When it comes to evolving (when you are sure that you are in the prime of your professional career), be it in the company where you have been working for three years, or in another of the competition that has been interested in your profile, you can go from one function to another because you already have the experience and training that the position has given you.
As always, we went out in search of companies, experts, consultants and, of course, the position of business school professors, and we have found very interesting things, such as the approach that we are making today from OUR EDITORIAL: I want to move from HR to another business area. How do I prepare to move on? for which we have based ourselves on the prestigious Financial Times of March 2023 that published “I want to move from HR to another business area. How do I equip myself to move on? which is exactly what we have asked ourselves today. We must clarify that it corresponds to the answers of JONATHAN BLACK, an expert and advisor to readers.
The question that is asked to the media is like problem of the week that a person says that he is a business manager with seven years of experience in financial services. And he explains that “both my strengths and my interests are in talent strategy, performance management and workforce planning. But what areas can I consider other than HR?
In addition, he states that he is interested in environmental, social and governance issues and the role of company secretary, among other issues. So he also asks: how should I prepare for mid-senior year opportunities in these areas?
As for the answer that Jonathan Black gives him is: “after seven years in human resources, it is not surprising that his interests are expanding into other areas and that he is exploring routes to higher-level opportunities that build on his strengths. and interests”. And then he goes on to say that since this person brings up a variety of ideas, from compliance and governance to environmental issues, it might be worth deciding which of these options is more appealing.
It is interesting what Jonathan Black points out below as a very useful tool that helps companies to assess whether they are likely to comply with their vision and strategy, in reference to the values and attributes of the candidates for a certain job position. Hence Black’s reference to Sonia Allinson-Penny, founder of the Human Factor Health Check, a tool to help companies assess whether they are likely to deliver on their vision and strategy, suggests that recruiters need to think on which underlying elements of these different candidates’ career choices appeal to you the most and gives advice on the following procedure: “work backwards from your goal, rather than wade through many options.”
Keep an eye out for what’s missing from the current function
The organization chart should not be static, and proof of this is that organizations are forced to evaluate what may be missing in a certain current function, for example, that position that the company is willing to cover as soon as possible. But from this evaluation of what is done in the function (in the job position), it can help HR to focus its objective.
In the case of this person in the example (the questions he made to the expert) and who mentions environmental, social and governance issues as potential areas in which he wants to work, in addition to the experience he has in HR, what the company must then assess specifically what is the value that will contribute to fill the vacant role.
Katie Jacobs, is CIPD Senior Stakeholder Leader, responsible for building a community of HR leaders and designing and delivering a stronger proposition for this group. She joined the CIPD in January 2019. To keep in mind what CIPD is, it stands for “Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development”. She says there are “really strong links between HR and ESG.” While he sees an increase in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) activity, which is being driven by increased investor influence, Jacobs believes that “HR professionals They can understand the value of an organization’s culture, [which is] so important to implementing better ESG.”
Identify some potential roles
Once a role candidate has assessed her personal goals and identified some potential roles that might interest her, she should talk to the people in those roles and review typical job postings to understand what qualifications she might need. For example, if you intend to become a company secretary, it will be advantageous to obtain a qualification from the Chartered Governance Institute.
Stay in HR, but as a director
While you are considering moving away from HR, your desire for a higher position means that the role of HR director might be worth exploring. CHROs’ profile and status in an organization rose as they supported CEOs to lead their companies’ responses to the pandemic and its ongoing effects on the workforce.
Allinson-Penny suggests that one way to keep your options open while gaining hands-on experience and seniority is to take on a role with broader responsibilities within a midsize company.
Expand current features
You could also explore expanding your current role. Jacobs has seen HR leaders “expand their portfolios to include sustainability, responsible business, health and safety, and IT.” You may be able to organize some internal projects or secondments, although she urges you not to focus exclusively on the internal.
As part of gathering information from her, you could (and will begin) to develop an outside network, one or two of whom might be willing to offer you mentorship.
