Human Resources Careers – Being an HR Executive with a Law Degree

Human Resources Careers – Being an HR Executive with a Law Degree

Luber: Hey everyone – welcome to JD Careers
Out There – where we get you career advice from fellow lawyers and non-practicing lawyers
– to help you achieve success and happiness in your career. In law school, you learn how to think, read
and write like a lawyer. We’re here to help you enjoy your career
– and a big part of that is finding a path that excites you – so we’re gonna look
at one of those paths today. I’m Marc Luber – and today we’re exploring
careers in Employee Relations – or Human Resources. We’re talking to Kristine Pizzo, who’s
the Senior VP of Human Resources and an Equal Employment Opportunity Officer at a Not-For-Profit
Organization in New York City. Years ago, Kristine was working in HR at the
US Olympic Committee where she wound up getting a lot of exposure to litigation and legal
issues and she decided at that point to go to law school! After graduating from law school, she returned
to the world of Employee Relations, but at a higher level. I asked her to first tell us about the role
of being an HR executive. And here’s a look at how that went: Kristine Pizzo: Well the HR role is really
both tactical and strategic. So the operational side is pretty straightforward,
it’s easy: make sure people get paid, they have their benefits, resolving issues, make
sure they could get into the building – but that’s only a small part of what we do. While it is important, it still isn’t the
majority of the work. The majority is really designing and developing
programs that relate to the core functional areas of human resources that drive and support
the mission of the organization. And some of those areas are recruitment, compensation
and benefits, training, succession planning, diversity. So those are the main functional areas. And what we really do among those areas are
we design programs around all of those. And we take a very metrics-driven approach. We do a lot of analysis, we analyze exit interviews,
performance review data, some employee surveys, we interview employees, and what we want to
do is we want to find out what is the base line of the workforce that we have so that
when we do design the programs, it’s customized. So, for example, if we’re developing a performance
review, we don’t just simply pick simple categories to evaluate staff on. We’ve analyzed years of data to determine
what the qualities that we need to be successful in the organization and what are those qualities
that will further the organizational objectives. We develop training programs around that,
we create recruitment questions around that and all of that comports with all of our core
competencies. And along with that, we develop communication
and education strategies. So we develop marketing materials, we do a
lot of writing, a lot of training; I’m presenting all the time and throughout all of this we
do work very closely with the President, the President’s office, senior staff because
all of these programs affect every employee and really help them drive their results. Luber: So that’s great. What would be an example of training that
you would do? Kristine Pizzo: So right now, we actually
just redesigned our training program and it really focuses on T-skills; it’s a leveled
curriculum where we target specific areas and people in the organization. So at the base line, we’ve developed certain
training programs that everyone needs to know: such as recitation skills, project management,
really sort of core skills; communication, things like that. Then, as you go up through the levels, the
classes become more difficult and help employees grow within their career. So at level two, maybe there is a course on
how to influence or how to manage conflict. And then going from there it’s, if you’re
a manager, how to manage staff, how to deliver a performance review. And then, peppered into that, is some things
that just relate to the organization specifically, such as how our operations work, a tour of
our departments, learning about the different projects that we’re working on, so that
an employee will not only know how to communicate or how to manage a project, but what are those
projects. We really emphasize that you need to know
your business at any level. And then, at the top, we do executive coaching. So in order for us to be successful in HR,
in order for our employees be successful, we have to train the top and make sure that
they’re reinforcing all of the skills that we’ve built on in every level throughout
the organization. Luber: That’s excellent. It’s an interesting job, right? I think the human element makes it really
compelling. Come check out the Full Interview at Kristine tells us all about what HR Executives
do – as well as Equal Employment Opportunity Officers. She tells us what it’s like to work on this
path, who makes the right fit for it, how a JD helps you, and she also shares advice
on how to break in. You can take a shortcut to the site by going
to If you’re already at the site, you can scroll
down to the full version – be sure to become a member so you can watch the full interview
and get access to lots more exclusive content filled with great advice. Thanks again for watching everyone – I’m
Marc Luber and look forward to seeing you again soon. Take care.

2 thoughts on “Human Resources Careers – Being an HR Executive with a Law Degree

  1. Very interesting hm

  2. Uh…wow! Great video and great channel. 

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