You know how career experts tell you not to blog about sensitive issues? I don’t listen to them…seriously, how can anyone be “authentic” if they won’t publicly discuss the tough topics. Yes, another ERE oldie…
The past few weeks we have witnessed a particularly important battle that has created legal precedents that has the potential to significantly impact our profession and cripple the development of intellectual capital. Please bear with me…
I am emotionally torn over the Shiavo case in Florida. On one hand, death by starvation should be inconceivable in a civilized society. IMHO, this alone precludes the removal of her feeding tube. One goal of our society should be to help those who cannot help themselves. On the other hand, the actions this past weekend by the Congress and our sitting President have functioned to enrage me more than any election time political posturing. What really concerns me is that many really do believe that politics and religion are inexorably tied together. Just this morning Rev. Patrick Mahoney, speaking on behalf of Shiavo’s parents, challenged the political powers by passionately declaring, “Let it not be said that Terri was starved with a Republican majority in the [state] House, the Senate and the Governor’s Mansion.”Don’t be so naive to think that lobbying doesn’t work – it does so in very powerful ways.
Are you aware that less than two weeks ago, the House passed legislation that cuts the Federal Medicaid 2006 budget – the one that among others, my elderly parents desperately rely on. Among the cuts were programs that affect poor children, the disabled, and the millions of children whose parents work but have no health insurance. According to one column I read, “under the proposed cuts in a program called State Child Insurance Program, those kids would no longer get doctor visits, drug coverage and hospital care.”I also discovered that the new Medicaid bill with its included tort reform passages will make it practically impossible for many people injured by doctors, prescription drugs or medical devices to seek damages. So people left crippled for life as a result of negligence or malpractice – someone like Terri Schiavo who collected a substantial settlement from the doctor who treated her for bulimia but failed to warn her of the heart damage it was causing – would never make it to a courtroom.That is, unless the President or Congress wanted, for some highly motivated reason, to change the rules in midstream. Maybe sometime in the future they’ll also change the rules for the millions of kids who will not have health insurance.
Please, do not misunderstand me – I do not want Terri Shiavo to die from starvation. In fact, the Pollyanna in me hopes that the entire family works something out. But I’m not kidding myself – this issue is far more complex a political agenda than it is a moral mandate. It demonstrates the power of lobbying.
You see, the same lobbying could easily work its way into recruiting. I can actually envision PAC posturing where large companies successfully lobby recruiting into the dark alleys of business, clandestine activities done under the cover of darkness where one’s individual freedom to seek better opportunities is subjugated by companies’ desires to protect their intellectual capital. Tort reform for individuals will be curtailed but enhanced for companies who provide PAC support. Don’t think it can happen? Lobbying has already resulted in special interest reforms and laws.
Who will speak for us? Of the thousands of HR leaders in corporations today, I don’t suspect that a large percentage of them really understand recruiting. This isn’t an attack on HR it’s just that the plate is so full that something has to give. Will SHRM speak for us? It could happen. But in the end, recruiters must look out for recruiting. According to SHRM there are over 500 chapters in the US. Know how many EMA chapters there are? 12. If we?re so important, how come their aren?t more chapters? Why haven’t we organized into a more structured and powerful force?
My fear is that if we don’t look out for ourselves, more cases will be heard where someone has been legally and ethically recruited and their previous employer will come gunning for the person or persons who engineered the “raid on talent.” Perhaps corporations will claim theft of property. Sure it sounds obtuse now but I never expected the President and Congress to become involved in a case such as the one in Florida. If the President and Congress can decide who lives and who dies, what else can they do?
If you love recruiting, it?s time to act.