Illawarra human resources (HR) consultancy HR With Ease has launched an innovative business-student partnering program.
HR With Ease specialises in performance management and the new initiative being run by managing director and principal Yvonne Walker is believed to be the first program of its kind in the Illawarra specifically tailored for small-to-medium businesses (SMEs).
Ms Walker said HR With Ease “Mentors Me” primarily targeted businesses that did not currently have HR capabilities in-house.
Ms Walker has used the “Mentors Me” approach in her own business and said it had been successful for her and people training in the HR industry.
‘‘As a small Illawarra employer I am committed to the development of young people in the region and I have provided opportunities to students who work with me and learn more about HR in the real world of business,’’ she said.
‘‘The days of final year university students or the newly graduated making cups of tea and filing during work placements are thankfully in the past. The “Mentors me” program came about because I have seen first-hand the mutually beneficial results in terms of commercial outcomes and general business efficiencies when future business leaders engage in professional business practice with local companies.’’
GM Fabrications’s Biljana Mitrovski said there were many benefits in having an HR graduate support her business.
‘‘Yvonne worked with an HR undergraduate who was doing an internship project in our business last year,’’ she said.
‘‘Her support for the student meant that the end result was relevant to our business I highly recommend the program.’’
Melissa Owen was one of the university students who worked with HR With Ease as part of the program pilot and described it as a valuable experience.
‘‘I was fortunate to be able to create and adapt various policies and procedures for the small business I was placed at and the concise guidance from Yvonne and her team resulted in the delivery of effective HR solutions for the organisation,’’ she said.
University graduate Lauren Tait also took part and was seconded to a local ASX 200 company.
“I developed skills and knowledge in industrial relations, recruitment and selection, training and development, succession planning, performance management and organisational development,’’ Ms Tate said.
‘‘Not only did I receive exposure to the manufacturing industry but I also had the opportunity to work with an ASX 200 company. This enabled me to network with other professionals and gain insight into the procedures and policies of a large Company. Even though I was located onsite with the client, Yvonne made herself available on a daily basis to provide me with support and knowledge. She always had a very strong interest in my professional development and provided me with the training and opportunities I required to further expand my skills.’’
Ms Walker said the success was an example of how partnering the right graduate with the right local business, the results were mutually beneficial.