Home' HR Monthly : December 2018 Contents 42
CRAIG BAKER CPHR
HR consultant Craig Baker knows a thing or two
about running a business. His experience has
taught him tips that are useful to anyone in HR
looking to strike out on their own.
Find out how you can achieve HR certification:
Ever y month we profile a top HR professional
and find out how they got where they are and
what lessons they learned along the way.
Where are you based?
In Western Australia. I have an office in
Mandurah, which is south of Perth.
What is your current role?
I am the founder and managing director of
HR Lead Consulting, a firm that specialises in
scoping, matching and implementing the right
systems for organisations.
How did you get into HR?
I spent my first 15 years in the workforce in
hospitality operations. I had a young family
at the time and was working ridiculous hours,
which wasn’t ideal. I noticed that the HR
manager was keeping much more reasonable
hours, and I was already doing a lot of HR
work in my role – such as managing teams,
performance and behaviour, and rostering – so
I thought the profession seemed like a good
fit. I asked the general manager HR if I could
make the switch and he said I didn’t have the
qualifications. So I resigned, completed my
degree and moved into HR. Afterwards, I went
back into the hospitality space. I was the HR
manager at the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort,
which was the All Seasons at the time.
Why did you decide to start your
I was working for a large international mining
company and I was quite frustrated by the
bureaucracy involved – which led to some poor
systems-based decision-making. As a result, I
thought I’d try my hand at consulting. When
I started HR Lead three years ago, I noticed
that there were a lot of gaps in the market
around systems selection and implementation.
The mining space is an industry that I’m well
acquainted with, so a large proportion of
my cu rrent clientele is from that sector. But
we have also worked with a diverse range of
organisations – from not-for-profits through to
schools, and the retail and hospitality sectors.
What do you love most about HR?
Being able to make a significant difference
to a company through its processes and
systems. I enjoy making an organisation an
easier place to work.
What advice would you offer to HR
professionals starting a company?
The HR consultancy market is heavily
populated, so it’s important to have a
significant point of difference. A nd when it
comes to getting you r business off the ground,
be prepared for it to take twice as long and cost
double the amount than you first forecasted.
You also won’t be able to pay yourself half as
much as you’d like to. But if running your own
consultancy is really what you want to do, don’t
give up – it’s worth pursuing.
As a consultant, would you
recommend other HR professionals
Absolutely. It’s important to have that
validation and the right credentials when
you work for yourself. Certification is a
marker of expertise and gives you an edge
How do you maintain work-life
When you’re running your own business, I
don’t think there is such a thing as work-life
balance. But if you love what you do and it’s
aligned to your own values, then you’ll never be
far from work-life balance.
What’s your favourite travel
India. It livens all of your senses and it’s an
amazingly diverse country, with a rich culture
and beautiful people. •••
intelligent people management.
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