Tea Lehman – Group Recruitment Manager
Posted November 10, 2017, by Jenny Sakr
Tea's career in human resources and recruitment spans 15 years (and counting)... see her highlights, tips and more.
How long have you been in HR?
Although my roles have predominantly sat within the HR space, the specialisation is predominantly within recruitment, career development (and management), consulting and coaching.
What did you study to get into HR?
Most of the relevant studies completed had been at a Postgrad level within Change Management and Career Development. Although, there are so many options within the Universities (local and overseas) to not only to be a generalist within HR but look at a preferred specialisation – which is very exciting. AHRI (Australian HR Institute) holds and recommends (accredited University) courses that are phenomenal.
HR is a huge component of leading business’ where it is essentially, an extension to their core business partnering with internal leaders and collectively, assisting in driving the organisations’ strategies.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
As long as I can recall, always to be working directly and engaging with others. Initially, as a Psychologist or Counsellor but loved the energy of recruitment and the opportunity it provided to meet such a wide diversity of individuals both from a cultural and vocational standpoint. Best choice!
What was your first job?
People – facing (of course), working in a café.
When did you first know you wanted to be in HR?
As mentioned earlier, as long as I remember.
Being highly analytical is a two-edged sword, however, the upside of this characteristic is that for me, assessing the suitability of candidates (both from a cultural and skillset perspective), does come with ease. For this reason, taking a step into this space, was a logical one. Often I advise candidates to first analyse what their innate capability is, and assess whether it could potentially be incorporated (and developed) into a specialised skill and therefore, career.
Explain a typical day at work
The days tend to alter day to day and are generally dictated by the candidates or stakeholders availability. Here, the day can commence at 7.30am with the first meeting and end with the last meeting starting at 7.15pm. In our role, it’s vital to be albeit organised, highly flexible.
Given that my role relies on building highly productive relationships with potential employees (candidates) and the stakeholders, being organised is paramount. This would include a list of tasks based on priorities (at the time, which can and often, do change) incorporating all from assessing requests, identifying market patterns, reporting, candidate mapping / search and selection, interviewing, advertising, talent pipelining – to – career advice, development and management, negotiating, identifying organisational staff gaps, supporting the partners in planning for future recruitment needs and aligning the processes with the business strategy, budgeting, creatively driving the firms presence and branding via F2F interactions and that of social media activity.
What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you in your career?
In recruitment, a day does not go by that you will not be entertained and in many cases, amused. In my career in general, I would say that I did not expect it to have such longevity spanning across 15 years now and what a ride! Having met some phenomenal individuals, being in a position to shape peoples’ career paths, believing in people when they fail to see their inner strengths and qualities; and having the front row seat to watch this metamorphosis. A true gift of a career!
What’s the most important career tip someone has given you?
To make an impact and remember whatever you do, make a difference. This, on many occasions is not immediate and it does not have to be but to know, that each and every new experience will create a new dimension, is rewarding. I believe it had been Steve Jobs that said - "the only way to do great work, is to love what you do."
What do you wish someone had told you before starting in this career?
In the beginning of my career, that instincts are not overrated! As a result, I collated data to provide evidence for the choices made; and invested time, that in many cases could have been avoided. In hindsight, it would have helped to have had a leader that recognised this at the time and provided guidance. As a result, I believe it developed a sense of responsibility to encourage and acknowledge these underpinning abilities in others.
Name a career highlight
Too many to name, but I would say it would be the current role which I am completely and utterly engrossed by. Given, I have been quite fortunate that with every role I have had – it has been a step in the right direction. Not all have been blissful and have had an experience by working in a challenging environment, but still walked away with a massive learning curve. It comes down to expanding the consciousness and letting go of the expectations making room for growth and appreciation.
Do you fancy yourself as a people person? Want to help others on their career journey? Start with a course in Human Resources!
Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.