the summer in what was then called
a Canada Employment Centre for
Students, when I realized just how
much help employers needed in order to
optimize their human resources.
What was your first HR job?
AG: My first real HR job was as a human
resources administrator at Mintz
& Partners, Chartered Accountants,
which has since become an integral
component of the Deloitte SME
(small to medium sized enterprises)
Tell me about your current job. What
are your main areas of responsibility?
AG: As “chief cook and bottle washer,” I
get to do a little bit of everything, which
keeps it fun and interesting! My primary
roles are to a) keep an eye on where the
firm is headed, pursuing strategic opportunities
and exciting others; b) support
our fantastic team as an in-house expert,
or find appropriate resources to
“go to ground” on client issues, which
means having and maintaining great
partnerships with firms like Gradient
Solutions, Navicom and Hicks Morley;
c) guide and counsel the fantastic clients
who have let us into the heart of
their organizations; and, d) help clients
and prospective clients realize the positive
returns of having the right strategy,
structure and people – along with doing
the right things, for the right reasons, in
the right ways, in their organizations.
What do you love about your job?
AG: The challenge of “getting it right”
every single day, probably coupled with
the mental agility of making that happen
across a wide range of clients,
sectors and personalities.
What are the challenges you experience
in your job?
AG: It’s challenging to maintain the
stamina that is necessary to keep up with
the burgeoning needs of our clients, all
the while maintaining the client-centric
focus for which our team is known.
What’s key to leading HR during
a difficult time for a client
AG: Communication, communication
and hard work leading to more, effective
and better communication! HR
has to work very, very hard in order to
support client organizations during periods
of difficulty. The hard work does
not mean just extra hours or stamina, although
both may be involved. It means
innovating to come up with better, often
simpler and more robust solutions
to meet real challenges and difficulties
which, at the end of the day, make a positive
difference in the lives of our clients
and their people.
What skills are important for success
AG: Apart from all the normal skills,
I would say curiosity about the world,
organizations, business and people is
essential. This curiosity leads to a better
understanding of what, how and,
most importantly, why things happen.
This knowledge in turn leads to a much
stronger ability for an HR professional
to diagnose, understand, propose and
help implement contextually appropriate
solutions that have a much better
opportunity to succeed.
What tips do you have for new grads
or those in entry-level HR jobs who
want to move up the ladder?
AG: Dig in and work hard! In my experience,
anyone who is successful in any
profession – whether it’s HR, IT, marketing
or medicine, with the exception
HR HAS TO WORK VERY, VERY HARD IN
ORDER TO SUPPORT CLIENT ORGANIZATIONS
DURING PERIODS OF DIFFICULTY.
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ OCTOBER 2015 ❚ 61