5 minutes with… Kelly Rafferty, HR Operations Lead, Human Resources, Telstra Retail

by Sarah Megginson28 Mar 2014
Kelly Rafferty is HR Operations Lead, Human Resources for Telstra Retail.
How would you sum up HR professionals in two words?
Value creators!
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Life is not accumulation, it is about contribution’ – Stephen Covey.
What are some of the biggest challenges that HR deals with?
One of our constant challenges is retention and talent development; it feels like this is a challenge that’s always going to be on our agenda! I think we need to be focussing deeply on talent management and development and the links to strategic workforce planning. What are the roles that your future organisation will need and how are you leveraging your talent and building towards these capabilities now?
How do you see the role of HR changing in the future?
We need to continue to ensure that our HR agenda is closely intertwined with the business strategy; our work needs to solve business problems and add real value to the organisation. I think that we’ll continue to be the champions of the employee experience, the talent and culture gurus and we have to be value creators ­– meaning, we need to show how our work links to the business results and strategy.
What’s your favoured style of coffee?
Since attending a health retreat last year I have switched to decaf, which is very against the grain for an ex-coffee addict... but it’s been working for me.
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would that be and why?
Stephen Covey – The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People had a huge impact on my personal effectiveness and ‘what I tell myself about myself’.
Sheryl Sandberg – Like a lot of your readers, I’ve read Lean In and I greatly value Sandberg’s contribution to the gender equality debate. I’d particularly like to chat with her about how we impact the ‘system’ while simultaneously encouraging women to ‘lean in’.
Hillary Clinton – What an inspiring leader who has had an incredibly diverse career and with potentially a Presidency still ahead of her; who wouldn’t want her at their dinner table!
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in HR I’d be… 
Trying my hand at leading a not for profit business. I recently joined the Board at Family Access Network and I’m enjoying contributing professionally to their agenda while developing my social justice experience.


  • by David 29/03/2014 5:32:34 PM

    "One of our constant challenges is retention and talent development"
    Is "talent" a euphemism for a person , living breathing, with interest and a set values, or is it just a jargon phrase aiming to hide the fact HR has nothing to do with humanity?
    Every person has potential, and most have values that mean they want to see their effort lead to something tangible. in the place they spend 1/3rd. of their life.
    Being "retrenched" and put through a process with little chance of success because HR is really. about head count, really just destroys people rather than "retain" them.
    My learning is that getting work with an organisation is best achieved by bypassing the impenetrable filter of the professional HR with all their gender, language and age bias.
    Get real Kelly and stop playing games with people's lives. Adding "value " to Telstra would be better served by bringing out the best in the brilliant people you have.

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