HR Search is a HR Recruitment agency based in Dublin, specialising in the recruitment of HR professionals both Domestically & Internationally, a wide range of roles available across the HR Industry in Ireland
I was lucky enough to attend the latest DisruptHR event last night, hosted by Arthur Cox in their fabulous Dublin offices. For those of you who are unfamiliar with DisruptHR, it is “an information exchange designed to energise, inform and empower leaders who are passionate about talent”, and last night certainly lived up to that, as I came away with a bucket full of golden nuggets.
DisruptHR events have taken place in 86 cities so far, and was the second time it hit the Emerald Isle. As the title suggests, the aim is to be disruptive and challenge to status quo. Therefore, the format of the evening is somewhat disruptive, with 12 speakers each allowed 5 minutes to present on the topic of their choice. It is a fun and different way to keep the audience captivated and interested, compared to those drawn out talks we have all been to! All of the speakers have been recognised in their fields and it truly was a treat to hear them speak so passionately about HR and to be in the same room as such thought leaders.
It would be hard (and boring for you) to comment on every speaker, but there were three speakers who’s topics resonated with me the most and who spoke about areas that every HR team/ professional should take on board.
Firstly, Clint Clarkson, Founder & Managing Partner of eLearning Alchemy Ltd., presented on his topic titled; Training Guru Says…. During his five minutes, Clint spoke about how your training department can stop being seen as just a business cost by following three simple steps.
1. Speak the Language of your Business
2. Prove that value outweighs the Cost
3. Get Results First
According to Clint, the only way you will “earn your seat at the table” is if you start speaking the language of your business, stop using terms and expressions that only other trainers will understand and start conversations by showcasing the value and results training provides rather than the cost.
The second topic which I feel is relevant for every HR professional, was that delivered by Stephanie Brady. Stephanie is the Head of HR for Retail inMotion and her topic titled, Putting the RRRR into HR, was based around the people aspect of HR. Stephanie asked the question, “How Human is your HR team”? and how important it is for your team to be human. People need leaders with warmth and compassion for their employees and a HR team that possesses one tone and consistency. Bringing the people element in to the equation will build the respect and commitment from employees that HR need to develop.
The final topic I feel that HR departments need to sit up and listen to was given by Adam Coleman. Adam is the CEO of HR Locker and his topic; Work is no longer a place, was based around remote working. According to Adam, remote working is becoming increasingly common and companies need to be more flexible to this should they wish to retain their top talent. Remote working lowers costs and keeps your employees engaged and motivated. As Adam said, it’s time to turn HR from a support function to an asset management function – the asset being your people.
For me, these three topics are so relevant to our market and working with candidates and clients. From a candidate perspective, they want to hear about culture and team dynamics and hearing how warm and engaging a team is would seal the deal. Likewise, candidates are also increasingly asking about work/ life balance, working from home etc. and companies need to implement new policies in order to attract and retain the right talent.
From a client perspective, they want to see candidates who are articulate, understand their job and how they add value to a business. So, it’s important for candidates to “speak the language of the business” should they wish to succeed.
Other topics that I found really interesting were from Claudine McMahon, Vodafone, who spoke about leading with purpose, Doone O’ Doherty, PwC, who broached the topic of the 100 year life and finally, Susan Elliot, AIB, who gave us an insight in to how they transformed their employee engagement model.
Overall, a super event to have attended and one that I will hopefully get to attend again in the future!
HR Search sponsored and collaborated with the DCU Leadership and Talent Institute who undertook a large qualitative study focused on the barriers and enablers that impact re-integration into the work place post Mat leave. This research was led by Yseult Freeney, David Collings and Lisa van der Werff who started by surveying over 300 women and who interviewed over 90 people across 30 industry leading organisations – a huge undertaking!
We launched the findings last week in the Shelbourne hotel, whereby over 150 HR professionals gathered to hear from the researchers and a panel conversation.
Why did this topic gain such huge interest from our network? The big picture…
The talent agenda is one of the most pressing challenges for organisations and HR leaders globally. With so much time and money invested into TA and Talent Development to attract and retain strong people, based on this research, companies are missing a beat when it comes to positively communicating pre,during and post mat leave to retain engaged and positive employees.
