Wednesday 1 February 2023
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The Easy and Comfortable Life of the HR Professional

happy_unhappy - HRComfort.

Some things in work, in HR, are more comfortable than others. It can be a bit disconcerting to receive a phone call from a client, hiring manager, or supervisor who expected more from your relationship or worse, to be summoned to your superior’s office to hear the dreaded words, “I don’t like anything you have suggested.”

Or how about that time when you submitted your resignation and your supervisor looked at you as if to say, “How can you leave me on this sinking ship?”  Been there, regrettably, done that.  We all have to face uncomfortable situations in our work lives. It seems to come with the territory.

Human Resource Professionals and Recruiters tend to meet those moments more often than other business professionals. The moments of each day in HR are filled with opportunities to make someone’s day or ruin someone’s year.

The Things Other Rarely Think About

The Sign-Off: This is the worst part of being a recruiter or someone responsible for hiring – telling a hungry job seeker, applicant, or candidate that they are not going to get the job. I often offer to help in other ways, through referrals to recruiters or that I will let them know if I hear of a job or two that will suit their needs.

The Collection: This is when, as a third-party recruiter, you have to call a client or split partner, former or otherwise, to ask for the final payment for a placement. Or worse – and I hate this… when a vendor calls asking why they haven’t been paid, even though their invoice was submitted for payment months earlier, with the assurance it would be paid. It’s out of my hands, but I get the call.

The Lost Friend: A hiring manager comes to you with a confidential recruitment that will replace a friend of yours within the company, and you have to keep it confidential. The worst. Or you hear about a colleague or peer getting fired (or laid off) and you know they didn’t deserve it or understand the hardship this would create for them. Sometimes, it isn’t just business. 

The HR Function, itself:  The department that addresses and handles hirings, firings, lay-offs, complaints, sexual harassment issues, evaluation time, performance management, benefits, compensation, changes in policy, learning and development, employee engagement,succession planning, promotions, non-promotions, and demotions. Stop the world, I want to get off.

Life in HR

Understand that Life in HR is rarely easy.  And finding your comfort level, as an HR Professional, Corporate Recruiter, or Third-Party Recruiter can be a scary but worthy challenge. Some of us are made for parts of it, we definitely cut out to make cold calls, some of us are not. Some can stand in a job fair  or exhibitor booth all day, some can not. Some of us understand, appreciate the benefit of technology to the industry, and then some us hate the thought of technology being any part of our “human” job. Some of us love to attend conferences and sit in session upon session for two days straight, some do not. Some of us are eager to tweet about anything and everything, some have never been even been on LinkedIn, let alone Twitter. Some of us can and do bring the right placement to the table, in a timely manner –many do not.

Your Own Comfort Zone

The zone to be in is the one that feels right to you, the one that runs smoothly and efficiently – for you, for your department, for your company. However, should that zone become stagnant, laid back, or far too easy, we risk the opportunity (or lose it all together) for development and growth, for learning new skills, or challenging our own understandings of any particular job. Finding the right combination of further excelling at what we are already good and getting better at is a great way to grow in your job, to stay challenged.

Cats are really good at running away from discomfort. They dart through halls or along fences and under cars, in an effort to dodge everything and anything that isn’t for their own benefit. Dogs will endure an incredible amount of discomfort to simply please their owners, to get a pat on the head or a treat. Somewhere between discomfort and never-ending endurance lies another animal, the HR Professional or Recruiter – the good ones know discomfort comes with the job, but along with that is a great deal of satisfaction. It’s part of the gig.

Gloria Steinem said, “The only thing I can’t stand is discomfort.”

Somehow, I think avoidance and complacency trump discomfort. Get over it – it’s called work for a reason.



Rayanne Thorn
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Rayanne Thorn works in hiring, strategy, marketing, and business development with technology companies and has held several high-level positions in the HR and recruiting technology space. She is the VP of Marketing at Dovetail Software and has been responsible for employment branding, hiring, employee engagement, employee retention, branding, marketing, sales, and partnership strategies in the past with TalentBrowser, Technomedia, Evenbase,, Broadbean Technology, and Select University Technologies, Inc. Earlier in her career, Thorn served as a business and search consultant, as well as an executive third-party and corporate recruiter. She has a Bachelor’s in Business – Organizational Development and Strategic Marketing from Vanguard University of Southern California.