What are the necessary competencies for success in HR
and how do you think those have changed throughout
AC: I don’t think they have changed. It’s about understanding the
business. You need to have really good business acumen.
You need to collaborate with everyone because we don’t work on
an island, and you really need to be a good communicator. Those
skills are timeless because people haven’t changed. When you boil
it down, we are here to create the culture and look after the talent.
Call it what you may, but at the end of the day we are there to be
the advocate for the colleague and to lead the business.
What tips do you have for new grads or those in entry-level
HR jobs who want to move up the ladder?
AC: I’ve hired many HR talent and culture professionals and lead-ers,
who I’m proud to say are directors and managers in their own
right now. The ones who are the most successful are the ones who
go and walk a mile in the manager’s shoes. I’ll never forget, we had
a health and safety manager who worked here and they were frus-trated
with the banquet department not filling out the requisite
forms. This person did not come from our industry and didn’t un-derstand
hospitality. So I sent them to shadow that manager for a
day. They came down the next day, nearly dead in their shoes be-cause
they had walked 50,000 steps in the Royal York – and said
they had no idea how the banquet staff could do it all! So my ad-vice
is to understand what the staff goes through before we start
trying to layer on paperwork and forms we feel are important.
“MY ADVICE IS TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT THE STAFF GOES
THROUGH, BEFORE WE
START TRYING TO LAYER ON
PAPERWORK AND FORMS
WE FEEL ARE IMPORTANT.”
Barbara Neveu / Shutterstock.com
The HR field has been evolving. What changes excite
you the most?
AC: I think there are all kinds of things happening. It’s a really
interesting world we live in now. Every day, there’s something in
the news that is an HR minefield. How can we react to this but
not get over-reactive? How can we stay grounded but protect both
our colleagues and our assets?
What’s the future of HR?
AC: HR is about people. We get more sophisticated in our tech-nology
and we have things that help us do our jobs. But at the end
of the day, the future of HR is the future of people. As an organi-zation,
as a company, as a country, what do we want to be known
as? What do we want to be? n
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