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FutureofHRM

Johnstown, PA

#1 Oct 21, 2012
Someone else posted about being offered this position. I was also recently offered the HRM position. This position is mentioned frequently on this site as potentially being on the chopping block. Any merit to this? I'm moving my family to the area based on this job. I know no job is secure but if there are rumblings, I'd rather look elsewhere.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#2 Oct 21, 2012
Since HD does not have a HR position on the store level the ithis one staying I would assume is questionable at best.

If a position does not directly bring money into the store then I cannot see it existing in the long run. Maybe posiitons can be merged with others to share the responsibility.

How many times do you hear HR paged or requested on a given day, week or even month? Can you or anyone else tell if HR is in the building?

If there's say 1740 or so stores and HR costs let's give it a low number at 40k that is nearly 70 million.

Can HR prevent lawsuits? Hardly. Stores are not allowed to have their own lawyers so any legal threat has to go to corporate asap. If they wanted to make HR more of a legal profession decent lawyers would cost the company at least twice what the HR makes. But to spend an extra 70 million to prevent something that might not happen is a pretty poor policy.

Bottom line if you get the hr job and they get rid of it I think a position would be offered just like they did with the ASM's. Maybe they might take it down to half or a third of what it is now.
FutureofHRM

Johnstown, PA

#3 Oct 21, 2012
Thank you for your response. I appreciate your candor. I will say that HR is not meant to handle litigation. HR inherently is meant to ensure policies are followed and documentation is maintained so that house counsel can build a case in the event of litigation. HR is also responsible for talent management (training, interviewing, and ongoing development). It is in this respect that HR contributes to the bottom line. No matter what org you're talking about, HR usually is not involved directly in the ops, nor should they be. It maintains objectivity.

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

#4 Oct 21, 2012
FutureofHRM wrote:
Thank you for your response. I appreciate your candor. I will say that HR is not meant to handle litigation. HR inherently is meant to ensure policies are followed and documentation is maintained so that house counsel can build a case in the event of litigation. HR is also responsible for talent management (training, interviewing, and ongoing development). It is in this respect that HR contributes to the bottom line. No matter what org you're talking about, HR usually is not involved directly in the ops, nor should they be. It maintains objectivity.
In our store HR does not provide training-they enforce LLC but that's it. They do new hire orientation as well. At one time HR was an advocate for the employees but now they are the watchdog for corporate. They do very little for the employees-hand them a phone #, give them a website to visit etc. Not sure what they do for 8 hours...
DMxMD

Kansas City, MO

#5 Oct 21, 2012
The only problem with HR at Lowes is salaried HRMs simply aren't necessary at the store level. Store managers should have authority to open positions, DM and ASM interview, and ASM makes hiring decision. That's how it's done most places. When it comes time for corrective action, if its a judgement call, it's usually run past the AHRM. Otherwise, if we know its 100% legit, we run it past the HRM as a formality. It's just not worth it. Arguably the biggest thing they assist with is hiring, but honestly, I don't need someone else involved in my hiring process. I'm fully capable of reading through some resumes, and I think the first interview should be done by the DM they would report to, not HR. they help coordinate seasonal hiring, but that too ends up getting blown out of proportion. The SM could easily just make the plans. Over all, I think HR has already been on the chopping block for a while, but this lawsuit will cause its demise as we know it. The new HR Department Manager or HR coordinator position will have different levels of responsibility and probably lose salaried bonus potential, causing a mass exodus of the over qualified HRMs. Then we'll be left with HRs that really are only qualified to make sure documents are retained properly, and most other functions will be left to ASMs and up as it should be. Either way, HR will be changing and the result is the same.
FutureofHRM

Johnstown, PA

#6 Oct 21, 2012
I'm curious, how long has the salaried HRM position been around?