Advice from readers that Jonathan Black gives and that we expand on below
The company secretary part is often associated with boards of directors and also with boards of directors. If you get as close as possible to any of these organs of your company and become one of the indispensable professionals of your company, you will benefit because you will obtain the greatest possible experience in those positions of the organizational structure. You can start little by little, joining an association or an NGO and being able to be closer to decision-making. Transferable skills will only need to be expanded. Some legal studies can be of great help to you.
You can also suggest that an ESG committee be established within your company or join any committee that exists. Then start holding meetings discussing company policy, invite speakers and you’ll quickly be seen as an authority on it.
It is evident that the knowledge and experience acquired is a kind of “soft skills package plus technical skills”, which as a closed set (that black box available to the candidate) will open it up in the new job, to give relevance to the value that can really contribute to the new company. This is what turns transferable skills into real assets for the new work team, the new bosses, the new management, and of course, the improvement that will be obtained in operational efficiency.
And continuing with our search, we have stopped at an aspect that is of great interest and that we call:
Tips for HR professionals transitioning from small to large companies
In recent years, the best conditions have been revealed for HR specialists who have held positions of responsibility in medium-sized companies, above other experts in areas such as marketing, sales, general operations, etc., to apply for management positions. general or staff to the CEO on duty.
Professional skills and key approaches
We are not only interested in analyzing today how you should prepare to be able to move from HR to another business area, but you also have to evaluate staying in the HR area, but then making the transition from a SME company to a large one.
There are three key organizational, thinking, and marketing approaches that can help you make the transition from a small-business HR professional to a large-business HR professional, which we’ll discuss below.
Moving Up in the Corporate World
Transitioning from a small company HR position to a large company HR position requires a mindset shift. Understanding organizational differences, thinking globally, and marketing to the big scale can help make the transition smooth. Here are some tips to help make that happen.
1º) Understand the organizational differences
The biggest change you’ll encounter when moving from a position at a small company to one at a large company is how the HR departments are organized. Knowing what to expect ahead of time can help you prepare for this dramatic change.
As a director of human resources at a small company, the corporate culture likely required you to wear many hats and take charge of everything from payroll and employee benefits to disciplinary policies and organizational structuring and development. At the same time, you may have also held other roles, as small businesses often mean a small number of employees serving overlapping roles, such as accounting duties. Structurally, a small business tends to run with a minimum of staff. The focus is on performing daily tasks, meeting customer needs, and generating profit with limited resources and employees.
Small vs big
Larger companies view HR roles and responsibilities differently, primarily because they are comprised of numerous employees completing daily operations at multiple levels. You can expect the internal departmental structure of a large company to consist of multiple departments and sub-departments with groups of employees in charge of each. With this in mind, your title and role as a hiring manager at a smaller company will most likely not match the same title and role at a larger company.
Roles and responsibilities in relation to the size of the organization
In a small office environment, the hiring manager is in charge of all human resources responsibilities.
In a larger office environment, the human resources director supervises several human resource managers. Due to the size of the company, there is a designated HR manager for payroll, one for employee benefits, one for HR recruitment, etc.
Work teams below management
And it doesn’t end there: under each of these managers is another team of people responsible for different tasks within the department. As expert resume writing and recruiting coach Robin Schlinger explains, “You may find yourself reporting to someone who has the position you used to have at a smaller company.” However, while the title may be the same, the roles are different. “This is not a downgrade,” Schlinger notes, “it reflects the difference in complexity of working for a small company versus a large company.”
2º) Think globally
Transitioning from a small to a larger company will not only affect your title and role due to company structure, but also how you communicate within and outside of your department.
Relationships with employees and even customers will grow from small, intimate settings, where working closely together was expected, to large-scale, informal settings that often take place over video conferences rather than over lunch. You will need to change your mindset to match that of the larger company, especially if that company operates on a global platform.
Changes in problem solving approaches
Smaller businesses tend to operate more like families or close communities: when a problem arises, community members come together and talk about it face to face until a solution is found. Sometimes the dilemma is left for another day to attend to more pressing matters.
