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I used to fight battles…now I fight battles

Jane Simms

People Management

1 January 2014


PA’s Lesley Uren, talent management expert, is quoted in article on joining the HR profession via a non-traditional route.

Lesley explains that switching into a HR role particularly at a fairly senior level should not be seen as an easy transition.

“HR sometimes undervalues the technical expertise that goes with being a great HR person,” explains Lesley. “The role is becoming increasingly technical and complex and requires ever greater skill and mastery of many different elements.”

Lesley explains some of the issues with moving into HR mid-career: “People switching into HR mid-career will also have missed out on a lot of the day-to-day grounding and wisdom that people build up while rising through the ranks. So when you move someone into HR from another function, you have to give them a structured programme of development and support. You can’t just assume that because someone is a high flyer elsewhere they can easily make the jump.”

Lesley comments on how critical it is to select the right people: “They need to be curious, flexible, humble and willing to learn.”

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