In a year marked by relentless change and disruption, the HR professionals listed on HRD’s annual Hot List are demonstrating resilience, innovation and can-do attitude
“I believe that the most important trait [for an HR director] is to be a trusted advisor to the CEO or to the senior management team that the senior manager works for. From a skill perspective, to really make a difference in the business, I believe it is the commercial acumen and the business knowledge that’s important.” Those are the thoughts of one of this year’s Hot List members, Mathew Paine, director of human resources at International Convention Centre Sydney.
In just over 50 words, it’s a nice summation of where HR sits at the end of 2017. The HR practitioners featured over the following pages would no doubt agree that it’s a fascinating, if not slightly daunting, time to be in the profession. After years of struggle to be taken seriously at executive and board level, most HR professionals are today acting as trusted advisors to their business.
Indeed, it’s remarkable how many people listed on this year’s Hot List specifically mentioned to HRD the importance of being seen not just as HR professionals – and therefore being good at the people stuff – but also being good at business, full stop. HR professionals today must look through a lens that views their role in the context of broader business operations. They must know the key business drivers, while also excelling at all items traditionally viewed as HR’s responsibility. From breakthrough strides in D&I to negotiating with unions, through to ensuring their teams keep up with both technology and changing employee expectations, this year’s Hot List is jam-packed with talented, passionate and successful business leaders.