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The Problem with HR


Dec 16, 2020

Kate Thurlwell is a talent expert with  20+ years of experience in London, Paris and New York.  

With extensive experience in a variety of  industries ranging from stealth blue-chip brands to culturally rich global agencies to hotfooted start ups, she has the innate ability to understand people optimisation in most business landscapes by applying serious EQ and strategic thought she has a history of  transforming a workforce to deliver true results. 

Formerly responsible for running global talent at The Exposure Group  she now leads the charge as Founder and Director of Little Rising Ltd – a talent consultancy for the high growth era. 

She maintains that a companies’ people are as important as its product and lives by a daily personal mantra of ”belief precedes reality”.

Introduction (0:17)

  • Levi talks about DLP; Where they are located and what they do.
  • Kate tells us more about her business journey, and how she ended up in HR

“What the hell is HR?” (05:05)

  • They discuss HR being essentially undefined;
  • Most people don’t actually know what HR is and have unrealistic expectations.
  • Levi mentions a LinkedIn video he made on the subject.

Tell me a little more about yourself and your experience with the role of ‘HR talent person’ (08:30)

  • She talks about how HR being the complete opposite of her marketing experience.
  • While she doesn’t really see herself as ‘having the right skill set’ for HR, she uses her ability to understand the needs of a business to hire accordingly.
  • Levi talks about how PAC is exactly that: the ability to understand and act in accordance.

What would you say is the biggest drawback being experienced in the Industry today? (14:15)

  • The level of training
    • CIPD certification isn’t enough; There has to be more ‘on the job’ experience and training
  • The label of ‘HR’ tends to be stifling, often causing an old fashioned mentality in dealing with people.

What changes do you think are needed, and how should we go about it? (17:32)

  • How we package and brand HR.
  • It’s impossible for HR to prove it’s value when people hardly even know what the role of HR is.

What do you think the future HR looks like without change? (21:50)

  • It looks the same as a world with Coronavirus
  • Without change, HR will die out.
    • Similar to traditional PR with the rise of modern technology.
  • It needs much more flexibility.
  • She recommends a book called Traction [there are 2 business books by that name btw, I’m assuming she means the one by Gino Wickman?]

What advice would you give new HR Professionals? (28:00)

  • Sure, get CIPD qualified, but make sure you get a good range of experiences.
  • Aim to be able to specialise.
  • Understand how HR impacts businesses.

Bonus Question - What book(s) would you suggest our audience should read? (30:45)

  • No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention - by Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer
  • Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility - by Patty McCord

PAC: People, accountability and communication (31:55)

  • HR should be simple, straightforward and logical.
  • Don’t overcomplicate things. It’s HR, not ER.

Closing (33:15)

  • It’s about being proactive and making change happen.
  • Levi talks about the Stronger2gether community

Connect with Kate - LinkedIn