HR Times Volume 2 Issue 3 - Retaining the Best of the Best

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HR TIMES Volume 2 Issue 3 | February 2022 SFU HRSA






Table of Contents About Us


Editor’s Notes


Sponsor Recognitions


Introduction to Theme


Introduction to Professionals


Interview from Professionals

8 - 14

Introduction to Students


Interview from Students

16 - 21

Alumni Feature

22 - 24

Guide-To Series

25 - 26

SFU HRSA Updates/Survey


Editor in Chief Victor Le, Anthony Wong, Ashley Chia, Viet Ngyuen Production & Design Editors Fiona Fang, Chenny Cao, Cara Cheng

About Us The Human Resources Student Association (HRSA) is a student-run business organization at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. We provide students with networking opportunities and resources to learn about the various functions of Human Resources and its significance in the workplace. Through the initiatives and events offered by the organization, HRSA strives to increase student awareness and engagement. Founded in 2004, HRSA is regarded as a successful and accomplished student organization, recognized as the only Human Resources business organization at SFU. HR Times is a magazine run for students by HRSA. Founded in 2020 as a new initiative, we hope to support and inform students on the various trends in HR.

President Harman Chhina

VP of Internal Relations Bonnie Lu

VP of Finance & Operations Gurkirn Somal

VP of Marketing Mary Xie

VP of Corporate Relations Anthony Wong

VP of Events Ivy Lu

VP of External Relations Victor Le

Connect with us on our social media: IG: @sfuhrsa FB: Linkedin: Website:

VP of Events Shahvir Sarkary

VP of Visual Media Fiona Fang


Editor's Notes Welcome! A new year has started and SFU HRSA is excited to present to you the third issue of Volume 2 of HR Times. This month’s theme - Employee Retention - is focused on ways employers keep turnover rates low while creating a work environment that maintains job satisfaction. Employee Retention strategies are critical to an organization's business performance and success. Like any company, management wants to retain the best of the best to see their organization prosper. It is a privilege working with professionals and students to connect our readers to learn more about the HR industry. If you are interested or know someone who is interested in being a part of our magazine, please reach out to us. On behalf of the entire HRSA family, we thank you for your support in our 8month journey of content that we share with you!


Victor Le Vice President of External Relations

Anthony Wong Vice President of Corporate Relations

Ashley Chia External Relations Coordinator

Viet Nguyễn External Relations Coordinator


Sponsor Recognitions PLATINUM TIER





Introduction to the Theme

Employee Retention Companies of all sizes are subject to employee turnover. Whether it is a large business or a small one, employee turnover can be costly due to the recruiting, hiring, and training needed. HR professionals experienced in employee attraction and retention strategies can decrease employee turnover by developing strategies to hold onto top talent and boost job satisfaction. The purpose of the magazine is to inform students on the various trends in Human Resource Management.


Introduction to Professionals I'm a Strategic People and Culture Leader with generalist experience in HR and a passion for leading change and developing others. Fun Fact: I'm not sure about a fun fact, but something personal is that I've recently become a Dad. I greatly enjoy spending my hours outside of work to discover the world with my fascinated and explorative daughter :).

Tyler Cheyne

Svante Director, People & Culture

10+ years of experience in HR. SFU Graduate with a major in Human Resources.

Fun Fact: I never would have thought that taking BUS 481 (if you know, you know!) would lead to a career in Recruitment for the first 8 of my 10 years as an HR Professional!

Govind Minhas, BBA, CPHR British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) People & Culture Advisor

Samin Saadat Jalapeño Employee Engagement Founder

The human brain, behaviour and interactions with their environment never fail to intrigue Samin Saadat. After spending long hours in psychology labs at UBC and completing her Masters at the Sauder School of Business, she entered the workforce and observed a gap between what research suggests and what companies actually do to increase productivity and profitability. Also, Samin strongly believes every single individual, regardless of their race, age, status, gender, position, matters and they all have something unique to offer! Also, the mental health and physical conditions of a workplace play a crucial role in creating a humanized work environment. Now, Samin is on a mission to bridge this gap and support individuals and companies to reach their full potential through Jalapeño Employee Engagement. A company that leverages technology and professional services (3Cs: Coaching, Consulting and Counselling) to bring research findings to life to help companies save invaluable dollars and to help individuals enhance their quality of life.