When a woman comes to this career juncture of having a family – Is this just a brief interlude in a 30-40 year career? Yes (is the right answer!). However, this study showed that often this a time whereby a woman’s career may be derailed and talent is lost as a result of unconscious bias, professional relationship challenges, or a lack of open communication around expectations.
Ultimately firms should not allow their top talent to become “corporate refugees” and to allow them to walk out the door for various reasons.
The support and flexibility of an employer, whether direct from line manager or HR is critical at this juncture in a person’s career. One of the main influencers in making this transition a positive one is the persons line manager – whereby (often unintentionally!) communication breaks down. As HR professionals and as leaders, on-going training & initiatives to educate and give line managers the tools to work proactively and authentically pre, during and post mat leave is essential.
As part of my role, I often see first-hand the true ramifications on retention levels, longevity in a firm, job satisfaction, and overall employee well-being. I often get an insight beyond the practicalities of a “maternity policy” and truly get an honest and often emotional account on the struggles and wins for women returning to work. These factors can swing both positively and negatively and we heard both sides of the spectrum as a result of this report.
I am particularly happy to hear that there were positive, best practice stories from organisations who are on the right path! Throughout the panel discussion Ita Langton, who was promoted to partner while on Mat leave in Deloitte spoke about her experience, and Bernie O’Connor showcased excellent initiatives embarked on by ESB to promote this area. Tanya Thomas spoke through the realities of what she is seeing in the market place and how, if behaviors towards working mothers comes from the top do, companies see a renewed loyalty, energy and longevity of service.
Both from a personal and professional point of view, I believe this is a topic and area that needs constant focus in an organisation – it was a passion project for us and ties into our core value of supporting the HR community.
If you would like a copy of the final report, please feel free to get in touch!
So I have of course heard all the buzz words – crypto currency, bitcoin, blockchain etc., however yesterday was an education in itself to attend the launch of ConsenSys Ireland with Kerri & Adrian, and to hear Joe Lubin, Lory Kehoe, Kean Gilbert, Sydney Lai and the rest of the team speak about the company and their work.
If I was to attempt a brief explanation; ConsenSys is part of the Ethereum family blockchain with the aim to be “the new internet”. Ethereum is the base – a type of opensource blockchain ecosystem that can easily plug into an area of relevance and unlock value through creative thinking.
Fantastically exciting stuff.
ConsenSys was founded by Joseph Lubin, who also co-founded the Swiss-based Ethereum cryptocurrency, was fantastic to listen to – my favourite part being when he mentioned that Satoshi (anonymous creator of Bitcoin) is in fact a woman!
It was as surely an evening of learning, (as well as Guinness) and the energy and excitement in the room was palpable –a sense of looking at what very well may be the future. If things work out in some form of what was described, blockchain will become part of our everyday and we won’t imagine a world without it (similar to pre-internet or pre mobile phone)!
Minister Paschal Donohoe spoke about how this is fully government backed and highlighted how proud we should be that Dublin has been chosen as a growth hub, progressive and developed in terms of tech talent.
The turnout of some three hundred people was a glowing indication of the the interest people hold in this emerging and fast moving area as well as the curiosity surrounding where this technology may take us. Did I understand it all? No way. Is it exciting? For sure.
Lory Kehoe, Managing Director, quoted Oscar Wilde –
“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
This type of forward thinking & ‘think big/ dream big’ philosophy is what will continue to change the ecosystem and how we work, invest and live our lives in the day to day.
Thanks for the invite and wishing ConsenSys Ireland continued success in the future.
“HR does not have to be your friend to be effective,” explained David Ulrich who was speaking at the CIPD conference held in Croke Park last week. A very interesting and topical quote that seems to resonate throughout the HR market. Read more here.
During his talk, Ulrich pointed out that there are two things that HR should focus on: commitment to employee well-being and organisational success. It isn’t just about having one or the other, as without both the company will likely collapse. Without employee happiness, they don’t have dedication and without success within the business there would be no place to work.
