Can Introverts Work in HR?

Because of my occupation, I often read about the “perfect” applicant, the “matching” qualities, the “relevant set” of characteristics in a person who will make her fit in a team or a job. Recently, I was outraged by an article about the qualities you need to look out for when you search for your HR Manager. The article was loosely written and had little focus. For instance, I didn’t understand why it was entitled “How to Choose a Quality HR Director”, but it spoke freely about the entire range of HR professionals. I mention such weaknesses because the article appeared in a reputable online HR resource that purports to carry the torchlight of professionalism to the plebeians and newbies in the field. Were it part of a personal blog, I wouldn’t be so upset.

In addition to repeating many well-known truths and rules as if they were ground-breaking revelations, the article reached the conclusion that “There is no place for introverted people in HR”. An explanation of why followed. Needless to say, it only demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge and understanding in the field of personality traits and peculiarities.

Are you curious to read about some of the Myths of Introversion? Here is my blog post #1 encompassing the most popular ones.

Sorry to see that the author is part of a large company recruiting management staff and she has the authority to dictate the tone and beliefs of many professionals in the sphere.

That said, let me explain why I disagree. First of all, introverted people are not ones who don’t like to communicate. Some of them are asocial or socially anxious, but that is not a feature all introverts share. Introverts actually love communication, but they prefer it to be meaningful. Then they need rest.

Second of all, introverts are not people who don’t know how to socialise. Many introverts are keen public speakers and love going to parties and having fun, including meeting strangers. Then they need rest.

When we speak of the need to rest, it might be helpful if you check my post about the “introvert hangover”.

Third, and I don’t want to be rude here, just because someone wants to speak to others and is able to do it incessantly, doesn’t mean this person has anything meaningful to say. The only sure thing about such people is that they love listening to their own voices. How is that helpful when you are an HR?
In order to align your work and mentality with the colleagues from the company, you need to get to know them. That takes time. It also needs a lot of patience. Not many extroverts have the time to wait until they get really close to someone else. Have you seen what happens when an extroverted manager accosts an introverted or asocial employee? The employee withdraws in her shell and you’ll never see her or hear her voice again. This might bring the manager to the easy conclusion that the employee is impolite. Why not see what I’ve written about the myth that introverted people are rude? It will definitely have a familiar ring.

The direct approach combined with a broad smile so characteristic for seasoned managers with experience in big companies is one of the most detested tools of power. Any quiet and focused team member will tell you that.

This goes under my #SavageSaturday hashtag because it discusses my beloved introversion topic.

Spread the love: