HR Advisors Conference Blog

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

HR Superhero files #1

Many articles seem to claim you’re either operational or strategic. I think you can be both! That’s the theme of our HR Advisors conference this year – how to be an operationally strategic super hero.

Yesterday at our HR Game Changer roadshow in Wellington we talked about ways to transform recruitment and selection and make candidates stick to you (well to your company!).

For an HR Advisor you might not be in charge of your overall strategy or programmes, but being a game changer is a mind set that you can still apply, even at an operational advisory level.

My first HR Advisor role was at Victoria University. With 2 years HR experience I was suddenly advising Professors of HRM. Talk about daunting. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic manager who allowed me to take on projects and try new things and who coached me to think about this strategically.

One of our strategies was to attract leading academics from overseas to work at Vic. As an HR Advisor the ways that I could be operationally strategic and help achieve this goal included:

  1. I develop a behavioural interviewing guide for academics to make our interviews more effective (it didn’t always work – one interview panel I was on, the interview went for 5 hours!!).
  2. I made sure that during the week the OS academic was here that they got a real feel for the campus and for Wellington, with tours and activities arranged.
  3. I made sure that either I provided them with information, or put them onto the right people to talk to so they understood how emigration worked and how the university system works in NZ.

Yes these were operational HR tasks but I could discuss with my manager how these were feeding into the overall strategy. And we could measure results of how many people accepted our employment offer.

At our HR Advisors conference we talk about this and other ways to be an operationally strategic super hero. If you have any suggestions or examples to share about what you’ve done with recruitment and selection – please feel free to share them in the comments to inspire other HR super heroes!

As for that fantastic manager I had? She was Lisa Hunter and after mentoring me for many years, she joined Elephant five years to be part of our management team. She’s still challenging me to this day to deliver the best HR I can.


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This entry was posted on February 18, 2015 by in Operational HR work and tagged , , , .

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