Interview from Professionals When managing employee retention efforts, what have you noticed to be the best strategies for maintaining job satisfaction and retention in employees?

Tyler: In my experience, some of the best strategies for employee retention are to provide interesting and challenging work, as well as the autonomy for employees to deliver at their best. This primarily takes place at the individual and team level, which is why excellent managers and project leaders are critical for longterm retention of employees.

Govind: Monitoring the overall health of the employee has been key. Whether it's putting on sessions dedicated to mental health, time management, working remotely or simply asking an employee "how are you?" and embracing the silence that might be there before you get a response. Showing that you care about a person's well-being goes a long way.

vantagecircle. (n.d.). [9 Best Practices to Keep Employee Satisfaction High]. fbclid=IwAR1dmeVgPiCZkKnTe5LJWV0xgWrcOirmqIJOQILYvqoo__E5lvBNt8I-_kY


Samin: Employee retention and job satisfaction strategies do not fit all one-size approaches. It is extremely complex and what works best for other organizations does not work for your organization. Similarly, what works best for one employee does not work for another employee. It requires expert knowledge, mutual and collective effort as well as ongoing evaluation and re-adjustment to scale the professional growth of employees and organization. The best strategy is to explore and co-create your own company’s secret sauce with all the members of your company. For this reason, we have four company values that help us to ensure we empower our clients to identify the best strategies that result in long-term and sustainable growth for them. Individual Empowerment: We can only achieve sustainable engagement when the responsibility of engagement is shared 50/50 between employees and employers. We inspire a mindset that enables everyone to feel in charge of their own engagement and be their own hero. Transparency: Transparency drives trust and accountability. We ensure and guarantee that the right information is with the right person at the right time to make the best and most informed decisions. Action: We don’t leave data and good ideas on the shelf. We support our team, clients, and community by empowering them to take action towards making their dreams a reality. Collective Mindset: We strongly believe that our client’s success is our success. We measure our success by the accomplishments of our team members and our clients. We create a culture that puts a day-today emphasis on keeping shared goals and mutual vision top of mind. Furthermore, at Jalapeño Employee Engagement, we take advantage of holistic approaches to gain valuable insights associated with job satisfaction and employee engagement at the workplace. This approach includes running cultural needs assessments of our client organizations using Jalapeño's proprietary software, followed by private coaching sessions for each of the client’s employees, reflection check-ins and repeating the cycle to analyze gaps between current and ideal states. We recommend and provide our training programs only after these steps to make sure efforts are made to extract the highest ROI for our clients and lower the employee retention rates.

thanks. (n.d.). [The Differences Between Employee Satisfaction and Engagement].


Since there is a strong connection between employee engagement and employee turnover, what are things that your organization has done to maintain employee engagement and decrease turnover? Tyler: I agree with this question that there is a strong connection between employee engagement and employee turnover. As such, it's vital to create a dialogue between employees and the organization. This is easy when an organization is small. As an organization grows, the People and Culture team can support this dialogue through an employee engagement survey, focus groups and check-ins with HR at various touchpoints in the employee lifecycle.

Govind: Focus groups and Employee surveys have been great for us to get the pulse of our employees. Putting on regular town halls, allowing employee access to our senior leadership to answer some of the tougher questions (i.e. what are we, as an organization, doing to fight the pandemic and stay productive?). Diversity and Inclusion has been a big component for us, embracing differences and giving people equal opportunities to have a say in how we operate our business.