In a larger company, you must learn to think on a larger, often global scale; Instead of tackling a dilemma across the hall, you can tackle it across the world. Depending on the size of the company and the number of locations and employees, you could deal with multiple HR departments around the world.
For example, if the largest company has satellite offices, they most likely have HR departments in those offices that handle daily operations independently. You should be prepared to sit through an online or video conference, rather than a one-on-one conversation over a cup of tea. This change in communication may seem a bit disconcerting at first, but you’ll soon adjust.
Changes in communication
That’s how Jeff Haynie felt when he sold his new company Appcelerator to an even bigger company, Axway. In Haynie’s online blog “Medium,” he reflects on how he and his co-founder built lasting friendships with employees, investors, customers, and the community in which they worked. Once they sold the company and assumed their new roles at Axway, they both realized that things were going to be quite different in terms of communication.
”In the largest companies, people are literally all over the world. Meetings are the way larger companies often communicate and organize, especially since they are widely distributed.” Haynie explains that it took him some time to get over this change and understand his new identity within the larger company. Although he was an adjustment, he settled into the new dynamics of the office and learned to think on a larger and even more global scale in all areas of work.
3º) Small against large, that is, promote yourself on a larger scale
Now that you have an idea of how different the structure of a large company can be, and how its customer and employee base often spans the globe, it’s time to make sure you’re marketing your HR skills on a larger scale as well. . It’s true that you may come from a small company where you were only managing 20 employees, compared to managing 200 employees at a larger company. However, your job at the smaller company still gave you the opportunity to learn, develop and hone your management skills.
Organizing and writing your HR resume
”Instead of worrying about the size of your current company, you should focus on the size of your accomplishments,” writes Schlinger. When sending your resume to larger companies, focus on sharing your skills and performance levels, especially what your responsibilities, achievements, and contributions to the company were, as well as your goals for growing in the HR field. Remember to think globally. Organize and write your HR resume in a way that assures potential employers of your ability to work on tasks of any size.
Schlinger also recommends that you don’t focus on a specific job title, as those roles may not be what you’re used to. That’s why Schlinger clearly says “focus on what’s really important to you, like advancement opportunities.”
And he adds: “Make the resume voice confident and bold when describing your qualifications and achievements and desire to learn, grow and advance in human resources. When you are interviewed, carry yourself with confidence. If you know you can do the job, you will go a long way in convincing interviewers.”
Take the decisive step
Broadening your perspective on HR and tweaking your resume to prepare you to promote yourself on a large scale can be intimidating, but don’t forget the benefits of working with a larger company. Bigger offices and global locations mean a bigger team of coworkers with you and behind you.
Luke Thomas encountered similar circumstances when making the transition from a small start-up to a larger company, Safari. On his blog, he writes about being the sole person responsible for the day-to-day functions of the office, including human resources, and discovering that there is definitely more teamwork in a larger company.
Appreciate the benefits and ask questions
Think about it, you will no longer be recruiting, processing payroll, issuing policies and procedure manuals, and establishing organizational development plans on your own. You will be part of a larger network of HR professionals who work for the same company as a team. Sure, it can take some time to adjust to the number of coworkers and the HR chain of command, but knowing that you’re part of a larger team should far overcome those day-one fears. Thomas recommends getting a copy of the company’s organizational chart to identify who belongs where, and what their respective roles entail: “If you had any advice for navigating through this process, it’s to ask questions.”
Thumbs up! What are you waiting for?
It can take a while to get used to the differences between small and large companies. However, as long as you are confident in your abilities as an HR professional, your options for working at a larger company are endless. So, what are you waiting for? You need to take the plunge – start by applying to some bigger companies and start advancing your HR career today!
Tips to prepare employees for an office move
Companies in all industries have been forced to do a turnaround in recent years, rethinking how everyone can work together. With many companies returning to an in-person or blended work environment, a lot of relocations are taking place.
