Haylea Smith | Learning & Development

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At Sharp & Carter, we are proud sponsors of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) Learning and Development network for 2019. As part of this sponsorship, we are holding events in Brisbane throughout the year, the first of which took place on Wednesday 3rd of April 2019. 

Through speaking to HR professionals across Brisbane I am in the exciting position of being able to obtain a great birds eye view of the market, which allows me to identify key trends. At this event on the 3rd, I was able to share a few of these key learnings and development trends that I am seeing from a recruitment point of view in the current Brisbane landscape – and today I have taken the opportunity to summarise these for our wider audience, as follows:

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1.     Training as an employee benefit and tool for talent acquisition

From an organisational perspective this means offering personal and professional development to employees to retain and keep staff long-term. We are seeing smaller organisations embrace this and offer it to prospective employees during the recruitment process. From a candidate perspective, I am seeing many candidates particularly at the graduate to advisory level consider training, further learning and development in the form of education and on the job learning and coaching as an important factor in their next job selection. In addition, I have found that the lack of this offering at current employment has also been a key reason for individuals moving on from their existing roles…

 2.     Continuous learning culture

A degree is no longer all it takes to stand out from the competition. We are seeing more and more candidates engaging in post graduate qualifications and further learning to keep their finger on the pulse in their respective fields, and quite often these candidates are the most competitive in shortlists. We are also seeing a shift in which methods individuals are engaging in to further upskill.

Going back to university whilst working full-time is HARD (I am doing it now!) but there are other ways to upskill without the huge commitment of time and adding to your HECS debt. Short courses, individual university specific subjects, networking events, podcasts and online webinars are adding a lot of value to individuals wanting to upskill in certain areas.

3.     Executive leadership coaching

There has been a real shift towards senior leadership coaching and this is a key requirement for most jobs I work on at the senior end of the HR market. As we all know, a strong culture comes from top down and learning shouldn’t stop even if you are at the highest level of an organisation or in your specialist field. For most of my clients, middle management is also a difficult level to keep engaged and retained – I am seeing many more senior level roles with a focus on middle management coaching. 


4.     Engaging the new generation of workforce

This point links to my previous point around coaching. Generation Z are quickly becoming a large chunk of the workforce which is creating a challenge for businesses and leaders. This is a generation that sees work differently to how the generations that came before them have. They crave regular, varied and technology-enhanced learning, want meaningful relationships with their leaders, thrive on opportunity and want to participate in the journey. These workers move quickly and are not as risk adverse to those before them which has shifted the way companies are approaching their traditional learning and development activities.

I don’t think it is any secret that learning, and development can affect so many facets of an organisation and employees at all levels. What perhaps isn’t discussed as much is how support from above in attacking these challenges can motivate employees to commit to an organisation and really engage in the culture and future of the business.

For example, I am back at university studying post graduate qualifications in employment relations at the moment because I love to learn. My employers support me with my further study and constantly check in to see how I am juggling work, life and study. My leaders have completely embraced leadership coaching with each of them continuously pushing themselves and upskilling to be the best leaders they can be. This was huge factor in my job search and now that I have settled into Sharp & Carter I certainly feel like I am involved and part of the Sharp & Carter journey.

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So, what has your company done to benefit their employees through Learning and Development? If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can engage your staff via this pathway or how you can integrate Learning and Development into your job or business, our next AHRI Learning and Development network will be on Tuesday the 16th of July 2019.

To register your interest for this event please email Laurie Hughes on and we will be in touch with further information.

Haylea Smith
Principal Consultant, Sharp & Carter