HR horror stories

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Following various deprecatory comments on this site about the HR profession, we've looked into whether things are really as bad as they seem. Upon investigation, the main critics appear to be recruiters, who have the following horrid things to say about their close genetic relatives:

· "It's always helpful to speak to the line, but HR will sometimes get on a high horse and say come through me and I'll pass on the message. It just doubles the amount of time it takes to do anything."

· "The worst thing is when they hire people we've introduced to them behind our backs. When we query this they then lie about the size of the package they're paying in order to reduce the fee. You'll get a guy who you know was paid $4m last year and they'll say they got him for 100k. The trouble is that they get paid according to how much money they can save."

· "They're always trying to set up in-house databases, and they tell you that if you want to do business with them you'll have to enter candidates' information onto their database first. Eventually they'll have a database of their own and won't need you any more."

· "They love to try and disrupt your relationship with the line manager. If you've got a good relationship with the line you can often avoid them - the line manager will take the whole process forward without HR and bring them in at the end to draw up the contract. However, HR tend to remember this and the recruiter always gets kicked in the end."

· "They're generally a lot of 'dolly birds' who need to justify their position."

There were also some nice things said about HR. "The good ones understand their roles in the process and don't try to control it too much," said one headhunter. "As facilitators they can marshall MDs and prompt feedback if they're too busy to give it."

"It's much better now because all the rubbish HR people have been sacked," said another one.