HR professional Antoine L. Lee is a rather accomplished guy.
As a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, he has a Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certification as well as SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) credentials. Education-wise, he holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Louisville, as well as a master’s degree in human resources management from Webster University.
In a recent interview with Rolling Out, Lee said he was inspired to choose a career path in HR because he wanted to make an impact on people’s lives while working in a professional environment. He stumbled upon the field of human resources as an undergrad student who was seeking an internship to fulfill a class requirement.
When a Kentucky steel manufacturer partnered with his university to offer a student an opportunity to work for them as a HR generalist for the fall semester, Lee was hired. Based on his job performance and demonstrated ability to quickly adapt to the culture, that same manufacturer then offered Lee the position of HR manager after the current HR manager retired during his internship.
While some consider HR professionals to be “glorified compliance officers,” Lee believes that his purpose and the purpose of those like him is much more important to business operations and organizational success than to be reduced to that label. “Human resources is vital to the life cycle of employees beginning with recruiting them throughout their tenure with companies and organizations,” Lee states.
In his role as a HR generalist, Lee appreciated being able to touch all aspects of employee life cycle including recruiting, benefits administration, training and development, employee relations, payroll. In addition to this, working as a HR business partner and consultant for 10 years, led him to eventually specialize in employee relations and training and development work.
As his career progresses, Lee looks forward to becoming a leader in the industry, receiving more educational and partnership opportunities, and giving back just as much as he has received.
Due to constant changes in laws and regulations and due to how the field is evolving on a daily basis, Lee says the need for competent forward-thinking HR professionals has increased. His advice for those looking to become such professionals?
“Try and get experience in the field as early as you possibly can,” Lee urges. “The reason being that it’s a difficult field to enter if you don’t have any experience and rightfully so. Employers need to be assured and confident that you have experience dealing with and mitigating HR-related matters. It’s not an occupation that allows for a great deal of trial and error. One mistake could result in a lawsuit for the employer and in some cases the HR professional.”
Danita White for TechFunnel.com