In our most recent edition of “60 seconds with a rising star” we interview Ally Johnson, HR Generalist at Tri Star Sports & Entertainment.
Has your HR career lived up to your expectations so far?
Definitely! I graduated with a Political Science major and ended up with a sales/recruiting job in New York City. I was specifically recruiting for HR professionals, and I didn’t realize until after I graduated and was working in the real world that this career was something that I would like to pursue. It is a rewarding feeling when your team members are receptive to a personable HR approach. Although we have many administrative and automatic tasks that must be done, I tend to feel the most successful when I am able to help my team with professional development of them and their team!
What does success look like to you from a work and personal perspective?
I feel most successful when people seek my advice or direction on something important to them. I have learned throughout the course of my personal and professional career that there is much value in listening to someone and understanding their perspective prior to offering solutions. What works for one team, might not work for another. I feel most successful when I can understand the issue on a personal level, and offer solutions based on what would work them.
What advice would you provide to graduates thinking about entering a career in HR?
This job is so cool because it will allow you to see the operations of an organization from a unique perspective, but at the end of the day, HR is in place to protect the team and the employer. It is important to remain neutral, be a good listener and know when to push the envelope (only a little bit). Also, find a good leader. I would not know half of what I know today if I didn’t have the support and knowledge of my previous/current managers. When you begin to interview for jobs, keep this in mind! The leadership I was exposed to early on in my career recognized the importance of teaching and growing their teams. Find an employer who will do the same for you.
What is the definition of an effective HR Generalist
HR requires a combination of skills like service, leadership, patience, adaptability, attention to detail and relatability (to name a few). I believe an effective Generalist will master these skills and utilize them in their everyday tasks. An effective Generalist would not prioritize one skill over another, because they realize the combination of all of these is how we best serve our team.
When thinking about future of the workforce, post-pandemic, what skills do you feel HR need now more than ever?
Adaptability! I think that the pandemic really highlighted the importance of adaptability and versatility in the workplace. Companies were doing many firsts. For example, offering WFH options, prioritizing mental health initiatives, providing flex working schedules etc. Many organizations did not allow or provide these things until it was necessary for them to operate. As we shift back to “normal”, I think it is important to think about all the things we were able to adapt to when we were in a position of necessity.
Please note that all commentary and opinions provided are those of the individual, and not the organization/company.