Samin: Since we are role models and experts in employee engagement and retention, we have a very big responsibility to ensure we practice what we preach. For this reason, we ourselves invest a lot of resources to constantly pause, reflect and readjust what works for us as a team and individual level to ensure we meet our common objectives successfully. We have noticed our personal motives and work environment constantly changes, therefore we need to take an experimental approach to ensure we constantly adapt to our personal and company needs. We don’t stick to one ideology or framework as it can kill our creativity and make us blind to our gaps. We allow room for constantly challenging the status quo and applying what works for that specific situation. Here are a few common practices that we implement in our day to day work interactions that have helped improve Jalapeño's employee engagement and lower employee turnover: Team Charters before projects to ensure everyone’s involvement and identification of everyone’s strengths to utilize and weaknesses to work on. Project reflection meetings post each project to ensure the organization is challenged by employees through constructive feedback. Consideration of psychological safety and tracking employees’ progress in weekly check-ins to bridge gaps between employees' current potential with ideal potential.


What role does the hiring process play in employee retention and why is it important for companies to invest their time, effort, and money into the recruiting process? Tyler: The hiring process is a focal point in an employee's experience with an organization. The employee is learning about the organization and building relationships with who will soon become their manager, team members and HR support team. A positive candidate experience will set the stage for the employee to join the organization with excitement to get up to speed in their role.

Govind: The time and money that is 'lost' by bringing the improper talent into the organization is massive so it is pertinent for our Talent Acquisition team to work with our hiring managers to ensure we are seeking the right candidate. Unicorns and squirrels are nice but it's about Attitude, Aptitude and Fit. How do we attain this? From ensuring the job posting highlights what we truly expect out of you. The interview process showcasing who you are as a candidate but just as important, who we are as an organization.

impactplus. (n.d.). [Employee Retention is Only as Good as Your Hiring Process. Here's How We Fixed Ours.].

Samin: One of the existing gaps that we have noticed exist in some of the recruiting processes is identifying the need and the ideal candidate for the need. We spend so much time finding the right candidate without investing enough resources to define the need and the right candidate before starting searching for one. The more clear you are on what you need to fill in the gap, the better you can identify the right candidate throughout the recruitment process. You need to spend the majority of your resources on the needs assessment and problem definition which is the hardest part of recruitment. Once you do a great job on that, it will be easier for you to attract the right and top talent to meet your needs. It doesn't matter if you are a small organization or a large one, if you are not investing properly in finding high-quality employees, you cannot expect to grow your organization sustainably. It is an undeniable fact that the cost of employee turnover is more than the cost of recruiting. Failing to find the right employee suitable to a company's work environment and job profile can end up robbing the company's profits and productivity.


Throughout your career, what have you noticed to be the main reasons for employees to leave their jobs?

Tyler: In my experience, I've noticed that better opportunity and pay are the main reasons for employees to leave their jobs. However, I will also include the quality of the employee-to-manager relationship and career growth as two more key reasons.

Govind: The adage "you leave your boss, not the company" is getting stale, in my opinion. A lot of it now is around a sense of purpose, sense of happiness, not just in your role but the organization you work for. Social Purpose on the forefront, how is your company contributing to making the community a better place? If an organization is not proactive or "with it" on the latest and greatest, you'll find an employee losing interest in the workplace and looking for greener pastures.

greatpeopleinside. (n.d.). [Why Are Employees Leaving their Jobs]. fbclid=IwAR3z7XOoETKZHLiFoJQF_xRpU0DM7KGSUQovUN3CxzKN-1bf-PiQ6wehteo


It is important to first have the right mindset towards employee engagement, both for employees and employers. If there is a problem generated by a system, all the individuals in that system are responsible to solve that problem. I am not saying everyone has the same amount of influence on the system, but what I am saying is that blaming is pointless. The responsibility of creating an engaged workforce and being engaged at work needs to be shared 50-50 between employees and employers. If we don’t learn how we contribute to this system, as an employee you end up changing your job as the problem arises, and as the employer, you end up hiring new employees.


