen and understand you, I have a role to part-take. I have to do my job but believe me when I say I would want to make things easier for you. Like you, I am also an employee and I have to see the end of it without any legal complications. Just like any breakup, no perfect timing, no perfect way. We both get hurt in the end. Letting you go will not add merit to my job and it will add up to my pile of vacancy list but I have to do it – be it voluntary or involuntary. Truth be told, my heart always sympathizes but I cannot empathize with each and every one. You have all the right to file a case against the management but remember, the world is small and life is short. Life is about building and maintaining bridges rather than burning them. There were also times I am asking myself if I Am still in the right profession. For the management, this is ‘just’ work.
As your HR, I want nothing but the best for both you and the management. My whole heart is to serve truthfully and with love as I fully entrust my whole work performance to an audience of One – my ultimate boss, God. I am carefully treading towards having a harmonious relationship with everyone as I was an appointed steward of God at the workplace. I pray that at whichever point in your life I have met you, I hope I could have shown God’s glory through my work. And even though I may not know all of your stories, do not forget you have an HR who is willing to listen to it all.
10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.Hebrews 6:10 NLT
However, I am not a too-good-to-be-true type of person. I accept my imperfections and errors as a human and I may have made you feel like I don’t support you but I am asking for you, to pray for us as well. All HRs need prayers and support as well. We may be your support system but we are also seeking yours. Asking for someone to understand us as HR is difficult but, we are required to understand everyone. Reaching the end of this letter is already an appreciation from you and I hope we could all work together in truth and in love – as to how God designed it to be. And if I haven’t told you yet, it was always been my pleasure to meet you.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;Psalm 90:17 NIV
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Oh look, it’s the end of my break time!