On a typical day, London-based Jordan Archer (FCPHR) works across 20 countries in three time zones.
As employee relations specialist at Visa Europe, this Londoner enjoys a far-reaching career in international HR management, and recently added the post nominal of FAHRI to his CIPD membership credentials.
Q. Why did you make the most of the reciprocal arrangement between AHRI and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and become an AHRI fellow?
I’ve always had a passion for studying and broadening my professional qualifications. HR is not a career that’s limited to the United Kingdom. It’s global, and I’ve found that I’ve increasingly been involved with organisations on a global scale. Therefore to have the recognition globally and to be accredited in Australia made perfect sense.
Q. What are some of the day-to-day challenges in your role?
One day is never the same as the next. Working across 20 different countries, with three different time zones, is a challenge in itself. Understanding and respecting the cultural differences between the regions can sometimes be a minefield and it affects day-to-day operations. It’s imperative that I develop good relationships with senior colleagues as well as strategic partners in those countries to ensure the organisation is legally compliant in that region.
Q. Do you think the HR challenges in the UK and Australia are the same?
Absolutely. The workforce is more global nowadays and a lot of my co-workers are from all over the world, bringing international experience. Such a diverse workforce brings its own challenges, as well as positives.
Q. How have you seen the HR industry evolve?
I believe there is much more emphasis on strategic HR business professional (HRBP) roles; that HR is required to understand the business completely and, in doing so, is able to add value.
When I first started out in the HR profession, it was often seen as a non-essential part of an organisation; a department that added cost rather than value. Today that’s not the case. HR leverage is vital for organisations to maximise profits and sales, and to be continuously striving to be ahead of competitors. Having the best talent and performance matrix allows HR to maximise its people and potential.
Q. What are three lessons you’ve learnt from managing employee relations during periods of business transformation?
One: understanding the business is absolutely paramount. Two: have clear sight of the goals and drivers of the business. Three: be honest, open and always act with integrity. If you don’t lead by example, how can you expect others to follow?