Latest News
Pin It

A compilation of the best recommendations from this year’s expert interviews

This year, HR Professional interviewed and featured 12 experienced and influential HR practitioners. This is their best advice for readers navigating HR careers. First, don’t be afraid, seek opportunities, and always say “yes” to a career move, even if you’re not interested in it at first. You’ll have an opportunity to learn. Forget about having a straight-line career plan… Explore! Second, know the business you’re working in; understand where it makes money and loses money. Be an HR business partner. – Liette Vigneault, CRHA / January 2017 Issue

Know your value proposition – who you are and what you offer. What makes you unique? Second, master the role you are currently in. Exceed time and quality expectations for your work. Volunteer to take on new projects and get involved in your organization. Third, establish and enhance your network, including with other HR professionals, both internal and external. Finally, take care of yourself. Try to strike a balance between your professional life and your personal pursuits.  Let’s face it – a career isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. –  Colleen Gordon-Boyce, CHRE, MBA, CMC / April 2017 Issue

Having a good attitude and a great work ethic are critical; be ready every single day. Take responsibility for your own actions and when you’re in a leadership role, build your team with the very best people and give them the credit for successes. Also, take responsibility when something doesn’t work out. – Alana Free / May 2017 Issue

During difficult times, you need to step up engagement and communication, and increase transparency. It’s really important to have those conversations where you’re clear on the challenges and give people a chance to engage, ask questions and have a voice in making the change. At the same time, you have to create confidence in people that we have a strategy and a path forward. Focus positively on the future. – Zabeen Hirji, MBA, MSM / February 2017 Issue

You need to understand business challenges and opportunities in order to bring solutions to the table. You need to be flexible and agile and think strategically, yet be hands on and work tactically. Far too often, I see junior HR people get into the business world and they don’t necessarily understand the business dynamics and can’t articulate an HR strategy into dollars and cents. I think that is absolutely critical. – Bruce Fraser, CHRL, CHRE / March 2017 Issue

In today’s HR environment, understanding and embracing diversity is key to establishing a successful HR department. People bring different dynamics to the organization and we have to leverage diversity in order to become a stronger organization. If we all looked at things the same way, we would believe that we are never wrong. Allowing for discussion and differing points of view, leveraging diverse cultural backgrounds and the knowledge gained from those backgrounds can help us arrive at a better overall decision. You have to be able to listen with an open mind – make sure that everyone counts. – Allan Bartolini, CHRE / June 2017 Issue

HR leaders need to be business people first and HR practitioners second. To successfully lead an operation, HR professionals need to understand the business they’re in. That includes the company’s challenges, strengths, vulnerabilities and differentiators – for the company and the competition. The organization relies on HR’s sound business judgement and the ability to communicate effectively and often. HR leaders need to be strategic when solving today’s problems for tomorrow’s victories, and be viewed as change agents when the business dictates a shift in course. – Jan Boase, CHRE / July 2017 Issue

HR professionals must take the time to understand the business and how it makes money and the competitive environment in which you operate, and the remaining focus is on employee engagement. I also believe that as an HR leader, we must keep abreast of the political and business environment in which we operate. Scan the environment – what do you have to pay attention to? Also, have the courage to make the tough decisions. Sometimes HR leaders need to be provocative and rock the boat, but do have a sense of humour along the way. – Anthea Gomez, CHRE / August 2017 Issue

Be positive and provide the best service delivery of any person 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. – Angela Briginshaw / September 2017 Issue

You must be able to translate the needs of the organization into a people strategy. There is not much value in a generic people strategy; it must fit the business. Second is something I feel passionately about, and that’s being a student of human behaviour. This is where HR can add great value. We can only advise on creating a culture where people feel respected, protected and connected if we know behaviourally what helps people thrive. – Greg Pinks, CHRE, MIR, CEC / October 2017 Issue

You have to be open-minded. You have to be willing to take on anything to gain experience and exposure in the field. When you’re in school, they teach you textbook examples and you need to be able to adjust the different structures and strategies because every organization is different. You have to be able to manage in the ‘grey’ and be okay with it. – Jennifer King, CHRL / November 2017 Issue

HR leaders need a theoretical background in their field to bring credibility to their processes. They also need experience in all aspects of the business and must be general managers at the core with strong negotiation skills. – Hugh Secord, CHRE / December 2017 Issue

Pin It