The perspective and concern considered here is the internal‐subjective evaluation of HRM effectiveness. This involved investigating managers’ and employees’ perceptions about standards of HRM and of the work of human resources (HR) staff in their own organizations. Survey research indicates that there is a pattern of more positive perceptions of HR staff than of overall standards in HRM. This disassociation presents a challenge to the validity of internal subjective evaluations. One explanation is that features of stereotyping are influencing subjective evaluations of HR staff. The concept of stereotyping is applied and consideration is given to “cognitive efficiency”, inter‐group dynamics and broad social power theories. The author concludes that HR staff have benefited from the stereotype connection in the past but in an era where more explicit objective standards are increasingly expected, they may not continue to benefit from such positive effects. Nonetheless, an enhanced awareness of the positive behaviours that can arise from dealing with stereotyping can be useful in achieving high standards of HRM.