A few years ago, we realized the search for people, good people, required an experienced person. A real Human Resources specialist. When the Oil Sands were overheating our economy and sucking up every available man and woman in the country, we had to get very creative to get and retain our people. Everyone wanted to get to the Big money in Fort McMurray.
But we did it all ourselves; the interviews, the references, the selections.
We could not compete with the wages they paid, so we focused on family issues, benefits, time at home, the interesting, and challenging work. We were successful to a point, but the money was always a huge lure that made us transitional learning and worksite, on the way to For Mac. This turnover made our work and trying to strengthen our safety programs an exhausting task.
We hired HR people or promoted from within, but it was only marginally successful. And that’s about when we realized we had hit a ‘wall’. We had to make real changes, painful ones; and to get ready, to tear down and then rebuild we needed good people in Human Resources; the best we could get.
And that’s my message here. Good HR is one of the keys to rebuilding your culture; your company. You won’t realize how necessary, how important, this is until you get a good one. Don’t try and do this on your own; get outside help. Talk to some professional HR people, their sources, who they respect, and have someone experienced to find a good one for you. It’s your choice of course, but get some recommendations from inside that community.
Good HR brings the opportunity to the table, not to just fill holes in the operational job sheet; but to bring in people that you can grow with and transform the culture. When you shift your focus to the character and quality of people and not just experience and wage demands, it will change the dynamics inside your company. Slowly.
Don’t rush it. You are rebuilding something very precious and the foundation has to be with people you can work with and trust; every day. Build the culture, and the safety program will grow with it.
Don’t’ leave HR on their own. Ensure they get the cooperation, participation, and help they need. From everyone, including the Director.