I’m the President of the company that my Mom started over 30 years ago, HRU Technical Resources. We do IT and Engineering staffing. Before that I ran HR and Talent Acquisition departments for companies like Applebee’s, ShopKo Stores and Sparrow Health System. I have my Master’s in HR and 20 years of experience in the field split evenly between the corporate and vendor side of HR/Recruiting. The one thing I truly believe in is that nothing has more impact to an organization than its ability to find and keep great talent. That’s why I love HR.
1. 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?
When I was 11 I wanted money and my parents did not want to give me any, so I would shovel snow, mow lawns, babysit, pretty much anything to get paid. To this day that is still the most valuable training I received in being good at Talent Acquisition and HR in general. Sure I have my SPHR and Master’s in HR – but that is only for show. My business smarts are what have gotten me to where I’m at in my HR career. Having HR skills and knowledge is expected by any organization you go into – what else are you bringing to the table? I know how to make money. I use that knowledge in conjunction with my HR knowledge to best leverage people practices across an organization. If your organization can’t keep its head above water, they don’t need HR. Find ways, through your people practices, to make your organization more profitable, efficient and viable.
1B. What (if any) additional knowledge or skills that you don’t currently have would make you even better at your job?
Invisibility and human flight. I need more superpowers.
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 able to manage very political environments and your ability to manage up are keys for successful HR Pros. HR is constantly put in the middle between employees and management – you have to be able to manage that appropriately. Always remember, you don’t work for the employees, you work for the organization. HR Pros lose credibility faster than anything when they start to believe their job is supporting employees; it’s not, it’s supporting the organization. In managing up, nothing makes you more effective in your role than when you make your boss look like a rock star. Want to get promoted? Get your boss promoted.
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?
I’m all of these things – which is why I’ll always be needed in any organization I work for. If you stick yourself into one category, you become the ‘it’s-not-my-job’ person. In HR we have to be willing to do everything. Need me to plan the company picnic? Great, I can do that! Train the sales staff? I’m on it! Help our operations be more effective? Let’s go! I’ll help you improve, I’ll strategize with you, I’ll get dirty and make stuff happen.
4. Does your job involve either directly or indirectly supervising or managing people? If so, how many direct (or indirect) reports do you have?
Staff of 20 recruiting and sales professionals currently.
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?
In the purest form my role is to ensure everyone in our company has a very clear picture of where we are going and how we are going to get there. Then it’s how can I get roadblocks out of your way so you can be super effective at your job. I don’t want to get in the way of my people. I hire really sharp people and I need to stay out of their way, so they can be successful. If I try to ‘over manage’ my team becomes less effective and the company suffers on the bottom-line.
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?
1 – no job is safe. If you tell yourself that it is, you’re either ignorant, naïve or both. This is show-friends, this is show-business.
I can find talent. I don’t post and pray. I don’t farm. I hunt. I keep my skills sharp and networks hot. I’ve been at great big companies thinking it was safe and months later have gotten reorg’d out. I’ve been in hot industries that have went cold. You have to keep yourself marketable and at the same time do the best job you’re capable of. Someone, somewhere is always trying to find great talent. That is my salvation, because I can find that talent!
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?
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