Five minutes with... Lesley Rusnak, Director, Human Resources Business Partner at Ceridian

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Name: Lesley Rusnak
Title: Director, Human Resources Business Partner
Organization:  Ceridian

Why HR?
It is an occupation that brings with it lots of variety, as well as growth and development in many disciplines. As a HR professional, you have the opportunity to wear many different hats and handle a wide range of duties, from business partner to consultant, recruiter, trainer, policy developer, analyst, employee activist, health and safety advisor, to counsellor.  Every day is unique and provides adventure, new challenges, and learning’s.

How would you sum up HR pros in three words? 

  • Strategic
  • Resourceful
  • Passionate

How would you change the industry?   
The Human Resources profession has undergone a huge transformation over the years, but the key elements of HR remain a mystery to many. When people ask what I do for a living, and I say I work in Human Resources, the most common response I receive is, “oh, you’re the one that does the hiring and firing”. I would encourage fellow HR professionals to act as HR ambassadors for our industry.  Educating people on our role as HR professionals will create more awareness around the functions of HR; which I believe will have the greatest impact on increasing our professional creditability, and transforming our industry.
What’s the most important thing an HR pro can do to develop their business?
Develop a strong personal brand, and stay true to it.

If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
I would find everyone who was unemployed a job.

What has been the highlight of your career?
A very wise man once told me, when you find that perfect job, you will enjoy it so much, it won’t feel like work. After working in the HR industry for many years, I finally found that perfect gem, when I joined Ceridian.  It is a company that shares my values (accountability, teamwork, high performance, customer focus, and integrity), and passion for the world of HR.  A place where I am encouraged to explore, share my thoughts and ideas to make a valued difference, and work with people who treat me like family.

What’s your favoured style of coffee?
I prefer tea, but love the smell of mocha cappuccino.

Hockey, football, baseball or other?

If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
1. Dr. Seuss: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss, is one of my favourite books. His literature and quotes are timeless, and have provided me with everlasting humor and inspiration.  I wonder what words of wisdom he would offer to me today?
2.  Hillary Clinton:  After attending an event earlier this year, where Hillary Clinton was a guest speaker, I quickly became an admirer.  I was wowed by her speaking abilities and authenticity.  Her presence was powerful, yet she was down-to-earth, funny, and able to relate to so many people. I would ask her, what it is like to hold a position as one of the most powerful women in the world, the challenges it presents, and if she will run for the US presidency?
3.  Donnie Wahlberg:  Besides being a huge fan for many years, Donnie is a savvy businessman, who has earned his success through experience. Donnie’s personal story of achievement, desire to give back to the community, and invest in others, has always inspired me to keep reaching for the stars, and want to do more. I would love meet him for a Wahlburger, and discuss how he finds the time to accomplish so much, stay relevant, and be successful, despite what critics say.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in HR, I would be…
A lawyer, specializing in employment law.

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