My Career

The use of the word career can have a narrow interpretation and is frequently understood to relate to the working aspects of an individual’s life, describing an occupation or profession that usually involves special training or formal education and considered to be a person’s work-life. However, I prefer to define it as a person’s course or progress through life, learning and work.

My career has taken many different shapes and forms. My early years weren’t my formative years. I failed High School – I was way too busy having fun! But failing High School doesn’t define you for the rest of your life as I tell my son who is currently studying his VCE. I was very happy working at Hungry Jacks when I left school however my parents were not happy with this direction and enrolled me in a Legal Secretary course. After 21 weeks I could touch type at 80 words per minute on a manual typewriter (the best life skill I’ve learned to date) and was ready to become a Corporate Gal. Needless to say I was the world’s worst legal secretary – I hated the non-egalitarian environment and found it oppressive. I moved on to be a receptionist at a recruitment consultancy where I found my feet and progressed to becoming a recruitment consultant.

I didn’t have aspirations of doing a particular job or achieving a certain status but I had street smarts and took advantage of every opportunity put in front of me.

After becoming ill I took some time out and it was at this point I decided to move into an internal recruitment role. This led to a decision to do further study and I successfully completed by Bachelor Degree with Distinction, showing that my failure at high school wasn’t due to lack of intellectual capability!

Christine Connor blogSometimes careers are unintentional and as I reflect this could somewhat describe mine in HR. I didn’t have aspirations of doing a particular job or achieving a certain status but I had street smarts and took advantage of every opportunity put in front of me.

Life is full of opportunities, particularly for those who seize the day. Develop a thirst and hunger for learning new things. Try your hardest and if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again and always be the best you can be.

Perhaps chance has played a large part in my career but then again, perhaps not. I’ll leave you with this poem that has stuck with me throughout the years. Put simply, the harder you work, the luckier you become.

Luck Favours the Prepared Man

He worked by day and toiled by night
He gave up play and some delight

Dry books he read, new things to learn
and forged ahead, success to earn

He plodded on with faith and pluck
and when he won they called it luck!

Unique Laser CamberwellProfessional Experience

Unique Laser

November 2018 – Present
Camberwell, Victoria, Australia

Spotlight logoHead Of Human Resources
Spotlight Retail Group (SRG)

November 2016 – November 2017
South Melbourne

Head of Talent Acquisition

March 2013 – October 2016

Review and develop Coles recruiting and resourcing strategy to define a proposal for future based talent acquisition opportunities that consist of levers and enablers (structural and organisational delivery design, strategic programs, policies and technology) that drive desired recruiting outcomes.

National Human Resources Manager – Supply Chain

July 2012 – March 2013
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Development of the People Strategy supporting Supply Chain transformation agenda including talent management and succession planning, cyclical performance management, remuneration reviews, contribution to the Industrial Relations strategy.

Cyclical remuneration review and STI allocation managed within required timeframes on joining;
Management of high profile complaint to Managing Director to conclusion with no implications on business
Alignment of actual headcount to establishment headcount (including position management and vacancies) to provide true and accurate information to business leaders on transformation initiatives.

Brightstar logoBrightstar
HR Director Asia Pacific & MEA

April 2009 – June 2012
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Partner with the President APAC & MEA, Managing Director Australia and executive team to develop and implement the people strategy and initiatives supporting business strategy including championing the introduction of people practices to Brightstar, delivering internal communications in a way that supports Brightstar’s culture and values, developing and implementing a learning and development agenda that supports individuals to take responsibility for their individual development, provides leadership development with a talent management strategy that ensures Brightstar has the right talent in critical roles to meet the requirements of the future and contribute to the global HR strategy as a key member of the Global HR Leadership Counsel to ensure alignment between regional and global HR practices. In addition to my role as HR Director, in 2010 I was also accountable for Project Management and Project Lead for the Global HRIS implementation (Workday),

Established Regional Performance Management process using Success Factors, that reduced the cumbersome paper based review process and installed a meritocracy performance review process by creating a pay for performance culture
Developed an effective HR Intranet site providing access to employees for HR information as well as an effective means of communicating business information to employees in a consistent and timely manner
Implemented grading structure, pay positioning policy and salary bands structure to determine competitive position in the external market together with ensuring internal equity for jobs of equivalent value to the organisation
Workday HRIS successfully implemented on time and within budget across 23 countries (US, Latin America and Asia Pacific)