Planning an office relocation is a big job
Managing employee expectations and mindsets around the move is particularly challenging. Here are some practical tips to prepare employees for an office move:
Provide details in advance
Giving your employees as much time as possible to prepare is essential to the success of an office relocation. Human beings are naturally resistant to change, especially in the workplace. The longer you allow for processing and acceptance, the smoother the transition will be.
How you manage the narrative surrounding the move will depend on the situation. If you know that the current location will no longer be an option, informing employees about the relocation before choosing a new office makes sense. On the contrary, if your company is exploring options, it is better to wait until the move is confirmed.
Focus on the positives
It’s normal to experience resistance and negative feedback from employees after a big announcement of this nature. Craft your messaging to focus on the value you can offer your team with this new location. For example, renting office space in a more modern building that is located in a new office area in the city where you live can offer beautiful surroundings and convenient services. Creating a narrative that focuses on those positive characteristics will help employees see how they will benefit from the move.
You need to be proactive in anticipating complaints your employees may have, such as a difficult commute or lack of access to parking. Getting ahead of these concerns can help you facilitate an open discussion and create a deeper connection with employees. It is essential to recognize the challenges and approach them with empathy.
The less burden your business can place on employees from the relocation process, the better. Your team needs to know what to do to prepare and when to minimize stress and confusion.
Depending on the size of your organization, consider asking for volunteers to form a committee that is responsible for organizing the entire move. You should offer benefits for joining this committee, such as having feedback on the new office layout and food provided during meetings, etc.
Empower employees to share concerns
You must create a safe environment for employees to share their comments and concerns. Some employees will keep their feelings bottled up for fear of repercussions when they share negative comments. You should also create an anonymous feedback form or let employees know that they can freely discuss their concerns with their HR representative instead of their manager.
Your team’s mindset can change over time
Consider having spot check-ins through meetings or surveys to track how mindsets change as you get closer to the move.
Consider offering resources
It’s important to recognize that changing your office location could have a significant impact on some employees. Changes to your commute to work could increase transportation costs or affect your childcare arrangements.
Consider how your organization will manage these changes, and consider what resources you can offer for support. For example, allowing flexible hours or offering to cover transportation costs for the first few months could help employees who are struggling with the changes.
While these resources may be expensive, it is well worth the return on investment to retain skilled employees. Offering solutions will also help improve employee loyalty and morale.
Prioritize organization and communication
Organization and communication are top priorities when planning an office relocation. A structured workflow should be created, outsourcing logistics as needed. You also have to keep employees updated on progress and changes while highlighting the need for this move.
Finally, remember to celebrate the move with an “office warming” party that rewards employees for their cooperation.
With these practical tips, you can successfully prepare your employees for a change of office.
Do you want to transfer to another job within the same company?
We also found it interesting to see what to do when the job change is in the same company, regardless of whether you want to move from the HR area or from another department.
But internal transfers can also be full of pitfalls, such as how exactly do you tell your boss that you want to change departments or teams? Here are answers to all your questions about how to request an internal transfer, how to network to get to work, and of course, how to have that conversation with your manager.
What are the best practices for conducting an internal job search?
You should treat the subject as you would any other job search. Just because you’re an internal candidate doesn’t mean you’re given special treatment or guaranteed the position. You’ll still need to position yourself as an ideal candidate and submit current, professional materials, including a resume that makes it clear why you’re a great fit.
The advantage of knowing in depth the mechanics of the company
In fact, some hiring managers have higher expectations for internal candidates because they’ve already had exposure to the company’s goals, clients, and strategies. Therefore, in your application and in interviews, be prepared to discuss both the general objectives of the company and the more specific objectives of the department.
Also, this may seem like a no-brainer, but before you do it, make sure you really want the job. You have the advantage of (most likely) knowing the hiring manager and the team you would be working with. Is it a team you want to be on or one you could be successful on?
