HR Star: Jamie Allison

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Jamie Allison
Vice President of Human Resources, eHealth Ontario

Main business
IT Healthcare, electronic health records

Number of employees
1,000

Years in HR: 16

The worst job you ever had
This was not so much a bad job – I was just horrible at it. While working at The Beer Store, I became known for breaking bottles with my steel toe boots – at least once a day. I am sure they were glad I was only holiday help!

Your first job in HR
I was a recruitment coordinator for a company which, at the time, was undergoing tremendous growth. In less than two years we went from 150 to over thousand employees. It was a great opportunity and learning experience.

The most outrageous (and best) company perks you’ve experienced
Without a doubt - the ‘Chocology’ courses and taste test labs at Cadbury.

Weirdest thing that ever happened to you at work
An employee’s water breaking on the job. There are some things you just can’t prepare for.

What inspires you
Two things. First and foremost, my two daughters, whose spirit and energy I envy. And of course the remarkable team of HR professionals I work with who truly believe in making a difference.  

The best thing about working in HR
You get to see the outcome of your work through your organizations’ performance in a very real and personal way. I attribute the many invaluable, professional relationships I have made to my line of work.

The worst
Dealing with the more personal side of the business, while incredibly positive in many ways, can at times weigh on you.

Does HR have a place at the boardroom table
Absolutely. Talent optimization is one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations today. Its level of impact is critical to developing a strong and inclusive business strategy.

What are the biggest challenges facing HR?
The biggest challenge for HR professionals is being able to clearly convey the connection between HR strategy and impact to overall business results.   HR professionals that build this competency make themselves very valuable.


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