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The HR Minion – How it began….

The HR Minion – How it began….

The HR Minion is a bimonthly blog bringing us the HR world from the perspective of a recent graduate entering the HR workforce I am ‘The HR Minion’ and I chose this name because I think it is fitting – I am new in the HR field as an HR practitioner and, as with other newbie’s, we get asked to do some of the jobs we don’t really want to do. We then become the minion in some cases. Why not embrace it right? So, onto my introduction… I am 23 years old and into my second year of being a professional HR practitioner. I have come a long way to get to where I am today, including moving through 3 cities and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. This blog will be a good push for me, and a chance for me to share my experiences and hope they influence/help some others. Now, to begin… I am currently an HR Advisor in the public sector, working through constant change and transition. I was asked by HRINZ if I would like to be a blog contributor, and I happily agreed as I think I have some good things to share especially to new HR practitioners entering the workplace. The theme of my blog will be based around my practical experiences in the world of HR and how well/if this was covered during my university studies – I will also throw in some career learning as well. I have been out of university since October 2010, and although that may not seem a long time ago, it has been a journey getting to where I am now. I have already noticed topics that I would have liked to have been covered in university, but weren’t. I have also learned...

posted on: Nov 1, 2012 | author: The HR Minion

Aiming too High?

Aiming too High?

Last week I was asked to go and speak to Degree and Diploma Human Resource (HR) Students concerning how to start their career in HR and what career guidance and development is available to them. I must confess this is one part of my job that I love, going out and spreading the word about HR and the role it can play in business and the career it can provide. I always feel privileged when I am invited into Educational Institutes and take these opportunities very seriously. I feel that I have a responsibility not only to represent HRINZ but I am also representing the HR profession. So for me, it is very important that I make a great first impression on these students. I tend to try and make the sessions as informal, informative and as relaxed as I can. I suppose in some mad way it’s like going on a first date; you want to make the right impression straightway as you want them to remain interested in the long term. The class were great to speak too, as they were enquiring, enthusiastic and great to interact with asking lots of questions about what HR had to offer them and what HRINZ could provide them. The students were a real joy to speak to as they really got it; here was someone independent of the education system who really wanted to talk to them and boy did they make the most of this opportunity.  A good few interview styles came out too! As nothing is worse than been faced with students who you just know are there, not because they are interested but, because they don’t want to upset their lecturer by not attending, which makes you feel like you are trying to interact with a brick...

posted on: Apr 15, 2010 | author: Debbie Bridge

Take those opportunities and get recognised in HR

Take those opportunities and get recognised in HR

By Paul McCarthy Every now and again, when you have just read yet another article in an HR magazine where a correspondent whimpers away about the lack of recognition for HR and then indulges in a bout of self flagellation about the perceived shortcomings of the profession, a sigh escapes me. Bear with me, as I am unashamedly positive about the contribution HR people can make in an organization , not when they are given the opportunity, but when they take the opportunity. As an HR professional who has lived and worked in senior roles in a variety of organisations, including telecommunications, retailing, food and carpet manufacturing as well as stints in universities, a trade union and a law firm  I have had the opportunity to experience and to learn about how an HR practitioner can influence the strategy of organizations. This has been both through my own efforts and by observing and discussing with my internal peers and externally with other HR practitioners. Some of the learnings that I have found to be beneficial can be summarised as follows: i) It is often better to ask forgiveness rather than permission when introducing new practices into organisations, but make sure the basic HR processes are working before you indulge in this practice. ii) Learn the language of the business and express HR initiatives in those terms. Do not expect the business to learn HRspeak. iii) Become the confidant of the CEO and the senior team and learn to listen without judging. Always however retain the ability to take distance on issues and on the actions of your colleagues. iv) Get around the business and become the Company Chaucer, the one with the interesting tales about the people. v) Find new ideas for the business, from anywhere, about anything and...

posted on: Feb 4, 2010 | author: Guest post

What is the value of HR?

What is the value of HR?

As an HR practitioner with 15 years experience, I myself have frequently struggled to answer the question of ‘what value does HR bring to the organisation?’  I recall excitedly attending an HRINZ seminar entitled ‘How to measure the value of HR’, and it was standing room only.  So I can safely assume that I am not the only HR practitioner who struggles with this question. It is a result of the need to answer this question that I came up with the following analogy about the value of HR. Staff are like cars: You need to pick the right model – the sports car looks very pretty, but isn’t much good if you need to tow the trailer You need to steer them in the right direction otherwise they go off track, and ultimately are liable to crash You need to service them regularly, or performance will deteriorate A specialist mechanic (or HR Manager) will have much greater success at fixing issues properly than the enthusiastic DIY’er Trade-ins can be very costly if you haven’t done steps one to four properly The wage spend is the single biggest cost centre in virtually any business.  Therefore, as HR practitioners we can have a major impact on the bottom line of the company simply by ensuring that the right models are picked, the steering mechanisms are effective, and the servicing is done properly. One of the most significant ways we can impact the bottom line is through focusing on productivity.  Productivity in New Zealand is appalling compared to the rest of the world.  This low productivity has a significant impact on New Zealand’s economy, and it is as a result of this that the Department of Labour has launched a major initiative to increase productivity.  If you haven’t already, visit the...

posted on: Dec 20, 2009 | author: Guest post