Stream & Organisational Design Lead Risk Transformation

June 2008 – December 2008
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Risk Transformation Project was responsible for working with stakeholders across Risk Management to identify opportunities and managing the effective transition and off-shoring of risk activities to a Shared Services centre located in ANZ’s Bangalore operations. As Stream & Organisational Design Lead I was accountable for defining functions, processes and systems within the scope of transformation, design the new end-to-end operating model including Australian/Bangalore organisational structure, hours of operations, Service level agreements and quality assurance requirements, co-ordinating and facilitating the development of all phase deliverable documents for review and signoff, assist in the development of, training/knowledge transfer approach, change management strategy, production strategy and technology testing strategy, manage Information Security and business continuity planning requirements, identify potential risks and issues with transformation activities and ensure mitigation strategies are developed to minimise same and identify and contribute to the management of technical dependencies

Successfully developed recruitment strategy (and conducted recruitment) for Tranche 3 with Bangalore recruitment team to ensure that all resources were in place to meet project schedule on-boarding date as well as recruit lagging positions for Tranche 2
Identified 16 opportunities for transitioning to Banaglore for Tranche 3 in the absence of planned risk activities being unavailable for off-shoring

Head of Business Continuity Management (Operations)

July 2007 – June 2008
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Leading the Operational funciton of Business Continuity Management (BCM) I was responsibile for stakeholder engagement and relationship management to ensure effective development and management of business continuity plans across ANZ and ensure commitment to completion of required cyclical activities, raising the function profile and importance and relevance of BCM. I was key to the realignment and restructure of the Group BCM team to ensure best utilisation of available resources with roles and accountabilities clearly articulated and realigned with the new organisation structure and scope.

As a key member of the Group Security leadership team, was instrumental in leading the increase in employee engagement from 55% in 2007 to 65% in 2008 (above financial industry standard)
Established dedicated resources in all divisions leading to greater independence with the ability to self organise BC activities, greater information sharing across divisions and working independently of Group BCM to achieve minimum standards and APRA requirements
Effectively led two lagging projects to completion (1800 BCM crisis hotline and CBD outage short term accommodation) that were commenced prior to my joining the team and stalled
Established cycle progress dashboard reporting to replace cumbersome and lengthy executive report required at the completion of cyclical activities
Aligned Business Continuity requirements with ANZ’s Operational Risk Measurement Methodology, (Operational Risk Scorecards) to ensure questions were appropriately aligned to each category of operational risk as defined under the overall methodology

People Capital Consultant (Shared Services and Payments)

November 2004 – July 2007
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Responsible for provision of expert human resources consulting services including developing and implementing people strategies aligned to strategic business priorities to deliver a high performance culture, minimise people related risks and provide advice and support on a range of people management issues.

Viewed by Senior Executives as a trusted adviser, not only in business but at times personal matters and developed positive and productive relationships with associated management teams resulting in true business partnership
Targeted activities aimed at increasing engagement resulted in increase of 11% from 56% in 2006 to 67% in 2007
Reinvigorated People Capital in Payments and increased level of confidence in function with the management team on return from maternity leave;
Initiated a renewed focus on Workers Compensation claims in Payments resulting in reduction of claims and cessation via settlement of a number of long standing matters;
Significant influence in the development and initiation of structural changes in Group Investigations that supported transformation into a leaner, flatter business with multi-skilled investigators able to be fully utilised across the full range of investigation types;
Consistent contributor to People Capital initiatives including Careers Pricing Review, Divisional People Day, and transforming personal effectiveness of team members
Salvaged complex harassment/bullying investigation from being an accepted Workers Compensation claim though effective oversight and management and averted further potential claim by effecting immediate mediation;
Organised business planning days for Property (November 2004), OTR (August 2005) and Group Investigations (July 2006) going beyond the boundaries of traditional people capital service, demonstrating a sound understanding of the business.

Employee Relations Manager & Adviser, People Capital Shared Services

December 2002 – November 2004
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

People Capital Shared Services provided operational employee relations and human resource management support across ANZ. The Advisory team provided advice, guidance and support in recruitment and selection, performance management, dispute resolution, policy advice, union negotiation and liaison, misconduct and representation at various legislative jurisdictions. I was accountable for managing a team of 10 advsiers. I worked in conjunction with Group Investigations and managed all matters of serious misconduct across the bank. During this period I was seconded to the Group Workplace Relations team for six months to provide strategic direction and advice on employee and industrial relations.

