Gone are the days when a company’s human resources department occupied a small office and was busy handling payroll, benefits, and compliance issues.
Now, with an increasingly global economy and greater pressures on HR professionals to attract top talent and forge their company’s brand, professional development and networking have taken on great importance for those who work in HR.
A United Kingdom-based company, New To HR, aims to meet these needs. Founded in 2013 by Nicole Dominique Le Maire, New To HR aims to connect HR professionals from around the globe, with an emphasis on providing training and development opportunities to prospective, new, and up-and-coming HR professionals.
“I saw a need for it when I first started in HR many years ago in the Middle East,” says Le Maire, an industry veteran. “Three years ago, I kept getting more and more inquiries from HR line managers wanting to learn different methods.”
Le Maire believes that the world of HR is undergoing a transformation, and she says one of New To HR’s main tasks is to provide the necessary training and facilitating much-needed connections to keep HR employees up to speed.
“HR will continue to exist, but in a different format,” she says. “We need new and creative ways in working with people.”
To answer the educational call, New to HR offers a variety of learning opportunities through its website. An upcoming HR Bootcamp, scheduled September 23, will address HR software systems. Other upcoming presentations focus on people being the key to business success; and ways to boost employee engagement, productivity, and profits.
Additionally, a regularly-running blog on the New to HR website addresses all aspects of HR.
The site not only offers professional development opportunities for those new to HR, but also social networking. It already boasts 8,000 members from across the world, all of whom learn from each other through the making of connections.
Le Maire started New To HR because as a member of the corporate world, she saw a myriad of things that were wrong with people management.
“I left the workforce for a reason,” she says.
Now, Le Maire is excited to teach, train, and encourage young HR professionals so they can become leaders in their own right. But she acknowledges that HR professionals of all ages face many challenges. One of these challenges is the large range of ages represented in the workforce.
“We’ve got five generations working together,” she says.
She also laments the “unnecessary” tasks that many HR departments still handle, and the reluctance of many HR departments to give this up.
“HR people love power,” she says. “I like to be a bit of a rebel.”
Stemming from her way of thinking is New To HR reaching out to HR professionals in the developing world, including Africa and the Middle East.
“Africa is begging for knowledge,” she says. “They’re a forgotten market, but they love to learn.”
Through New To HR, Le Maire’s vision is to continue to support, train, and connect young HR professionals.
Photo Credit: Scott Maxwell