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many obstacles to the workforce. How has it affected employee attraction and retention over these past two years? Tyler: There has been significant disruption to almost every industry and profession as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The HR profession and the employee experience has been severely impacted. Employee retention was high at the beginning of the pandemic as employees were hesitant to leave the security of their current jobs. However, as the pandemic continued, we saw a rate of turnover greater than what we had seen in over a decade. It's been dubbed as the Great Resignation. The reasons for this turnover include better opportunity, seeking hybrid or remote opportunities, personal, and fatigue with the pandemic, all which resulted in some employees deciding to make a change to their employment.

Govind: If there's one thing that has been a common learning throughout the world, during this pandemic, it is that life is too short. We're finding people looking at things like early retirement, taking more risks as far as career opportunities go. Organizations not embracing a remote working program will lose it's workforce to organizations that are about putting their people first. (n.d.). [COVID-19 workplace food and breakroom safety].

Samin: All the obstacles we noticed during pandemics existed before the pandemic as well. However, pandemics made it more visible to see and also made it more difficult for “painkillers” to work. COVID-19 acted like a catalyst for both employees and employers to pause and reflect on long-term solutions that uproot problems rather than finding remedies for their own symptoms. Integrating employee wellbeing initiatives, incorporating diversity and inclusion practices during onboarding and prioritizing workplace cultures in the virtual work world definitely required more efforts in the pandemic than before. Employee attraction and retention during COVID-19 requires changes in the normative structures of the organizations. Changes do not happen overnight. Today’s work environment requires agile mindsets and continuous cultural shifts to accommodate the ever-changing needs of the workplace. Lack of in-person interactions has no doubt made the process of recruiting and employee retention quite arduous. However, continuous efforts from team leaders, managers and employees, can make remote workers enjoy the rights of working in a space where they feel connected, heard and challenged!


Is there anything more you would like to share with our readers? Tyler: It's most important to be curious and listen to others throughout your HR career. There is a lot to learn along the way!

Govind: Be patient in the process to find a job. Do your homework and research on organizations and the various different roles. Connect with professionals from the industries you find of interest - ask them about the work they do, what they appreciate and if there's any advice they would provide an aspiring student such as yourself.

Samin: Do not make people and cultural decisions based on one social media post, or one blog. It develops superficial knowledge that results in short-term solutions for your employee engagement and retention pains. It might work short term, but it can have a more detrimental impact in the long run. As we all know, things get better before they get worse. People and culture concepts are no less than science that require a data-driven and experimental approach to define organizational problems and to identify long-term solutions rather than merely quick fixes.

vantagecircle. (n.d.). [10 Eye-opening Employee Retention Statistics You Should Take Note Of]. fbclid=IwAR3GIbKeQMTdF5H1GX3-DmtSeX0KyGHNXljr47NdllbaueCmruoLNlJhfqo


Introduction to Students

Justin Chen Business Major Concentration in HR and Operations Management

Justin Chen is a final-year human resources and operations management business student passionate about developing healthy workplaces, strong organizational relationships, and equity, diversity & inclusion. As a health, safety, and wellness enthusiast, he is also pursuing a minor degree in health sciences and a certificate in labour studies to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between work and health. With an interest in unionized work environments, his education spans across interrelated areas of human resource management, labour relations, business strategy & operations, and employee health, safety, & wellness. He respectfully acknowledges that he lives, works, and plays on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ ilw̓ ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and kʷikʷəƛ̓ əm (Kwikwetlem) nations.

Fun Fact: I spend more time on Tiktok then on my homework.

My name is Annabella and I'm a 4th year business student here at Beedie. Coming into university, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my career and so I decided to take on as many extracurricular opportunities as I could. From going on HR company tours, leading student-run associations, participating in various programs, and going on co-op, I've definitely had a wide range of experiences from a student perspective.

