What are the necessary competencies for
success in HR and how do you think those
have changed throughout your career?
ADV: In HR, there are a few necessary competencies.
Communication is important, particularly listening. You have to
get all the facts. You need to manage your relationships and have
an open dialogue with management, employees and the union.
And, you need to be ethical. Do the right thing and do what you
say you’re going to do. If you lose respect in this role, you can forget
about making any changes. Next, be a critical thinker. Think clearly
and logically. You also need to be able to lead a team and organize
them to move forward. Business acumen is also important. You
need to have knowledge of accounting, finance, data analysis, the
law and have HR knowledge. Those are the critical competencies.
What tips do you have for new grads or those in entry-level
HR jobs who want to move up the ladder?
ADV: I think HR needs to be a partner. To be a partner, you need
to know the business. You need to spend time in operations, spend
time with the sales folks. They are your clients. Get to know the
business like it’s your company. The more you know about the
needs of your internal clients, the more you can help them and the
more indispensable you become to them. If you speak their lan-guage,
they will respect you more.
The HR field has been evolving. What
changes excite you the most?
ADV: For sure, technology is going to cause a revolution in HR.
Mobile technology and apps will impact HR a lot in the way we
recruit and the way we train; it will help us onboard people and
make sure we give them the proper training. It will help us tap
into different talent pools. HR is always being asked to do more
with fewer resources and I think technology will help us do that
in the future.
What’s the future of HR?
ADV: I think HR is becoming more and more critical to how
businesses run. HR has been given a seat at the table. Long gone
are the days when HR was only required to administer employee
files and place help wanted ads. Now, we sit at the table when crit-ical
decisions are being made. If HR is not working, your company
is going to fail. So I think that the future of HR will be critical to
a well-run business, especially with the limited talent pool we are
now facing. HR needs to be there to attract, retain and motivate
the workforce, and lead the company forward. n
First job: Delivering a
local newspaper in the
East End of Montreal.
Childhood ambition: I
come from a long line
of business owners.
My grandfather owned
a farming machinery
business. So, I always
saw myself owning
Best boss and why:
I’ve had many, but my
current boss is the one
I’ve had the longest, J-M
Thibodeau. He gives me
great advice on many
different issues; we
of inspiration: I
find the young
into the workplace is
inspirational. I have
two daughters, aged
19 and 22. I think their
generation is a lot more
educated about their
field and they know
more about their area
of expertise. They are
open to new ideas and
more open to show
leadership. That’s what
motivates me, when
I see the drive of the
Best piece of advice
ever received: The
advice that stands out
the most was from my
grandfather. When I was
going through a stressful
time, he would tell me,
“If this problem is going
to be with you 10 years
from now, you should
stress about it. But if
not, try not to lose sleep
Favourite music: I enjoy
listening to music from
the 1980s – it brings
back a lot of memories.
Otherwise, pretty much
anything goes from rock
to rap to pop.
Last book read: For
Laughing Out Loud: My
Life and Good Times
by Ed McMahon. It’s
an older book, but
I enjoyed reading
about Ed’s business
acumen. He was a very
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