Recently, SHRM published an article by Steve Bates. The subject of the article was the Chief Human Resources Officer as a hero. What caught our eye was the link between “HR” and “hero,” probably because the theme of Metro Milwaukee SHRM’s annual Spring Conference this year is “Put the HR in SuperHeRo.”
In his article, Bates explains that corporate boards and CEOs are asking more than ever from the CHRO. Of course, a person needs to know HR, but the people moving into senior HR positions are those who have something more. CEOs are looking for business people who happen to have HR as their area of expertise and not necessarily career HR professionals.
Obviously, HR experience matters but the diversity of HR experience probably matters more. But how does someone acquire a diversity of HR experiences when, on a day to day basis, they have responsibility for a specific HR function?
One answer may be in education and networking. Planning something like our Spring Conference is a challenge because we want to have something for every discipline within the HR profession. What many don’t realize, however, is that the breadth of offerings is not meant to provide advanced expertise to specialists, but to encourage specialists to step out of their comfort zones and attend sessions that are challenging because they are new. Uncomfortable? Absolutely. But that’s what learning is. It’s uncomfortable as we learn new skills.
But if there’s more to advancing than just a knowledge of HR, where does someone go to acquire business skills and other, less tangible (but equally important) skills? How does someone get project management experience? Leadership experience? Budget experience? Presentation experience?
We think a local SHRM chapter is a good place to start. When people think of volunteering to serve their association or a local charity, they think about what they can give. But what are you taking from the experience? And it’s OK to take something! Please don’t feel guilty about considering the new skills, relationships, and experiences you can take away from the volunteer experience. The gift of leadership is not something you give necessarily. Sometimes, it is the gift you receive!
You see, super heroes didn’t become super overnight. Whatever skills they were gifted with, they had to learn to control them. Even that wasn’t enough, however. They needed to build relationships. They needed to learn new skills. They needed new skills for their utility belts. They needed experience.
And that’s how you get to senior positions. And that’s how you become an HR SuperHeRo!
Want to get started on your path to becoming an HR SuperHeRo? Join us at our Spring Conference on Tuesday, April 19. Contact Metro Milwaukee SHRM at (888) 782-6815 for more information.