Fun Fact: I have 2 pugs!

Annabella Montagano Business Major Concentration in HR, Marketing, and MIS (undeclared)


Interview from Students What inspired you to pursue HR both in and outside of your studies? Justin: I won't dive too much into it, but a negative employment experience that happened when I was working my first job in high school initially inspired me to study human resources. However, my interactions with professors and peers soon later became the biggest factor in motivating me to learn about the role of HR in shaping healthy workplaces and successful organizations. My work experiences with various organizations and my volunteer experiences with my labour union has also motivated me to pursue the study of work, employment, and human resources. HR is so much more than we think. Personally, I explored interdisciplinary areas of study at SFU to develop a greater appreciation for HR. For those who are interested in working class issues, I highly recommend completing a certificate in workplace rights through the SFU Labour Studies program. Also, for those who enjoy learning about health, safety, and wellness inside and outside the workplace, I recommend taking some Health Science courses. To this date, my most memorable class in health sciences was HSCI 214 (Mental Health and Illness); this class allowed me to explore the stigmas of mental illnesses in the workplace through a final research paper.


Business Insider. (n.d.). [Here’s how to attract and keep millennial workers].

I've always been intrigued by HR work because of my natural ability to form connections with a wide array of people. I believed that is what HR was beyond the common tasks like recruitment and maintaining employee personnel files. You could come up with various definitions of what HR is, but I think it's building and retaining relationships with the people you work with to fulfill a common company-wide goal, all while attempting to please all affected parties. I've always been fascinated by psychology and the intricate dynamics that form in an organization. The psychology behind the connections themselves and the way people act is absolutely fascinating. I've come to realize there is a lot more strategic planning that goes behind this work than I initially thought.


How have extracurriculars, such as clubs, co-ops, and work, assisted and/or guided you professionally? Justin: Through my accumulated 6+ years of work experience so far, 5 years of those were in unionized workplaces. I think that being in a unionized environment inherently motivated me to understand what role unions play in engaging with employees and maintaining the union-management relationship with the employer. In particular, my volunteer work with my labour union as a shop steward, health and safety committee cochair, and executive board member has played a critical role in developing my communication, problem solving, and teamwork skills. Additionally, gaining HR work experience through the co-op program has helped me become more well-rounded in the generalist areas of HR. In the summer of 2021, I completed an HR co-op at the First Nations Health Authority and worked within the Learning and Talent Management portfolio; after completing my co-op, I continued to work with the HR Advisory Services team. At the First Nations Health Authority, I got to participate in a lot of HR projects and activities. I especially enjoyed working in diverse teams to improve health outcomes for First Nations populations. All in all, these experiences have guided me professionally and motivated me to pursue a career in labour relations.


iStock. (n.d.). [Business people working together in a coworking space].

In my first year, I started off joining the BASS Mentorship Program, and the Beedie Protégé Program. I absolutely adored both of these programs so in my second year I decided I wanted to help run both of them. I discovered I had a real knack for public speaking and peer-counselling. I like to feel that the work that I do makes a difference in people's lives, and so I love to try and help when I can. Later on in my undergrad, I became the VP of HR for BASS and that showed me a different part of HR. You get to experience full-cycle recruitment, strategizing ways to keep students in your organization interested, onboarding/off-boarding, and planning various internal socials. That experience gave me more of a wellrounded experience into what HR is like. This year, I landed my first co-op at a biopharmaceutical company as an HR Co-op Student. This position consists of doing a lot of paperwork, like writing various contracts, managing onboarding, and overall just being very mentally and physically organized. The field of HR is very wide and diverse, all of these experiences put together have made me realize that I enjoy more of the Learning and Development side of this work.


