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HR professionals learn how to attract/retain talent

Business 30 May, 2023 Follow News

Valentine Ball, CISHRP President

By Lindsey Turnbull

Three hundred human resources professionals gathered Friday at the Kimpton Seafire for their annual conference and learned some crucial advice as to how to attract and retain talent in their organisations. The conference was produced by the CISHRP (Cayman Islands Society for Human Resources Professionals) and had a packed day of presentations for members by international and local HR professionals. This year’s theme was: ‘We are H.U.M.A.N. - Heroes. United. Mindful. Authentic. Nurturing.’ and looked at the different aspects encompassed in an HR professional’s role.

CISHRP President Valentine Ball said the purpose of the event was two-fold.

“Firstly, we want to provide the opportunity for our HR society to meet and network and talk to their peers, share their knowledge, and share their thoughts on what is HR today. Secondly, we wanted to bring in international and local speakers to talk through some of the challenges that HR is experiencing at a global and local level.”

International speakers came from the US, Canada and the UK, and brought with them international knowledge, while local speakers talked more specifically about the Cayman challenges that HR professionals were seeing, Ms Ball advised.

Speakers included: Steven Manning, CEO of Walkers Professional Services; Dallas Dralle Shetler, a licensed counselor with Infinite Mindcare; Doug Soares, CEO of Bermuda and Cayman-based HR and payroll services firm Expertise Group; Becky Luttbeg Director, Total Health with Marsh McLennan Agency; HR Professional Emma Graham-Taylor; Jen Skinner, regional Talent/Human Resources Leader for Deloitte in the Caribbean and Bermuda; Cindy Blekaitis, Programme Manager of the Employee Assistance Programme; and Olwyn Downey, global HRD Walkers Professional Services based in Dublin.

Ms ball advised that the two main challenges faced by local HR employees were how to forge a new generation of workforce in the Cayman Islands and also how to ensure that well-being of staff was something that was spoken of within an organisation.

“These two topics are what brings so many of our attendees to our conference every year,” she advised. “This year we have sold out at 300 attendees, which is one of our biggest conferences so far.”

Attendees came from all sorts of businesses, from small businesses to global firms, as well as a good number of government attendees, and from all different industries, including law firms, accountancy firms and then some smaller firms where there may be just one person in HR.

“We try to cater to all of them,” Ms Ball said.

Even though attendees come from different sized firms within different industries, she believed that everyone who came to the conference would be able to find solutions and take-aways from the presentations.

“This is why we try to bring in different speakers so that anyone can take what they need for their organisations and really lead them to success,” she stated.

Subjects such as employee-retention were hot topics on the agenda.

“We just had a speaker talking about compensation strategy which is a huge topic here on the island, especially with the cost of living,” Ms Ball said. “In addition, we had someone speak about how to work with potential anxieties that people are experiencing right now, especially with the new hybrid working environment (working from home/working in the office).”

Ms Ball said that HR professionals were seeing a lot more stress in employees, so they were looking at how they could find solutions to the problem and also try to define what the organisation’s responsibility was.

“We want to see what can we do that brings the leaders into the conversation as opposed to it just being an HR-related topic,” she explained.

Another speaker talked about the future of HR and what technology would look like within the industry, what the role of HR looked like with new technology. The day ended with a fireside chat around the topic of the new generation and how HR professionals could attract them, retain them, and keep them engaged.

“We looked at what were some of the HR solutions that can be put in place in this respect,” she confirmed.

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