Get Inspired event! HR leaders share their tips on getting ahead

We were delighted to finish our annual HR events series with an exceptional evening of Inspiration and advice for our early talent candidates.

An impressive panel of HR leaders took to the stage in a no-holds-barred discussion, generously sharing their wisdom with up and coming HR professionals. Lively discussion ensued around the future of work, how to navigate a successful HR career and the advice they would give their 21 year old selves if they were to start their careers all over again.

Panelists included Dan Cook – GM People and Culture at DEXUS Property Group, Karine McAuliffe – Head of Recruitment at Arthur J Gallagher, Mark Cox -Executive Director – People and Culture for the State Transit Authority and Kama-Jade Ghosn – Head of Performance, Reward and HR Operations at Eclipx Group.

Chris Mewing led panel discussions between HR leaders

The diverse range of expertise on the panel meant everyone took home valuable information, as speakers spoke candidly about their personal career journeys and shared tried and tested tips for success.

Much discussion took place around where these HR leaders see the industry going and the trends we can expect to see in the next decade. While automation is inevitable, the panel agreed that remembering the “H” in “HR” was of utmost importance.

Mark Cox observed that IR will most likely become more transparent with less discussion going on behind closed doors; a testament to the incoming generation of confident HR professionals who are empowered to converse at this level.

Karine talked about the pace of technology in recruitment and Kama reiterated the importance of embracing analytics to improve practices within an organisition.

Dan shared interesting insights around the property industry, particularly around the current talent gap of young women deciding to pursue careers in this predominantly blue-collar field. It’s something the industry as a whole is working to improve, and Dan has been involved in initiatives that focus on educating girls in years’ 9/10 at school, to engage them early around potential job opportunities in the sector.

How to make yourself more employable and stand out from the crowd proved particularly popular topics, with each panelist giving their own tips (and a few pet hates). There were plenty of useful recommendations and everyone agreed that reading extensively and personal development (both inside and outside of work) were imperative.

Panelists gave fantastic advice around how to navigate the best career path and weighing up specialising versus generalist HR roles.

Other interesting answers revolved around the advice panelists would give if they could go back and talk to their 21-year-old selves. Among the many pearls of wisdom were the following:

• Say “yes”! Don’t be afraid of taking on extra work or challenges to develop your skills, understanding and experience. It is also important to keep in mind that you may not receive a monetary reward straight away, this will come eventually. It is vital to remember that hard-work comes before the reward and patience pays dividends
• Be flexible and allow yourself to move between different industries and roles. What you end up enjoying most about a role may not be what you had initially anticipated. Karine for example detested statistics at uni, but in the early stages of her career she found a passion for stats and analytics when they were brought to life through the positive impact they can have within an organisation
• If you know 80% of your role and you start to get bored and plateau, push yourself to learn that last 20%. That will make all the difference when you want to move on, it will also be noticed within the organisation
• Back yourself
• Technical expertise can be taught, but cultural fit, attitude and personality cannot, so always be yourself
• Keep learning – both within your career and in your personal life
• Remember that your career is an aspect of your life. Don’t lose sight of the fun in your role and always allow room to enjoy life outside of “business hours”