IF YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO SPECIALIZE
IN ONE AREA, MY RECOMMENDATION
IS TO GET OUT OF IT SO THAT WHEN
YOU DO FOCUS, YOU’LL BRING YOUR
CLIENT A WEALTH OF SOLUTIONS
the recruitment side, my team owns frontline
recruitment here, but our U.S. centre
of excellence handles professional recruitment.
It has also been a great opportunity
to utilize the tools and economies of scale
of a large organization while at the same
time executing at a local level.
What do you love about your job?
BF: For me, I would say it’s probably the
variety and the scope; no day is like another.
You’re in touch with so many parts of
the business. You’re mapping out strategy
and direction over a three-year planning
horizon while at the same time working on
delivering the execution of that strategy.
It’s a good opportunity to use my operations
experience along with the number of
specialty areas I have in HR. You’re building
and planning strategy and then you’re
rolling up your sleeves and executing. It’s a
What are the challenges you experience in
BF: Challenges are typically tied to the
business, so it’s understanding what’s going
on with the business and finding out
how HR can help, whether that’s developing
and executing a strategy or dealing
with an immediate crisis situation. It’s
about creativity and finding the right solution
for the business, and not always about
“buying something off the shelf.”
Secondly, change can be a challenge.
With the global economy, businesses have
to change faster than ever before. Helping
the business and employees alike facilitate
change has become a critical component of
what we do.
What’s key to leading HR during a difficult
time for a client organization?
BF: From an HR perspective, it’s about
how HR helps to keep employees engaged
and empowered and up to date with the
latest information. Share the facts with
them and communicate, communicate,
communicate. It’s about communication,
consistency, solutions and support. In a
difficult time, a simple email won’t cut it.
You need to get in front of people. Last
summer we created fact sheets for every
single employee and a website with facts.
We made ambassadors of our employees
by being transparent and helping people
What skills are important for success in
BF: I have worked outside of HR and
know what I was looking for from human
resources. Now, being in HR, I understand
what business leaders are looking
for. Number one is business acumen. You
need to understand business challenges
and opportunities in order to bring
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