Jordan B Peterson | Controversial professor slams HR as 'dangerous' and prone to 'stupid decisions'

Controversial professor slams HR as 'dangerous' and prone to 'stupid decisions'

A world-famous professor has criticised the Human Resources function, labelling it an “ethics department” that uses “unbelievably dangerous” hiring methods.

Speaking on last week’s episode of the popular podcast, Conversations with Tyler, Jordan B Peterson, a controversial Canadian academic, argued that programmes to improve diversity in business have also given HR departments more influence.

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Comments (5)

  • Joe Williams
    Joe Williams
    Wed, 27 Feb 2019 2:49pm GMT
    There is a big difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. It is common sense that a world where everyone has access to the same education, resources, opportunities is something to aim for. AKA equality of opportunity.

    Equality of outcome is not so straightforward - which is what Peterson is attacking. A lot of HR departments now think that gender or racial quotas are the way to go to get equality of outcome at all costs. Is it really that simple? Shouldn't we at least be talking about whether social engineering like this is a good idea or not, not just smearing anyone who dares to ask the question.

    For example - if an employer hires somebody for a job just because they're a woman not a man, aren't they doing precisely the thing we're all fighting against... discriminating based on gender and saying that gender is more important than competence?

    Also, just because Peterson disagrees with equality of outcome doesn't automatically mean he thinks gender discrimination is wonderful or that diversity is a terrible idea. That is just lazy thinking. However you are right he does have a tendency to over-generalise when it comes to HR, and shame on him for that because there are good eggs and bad eggs in every basket.
  • Martyn
    Fri, 22 Feb 2019 9:01am GMT
    Interesting that many of you are falsely quoting his statements without having listened and digested them fully.

    Peterson challenges the idiocy of equality of outcome derived from False quotas instead of taking "the best person for the job" regardless of their ethnicity or gender.

    If you're going to openly criticize somebody in this manner first read that work, understand it and then feel free to put forward your own opinion
  • John Varney
    John Varney
    Thu, 21 Feb 2019 1:52pm GMT
    Peterson is up the creek - why give him this publicity except perhaps to discredit him?

    It is well known that diversity enriches group interactions and outcomes. That is the real reason we need to encourage diversity in the workplace - we are all poorer if we permit the white male Anglo-Saxon bias to persist. Of course there is also an equal opportunities issue, which is why HR actually needs to act as an ethics department - how many organisations only address ethics under duress or as an apologetic afterthought?

    Furthermore, research has shown that people want meaningful work, which is not automatically brought about by pursuing profit - in fact usually the contrary. Profit is necessary but it is an oxygen - a measure that the purpose you serve is valued by society.

    I help people think these things through in their search for meaning. From a developmental perspective, Peterson's views seem very limiting.
  • Jane
    Thu, 21 Feb 2019 1:24pm GMT
    I think the tone here is a bit defensive. JBP is simply arguing that hiring should be based on competence rather than ideology. If a board has 30% female representation this does not necessarily mean success is due to its diversity, it could simply be due to the fact that specific company hired the right people for the job and they happened to be women. In the past these competent women were not hired because they were women, it does not mean that now women should be hired because they are women! I am a woman btw and I have no problem with the idea that I get a job based on merit alone.
  • Tom Robinson
    Tom Robinson
    Thu, 21 Feb 2019 1:19pm GMT
    He's literally accusing HR folks of virtue signalling... Wow.
    And who says that HR should *not* be an ethics department? Why shouldn't the whole organisation be one?

    Mind you, he campaigned against the Canadian Human Rights bill, called HR "cultural Marxists", denied white privilege exists, denied climate change and said feminism is "destabilising society".

    So that's hardly a surprise position he's taking.

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