It’s nearly Christmas; not long now until you can put your out of office on and rush home to a pile of gift wrapping and turkey-stuffing (all with a glass of wine in hand).

To end the year on a jolly note, we are unashamedly sharing the ‘diary of a hapless manager’ written by Anthony McDaniel, senior HR director in a number of major blue-chip companies and now an independent HR consultant and after-dinner speaker.

It’s a hilarious read which we think you’ll enjoy – and hopefully will encourage you to book your managers on our fabulous management training courses coming to you in 2018!

How HR’s best-laid hiring processes go haywire when confronted with a clueless manager

Day 1

What a catastrophe, my top-performing manager resigned today. Worse still, she might complain at her exit interview that her annual appraisal was 13 months overdue!

Day 7

Attempted to complete the recruitment authorisation form, got bored and went in search of coffee and cake (it’s always someone’s birthday). Later called HR and asked if they could fill it in for me; not sure if he was being sarcastic when he said: ‘Whoopie, I love filling in other people’s forms!’

Day 14

Got a call from the boss about the recruitment form. She pointed out that it needed to be signed by the finance director and the regional managing director, and then sent to head office for final approval. Note to self – stop ignoring HR’s emails about their new procedures.

Day 30

Subordinate’s leaving day; dashed out and got her a card. Chased up the recruitment form only to be told that it had already been approved and emailed back to HR last week. Note to self – start returning HR’s phone calls.

Day 31

Required to write a job description, which is really irksome – I’ve never needed one before. Rang HR to ask them if they had a spare one and, if not, could they write one quickly? He said, luckily, he knew every job by heart and would love to stay late to write a new job description. Now I’m positive he was being sarcastic – no one stays late in that department!

Day 32

Spent two hours working with the HR manager hammering out a job description, although he spent most of the time giving me a lecture on how diversity legislation rendered my first attempt positively illegal and borderline offensive. HR doesn’t have a sense of humour these days.

Day 33

Signed off the job advert and wondered if it should be advertised internally; called HR and asked for their opinion only to be told that it has already been on the company intranet for a week. Note to self – call IT and have them show me where to find the intranet.

Day 45

My stress levels are going through the roof as I’m dealing with all the vacant manager’s issues on top of the day job. Asked Brenda if she wouldn’t mind stepping into the role until a replacement is found. Brenda demanded a 50 percent increase in her salary and a bonus to compensate for all the crap that will be coming her way. Agreed. Who said I didn’t have influencing skills?

Day 56

Discovered that HR has received 61 external applications and no internal applicants. Note to self – ask Brenda why no one in the company wants to work in this department.

Day 57

Second discovery of the week: HR is under strict instructions not to release any CVs until they have been vetted and a shortlist created. When pressed, they say it is to protect the company – from what, I am not sure.

Day 60

Brenda threatened to resign because I had not processed the promised salary increase. Begged HR to complete the salary increase form and fax it through to payroll. Payroll won’t budge without authorisation from the chief financial officer (CFO).

Day 61

Received an irate email from the CFO, with my boss copied in, wanting to know why I’m breaking the current embargo on salary increases. Note to self – ask HR for help, as this is getting serious.

Day 62

Thanks to the timely intervention by the HR director, Brenda’s pay issues have been sorted, but only on the condition that she is considered for the vacant role. Note to self – are you having a laugh?

Day 63

Reviewed shortlisted CVs, looked at my packed diary and wondered how much longer I can last without finding a permanent replacement. Decided better the devil you know, called HR and told them that, after much consideration, I would like to offer Brenda the role.

Day 64

Brenda said she would think about it!