In some companies, human resources is a vastly under appreciated, while in others, a largely useless, department. Some startups or smaller companies don't have a human resources department at all.
And yet, the very concept of human resources - if people are treated well, made to understand their jobs and helped along the way, they will be an invaluable resource to a company and contribute to its overall success - is key to the initial sense of ease that a new hire feels when joining a new company.
When you first started a new job, did you have to crawl under the table and set up your own computer? Or did you get the red carpet treatment? Did you feel like you were in hell or heaven? Read this classic HR joke from First Round Review obtained via 54 Screwups of a Startup CEO and then comment on your experience below.
You’re greeted at the pearly gates to heaven by St. Peter who asks where you’d like to spend eternity. “Well, heaven of course!” you say. Peter replies: “You have to check out hell just to see what you think before you commit.” Disappointed, you shrug but agree. And to your surprise, when the elevator doors open into hell, you see golden beaches, golf courses, gorgeous people mingling with colorful drinks. It’s not what you expected, but maybe heaven is even better, you think. So you take the elevator back up, but all you find there is a bunch of dull harp-playing on clouds. There doesn’t even seem to be anything great to eat.
You go back to Peter: “I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but I think I’d rather go to hell,” you say. “So it shall be,” he says, and you head back down to start your new afterlife. Only this time, when the doors open, you’re met with fire, brimstone and flowing lava. “What is this?” you yell. “Where’s the beach? What happened?” Your welcoming committee stares at you blankly: “Oh,” they say. “Yesterday we were recruiting you. Today you’re staffed.”