What employee retention strategies do you value most in a job? Have the circumstances of the pandemic affected your choices? Justin: Employee retention strategies that I value most would relate to the areas of healthy work environments, EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion), and people development. The circumstances of the pandemic have not affected my choices of these retention strategies. Instead, it has shed further importance on these factors in the future of work. 1) I'm a big advocate of health, safety, and wellness in the workplace whether that is physical, psychological, spiritual, or in terms of whatever aspect of health that varies from individual to individual (e.g., good balance between work and family). 2) I think real actionable efforts toward EDI is the glue that holds organizations together and contributes to employee retention. A big part of this is understanding our own privileges in the workplace; privilege is not the presence of benefits, but also the absence of barriers and challenges. For example, employees should be able to work in a discrimination-free environment no matter their age, race, gender, or sexual orientation. 3) I value employee retention strategies in the forms of career development and continuous learning, because it allows opportunities for employees to grow to their fullest potential.


AIHR. (n.d.). [Employee retention rate: all you need to know].

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with employee retention. The possibilities are endless when you are working in an in-person capacity, whereas you are quite limited when working online. Of course you can never go wrong with employee perks but something I personally value is when your company gives opportunities for other departments to mix-and-mingle. For example having a sports tournament, paying for everyone's lunch, having contests/competitions, or having experience-sharing walls. Managing employee retention in an online environment is much more difficult. During my term as VP HR for BASS, I am not ashamed to say it was much harder than I thought it would be to keep everyone engaged. Although I didn't have to deal with anyone "leaving" the organization per se, it was still important to me to keep the social aspect of the club while everything was online. The activity that had the highest participation rate were social nights where we would have an executive share one of their passions and teach a masterclass about it.


With a new generation entering the workforce, what retention strategies do you hope to see workplaces employ? Justin: Speaking only from my personal experience, I value certain levels of work-life balance and an organizational **culture of health & wellness. I would love to work in a meaningful job that gives me plenty of opportunities to interact with others, take on challenging tasks, and live my personal life outside of work. I hope to see employers focus more on retention strategies that allow employees to work effectively together in teams and socialize together outside work hours. I also hope to see employers focus more on accommodating individuals with different needs. For example, if an employee needs to pick up their child from school, workplaces should allow for that flexibility and try to work around business needs. In general, I believe the upcoming generation values a certain level of work autonomy and flexibility. However, this doesn't necessarily equate to precarious work. When talking about work-life balance as an employee retention strategy exclusively, my assumption is that an organization hopes to actually want to keep employees working with them in the long-term. Therefore, I believe workplaces still need to offer secure jobs and career development opportunities as we see greater emergence of non-standard forms of work (e.g., contracted-out services).


VectorStock. (n.d.). [Customer retention].

Although we do see a lot of trends facing companies aiding with employee mental health, I believe there is not enough emphasis on physical health. There is a positive correlation between physical activity helping your mental health so I think it would be a great strategy to employ monthly gym passes to employees. Gym passes cost as low as $10 a month, which is far less than other services HR departments offer. With this too, it offers more opportunities to retain employees as well as HR teams can come up with personal/departmental goals to get everyone moving. This adds a sense of kinship when everyone has a common goal they wish to accomplish. However, if the company is unable to expense these passes, I think the idea of coming up with team work out goals is still a great idea. Everyone can come up with an activity they enjoy and if everyone succeeds in their goal, everyone can treat themselves for example.


What advice do you have for those students in our audience who are considering a career in HR but are unsure of where to begin? Justin: HR is a very broad topic, so let's normalize being unsure of where to begin. The best tip I like to give to people is to be open-minded, explore different areas of HR, and figure out what sector you would like to grow in. Through taking different courses, completing co-op work terms, or networking, it might help you understand if you want to work as an HR generalist, an HR specialist, an academic researcher, or even move towards a career unrelated to HR (hopefully because you found another area of interest!). Also, I recommend learning to be a good listener. This will make it easier for you to take in different perspectives from other more experienced people... even if you sometimes may not entirely feel the same way about their thoughts and opinions.

