A Personal Note from Allison:

Recently, I was asked to speak at a local business event. I had a look at the other presenters, to see who I might be sharing the stage with. I knew some of them from previous events and associations, so took at peek at their bios. I was rather surprised by what I saw. Now, I did not go into in-depth sleuthing mode here. I knew a couple of these people rather well, and knew their backgrounds. What they were “selling” themselves as now, is not who they are. In fact, one of them referred to themselves as an “Industry Expert”, when they have never worked in that particular industry! It got me wondering, if you took this information at face value, how would you know if that “expert” on stage, is really an expert at all? This thought was rolling around in my mind for several days, and I felt compelled to write about it.


Have you ever read the biographies professionals put out about themselves, in their marketing materials, and thought, “Wow! They are obviously at the top of their game. I want to work with THEM!”? I challenge you to take a close look at their credentials. Are they really who and what they say they are?

There are a lot of really competent, knowledgeable people, in all professional arenas. Then there are those who try to dazzle with industry buzzwords, and big numbers, in an attempt to fool the reader into thinking they are something they are not. They might say something like, “Over $50 million in product (or service) sales”, or “Worked with Fortune 500 companies”, or “Trained 1000’s”, etc. These people might be making true statements, but it is up to you to verify that what they are saying is true. So how do you do it?

The first thing I would do is look for any professional association credentials. Those are very easy to check out. It’s as simple as a phone call. If it proves true, see if you and this person have any connections in common. Reach out to your common connection and get their take on the individual. Have they worked with them? What is their opinion of them? Would they hire them?

You want to be sure that you are hiring professionals who have your business’ best interests in mind. Not someone who is looking for a quick commission or “sale”. If someone is trying to convince you that whatever they are selling or promoting is just what you need, I would take a step back and reconsider. What is the motivation? Are they really interested in helping your business? Or are they just interested in helping their bank account?

Let me use myself as an example. I got my Human Resources education from BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology). They have a fantastic HR Management program. I followed that up with a Peer Counselling Certificate from the University of British Columbia, and am always upgrading my knowledge through professional development events annually. Add in 25 years of hands-on, progressive experience in healthcare, manufacturing, distribution and customer service companies, (unionized and non-unionized) and I have a lot to offer any prospective client. But don’t take my word for it. Check me out. Go on my LinkedIn profile and see if we have any connections in common. Follow up with them, to get their opinion on me. We don’t know anyone in common? Check out my previous employers or coworkers. They will be happy to tell you about what I have done, what I am like to work with.

One of things I offer all clients and prospective clients is a free Human Resources Audit. This audit looks at all their people practices throughout the employment cycle. I do this for two reasons. First – it’s a “no obligation” assessment for the client (or prospective client). It’s an opportunity for them to see how I work. Second, is that it gives me an inside glimpse at the company, and provides information that enables me to provide tailored recommendations to assist them in making any changes. This added-value is why I do not charge for this activity.

People are always dumbfounded when they find out I don’t charge for this. They want to know what the “catch” is. There is no catch. I take my job seriously, and want others to take it seriously too. This is sort of a “test drive” for them, to see if they like the way I work, and to see if they like me.

I don’t use buzzwords or catch phrases. I don’t try to impress with numbers. I let my work speak for itself. You can call my professional association. Not only will they confirm that I hold the new “CPHR” (Chartered Professional in Human Resources) designation, they will also confirm that I have been a member for over 20 years and that I volunteer on their CPHR Recertification Audit Committee.

Short of being shameless self-promotion, I use myself as an example to show you the kind of things you should be looking for, when you are considering bringing any professional into your business (whether on a permanent basis, or as a contractor).

My goal is to be the “HR Business Partner” to all my clients. I want them to feel so comfortable with my level of expertise that I am their first phone call when they have any people-related issues or concerns or questions, or just want someone to bounce an idea off.

But, I want them to check me out first, to make sure I am who I say I am.

I invite you to connect with me, to learn more on this topic, and how I can help you with the Recruitment Process in your workplace.

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We would be pleased to assist you with this, in any way we can. Feel free to contact me directly at allison@bensonhr.com.
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