Global HR professionals

Aussie HR professional, Ben Cividin, reveals what a typical day looks like as Human Resources Manager for PwC and reflects on the HR market in Australia, following his return to the lucky country.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Sydney, however [I] have spent time living and working in London.

Where are you based now?

[I’m] back in Sydney after my time in London.

What do you find most interesting about where you are currently living?

Sydney is a great place to live and work – the harbour and the beaches are pretty hard to beat! From a career perspective, Sydney provides a lot of opportunities with a lot of local and international organisations based here, across a number of industries.

What does your role involve and what does a typical day look like?

I’m currently a Human Resource Manager for PwC, partnering with my client groups to deliver HR solutions and consultation across a variety of functional areas. One of the best parts of my role is that no two days usually look the same! Some days I may be involved in project work both with business units and the broader HR team, the next be delivering training programs, or working with business leaders on their strategy and how the HR function can support them in achieving their goals. The variety of work is a major attraction of my role.

How easy was it to find a role in Australia?

I was fortunate that I had worked with Frazer Jones in the UK when finding roles in London (where they placed me) and so when I decided the time was right to return to Sydney, Frazer Jones put me in touch with the Sydney team. I started discussing what I was looking for and potential roles whilst still in London, and had interviews organised whilst still there. Once I arrived back in Sydney I was in a position to continue interviewing and had found the right role within a week of returning!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The variety of work and also being able to work with very talented professionals not only in HR but also within my client groups. Being able to learn from those around you is invaluable and I’m fortunate to have that in my current role.

What do you find most challenging?

Learning about new businesses as I take up different client groups. It is always a challenge to understand what a business does and how it works, however this is also one of the most enjoyable elements of a HR role as developing good business understanding allows you to add greater value as a HR professional.

What are your observations of the HR market at the moment?

I think the market is changing in some ways as more organisations look for HR professionals who have spent time in a few areas of specialisation, L&D, Diversity, Shared Services et al. I think a lot of this comes down to organisations seeking professionals who are agile and can adapt to changing environments. This is reflective of many industries at the moment as we go through sustained disruption and a need for HR to not only be comfortable with operating in this environment, but also being able to play a lead role in helping an organisation navigate through this.

Where do you see yourself in five years, both career-wise and location-wise?

I’d like to think in five years’ time I will be continuing to grow my HR career. I would like to continue to work internationally, but Sydney will always be home!

What advice would you give to a HR professional considering a role in Australia?

Australia is a great place to work as a HR professional – many organisations are viewed as being highly innovative and this also reflects in the HR profession, so if that excites you Australia is [a] good place to be. With the Asia-Pacific relationship being a high priority for many Australian organisations, there is also increasing scope for international roles and opportunity to partner with a broader network of professionals than at any time previously – it’s a great time to consider a role in Australia.