Disclaimer: I don't know Janet VanHuysse at all. But she's the VP of HR at Twitter and as such, a rockstar for HR people who like tech and all things social. That would be me. Probably you as well if you're reading this blog.
So, I ran across her profile last Friday on Twitter and saw a couple of things on the profile that I thought were cool, so I thought I'd share. I think they kind of show where this HR thing is going for companies that are trying to do interesting things with people.
Let's break it down! Notes below, and I've circled and numbered the references by number on the profile that follows the notes. Enjoy.
1. Ultra-Casual profile pic. Like the HR version of Zuckerberg, if that existed. Formality to the wind. Says approachable.
2. Background is good, but other than Sony, no heavy pedigree needed. Ballers get judged on their ideas, and willingness to take risks. She was at Twitter 3 years ago, so she took a risk back in the day - something not all HR people do. #winning
3. Education - University of Illinois - no ivy necessary. Again, sensing someone who has ideas and has built a good reputation based on merit, not pedigree. English Education. The best man in my wedding has an English Education degree, and he's now a professional wrestler. She runs HR for Twitter. So there you go, your answer for whether you need a degree in HR, kids.
4. Twitter Account - She has one. +1. Wait, wrong company. Plus, she works at Twitter, so that's not something she should get credit for...
5. Generalists rule - Companies don't start with specialists, they start with generalists, which is not a career level. It's a mindset. Read JVH's summary, and you'll see she's a generalist. Jack of all trades? Enough said.
6. Career path - Changed ladders (companies) every two years or so before Twitter (assuming she's staying awhile at this one). Like the Jeffersons, moving on up. On to the next one.
Make of it what you will. I think the profile shows that the biggest growth engine for an HR career is to not be afraid to take risks and not to specialize - or if you do, don't specialize too long. The work available at interesting early stage companies is as a generalist.
Take risks and seek change and you might mess around and get a triple double. Or end up leading the next Twitter.