Former Google and Twitter HRD: “quiet quitting shouldn't be an issue”
In an exclusive interview, Anne Kiely shares her wisdom and predictions for Q1 2023, including how, in a good company, employees “logging off at 5pm” isn’t an issue – and her tips for newbies who want to climb the HR ladder.
She’s worked for TSB Bank, Google, Accenture and Twitter, and has had remit for HR issues across the globe: HR superstar Anne Kiely is a dedicated HR ‘lifer’ – despite starting out in finance, she knew very quickly that she “worked best with people”, and that the more human side of things was where she fit best.
“I got my first job in finance through a graduate development program. Then I worked in about four or five different areas of finance, which I love – finance is definitely in my DNA. But I did realise after a few years that I should have gone into HR, and so I went back to college when I was 28 and did a Diploma in Psychology and a Masters in Organisational Psychology. The reason I wanted to do Organisational Psychology is that it's more about human performance,” Kiely says.
But because she was now in her early 30s and just starting her HR career, the native Dubliner knew she’d be up against far more experienced HR professionals – and that she’d better get her proverbials in order quickly if she wanted to achieve her goal of one day being head of HR.
We have to give them a reason to stay with us.
“I knew what I’d be up against, so I went out of my way to get the expertise I needed,” she explains via Zoom call. “And I’m a very practical learner, so I just took roles in areas where I needed to learn. I did HR operations, outsourcing, projects, learning & development and HR business partner, because I knew I needed this experience and education to be a great HRD one day.”
Kiely acknowledges that HR specialisms are for some people, “but I’m a generalist,” she laughs. “Look, there are people who go into comps & bens or designing wellbeing programmes and they are just great at it. And for those people, it’s wonderful – they’ve found their niche and they’re happy there –
there should be no pressure to do anything other than what they love.”
But, when asked her top tips for those who want to follow the path to HRD, Kiely humbly yet firmly recommends the path she took.
“I do stand by the type of journey I crafted for myself by going out and trying all the different HR specialisms, because now, having done that, really has allowed me see the entire jigsaw and put it together,” Kiely shares.