Building a Great Relationship with HR

Contributor: Stacy Winsett ('96)
Vice President of Human Resources, Weir Oil & Gas (Dallas, TX) 

Come prepared and ask questions. This shows initiative and employers like to see that. HR is in your corner, so impress them and they will work harder for you when you need them. Much of Day 1 will be listening; however, you can show your desire to learn by asking questions.

Prepare an elevator pitch. This is a quick 30 second explanation of your background, where you came from and what you will be doing in your new role. This helps people get to know you very quickly and get a sense of what you are about.

Figure out the political landscape quickly. Engage with the right people and stay out of office politics.

Listen and observe. Your first days in a company are filled with knowledge, just waiting for you to take it in. Take tons of notes. I find that I come back to my notes weeks and months later when I have come up for air and can follow up with the people I have met in the early days. Taking notes also shows you're interested in what people are sharing with you.

Learn the rules for decision-making so that you do not inadvertently step on someone's toes. You can ask your boss directly what the protocol is.

Talk to your peers and anyone else that is part of your orientation. They will be able to provide key insight into the company and how things operate. Check in with other new employees to see what they have learned in their first days.

Smile and project good energy. You want to make a good impression and nothing turns off a leader like someone sulking in a corner.

Put cell phone on silent. Be on time (early) and plan to stay late at least the first week.

Show interest when talking to someone new. Remember, ever interaction leaves an impression.

Relax and know that everything is going to go just fine. Enjoy!

Come see HR for advice anytime. They are there to help.