Having recently joined HR Search, I have viewed the HR industry with fresh eyes. Before starting, I, like many, would have believed the certain (somewhat negative) connotations associated with HR. People might think that HR only has the company and management’s interests in mind or that there is too much politics associated with HR. However, having met with a number of professionals who work within HR over the last couple of months, one thing that has echoed throughout each meeting is the complete dedication they have to their employee’s well-being. Yes, I have met with a number of different personalities, from the more softer and endearing to a more straight talking type of HR professional. This is a mere observation as to why HR may be viewed as “the big bad wolf” but what is essential is that all types of HR professionals essentially have placed your well-being at the top of their list.
Long gone are the day’s where HR was just an administration arm of the business, where they processed payroll and contracts. Yes, that is still an operational responsibility, however many companies have HR teams that have developed way beyond this – with strong investment in their employee well-being and people. Going forward, HR should and is more so being viewed as a strategic partner in the business.
It is important to appreciate and remember that behind the scenes, HR are fighting for that salary increase or those extra benefits on behalf of their valued employees. For example, Irish Life announced today that they are now offering 8 weeks fully paid paternity leave, which would be spear-headed by HR. Evidently, they have their employee’s happiness and welfare and the heart of their business.
So perhaps remember the wise words of David Ulrich the next time HR get your goat.
One morning last week, I sat drinking a coffee in a well-known County Dublin hotel preparing for a client meeting that I was attending around the corner. It was early, and the place was relatively empty, and I worked away on my preparation.
Shortly after, two tables of two people arrived. I quickly worked out that one was an interview and the other was two colleagues from a nearby company having an early morning chat. Whilst you might think that voices do not travel – they most certainly do!
Both conversations were fully audible!
The first table of 2 was conducting a first round interview and I heard significant background and details of both parties and their employers. The second table was discussing an employee in detail – how inappropriately they dress coming into work every day and what should be done about it.
As someone who regularly interviews off-site, I walked away that morning making a commitment to myself as follows:
I would encourage people to come into our lovely, private offices as much as possible
I would book a room for meetings if interviewing off-site, particularly if more than one meeting
I would find an appropriate venue for off-site interviews and ask hotel staff to point me to a quiet, tucked away area where I cannot be overheard
Keep my voice down and be cognizant of the fact that a lot of sensitive, private information is about to be discussed
This all seems very basic, but as someone who has been interviewing for a long time, it was an interesting and handy reminder of what not to do in an off-site meeting.
According to the ERSI, 68% of women aged 20-64 were in the labor force in 2015. This is likely to now be in the region of 71%
Official statistics show that 86pc of childless women work, whereas that slumps to 57pc of those with children aged three or under
You do not need to be a statistician to work out, that with almost unemployment at 6 % we are almost at full employment, these official statistics need to and are starting to change at an accelerated pace
In 2018, the economic, social and practical reality is that a large proportion of women who have children want and need to return to their jobs/careers having had a baby
Recent research by DCU Talent Institute shows that while some companies are doing a great job at “minding and nurturing” their working mothers, many are not
Women, whilst they are excited to be back to work after maternity, quickly become demotivated and disillusioned upon their return
The consequences are such that these invaluable, well educated, ambitious women put their careers on hold, they start looking for work else-where or they give up work altogether
More importantly, if you, as an employer sat down to work out the cost to your business of losing this person, you would soon see why it is so important to get the basics right
Do not stick your head in the sand – ask your working mothers what you can do to make their jobs/lives more achievable. (This applies to working dads too)
Ensure that people consider that children need to be dropped and picked up from creche and/or school and only schedule meetings during core hours
Promote people when they are the best person for the job – if it is a woman and they are 3 or 6 months pregnant and/or are still on maternity leave do not assume that they do not want to be considered for that role. If they are the best person for the job, then acknowledge it
Have real mentors in the business – don’t just make it lip service. The should be real, approachable and have time to listen, to chat and offer advice and assistance
Spend money on hiring and holding onto the right managers. They should be authentic, they should care about people and have the time to understand and nurture all staff members, women and men alike
Be respectful for people’s feelings. Throw away comments like “half day, is it” can demoralize and be undermining
As a mother of two high achieving and ambitious daughters this has become personal to me! As employers we can all start today with basic changes to our behaviours towards working mothers
In return, you will see renewed loyalty, energy and longevity of service! Oh, and by the way, you will most definitely see a strong positive impact on your bottom line