With AHRI’s National Convention one month away, HRM spoke to four members to find out what they were looking forward to and what they hope to gain from the biggest date in the Human Resources calendar.
David Wain, director of HR, Victoria, Hilton
It’s the first time I’ll be going to the event and I’m looking forward to reaching out to new networks, and gaining a deeper understanding of best practices happening in the HR world. It’s an opportunity to update your knowledge, to refresh, be inspired and to soak up.
I’ve heard a lot about David Ulrich and I’m looking forward to hearing him. There are pressing issues around recruitment and retention techniques so I’m keen to find out what are the best workforce planning methods and ideas that I can tap into. I want to learn more about efficiencies around speed to market and utilising different social media channels.
Helen Ward, manager HR, NGA
I’ve gone to AHRI’s national convention nearly every year for the past 10 years. I love it because it’s an opportunity to step back and think about things and be strategic and it invigorates you. I go back to work feeling really positive and with a real buzz. They have some great speakers. I’m very excited to hear Julia Gillard – that’s a great coup, and David Ulrich is always really good. It’s one of the few things that I do during the year for development.
Like most organisations, we are trying to do more with less. I’m interested in looking at staff engagement and how we can do that better. I’m also trying to find ways of being more involved in the big decision making, having a seat at the table and being credible and influential in what we are doing.
Beverley Findlay, director human resources for Asia Pacific, Cook Medical
I’ve always enjoyed the keynote speakers and it’s often difficult to decide which person you want to listen to but it’s good to have the choice. I’m particularly interested this year in hearing about developing staff into leadership roles. People are key to progress in an organisation and the more opportunities we can provide, the more programs we offer, the better it is for the company.
It’s also good to catch up with people and have the opportunity to chat, reflect on sessions and compare thoughts on what we have just heard and how those things compare to our own companies and HR in general. I also like the trade displays because you see what’s new and what is out there
Emma Badminton, workforce planner, University of Western Australia
I previously went to AHRI’s convention in 2011 when I was a stand-alone HR coordinator in a small to medium-size business and I got a lot out of it. It maintains the currency of my HR knowledge and acts as a reminder of all the good reasons I got into the profession. Last time, it also had the effect of prompting me to get back to more strategic work – which I did.
I’m in a specialist role now and it’s easy to get too focussed on the detail. The convention covers the whole scope of HR and takes you back to core purposes. I’m looking forward to David Ulrich’s workshop to hear more about the business partner model and the certification framework. It’s important that we have a similar certification to chartered accountants. Businesses listen to finance departments because they hold the dollars and cents. For HR, our issue is to be able to demonstrate the same value.
This article is an edited version. The full article was first published in the July 2015 issue of HRMonthly magazine as ‘The ideas factory’. AHRI members receive HRMonthly 11 times per year as part of their membership. Find out more about AHRI membership here.