Angy Dinevska | 5 Minutes With
Interim HR Manager at NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Australia)
Angy Dinevska is the Interim HR Manager at NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Australia).
Angy recently sat down with Ccentric consultant, Pam Lubrainschik to discuss her career. Some of the questions they discussed include:
- What drew you to studying Human Resources?
- When you are recruiting for a senior executive to join your team, what are the key attributes you look for in the person, apart from technical skills and experience?
- Having now worked in both permanent and interim roles, would you have a preference for your next career move?
- Have you encountered any challenges within an interim position that you may not have experienced having been in a permanent role?
- Would you work with a search firm or recruitment firm to find an interim position again?
- If you were to give a person some advice about starting an interim role, what would it be?
- Who has inspired you most in your career?
- What are your top tips for aspiring leaders?
What drew you to studying Human Resources?
I initially studied a Bachelor of Arts and selected a few Human Resource subjects which really sparked my interest. Once I finished my BA degree, I started working in a human resources role and really loved it. I decided to go back to university and do a Master of Commerce in Human Resources. It was really a combination of my interest in the subjects and the experience I gained while working.
When you are recruiting for a senior executive to join your team, what are the key attributes you look for in the person, apart from technical skills and experience?
The first thing I look at is their leadership style, that’s a very important factor for me. Often in the organisations I’ve worked for, the culture has been open, collaborative, agile and innovative. I look for a person from a growth mindset that’s able to adapt their style, bring teams along a journey and create high performing teams.
I look out for traits where the person is able to get on with different stakeholders, open in their viewpoints, has their values aligned to the organisation and is able to work with both the staff at an operational level and acknowledge their contribution to the organisation as well as the board or executive.
Having now worked in both permanent and interim roles, would you have a preference for your next career move?
Interim roles are a really great learning experience. There are ample opportunities to learn very quickly about the organisation, the different operating models, the different products and services that that organisation generate. For example, in my current role, I have never worked for a Not-For-Profit in the medical research space. I have learnt a lot about the industry and the groundbreaking research done by the Scientists at NeuRA. It’s very fascinating and I’m grateful to be able to have been immersed in that experience.
HR skills are transferable across different industries. In interim roles, people have the opportunity to transfer skills and learn a lot more in their career than they would in a permanent role.
I connect to working in purpose-driven organisations where we are contributing to the wider community and giving back through an organisation that has values that are aligned to building a sustainable community. I see the importance of organisations that value the people that work for them and allows those individuals to bring themselves to work rather than creating a work persona or home persona to be the type of cultures that will be the future of work.
Have you encountered any challenges within an interim position that you may not have experienced having been in a permanent role?
I would say interim positions accelerate all of the challenges that you would have a permanent role. By that I mean, I have accelerated my need to build relationships with stakeholders because there is a short period of time to get to know people, the organisation’s purpose, how the organisation works and what the drivers are. It’s important to quickly get to know the key stakeholders that I’ll be working with, what their challenges are, what they need from the HR team. Do a quick assessment of what’s available in HR’s toolkit and develop a plan for the next period of time, which my stakeholders are happy with and that aligns to their needs. Then be able to implement that within the interim period.
In a permanent role, there’s the luxury of a little bit more time. I see an interim role as very deadline-driven, a project without the ability to extend the time frame. It is challenging and in a good way because it really promotes the learning and capabilities of the individual stepping into an interim role, finding their feet and delivering in that new culture.
Prioritising is very, very important because of that finite period that you’re in the role. Because of the nature of an interim contract, you really need to select a high value, high impact priorities for the business. Sometimes they might be projects, for example, we did a staff engagement project which took a great deal of time. But then we’ve also had to prioritise other operational aspects that come up, which were all very important
Would you work with a search firm or recruitment firm to find an interim position again?
From an employer perspective, yes I definitely would. An interim position is more than a caretaking position. Although it can be a caretaking position, there’s a real opportunity for the business to bring in a new set of skills and capabilities for a short period of time, which is akin to a consultant. When someone comes in with a different skill set or perspective, it could definitely help the organisation identify, target their challenges and projects they are facing in that period. I think working with a search firm brings more value to the organisation rather than having the role been care-taken if that’s what your organisation is looking for. Also, for innovation as the other person might see it from a different perspective and provide value and input. Overall, I would use a search firm again because of the value it brings.
I would definitely work again with Ccentric because they took the time to understand my skills and capabilities as a candidate and match them with an organisation that would benefit from them. They went a step further in identifying how I would work best, what sort of environment would suit and with the type of leader that would best enable synergies between us. Often matching skills and synergies is more of an important match than just the skill set and industry experience. In my view, Ccentric have taken a holistic view of me as a person and a professional while placing me in the right organisation which has enabled me to really grow and contribute.
If you were to give a person some advice about starting an interim role, what would it be?
Go into the role open-minded, without any expectations and judgement. Then commence the process of evaluating where the organisation is at, doing an analysis of the businesses needs and what it has, then moulding their role to those needs, taking into account their own capabilities and the skill sets.
I wouldn’t advise someone to go in with a predetermined mindset. I don’t think that would work because every organisation is different and in a different place with their journey. In interim roles, you move from one industry to another, which is a learning experience in itself and although HR skills are transferable, sometimes the issues in different industries are completely different and they require that person to use a different set of tools that they have within their HR practitioner toolbox.
Who has inspired you most in your career?
It’s been a collection of different people. The people that do come to mind are very strong capable and confident leaders that take into account the people that they lead as a whole person, both professionally and personally. They take the time to find out about the goals and aspirations of their team members and they are able to facilitate using their people’s strengths in the roles. This has enabled me to excel in many roles that I’ve had. I’m really grateful to a huge number of people that have enabled me to do that in my career because of their own years of experience and leadership styles.
What are your top tips for aspiring leaders?
Be open-minded about their leadership style and never stop learning. People need to be open to feedback from their team, from their peers and other stakeholders and always be willing to learn and grow from that. Keep up to date with current practises with the literature in their field, the world is very fast-moving. Having some thought about shaping the future or being ahead of today are important things for aspiring leaders, as well as keeping up to date with their technical skills and capabilities.
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