HR Star: Diane Taylor, Rona

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Diane Taylor, CHRP
Human Resources Manager – Store Operations

Organization
RONA

Main business
Retail

Number of employees
5,000 in my Region – Western Canada

Years in HR
19

The worst job you ever had
Well interestingly enough it was with a banner within the RONA family many years ago when I was in University. The manager was completely abusive. I lasted a whole 3 days before resigning.

Your first job in HR
Human Resources Coordinator – Enterprise Rent-A-Car

The most outrageous (and best) company perks you’ve experienced
I think the best perk I can recall is a company meeting at the Loews Coronado Resort in Southern California. We had a lovely pool side dinner one night.  That was a very long time ago.

Your best candidate interview story
I met this exceptional young man at a career day one year. He assisted me with my recruitment booth and spoke with me throughout the day. I was delighted to see when he applied for a position at the company. He interviewed terribly! He was so nervous and sat with his arms crossed. I hired him anyway based on my career day experience. He is now one of the company’s senior leaders.

Weirdest thing that ever happened to you at work
Three days after starting at RONA I heard the name of an HR Director at another banner. I knew someone from my very small high school named that. I emailed him and it was the same person. A year later he became my boss.

Your most embarrassing HR faux pas
I made an offer to a candidate based on their word. When I got the documentation two days later I had to rescind the offer.

What inspires you
Seeing people develop and grow their leadership capabilities and the great impact that has on the organization.

The best thing about working in HR
People are the most important part of any business. Being able to develop programming that makes an impact to the bottom line through people is extremely rewarding.

The worst
There are less attractive things that come with every career. I have learned that whenever we ask someone to leave an organization they always find a better match somewhere else. It is difficult in the beginning but it always turns out to be the best for everyone.

Does HR have a place at the boardroom table
Absolutely!  Any company that has not realized this will be at a huge disadvantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

What are the biggest challenges facing HR?
Our biggest challenge is marketing ourselves and our contributions to the organization. In other departments and some specific departments in HR, metrics are easily determined and measured. We need to continually prove ourselves as critical to the success of the business – not a cost center focused on rainbows and ponies.
 

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