In Episode 7 of Best Hire Ever, Kris Dunn chats with Kathy Rapp of hrQ on the changing landscape of hiring HR leaders and pros in a COVID World. Kathy and Kris talk about the current state of the HR job market, what skills are in demand, where HR might have fallen short inside companies, and what it all means for the HR job market moving forward.
Spoiler alert: Generalists are in increasing demand as staff size contracts and HR leaders face a wide ranging set of new demands.
“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked”. — Warren Buffett (also used by Kathy Rapp)
1:55 – Kathy shares her career path through big company HR to something more entrepreneur in hrQ, which she breaks down related to how they serve the HR community.
4:35 – Then onto the current situation – what’s the current state of hiring for professional grade HR pros and leaders at the moment? Kathy talks about HR leaders taking on more, as well as organizations upgrading their HR Talent as a result of the new challenges.
7:00 – Kathy and KD talk about her writing at Fistful of Talent, and the origin story of how she started at FOT over a decade ago. It all started with a Def Leppard post.
11:00 – KD also asks about Kathy’s creativity and willing to take risks and the impact it has had in her HR career. Kathy talks about her need for a right/left brain balance.
12:40 – Kathy and KD discuss the many misses HR functions experienced related to employee and internal communications during the COVID lockdown period.
14:30 – Kathy shares other areas where the bar has been raised for HR in a COVID world beyond comms, including risk management and DEI.
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15:05 – Kathy and KD give their definition of “HR Generalist” and other titles (hint, it’s a lifestyle rather than a career level). Kathy talks about the HRBP title, “people” designations, etc.
18:25 – Kathy and KD dig into what’s going on in the marketplace related to HR generalist vs specialist. The market is placing a premium on Generalist skills, and CHROs are rebuilding teams around the Generalist skill set. Kathy and KD talk about how long this vibe will last.
21:00 – Kathy talks about the need for HR pros to lead the conversation about “what’s next.” KR takes a shot at talking about “having a seat at the table” or “being strategic.” Discussion follows related to what is needed vs flavor of the month rules the conversation.
22:50 – Kathy and KD talks about how HR candidates seeking employment need to modify their approach to land a job in this market. Building networks, create a personal board of advisors and staying mentally/physically strong.
27:00 – Kathy riffs on her best hire ever. She won’t give KD a name, but gives us one of her secrets to hiring great people in her career.
29:36 – A true talent spotter, Kathy ranks the 3 distinct lineups of Van Halen.