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John BJohn Baldino is an SPHR certified professional with 20+ years of HR experience – business development, strategic planning, organizational development, coaching, leadership development, training, curriculum development, compensation analyses, labor relations, policies & procedures, payroll, & benefits administration.

He is the President of
Humareso, a company focused on business development, talent management and human resources administration for small to medium-sized businesses.

You can find John on Twitter here, and Linkedin here.

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?

From an educational perspective, both the MSHRD I received from Villanova University as well as the SPHR through HRCI have been invaluable for direct HR work.  I received my undergraduate degree in English from St. Joseph’s University (GO HAWKS!); this degree prepared me for the inordinate amount of correspondence, business writing and blogging that I do now.

1B. What (if any) additional knowledge or skills that you don’t currently have would make you even better at your job?

I think an MBA might have proven beneficial from a credibility standpoint.  It takes a little time for me to prove my business savvy so there are moments where I think an MBA might cut through some of that.

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?

HR tends to require both sides of the brain.  Both the creative and analytical components of a person are valuable to process and to people – two major factors in HR.  In addition, I find a willingness to lead purposefully an attribute that sets HR practitioners apart from HR strategists.  It’s not about having the loudest voice, but about having a direction you know works, believe in and can translate into a business case.

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 think I am a builder.  I see that I am a mix of all of them, in part due to the work I do.  I have to play roles often and can assume a persona to get it done.

4. Does your job involve either directly or indirectly supervising or managing people? If so, how many direct (or indirect) reports do you have?

I have 6 direct reports.  Our company is an HR consultancy that works with many other businesses.  Indirectly, we have the opportunity to supervise and manage many more.  Those 6 direct reports oversee lots of managers, line level employees and others.

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?

Human Resources is about business strategy and its alignment to its talent.  How can we encourage our people to produce, process and perform efficiently and excellently?  This should be the question HR pros ask themselves each day.  The degree of impact is off the charts when this is the focus.

When this work is left undone or, in most cases, done by someone without the expertise, the damage can be substantial to culture and to bottom line profitability.  The entire business is impacted.

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?

I don’t think my job is safe.  Dealing with people is never safe.  But my job is good.  Good and safe are mutually exclusive. It’s not about an air-conditioned office or outer space.  It’s about cutting to the heart of the matter with people.  When this door is opened, the flood of emotion and perspective can be great in scope and impact.  It’s not to say that HR is holding counseling sessions, but rather, we work with distinct personalities and generational differences.  It’s not safe.

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?

I have lots to say!  Ultimately, I love my job.