HC spends 5 minutes with Marco Sicurella

by 20 Jan 2012

Marco Sicurella
Senior manager – human resources
Teachers Credit Union

Main business
Financial services

Number of employees

Bachelor of Commerce (HRM & IR), Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment and soon to have completed the Masters in HRM in 2012

Years in HR
13 years

The worst job you’ve ever had
Stocktaking in a large department store during the holidays. All I remember was working 12 hours a day (including weekends), lifting heavy boxes, accounting for countless stationery items and being covered in thick layers of dust whilst trying to hold a scanning gun upside down and avoid falling off a ladder.

The most outrageous (and best) company perks you’ve experienced
Winning the Young Achiever of the Year Award at our annual staff awards night and as a result getting to travel to Darwin with my executive team to be part of a four-day industry conference followed by a few days touring Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. It was absolutely amazing!

Your best candidate interview story
I used to manage the company’s traineeship program and a few years back one of the candidates that I was interviewing had claimed on his resume to have a million and one random skills ranging from customer service to riding a unicycle whilst juggling. So, I left the interview room, found three stress balls that were lying around the office and went back in and asked him to juggle them during the rest of the interview whilst answering my questions to demonstrate his multi-tasking abilities. Needless to say he did very well and he got the job!

Your most embarrassing HR faux pas
Probably the time I tried to guess a candidate’s age when my boss had asked me how old I thought she was after the interview had concluded. My response was something along the lines of “Pretty old – maybe in her late 40s”. That’s when I got ‘the look’ from my late 40s-something boss!   

The best thing about working in HR
Working in HR gives you a real sense of purpose, especially when you’re in a position to be able to influence and implement positive changes throughout the organisation. Diversity in the role and of course being at the centre of all things social are also plus points!

The worst
There aren’t too many drawbacks although being the go-to man when office politics or performance management issues are rife is probably the least fun part of a HR role. The good things in HR far outweigh the bad, though.

Does HR have a place at the boardroom table?
Is the sky blue?

The biggest challenges facing HR
I think the biggest challenges facing HR (particularly in the coming years) will be centred around a possible second-wave GFC. Keeping staff secure and motivated during times of economic downturn is always going to be a challenge.


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