#PeopleOfWantedly: What does it mean to be an HR professional?
What comes to mind when you hear the term, “human resources”? Often, people relate it to the department that only handles recruitment. Well, you’re not wrong but there’s more to human resources than what we know. Meet Amy from our International HR as she tells us more about what she does as an HR professional and what brought her to our HQ in Tokyo, Japan!
Hi Amy, tell us about yourself!
I’m Amy! I’m originally from Galway in Ireland and I have lived in Japan for about six years. In university, I studied Irish Studies with Arts (so really nothing to do with Japan or HR!!)
What brought you to Japan and eventually, what attracted you to the HR role at Wantedly?
After graduating, I wanted to experience an entirely new culture and country. I always thought Japan would be an interesting place to live, and I was lucky to be able to come here as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET). Having lived and worked here for a few years, I felt there was a growing importance for HR departments that could consider the needs of diverse teams (especially as Tokyo and Japan becomes more global), and Wantedly seemed like a company that wanted the same thing, so I applied for the role!
What is a typical work day in your life as an HR professional at Wantedly like?
My time is split between recruitment activities such as sourcing and meeting with potential candidates, and acting as a go-between for our international employees and the HR team. Depending on the day, I also help to organize internal team-building events and with translating company information from Japanese into English.
What is the biggest misconception people have about HR, is it true you only hire and fire?
I think there is an idea that HR only has the company’s needs in mind, and that the employee is secondary. While this may be true in some cases, most people who have a passion for HR are the opposite. We want to be an advocate for the employees and create a great working environment.
What do you like most about your job and why?
I love that I get to work closely with a very diverse group of people in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. I also really enjoy meeting different candidates during recruitment and hearing about their passions and experience. There is a very engaged and talented tech community here in Tokyo, and it’s great to go to the hiring events and see what people are up to.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in an HR role?
Since HR work requires a lot of labour law and regulation knowledge, often companies will request that the candidate have studied a HR related topic in university. If you don’t have this, you might feel like you won’t have a chance. However, there are other ways to break into this sector. You could start in a more recruitment based role and build up your skills there before shifting to HR. If you’re currently in a different role but would like to shift into HR, chat with the HR team at your company and see if they can give you any training or if there’s any current openings that will help you get that first role.
With Amy’s insight, we hope that when you think of “human resources”, you’ll realise it’s more than just “hiring & firing”. Ensuring a safe working environment, maintaining an organisation’s culture, providing career growth along with training and development are among some key aspects in building the culture of openness and growth in an organisation. With that misconception debunked, we have a greater appreciation for our co-workers in human resources!
Connect with Amy on Wantedly.
#PeopleOfWantedly is our monthly series showcasing the people behind Wantedly, what a day in their life on the job looks like, and what motivates them. ICYMI, catch up on our first feature, Andrew!
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