HR Management. (n.d.). [Can HR tech solve human resources problems?].

Annabella: My advice is to try as many experiences as you can and to not look at if you enjoyed it from a macro level, but to find the tasks in the job that you did enjoy. Of course extracurriculars are fantastic, but something I find most students don't take advantage of is the Beedie company tours. Although these may not be going on during the pandemic, once they do come back, it's really interesting to see how various sized company's HR departments operate. I had the opportunity to meet the Senior HR Managers from Ledcor, Amazon, and the Canucks, and it was really interesting to see what their offices look like and how they operate in comparison to one another. I also recommend either reaching out to your network and/or alumni. It may be less daunting to reach out to your direct network, I've found it really beneficial to speak to alumni as they are working directly in the field you will potentially be applying to in the future. A quick message on LinkedIn can open up various venues into what you may have never known about HR.


Is there anything more you would like to share with our readers? Justin: The best moments in life come from being open to exploring new possibilities. It's important to keep this in mind as you set life goals and objectives in this dynamic world. A couple years ago, I was on the mountains snowboarding and I was having a conversation with an individual about their career aspirations while on the chair-lift. He had told me that it was his dream working for Amazon because of the attractive compensation package. I listened until he was finished talking and asked him some of these questions: What kind of team do you like working with? What do you see yourself doing in your job 10 years from now? Where would you like to work (e.g., in Europe, near the ocean)? Would you like to work to simply earn a salary, or is there something else you're looking for? If you're interested about how my co-op work term at the First Nations Health Authority went, feel free to read more about it here:


Harvard Business School. (n.d.). [10 important business skills every professional needs]. imgpath=/PublishingImages/Desk%20of%20Business%20Woman.png&w=1200&h=630

If you have any questions about me or my journey at Beedie, you are more than welcome to message me on LinkedIn or message me on instagram (insta: missyannabella).


Alumni Feature

Alannah Jung

BBTV HR & Recruitment Coordinator Year of Graduation: 2020 Business Major, Concentration in HR

Alannah is a SFU Beedie alumna who graduated in Spring 2020, earning her BBA with a concentration in Human Resources. During her time at SFU, Alannah was an HR Coordinator and the VP Internal Operations with the SFU Business Administration Student Society (BASS). She also completed three co-op terms, two terms at the SFU Beedie’s Career Management Center and one at Dynamic Attractions. Alannah has moved to the media tech industry and is now a part of the HR team at BBTV.


What is your current position and how did Beedie prepare you for your career? Currently, I work for BBTV as an HR and Recruitment Coordinator. Beedie does a great job preparing you for post-graduation jobs after university through the different programs offered, both in and out of the classroom. I was able to take advantage of the many opportunities and programs that Beedie has to offer, with each opportunity allowing me to build connections and experience.

Maryville University. (n.d.). [What is human resource management?].

How did extracurriculars, such as clubs, co-ops, and work, assisted and/or guided you professionally during your time at Beedie? During my time at Beedie, I was involved in student clubs and I participated in the co-op program. I think one of the greatest things I gained out of these experiences was the connections that I made. I went to many of HRSA’s workshops and networked at the Spring Soirée. During these events, I was able to meet HR Professionals who gave me insight into what the career was like and how to get there, but I was also able to develop connections with my peers, which can arguably be as important as developing those industry connections. In a student leadership position with SFU BASS, it provided me the opportunity to develop soft skills (i.e. teamwork, professional communication, adaptability, critical thinking, etc.) that were directly transferable into the professional world, starting with my first co-op term. Through the co-op program, I was able to get hands-on experience and see what it was like working in the HR industry. The co-op program does a good job of letting you experience what it is like working in HR but doing so in a safe learning environment.


