Danyel Rupert is an HR consultant and strategic business partner committed to helping clients actualize their visions by maximizing the talents of their teams. She has a Bachelor of Science (BS), Psychology from North Carolina Central University, a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Human Resources Management from Barton College, and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification.
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?
Relevant work experience and specific education criteria are certainly important and they both prepare us for more challenging positions. As an HR Consultant my most relevant work experience was gained in my roles as director of a non-profit and an HR Generalist. The director role helped me to understand the various business functions and how they were each important to achieving our goal. Not only was I responsible for leading a passionate team, I had to be business savvy and mindful of allocating resources. I was very fortunate to work for an organization and boss that expected the HR department to be strategic. The HR generalist role allowed me to sample the various HR functions.
When I work with clients who have a relatively small HR department I can usually see what skills they are missing. I can confidently suggest adding HR roles or redefining existing jobs. Educationally, the best thing I have done was to get my SPHR certification. It gives clients and colleagues some idea of my level of expertise right out the gate. That’s a fantastic business asset for any consultant.
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?
Self-development and Self-management skills: I have to actively seek new knowledge and skills in response to changing conditions. I have to respond to new information including academic studies, surveys, and best practices. Because I work in a variety of cultures I have to remain open minded and flexible. I don’t have the luxury of becoming emotional or overly involved.
Service orientation: I provide a service so I have to be accountable to my clients. They deserve my best work. I have to build trust with them or the relationship won’t work.
Effective communication skills: Naturally, the ability to communicate to a variety of audiences using various methods is critical. Currently, I am focusing on engaging clients through the use of social media.
Prioritizing: Because I am constantly working with competing deadlines, time management and delegation can make or break me.
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?
Of the four job types I would have to say that I am a thinker, though I am also required to produce, build and improve. The thinker job type is definitely at the forefront, though.
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 two direct reports; an assistant and an administrator. Often client representatives report to me indirectly.
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?
The impact of my work on an organization depends on the scope of the project. If I bomb the costs could be astronomical. For example a failed recruitment project could result in decreased productivity, missed deadlines, increased payroll costs due to overtime, poor morale etc. A botched investigation could open the client to hefty legal fees, penalties and bad press. When I do my job well (fortunately, this is typically the case) owners and managers have a smoother and more productive operation. Quantifying the benefit of what I do is not always easy. Making the business case for HR programs and initiatives is the only way to get executive buy in.
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?
Thankfully, my job is quite safe. The most dangerous aspect of my job is the travel and that is negligible.
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?
If I were preparing for a career in HR now, I would include advanced classes in Finance, Business Law (Ethics), Economics, Global studies and Information systems. Simply put we have to see ourselves as BUSINESS leaders.
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.