If you have anything to do with the NZLEAD or NZ recruitment communities, you’ve probably come across today’s writer during the last few months. Hannah Mundell (@Han_Dall) is a Recruitment and HR Specialist for Cigna NZ based in Wellington, and takes great delight in finding amazing candidates and seeing their success. Mum to one nearly 7-year-old and trying desperately to keep up with him with technology!
The voice of a newbie
Be disruptive, be authentic, don’t be a jerk, speak you mind, swear, don’t swear. Just. Be. Yourself. But not if that’s the same as everyone else! Engage – learn – contribute.
These are some of the themes I’ve seen this year. This is the first year I’ve been actively involved in the HR and Recruitment communities and when Richard asked if I could write something for the 12 blogs of Christmas I knew immediately that I wanted to write about what it’s like for a newbie joining these communities. There is so much information and noise and some very passionate people or ‘thought leaders’ around – it can be a bit overwhelming!
I went to my first #WellyRecMeetUp in April this year, before then I have to admit to probably having my head in the sand a bit. I’d never been to a MeetUp before or knew what Open Source was (which is now one of my favourite things!) and boy have I had my eyes opened – the rose-tinted glasses are off! I didn’t really know what I was getting myself in for but it was probably the best decision I made this year because it sent me down a journey of discovery and disruptive enlightenment!
I’ve met some really interesting, inspiring and wonderful people as a result, some of whom I admire professionally and others that I’m now fortunate enough to call my friends, plus I was lucky enough to see Richard present on why HR hate Recruiters which was probably one of the cleverest presentations so far – and fortunately he came out of it alive!
The next best thing that I did was to start engaging on Twitter, something I’d been resisting. I had been quite anti-Twitter: I didn’t see the point, my friends and family weren’t on there, I didn’t know anyone else who used it, and I had Facebook – that’s all the SoMe I needed right? Wrong!
There is a really active and supportive community on Twitter, I stumbled across the #nzlead sessions which are on a Thursday night at 7pm. That’s where I first met Richard along with many others (in cyberspace and many now IRL) and I feel really enriched as a result, both personally and professionally. The tweets, the blogs, meet ups, conferences and new connections have encouraged me to ‘disrupt’ my thinking and consider new and better ways of doing things including the way I recruit and engage with candidates and generally to start thinking outside the square.
One of the things I wanted to say about being a newbie is that there is a lot of strong, sometimes controversial opinions, including the debate about swearing in the workplace and HR becoming a chartered association, along with how organisations need to change to operate in a more ‘humane’ way.
My challenge has been figuring out who I want to listen to, finding a voice that resonates with me, and filtering through the noise – especially being told you ‘should’ listen to this person, or don’t listen to that person. It’s pretty hard to validate that when you’re just discovering them! I’d compare it to having your first child – everyone is an expert and has an opinion but really you just thank them for their well-meaning advice, take away the key messages and the things that mean something to you.
There are so many awesome people in the HR and recruitment communities that are passionate about improving it and lifting the standards – and I can’t fault them their passions – it’s quite infectious! What I’ve found is that even though they are busy if you do want to bounce ideas around or get a deeper understanding of where they are coming from they’ll happily make the time to talk to you and share knowledge, wisdom and often a beer – all in the pursuit of bettering the industry.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – Dr. Seuss
I’m really excited to be able to be part of the changing journey the HR and recruitment industries are on, without a doubt it’s going to be take time, hard work and grit from those leading from the front and I would really encourage you, if you are sitting on the fence about getting on SoMe or coming to the #WellyHRMeetup or #WellyRecMeetup (or their Auckland counterparts) that you should definitely just do it!
Lastly I’m going to add a shameless plug, one of the most amazing people I’ve met this year is the creative and inspiring Paul Jacobs from @jobgram who is working with me on my employer branding journey – I’m having such a great time working with him on ideas on how to humanise our brand. You can see some of our work by following @CignaNZCareers or Cigna Life Insurance NZ on LinkedIn.