Ned Lloyd is a Human Resources Manager at ADM Cocoa, a world leader in cocoa and chocolate sourcing, production and innovative development. He has 3 years of administrative, trial and appellate litigation experience representing state government, and 8 years of experience in factory and corporate level labor and industrial relations and human resources management. Ned has a B.S., History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a J.D., Law from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a Master of Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University, and is currently pursuing his M.B.A from Purdue University – Krannert School of Management.
Ned was kind enough to participate in this blog’s inaugural Friday spotlight, telling me all about his job and what it takes to be successful at it. You can read what he had to say about being a human resources manager below:
- Most job postings cite “X” years of relevant work experience and specific education criteria as requirements to be considered for the position. With this in mind, what prior work experiences and degrees/certifications/training helped prepare you for your current role?
Prior to becoming an HR professional I worked as an attorney. In my current role as a human resources manager I rely upon my legal training and experience every day.
1B. What (if any) additional knowledge or skills that you don’t currently have would make you even better at your job?
Like so many business professionals working outside of the finance and accounting specialties I think deeper knowledge of those two disciplines is always helpful. It’s the language of business and the information tells an important story. It’s difficult to make any sound decisions without understanding the financial position of the business. I think many HR professionals would agree.
2. Some jobs require the incumbent to be very analytical. Others require one to be a strong communicator, and others still require traits like patience, the ability to multitask, self-directedness, comfort with ambiguity, and exceptional attention to detail. Are there any behaviors and/or attributes that you would say are essential to performing the work that you do?
Being a human resources manager at a manufacturing facility requires all of the traits listed above but more than anything it is critical your co-workers trust you and see your position (HR Manager) as one that holds the best interests of the workforce and the business in mind at all times. HR Managers must understand the importance of confidentiality. You have to see your role as an HR Manager to be one of responsible stewardship. An HR Manager should identify and understand individuals’ goals, recognize each person’s unique talents and match those goals and talents with specific organizational objectives. If you can do this, the organization can’t help but succeed.
3. Jobs guru Lou Adler says there are only 4 job types of jobs in the world (producers, improvers, builders, and thinkers). Which type of job are you in?
4. Does your job involve either directly or indirectly supervising or managing people? If so, how many direct (or indirect) reports do you have?
Yes, I directly supervise a team of three administrative professionals. All other management must be through influence and advice.
5. How does what you do impact the business? Think complexity (different types of impacts) and scale (degree of impact). Put another way: Who and what would be impacted if your job wasn’t being done well, and why would it matter that they were impacted?
I believe most HR Managers would respond in a similar way. Good HR Management can affect both the “top “ line and the “bottom” line. By hiring the right people, by providing them a supportive and encouraging environment and by placing those employees in the right jobs you have the ability to grow the business. HR Managers must also protect the liability of the business. The costs of poor HR Management can be extremely high. The role requires a constant balance between business necessity and efficiency and legal compliance.
6. Is your job safe? Rate its safety on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “seated all day in an air conditioned vault” and 10 being “I’m an astronaut going into space”. If your job isn’t safe, what working conditions (specifically) make it hazardous?
Yes, the job is very safe. I am fortunate to work for an employer that commits tremendous resources to ensuring every colleague works in a safe environment.
7. Is there anything I missed that people should know about your job? Is there anything else you want to say about what you do?
Those were good questions and I think they were very comprehensive. HR is a challenging and rewarding field. I encourage anyone interested in business, law, leadership and occasional troubleshooting to learn more about the field.
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
If you have questions about something you’ve read here (or simply want to connect) you can reach me at any of the following addresses:
SomethingDifferentHR@gmail.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org