HR Advisors Conference Blog

Further thoughts from the conference or about the challenges of being in an HR Advisory role.

HR Advisors rock!

Being an HR Advisor has it’s own set of challenges – and that’s what our HR Advisors conference is all about. Providing practical workshops to teach tools and techniques to be operationally strategic as well as having inspiring presenters who can share their tips on being an HR leader, even at an Advisor level.

We had an awesome two days – but there was something that particularly made me proud, excited and engaged – which I’ll share in a minute.

I kicked off the conference, sharing my thoughts about how an HR Advisor can be strategic, even at an operational level. By knowing what business goals need to be achieved you can link your HR processes to that to make sure you’re delivering. For example many company HR goals are to provide development, yet then don’t have good career path and development planning processes. An HR Advisor can make recommendations about those.

We then had our HR Leaders panel discussion. Rosa Armstrong from Greenpeace, Laura Nation from SouthernCross, Kate Bakin from NZSki and Lisa Hunter from Elephant shared their career paths and how to be an HR leader. Interestingly all had found working outside of HR really helped their HR skills. I particularly loved Kate’s story about being in the audience last year and this year speaking! She talked about women needing to apply for roles they can only do 60% of (like males do), rather than wait until we can do 90%. She applied for a higher level role, backed herself and was successful! She suggested the interview process is useful even if you don’t get the job.

Emma Butcher discussed some of the issues around drafting employment agreements. This is where you do need to be a perfectionist as even a couple of words wrong makes a clause meaningless. She had some hair raising stories!

Our HR technology speakers, Jason Ennor from MyHR, John Austin from Talegent and Julia Forsyth from BigEars each had a challenge for HR:

  • Jason challenged us to stop using paper and start getting things signed electronically. Accountants and real estate agents do it. Why don’t HR?
  • John talked about 1% of time being spent on recruiting and 75% on fixing bad hiring decision, so challenged us to think about bulk testing before interviews and using the right testing tools.
  • Julia talked about the voice of the customer and companies who get customer service have everyone throughout the company listen to voice survey feedback from customers – not just the customer team. Could HR use the same concept? She also shared that people don’t edit their responses with phone surveys like they do with email.

Our sponsors were fantastic. Imogene Lomax from enableHR, Peter Schotter from Halogen Software, Patrick Yee, Cam Beazley and John Austin from Talegent and Tim Brown from Bookprint all shared how their products can help HR deliver more effectively. I’d like to thank them for their support to help keep the conference affordable, not to mention that their products are all excellent. If you haven’t already go and check them out!

  • Halogen Software – talent management software that simplifies 360s, reviews & succession planning.
  • enableHR – an HRIS with H&S templates, contractor/employee management and more.
  • Talegent – psychometric testing and simulations for use during recruitment
  • BookPrint – helping you lay out documents and printing hard copies of manuals or brochures.

We also had practical workshops on how to run a restructure, disciplinary & dismissal processes, put an L&D plan together, use HR metrics, roll out an HR initiative, design an HR presentation and conduct investigative interviews. Our industry experts – Angela Evans from LangtonHudsonButcher, Jacinta Penn from WorkBright, Nicola Peat from Geyser Creative and Fraser Atkins from Elephant – shared their tips from their own experience.

And the inspiring Nadia Lim came and shared her story and how to build a personal brand. There were lots of tips about how to get candidates or managers to your company website page (or for her to the MyFoodBag or her own website!). She talked about her learnings from social media that if someone complains (which they do occasionally), it’s far better to address it and try and help find a fix, rather than ignore or delete it. She also revealed the secret of how she won MasterChef (I’m not telling you, you had to be there!). She was then mobbed with many of us buying copies of her cookbook. I suspect there were some healthy recipes being tried out this weekend!

But what impressed me most?

In the last part of the conference we talked about how to prepare a business case and the all important verbal pitch, to get sign off to write a business case. We asked teams of attendees to put together a 5 minute presentation to present first to a group of 20, then the winners presented to the whole conference. They didn’t have much time to prepare – and many were very scared of presenting (in fact it’s the thing most people are scared off, second only to dying). But everyone stepped up and had a go.

I was immensely impressed with all the finalist teams confidence (some having never presented or used a microphone before), the flow of their presentations, that every member of the team spoke, they used storytelling, set the background, had measures they wanted to achieve and had a call to action.

Congratulations to Team Super (Shelley, John, Colin and Sylvie) who really were super!

It was a brilliant way to end a full on two days, and I can’t wait for next year.

To check out the photos and tweets just click here.

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This entry was posted on January 25, 2015 by in Operational HR work and tagged , , , , .
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