So You Want HR To Fix The Problems You Created? by Kelly Swingler

For far too long managers have been ignoring the advice of HR, particularly when it comes to recruiting or promoting people for their teams, but the minute something goes wrong, they expect HR to step in, wave a magic wand and make the problem (or the person) disappear.

And when we then explain it’s not as simple as that, we’re the ones that are called incompetent.

I’ve also lost count of the managers across organisations (and a lot of consultants lately) that think they are HR experts, but when they do things their way and it hits the fan, it’s HR’s fault. I know a lot of managers that will quote ACAS codes of conduct at HR peeps and literally ignore anything that HR are saying to them because they know best.

Now I’ll be the first one to admit that HR isn’t rocket science. A lot of people management, in fact, all of it really is just common sense. You don’t need a PhD to be a manager or a leader, but common sense and people skills go a long way.

I know a lot of people who think that just because they have a CIPD qualification they are somehow an expert in all things people – this is not the case. Likewise, you don’t need a degree or CIPD qualification in order to be a bloody good HR pro.         


But please, know your boundaries, know the limits of your role, and listen to the experts – the real ones, not just the people who claim to know everything.

Since starting Chrysalis I’ve dabbled in marketing and sales and accounting and PR but I am not an expert in any of these things, and now I have experts to do these bits for us, I can concentrate on the bits I am good at, the bits I am expert in and that the HR and the development of HR Professionals.

If you’re ignoring HR, don’t expect them to be able to wave a wand and get you out of whatever hole you’ve got yourself in. Work with them from the start, trust them and everything will turn out for the better.


Kelly Swingler is the Rule Breaker and Founder of Chrysalis Consulting, The People and Change Experts and was appointed as the UK’s Youngest HR Director.  Kelly is passionate about helping people find bespoke people solutions to suit the needs of their business and is driving our mission of inspiring and empowering 10,000 HR professionals in 2018. She is the author of Fostering a Mindset for Career SuccessAGILE HR and what’s your excuse for not Overcoming Stress and speaks at many events on the Future of Work.