5 minutes with… Merylee Crockett, HR Director, Interactive

With 20 years in the industry, Merylee Crockett, HR Director at Interactive, believes the core role of HR is to add value.

How would you sum up HR professionals in two words?
Business facilitators.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? 
Never stop asking yourself, “How does this add value to the business?” HR cannot be taught from a textbook. We are business people first and HR professionals second. It’s important that we understand the drivers of the business and align the talent strategy and initiatives to deliver value. If it doesn’t add value, then perhaps it’s not worth doing!
What are some of the biggest challenges that HR must overcome?
In a business like ours that is growing at pace, one of our greatest challenges is attracting the best talent, and creating an environment where talented people can collaborate, innovate and deliver remarkable outcomes for customers, and also investing in our talent to keep them inspired and ahead of the market – these are the things that keep me up at night!
What are some of the most interesting and unique aspects of your day-to-day role?
I love the breadth and variety that comes with mid-sized organisations. There are no boundaries to the role and we treat this business like it is our own. Some days are spent in traditional HR related activities, the next you will be working on challenges with other departments relating to service delivery, meeting with customers or working with designers on new building designs. There’s no time to be bored.
How do you see the role of HR changing in the future?
Technology is changing many of the traditional functions of HR and creating capacity amongst teams to add significantly greater value. We have moved well beyond the requirement of simply being a ‘business partner’. HR professionals must bring value through analytics and insights and operate as great business leaders who just happen to bring expertise around talent.
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would that be and why?
Nelson Mandela – because his passion, resolve, perseverance and belief in his cause would bring inspiration to the occasion.
Jamie Oliver – what a great success story. He’s charitable, entertaining and extremely knowledgeable; he could cook the meal as well.
Jason Alexander (George Costanza) – one of the funniest guys on the planet. It would be a night to remember!
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in HR I’d be… Writing a book about all the funny moments I’ve experienced in my HR career, while striving to make a contribution to businesses as a member of their corporate boards.
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