HR in the hot seat: Erin Cramlet of Stryker

by John Hilton07 Feb 2017

What is your current role and what brought you into it?

I am senior director of HR for Stryker South Pacific. In 2008, my husband and I were exploring options outside of the US and opportunities came up for both of us down under. I transferred to Australia as a business partner with Stryker, and then moved into the HR director role. The original plan was to be here for 2-3 years, but we fell in love with Australia and are now permanent residents. I’ve now been with Stryker for 16 years! 

What are some of your current HR challenges?

We are focused on continuing to develop a people strategy that enables our business to grow across product segments where we hold very good market share. Sustained growth in a mature business is really hard work, but it’s fun! Being part of a growth organisation feels very different to being part of an organisation that is trying to just cut costs.

What is the favourite part of your job?

I enjoy bringing great people into the business and creating an environment where they can be wildly successful. We recently had our annual Business Services and Sales Awards nights and I was so proud watching people I’d brought into the business win awards and be recognised for exceptional work!

What attracted you to a career in HR?

My background prior to HR was in marketing and public relations. I chose to move into HR because of the sustained and lasting impact we can have on people’s lives. This impact extends beyond our workforce and touches the families of each our employees. As an HR community, we create cultures where people can use their strengths and enjoy their work. I love being a part of this. 

What’s one piece of HR related advice you would offer?

I have this quote taped to my office wall: “Hire the best. Pay them fairly. Communicate frequently. Provide challenges and rewards. Believe in them. Get out of their way and they’ll knock your socks off.” (Mary Ann Allison, scholar and futurist). It seems simple, but the ‘doing’ can be very hard!

What hobbies and interests do you have outside of HR?

I have two children (aged six and three) and I love taking them on adventures around Sydney. Our weekends are filled with playing in the mud at parks, going to festivals and swimming. I am also slightly obsessed with painting / refinishing old furniture with ChalkPaint. It’s amazing what coat of paint and new handles can do to an old dresser!

Please complete this sentence: If you weren’t working in HR, you would be…

I would run a camp for kids where they could get outside their comfort zone, meet great friends and return home with wonderful memories!

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