My brilliant career – Paul Henderson

by 25 Jun 2008

What is your current role?

I’m the Human resources manager, Diversified Construction Corporation

What qualifications do you hold?

Bachelor of Business, majoring in Human Resources

Why did you get into HR?

I was interested in business generally, plus I had a particular interest in training and development at the time.

How did you get into HR?

After working for a few years after school in a totally different field, I bit the bullet and went back to uni full time to do my degree. My first role was as HR manager with a timber company who took a chance on me. I spent five years there.

What has been your biggest career high so far?

I gain most satisfaction from helping mentor or coach supervisors or line managers in dealing with people issues.

Where will you be in five years?

I think I will be in a senior generalist HR role, still within the construction/infrastructure sector, which I have enjoyed the most out of the industries I have worked in.

What do you think it takes to succeed in HR?

You need to be flexible, provide practical solutions to your internal clients, and most importantly, be consistent in the way you apply HR policy.

How do you manage relationships with senior executives?

You need to bring solutions to the table, not just problems. Be up-front, and when asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, don’t be afraid to say: “I don’t know” but follow that up with “I know where I can find out.”

What advice would you giveto any graduates considering a career in HR?

Be aware that just because you like working with people, HR may not necessarily be for you. You also need to consider the industry you wish to work in – HR is very transferable across industries but each sector brings different challenges.

Describe yourself in three words

Flexible, practical and consistent.