HR in the Hot Seat: Sally De Rosa, HRWize

HR in the Hot Seat: Sally De Rosa, HRWize

HR in the Hot Seat: Sally De Rosa, HRWize

In 2013, after just six years in the HR field, Sally De Rosa spotted a growing need for strategic people management in small to medium businesses and decided to do something about it – founding software firm HRWize.

Now, she not only heads up the growing solutions provider, she’s also an HR business partner at technology implementation and consulting business, Diabsolut.

Here, the successful entrepreneur opens up about industry worries, professional obstacles and the proudest moment of her career so far.

If you could give your younger self, or someone entering HR for the first time, one piece of advice – what would it be?

Listen up. Absorb. Learn as much as you can about the industry you work in. As much as HR theory will help, nothing will help you apply it better than knowing the company you work with and company you work in, like the back of your hand.

Is there anything exciting in the pipeline for your HR department?

Every day is exciting in our team. Diabsolut is so dynamic, that ideas get quickly turned into innovative projects. Our HRWize practice is working on some enhancements which will continue to set our product apart from the others. Internally, we are continuing to focus on growth and development by deepening our competency and succession planning programs.

What’s the biggest professional obstacle you – or your team – have faced and how did you overcome it?

Talent acquisition and retention. It’s no surprise that this is one of the biggest challenges for most organisation. However, as we were growing quickly, we struggled to hire employees who not only had the skills, but would be a long term fit for the organisation. We worked with Carol Ring from the Culture Connection who helped us establish our personal and organizational values, and we aligned our recruitment process accordingly. Since then, we found tremendous improvement in our resourcing capacity, while maintaining a healthy and natural level of attrition. 

What’s your biggest industry worry or concern right now? 

As much as glass ceilings are being shattered, there is still an evident generation gap between executives and management.

If you could change anything about the HR industry, what would it be?

It’s reputation. HR can still be administrative, political, even policing in some organisations. The reality is that is starts at the top. When a President or CEO believes in the practice of Human Resources, the rest of the organisation embraces it.

What is the proudest moment or achievement of your HR career so far?

Launching and heading up Diabsolut’s newest practice, HRWize, focused not only on HR technology but elevating the HR professional to a vitally strategic level.

What the most rewarding thing about being in HR?

You wouldn’t think so, but being in HR allows me to see all sides of a business. People are the essence of all businesses, so managing

How do you predict the industry will change, if at all, over the next five years?

As we move towards more remote and flexible working environments, which is crucial to the economy we are in, I expect many organisations to struggle with setting up structure, communication and collaboration platforms, systems and processes to ensure proper operations. In addition, while financially viable, this model does take away from vital human interactions and I believe more and more organisations will need to start looking at doing corporate retreats. Diabsolut does this, and it is crucial to enhancing our remote relationships with colleagues.

What would you like your HR legacy to be?

I’d like to be known as a Business Partner, both to my colleagues and to my clients. My role is to motivate, engage and elevate your teams and thus, better your business performance.


Sally De Rosa will be hosting the first Tech Talk session of the upcoming HR Tech Summit in Toronto. There, she will discuss the true RIO of HR information systems and explain how implementing one can help companies increase employee retention, drive informed business decisions and accelerate organizational growth.

De Rosa will be joined by more than 30 other speakers on the day, who will be covering a range of critical HR topics including the future of work, disruptive benefits, and digital transformation in HR.

More information about the event – which is due to be held later this month – can be found online.