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Kent Flint

DNA of a VP of HR

DNA of a VP of HR Kent FlintKent Flint has worked in Human Resources for the past 14 years and within TechInsight’s HR department for the last five years. He has worked across Canada and currently manages HR from an international perspective. We spoke with Kent to find out how he used his experience to leverage him into a leadership role and his advice to the next generation of HR professionals.  

DNA of a VP of HR Techinsights logoKent Flint Vice President, Human Resources at TechInsights

 

How did you end up in HR?

I started my career in HR and have had experiences in many areas of the field, which were invaluable to my progression. My first role was in executive search with a smaller recruiting firm. To this day, this experience helps me, as I tend to treat our line managers as clients, ensuring they get the best service.
 
I was interested in seeing how an employee progressed and developed within a company, not just the onboarding stage, so I moved into internal recruitment. From there, I completed a second BA in Adult Education. I then moved into Learning & Development to develop management level programs. Because I worked in a smaller company, my position was more of a generalist role, which allowed me to gain a broad range of HR experience, but also the ability to focus on a few specialist areas.

I have never second guessed my career path. I enjoy working with company leaders and contributing to their success by surrounding them with the right people and the right skills to develop with the company.

In your opinion, how important is change management?

Change is inevitable in business and in reality you cannot always plan for it. The best tool for change is to trust your intuition. If you can influence people and promote strategy, with your experience you can guide people and the business in the right direction.

How important is social media for networking/helping one achieve their career goals?

LinkedIn has been a great tool for the business. Social media can be a great tool if used effectively, but you must be selective of which tools you use and how you use them.

Is there anything you would have done differently looking back at your career path?


No, you learn from your past. Working with different sized organizations gave me the ability to gain knowledge and experience. Even when you do have a negative experience with an employer, it leads to making a more informed choice before accepting new positions in the future.

How has HR evolved in the last five to 10 years?


HR has moved beyond personnel! There is more emphasis on the role they play in the business and the impact made by HR on the organization overall.

What advice would you give to the next generation of aspiring HR professionals?
 
It’s vital to have a mind for the business that will allow you to understand the market overall. Get a sense of the organization’s structure, best practices and the span of control. Technical skills come from experience, not necessarily through an HR qualification. If you can come into the business, see where there is potential for improvement and make an impact, you will be successful.

Get as much experience as possible. I’d recommend trying out two or three different areas in HR as early as possible and with different types/sizes of organizations. This will allow you to figure out the areas you excel in and will allow you to gain broad experience before deciding where you want to end up.