Played a key role in successfully managing 13 unfair dismissal claims resulting from an organisation change project within the Australasian Contact Centre
Successfully represented ANZ in five unfair dismissal claims resulting from matters of misconduct, all resulting in notices of discontinuance, with no loss to ANZ
Implemented new process for management of serious misconduct internal investigations to ensure procedural fairness was afforded to employees and that practices were in line with policy framework
Developed “Absenteeism Decision Tree” to assist call centre team leaders with managing matters of excessive absenteeism, reducing the level of absenteeism in the Australasian Call Centre;
Developed exceptionally successful relationship with Group Investigations, which has resulted in a “one ANZ approach” to matters of misconduct;
Received a 9.6/10 customer satisfaction rating, the highest of the Advisory teams in both Australia and New Zealand after three months of service
Nominated for and received AMAZER award after six months service
Prepared Unfair Dismissal Application to arbitration which represented a substantial cost saving to the business unit and paved the way for ANZ to take more unfair dismissal applications and a much reduced cost

Voda logoVodafone UK
UK Resourcing Manager

September 2001 – July 2002
Newbury, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Vodafone adopted a central services model with HR to better support the needs of the business. The role of UK Resourcing Manager was a newly created position responsible for delivering a resourcing strategy for Vodafone UK, with a vision of the company becoming the most effective recruiter in the UK telecommunications market. The role had overall responsibility for managing the people, resources and budget (£6.3M) allocated to resourcing for all functional divisions and reported directly to the UK Human Resources Director.

Implementation of web based recruitment management system including leading and driving project team, establishing functionality specification, agreeing commercial terms, identifying resource requirements, user acceptance testing, development of a cut-over plan, systems implementation and acceptance;
Implemented preferred supplier relationships with third party recruitment consultancies to support goal of reducing cost to recruit and strengthen competitive edge by having fewer, deeper relationships;
Consolidated resourcing organisation bringing together a team with a shared vision, common strategy and clear goals
Implemented embedded outsourced resourcing model and one of the first RPOs
During a major down sizing project, managed the redeployment process for the whole organisation (including the resourcing team), processing over 2000 internal applications
Developed competency based interview skills course for inclusion on management development programme
Settled two long standing contractual legal disputes outstanding since 1999
Implemented reporting process measuring key recruitment metrics
Implemented resourcing process review to improve metrics

Senior Human Resources Manager – Vodafone Multimedia Limited

April 2000 – February 2001
Theale, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Vodafone Multimedia was established as a newly created business unit of Vodafone Limited in the UK, specificially for developing Vodafone’s future non-voice products and services. I reported to the Human Resources Director – Networks and Commercial as well as the Managing Director of Vodafone Multimedia and was a key member of the Executive Management Team.

Identified recruitment bottlenecks and implemented recruitment strategy to speed recruitment process. Success of campaign resulted in other divisions of Vodafone adopting recruitment methodology.
Successfully transferred approximately 60 employees from one operating company to another with 100% sign up rate and no industrial action.
Enhanced communication process by introducing quarterly magazine and monthly communications briefings. Introduced as a direct response to feedback from employee opinion survey.
Developed strategic business plan in conjunction with Managing Director, which formed the basis of each division developing SMART objectives and divisional business plans, giving focus and direction to employees within the division.

Human Resources Manager – Call Centres

HRIS successfully implemented on time and within budget across 23 countries (US, Latin America and Asia Pacific)Workday HRIS successfully implemented on time and within budget across 23 countries (US, Latin America and Asia Pacific)

Human Resources Manager – Call Centres

March 1998 – April 2000
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

In this role I report to the Senior Human Resources Manager and the General Manager – Customer Services and was a key member of the Customer Services Management team representing the Mulgrave site. I was responsible for the provision of generalist HR advice to senior managers and line managers, the development and application of policy and procedure and development of effective recruitment strategies for Call Centre employees in a candidate short market.

Selected as member of the Integration Committee to assist with integration of six Call Centre operations across Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales;
Developed effective recruitment strategy using assessment centre methodologies resulting in a substantial decrease in recruitment costs;
Expanded the Call Centre workforce from 30 employees to approximately 200 within a nine month period.
Developed one day performance management coaching session resulting in more effective performance review meetings;
Participated in the development of Australian Workplace Agreements and implemented same with 100% sign up rate and no industrial issues;
Facilitated audit and review of all policies and procedures for two Australian Vodafone companies and made recommendations for integration and improvement;

Recruitment Specialist – Talkland Limited

October 1996 – March 1998
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Talkland Limited was a wholly owned subsidiary of Vodafone Pty Ltd with 35 retail stores spanning the east coast of Australia. I reported to the Head of Human Resources and was responsible for the recruitment of all employees across the organisation including Retail, Sales and Marketing, Finance, Customer Service, Information Technology and Purchasing.

Received Managing Directors award in recognition of outstanding contribution to the establishment of Talkland Retail Limited in Australia.
Successfully staffed 35 retail telecommunications stores within a seven month period and recruited all head office positions within an eight month period resulting in approximately 200 employees in total;
Implemented Christmas casual campaign where employees from head office were used to assist retail stores rather than a temporary workforce, representing significant savings in indirect labour costs;
Conducted rostering analysis and developed effective weekly rostering for retail employees based on 3 full time equivalent employees per store;
Established preferred supplier agreements for placement of permanent and temporary employees in three States;

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