Five Minutes With…Maryanne Abdullah, HR manager, ANZ, Lexmark and Perceptive Software

by Human Capital31 Jul 2014
1.    What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I received was from my dad. He told me I need to work hard for everything in life - people cannot expect things to just happen. This is a mantra I try to implement into all aspects of my life. 

2.    What are some of the biggest challenges that HR deals with?

One of the biggest challenges I think HR professionals deal with is matching the right people for the right job. However, my preference is to find the right employee over the right candidate. This is particularly challenging in today’s environment as businesses continue to evolve and transform to meet changing customer demands and expectations. In my role at Lexmark for example, I look after the traditional print and managed print services side of the business, as well as the perceptive software division within Lexmark, which is purely software-focused. As you can imagine, both divisions require employees with different skill sets. What makes my role more challenging, is that Lexmark is currently transforming from a hardware/printer focus company to a software solutions company. Finding the right people who can adjust to this change as well as equipping existing employees with the right tools so they can perform with the evolution of the company is challenging. 

Overall, finding the right mix of people, with the right skill sets and cultural attributes that fit into the company is something I believe all HR professionals can relate to. 

3.    How do you see the role of HR changing in the future?

The role of HR will continue to change by having a stronger strategic role within the business. I would expect we see a  greater emphasis on results, and how HR can help businesses move closer towards it wider business objectives rather then simply providing HR expertise. This is something we are seeing from most departments within organistions, not just HR. More companies continue to invest in technology that can automate manual, process driven tasks, allowing employees to be able to spend more time on value-added tasks. 

4.    What’s your favoured style of coffee?

I prefer green tea to coffee, but when I do, I’m perfectly happy with Moccona instant coffee.

5.    If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would that be and why?

Guest number one would need to be the Queen - she would be the most unobtainable and unexpected person we could invite. I would also invite American musician Bruce Springsteen. I have been a fan of his for many years so it would be great to meet him in person. Lastly, Darren Lockyer - I think he is one of the greatest sports professionals of all time, so it would be an honour to meet him.

6. Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in HR, I’d be…

A dentist.  


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