With employee retention being extremely costly to companies, what are the necessary steps you follow during the hiring process to ensure that you are recruiting the best employee? 2021 was a year for high turnover across all industries, so employee retention is at the forefront more than it has ever been. During the recruiting process, I think one of the key aspects you are looking for is the fit. Will the employee fit into our culture? Can they thrive in it and better themselves? I always view the recruiting process as a two-way street. The candidate needs to be a good fit for the company and the position, and the company needs to be a good fit for the candidate. It is extremely important that both parties are transparent with their expectations with all aspects of a given role. You do not want to have a new employee start in their role and it doesn’t match the job description. When I assist candidates through their recruitment process, I like to do debriefs after the interview stage to answer any questions or concerns they may have and to ensure our presentation of the role aligns with the day-to-day realities of the role.

Do you have any advice for those of us who are graduating soon and planning to pursue a career in HR? Network, network, network! Especially if you are in your last year. I think building a strong network will set you up for success after you graduate. My recommendation is to attend (or virtually attend) HR workshops/info sessions, networking events, and reach out to someone for a coffee chat, even with your classmates. Don’t be afraid to use your network once you have graduated as you never know what opportunities may lie ahead. Keeping an open mind. During my last year of school, I didn’t know what type of industry that I wanted to be in, the size of the company, or what I wanted to specialize in, if anything. I think having an open mind during your last year and during the job searching process will help you to find the career you are wanting.

Is there anything more you would like to share with our readers? Enjoy your time in university! I didn’t understand when people told me that they miss being in university while I was at SFU. After starting my post-grad HR career, I finally understood what they meant. University is a wild ride but cherish each moment you have, one day you might miss it too.


Ashley & Viet’s Guide To: Creating the HR Times Magazine With the start of a new year, the SFU HRSA is excited to bring to you a new segment in our HR Times magazine: The Guide-To Series. This series was created with our student audience in mind, as we hope to guide you through all kinds of topics ranging from HR and career advice, to education and everyday life. What better way to introduce our new segment than to give our readers a behind-the-scenes look into our magazine process. Thank you to everyone involved in these initiatives!

1. Brainstorm a Theme Do your research, find a topic that interests you, and whatever you do, make sure not to write on the same topic twice. Here’s a tip: Find inspiration in current HR and workplace trends. 2. Create the Questionnaire Dig deep with your questions. If you only had one chance to ask an industry professional for their insights and advice, what would you want to know? Ask them that. 3. Begin the Search for Professionals Keep your eye out for professionals who have experience in your chosen theme, who have a variety of work experiences in the industry, and who are passionate about what they do. You’ll definitely learn lots from them. 4. The Waiting Game Contacting professionals is one of the most exciting–and most nerve-wracking– parts to this process. What do you even say? What if nobody responds? As long as you keep up a good attitude and wait patiently, you will find someone who is more than happy to participate. 5. Gathering the Responses Once you’ve brought a few professionals onboard the magazine, send them your interview questionnaire and await for their responses.


6. Put it Together Bring all the questionnaire responses together in your magazine layout and experiment with the looks and design (shout out to the Visual Media team for the amazing magazine designs!). 7. Get the Go-Ahead Make sure to run a draft of your magazine by the professionals you interviewed, as well as your magazine team, to pick out any edits and errors. 8. Share it With Your Audience Time to show off your magazine on your social media platforms like Issuu. 9. Send Thank-You Notes Thank the professionals for their time and insights. Without them, you can’t bring this project to life.


SFU HRSA Updates Bi-monthly magazine issues and bi-monthly podcast episodes are coming your way! Look out for the third podcast of Season 2 of our podcast series, HR Secrets, coming out in February. Also, stay tuned for the registration for our upcoming annual pillar event, Spring Soirée x Envision, happening in March! With a new year of HR Times and HR Secrets, we would love to hear from our readers on what you want to see from us. If you do have the time, please head to the following link to a survey so we can better cater our initiatives to you:


Thanks for Reading!

Think People. Think Possibilities.