I LOVE WORKING WITH PEOPLE AND COLLABORATING
WITH MY TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS WHO
SUPPORT THE ORGANIZATION.
The HR field has been evolving. What
changes excite you the most?
MS: What I’m seeing is an awakening of sorts. The strength of
organizations isn’t the bricks and mortar – it’s the people. For
the most part, it’s a knowledge economy and for that reason, peo-ple
are our most valued asset. To see the focus and emphasis on
our employees as members of a team and to see that their suc-cess
translates into the success of an organization puts HR at
the forefront. We’re widening the path for others to follow with a
people-first philosophy and I think it’s an exciting time in the his-tory
of organizational development.
What’s the future of HR?
MS: I think we’ll continue to see specialization in various ele-ments
of the HR function. I think we will end up with professional
recruiters, professional trainers, ongoing designations for occupa-tional
health and safety, accommodation, etc. I think the medical
profession is the best example. In the beginning you went to one
doctor who did it all. Now, we have specialists. As our HR under-standing
has grown, we are able to focus on unique areas of study
because it produces better outcomes. That’s not a bad thing. It
demonstrates growth and maturity of the profession. n
First job: I was 14 years old and I
worked at Ponderosa Steakhouse
as the salad bar girl.
Childhood ambition: I didn’t really
have just one; I changed my mind
constantly. My parents always
told me I could do anything,
so one day I’d want to be an
astronaut and the next day I’d
want to be a veterinarian.
Best boss and why: I would
have to say my best boss was
my first boss. I graduated during
a recession and during the
interview I was able to convince
him that what I lacked in
experience, I over-compensated
for in enthusiasm. He took a
gamble with me.
Current source of inspiration: My
family, including my husband and
our two children, aged 13 and 15.
Best piece of advice ever
received: Just to be myself. It
sounds so simple, but don’t try to
be anybody else. Just be you.
Favourite music: I can listen to
anything, including whatever
my kids are listening to. I love all
kinds of music, even rap.
Last book read: It was The Weight
of Ink by Rachel Kadish. It was a
really good historical fiction novel.
my team excels and it’s wonderful to lead a group with that kind of
energy and enthusiasm.
What are the necessary competencies for
success in HR and how do you think those
have changed throughout your career?
MS: The competencies that led you to success – being a good
communicator, listening and understanding your partners, hav-ing
a solutions-focus, being innovative – haven’t changed. Those
are the requirements to be successful today, as they were in the
past. I think what’s changed is the complexity of the issues we’re
dealing with now. Twenty-five years ago, an HR practitioner was a
generalist. Today, we require specialists. For instance, I’m doing a
certificate in law at Queen’s University right now and I’m finding
the law intersects with HR quite significantly.
What tips do you have for new grads or those in entry-level
HR jobs who want to move up the ladder?
MS: I always think you must have a desire to help others. A can-do
attitude and perseverance are important. Confidence is also an
important element to success – people are drawn to those who
confidently feel they can make a contribution.
50 ❚ AUGUST 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL