problem. Nobody comes to see you because they’re having a good
time. If a client is coming, they’re having a difficult situation. As an
eternal optimist and a positive person, I have to be careful at times
that it doesn’t bring me down.
What’s key to leading HR during a difficult time for a
AB: Being able to stay positive in the face of tremendous adver-sity
is key. If you’re in HR and leading massive transformation or
layoffs – both of which I’ve done – what I find is that the human
dimension is often lost and forgotten by the business leaders. It’s
so important for HR to be that voice on behalf of the employ-ees.
They are the heart and soul of any organization. HR needs to
show leadership during difficult periods and they have to be exem-plary
in how they manage their own shops because people will be
looking to them for guidance.
What skills are important for success in HR?
AB: Business acumen would rate really highly. You must under-stand
the business you’re supporting so you become a strategic
partner and a valued member of the management team. I think
client service is also paramount. Quick, friendly, value-added ser-vice
is critical. HR forgets sometimes that it exists to support
What tips do you have for new grads or those in entry-level HR
jobs who want to move up the ladder?
AB: Be positive and provide the best service delivery of any per-son
you know. Excel in your job; be friendly, helpful and confident.
Client service delivery is key. Be eager to try new things, take risks
and don’t say no to opportunities. Be creative and treat people the
way you want to be treated. If you do these things, you’ll almost be
guaranteed to move up the ladder. Lastly, find a mentor or coach –
that goes without saying.
The HR field has been evolving. What changes excite you the most?
AB: I think HR moving from being considered a soft skill admin-istrator
to a full-fledged strategic partner has been a big change in
the public service. HR now has a stronger voice at the table. This
is a global economy with a high demand for skilled talent; HR has
opportunities to partner with organizations to bring in talent and
find win-win solutions.
What’s the future of HR?
AB: In government in particular, HR must continue to remain
relevant. More and more, organizations inside government are giv-ing
the human resources responsibilities over to the leaders in a
business. HR as a department has to show what its value-add is.
They have to be seen as dynamic and creative. n
IT’S DIFFICULT TO AVOID
TAKING YOUR WORK HOME,
ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE A
PEOPLE PERSON AND YOU
WANT TO HELP – YOU
WANT TO FIX A PROBLEM.
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ SEPTEMBER 2017 ❚ 43