Since: Aug 12

Location hidden

#7 Oct 21, 2012
FutureofHRM wrote:
Thank you for your response. I appreciate your candor. I will say that HR is not meant to handle litigation. HR inherently is meant to ensure policies are followed and documentation is maintained so that house counsel can build a case in the event of litigation. HR is also responsible for talent management (training, interviewing, and ongoing development). It is in this respect that HR contributes to the bottom line. No matter what org you're talking about, HR usually is not involved directly in the ops, nor should they be. It maintains objectivity.
Talent Management does not exist at Lowes. You can scratch that one.
FutureofHRM

Johnstown, PA

#8 Oct 21, 2012
Also curious as to why other managers were let go and HR retainedin Jan 2011 if HR serves no purpose? Not trying to incite a riot. Just curious since I'm not familiar with the operations of the store.
DMxMD

Kansas City, MO

#9 Oct 21, 2012
FutureofHRM wrote:
I'm curious, how long has the salaried HRM position been around?
I'm not sure exactly. For years I believe. In my opinion, the HRM is a leftover from glory days, when we were expanding so fast no one cared about productivity per payroll dollar. The old corp philosophy was if there's a new policy, task, or direction to send down to the stores, someone is going to have to be in charge of making sure it gets done, so lets just create another position (preferably salaried) to cover it. We need people to just oversee the tasks and DMs, boom Zone Mgrs were created, we need someone to manage all the sales specialists and figure out commission disputes, boom sales managers, we need someone to manage all of these managers because the SM now has too many direct reports, boom operations mgrs. The examples are endless. It was natural for them to create salaried HR and loss prevention positions because back then every department manager and sales specialist was salaried. It made sense in that structure, but every year sense, there has been another lawsuit challenging the salaried positions until all that is left is HRMs, ASMs, and SMs. ASMs and SMs easily fall into the "executive" category for exempt status. The HRMs could probably fall into the"administrative" category, but the lawsuit will argue they get pulled to do other tasks or something. The company's answer when challenged with one of these lawsuits is to settle, make the employees hourly, and not have to take chances in court.
DMxMD

Kansas City, MO

#10 Oct 21, 2012
FutureofHRM wrote:
Also curious as to why other managers were let go and HR retainedin Jan 2011 if HR serves no purpose? Not trying to incite a riot. Just curious since I'm not familiar with the operations of the store.
Because they need someone to handle the paperwork end of HR. I don't have time to create employee files or file each individual job offer, drug test, FMLA, work comp, follow up on when these people return from said time off, etc.

My guess is it made sense to keep them salaried claiming "administrative" exempt status for as long as they could to avoid the big shake up that would happen. The truth is, now that some time has passed since the last shake up, it's a good time to go to a hourly personnel coordinator position like Walmart or Home Depot.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#11 Oct 21, 2012
FutureofHRM wrote:
Also curious as to why other managers were let go and HR retainedin Jan 2011 if HR serves no purpose? Not trying to incite a riot. Just curious since I'm not familiar with the operations of the store.
Rightly or wrongly, Lowes is litigation paranoid. The HRM assures that HR policy is followed from your application for employment to your dismissal and anything in between. They also coordinate and validate all that DMxD said. In a high volume store with 150+ employees their job is valuable. In the smaller stores I think it could be done by the management staff. I start Monday as a supervisor in a manufacturing plant with about 50 employees. They have an HR manager FWIW.
FutureofHRM

Johnstown, PA

#12 Oct 21, 2012
exmanager wrote:
<quoted text>
Rightly or wrongly, Lowes is litigation paranoid. The HRM assures that HR policy is followed from your application for employment to your dismissal and anything in between. They also coordinate and validate all that DMxD said. In a high volume store with 150+ employees their job is valuable. In the smaller stores I think it could be done by the management staff. I start Monday as a supervisor in a manufacturing plant with about 50 employees. They have an HR manager FWIW.
@exmanager. If you don't mind me asking, did you work as a HRM at Lowes? If so, would you mind telling me your opinion of the position? I know most will say "it's what you make of it", which is true of any position. I'm more curious as to whether or not you enjoyed the role or it pounded you into submission :).