Most importantly, consider your reasons for wanting to leave your current team: are you really excited about the new opportunity, are you bored, or are you dissatisfied with your current manager? Those are not good reasons to start an internal movement, so you have to be honest with yourself about your motives.
When should I tell my manager that I want to consider a new job opportunity?
It’s always a good idea to keep your current manager informed in a situation like this. In a perfect world, the two of you have already had conversations about your career and career goals, so your manager won’t be surprised that you’re interested in changing jobs.
Talk to your boss as soon as possible
So if you have a good relationship with your manager and you think he’ll support you, then talk to him as soon as possible, maybe even as soon as you see a job you’d like to apply for.
It’s also good to talk to your boss if he’s going to contact the hiring manager before you apply. You don’t want to surprise them and have them find out from other people. And when you talk to the hiring manager, it’s nice to have the support of your current manager.
But if you don’t have a very good relationship with your manager, you may want to wait until you are further along in the process. You might even get away with telling them after you have an offer, depending on your company structure and what the policies are on internal transfers. But we advise you to tell them when you reach the finalist stage at the latest.
Okay, so how do I tell my manager that I want to make an internal move?
No matter what type of relationship you have with your boss, this can be a sensitive conversation. Some managers take it personally when someone wants to leave their team for another. And once they know you’re interested in transferring jobs, they’ll likely worry that you’re not as committed to your current projects.
Therefore, when you break the news to your manager, frame it as a means for you to grow professionally. A good approach is to talk about what you have learned from them and how they have helped you grow to this point. Seek their support and ask them for advice. It’s also important to reiterate your commitment to your current role and reassure them that nothing will go unnoticed.
Finally, commit to keeping them informed of the process and schedule as you work with the hiring manager, and be open to negotiating the transition date based on how your current projects are going and the needs of both teams.
Do I need to contact the hiring manager before I apply?
Establishing a personal connection with the hiring manager early on is a good move, if you do it the right way. If you’re at a smaller company and you already know the hiring manager, a more informal approach might work well. In fact, it can be awkward if you don’t communicate. Ask if you can meet with them, and be prepared with questions about your goals for the position and what they are looking for in candidates.
Your approach will be a little different if your company is larger or if you don’t know the hiring manager. In this situation, it is not advisable to ask for a face-to-face meeting. Instead, you should send an email with a brief introduction, including your background, highlights of your accomplishments at the company, and why you’re interested in the open position.
You should keep in mind that your company may already have a process for internal transfers. Some policies require the employee to speak with the hiring manager before applying, or mandate at what stage he must report to his current boss. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask your human resources team about the steps you are expected to take.
How can you network and market your skills and interests within your current company?
Ideally, you will have started internal networking before applying for a job transfer. Networking helps you create a group of people who recognize your abilities and are willing to stand up for you. And the best way to do that is to always stay connected with other people at your company, even if you’re not looking for a new position. That way, if you find an open position that you’re excited about, you’re good to go.
How do you do that?
Try to make yourself as visible as possible and look for opportunities to create value for others. You want to position yourself as an invaluable resource to the company, not just your current team. Some concrete ways to make connections:
– Ask for high visibility or high impact assignments.
– You must volunteer to work on cross-functional projects.
– Attend networking events organized by your company.
– Participate in company-wide workshops and learning opportunities.
What if you hear about a job opening but haven’t built the network yet?
There is no better time to start networking than right when this opportunity presents itself.
What can I do if my manager does not accept my mobility?
As much as this may hurt, it is important to look at the situation as objectively as possible. Your manager may not think you’re ready to make a move. Be open to asking your manager why he doesn’t support you and what you would need to do to get his support, either by developing specific expertise or working on your soft skills, then be ready to get the job done.
If you’re confident that you’re consistently exceeding expectations, then it’s time to quickly find another advocate, perhaps a manager on another team with whom you work closely.
This is also why it is so important to build your network (both internally and externally). The most successful professionals have entire groups of advocates, including peers, supervisors, and direct reports from current and former employers. That way, no matter how things are with your current manager, you can take advantage of this network to support your career goals.