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#13 Oct 21, 2012
FutureofHRM wrote:
<quoted text>
@exmanager. If you don't mind me asking, did you work as a HRM at Lowes? If so, would you mind telling me your opinion of the position? I know most will say "it's what you make of it", which is true of any position. I'm more curious as to whether or not you enjoyed the role or it pounded you into submission :).
No, I was Sales Manager. Our HRM wasn't pounded into submission though. She was a respected, integral part of the management team. Very much like the SM's right hand person. Of course what you're asking depends on the store and the rest of the management team, especially the Store Manager. Every store and all people are good, bad, or indifferent. Hard to predict what any one individual will encounter.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#14 Oct 21, 2012
"HR is also responsible for talent management (training, interviewing, and ongoing development). It is in this respect that HR contributes to the bottom line"

That isn't really contributing to the bottom line. I can see if a new store opens that you'd want a group interview for top positions so a hrm can make sense for new stores for a bit. But for training frankly that is up to the individual employee. Yes they'll want someone to do LLC's but much of the time I could find the schedule for training faster than HR. Besides the vast majority of the real training programs at lowes ended years ago (emtp, mtp etc).

Heck how many of you had a hr assistant in the store? Ours looked like Chris Farley. That assistant position was taken away a long long time ago.

I can agree with ex in that there has to be some level of employees to justify the position. Personally I think most of the employees where I am are pretty well vetted. Out of the market over a course of years from what I hear from others there has only been one incident of sexual harrasement. Maybe it is luck, maybe it is the people but it is quite rare here.
FutureofHRM

Johnstown, PA

#15 Oct 21, 2012
Nedm....I've had the opp to work at the corporate level of HR and I can tell you without a doubt that superior recruiting and development (which training is only a small part of) adds to the bottom line. I've prepared the ROI reports for executive leadership and saw the actual impact to know. The issue is, line employees are always skeptical of HR because they don't see their contribution in tangible form (ie, putting load away, selling to customers, etc).

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#16 Oct 21, 2012
FutureofHRM wrote:
Nedm....I've had the opp to work at the corporate level of HR and I can tell you without a doubt that superior recruiting and development (which training is only a small part of) adds to the bottom line. I've prepared the ROI reports for executive leadership and saw the actual impact to know. The issue is, line employees are always skeptical of HR because they don't see their contribution in tangible form (ie, putting load away, selling to customers, etc).
Correct. A competent HR professional will place the best qualified people in positions they'll excel in. Like all the other management positions however, it depends on the person's level of expertise.
Warren

Edwardsville, IL

#17 Oct 21, 2012
Home Depot laid off quite a few HR folks. Other companies have outsourced the position.
just hired

Mooresville, NC

#18 Oct 22, 2012
new HR here ... they are puppets and not like normal HR in a "real" company. It has gotten so bad as far as I'm concerned. Lowe's does not care about anything except the bottom line. It's a shame, used to like this job.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#19 Oct 22, 2012
"I've had the opp to work at the corporate level of HR and I can tell you without a doubt that superior recruiting and development (which training is only a small part of) adds to the bottom line."

Well I am sorry but I have not seen it. Recruitment of what positions? I have seen sm's and market managers coming from supermarkets, not diy retail. I have seen other managers coming from best buy, gateway (a long time ago) and chains that no longer exist.

How can training be only a small part of development?

"I've prepared the ROI reports for executive leadership and saw the actual impact to know. The issue is, line employees are always skeptical of HR because they don't see their contribution in tangible form (ie, putting load away, selling to customers, etc)."

I'm largely talking about HR on the STORE level not market or region. On the store level frankly they cannot do much. We have plenty of stores in the northeast and frankly lowes only shows up to the ones that exist at the unemployment offices! As of yet they do not go to college campuses at all. That sends an odd message. So they only attempt to go after people when they are unemployed..hmm

Personally on the store level I think the SM and ASM's easily should be able to determine if an employee is a good fit for the store. Since HR is not on the floor or specifically telling others what to do why bother with them on that level? Keep hr on the market and the regional level.
FutureofHRM

Johnstown, PA

#20 Oct 22, 2012
just hired wrote:
new HR here ... they are puppets and not like normal HR in a "real" company. It has gotten so bad as far as I'm concerned. Lowe's does not care about anything except the bottom line. It's a shame, used to like this job.
Hi. I'm sorry it's not going well for you. Would you mind telling me what has soured the experience for you? What has changed? By puppet I assume you mean trickle down from corporate?

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