Kavin Group

A Fireside Chat with Elmar Van Onselen, Human Resources Manager at Kavin Group

With over 13 years of experience in the Human Resources field, Elmar’s passion for his profession brought him to Kavin Group. From payroll to managing internal hiring requirements, he partners with clients and candidates to support their unique needs. His areas of expertise include compliance and best practices, policy and training development, and HR infrastructure.  

Elmar is a dedicated, results-oriented individual with a passion for nurturing the human side of the staffing business.  

We sat down with him for a quick fireside chat to learn more about his journey and how COVID19 impacted the priorities of HR practitioners.

Tell us a little about yourself and your previous work experience.  

I have a successful track record in the HR field. I earned a Bachelors and Honours degree in Human Resources Management, a degree in Education from University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a certificate in Business Sustainability Management from Cambridge University in the UK. I have worked in South Africa as an HR consultant and on projects all over Africa (Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Angola, Uganda, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Egypt, Ivory Coast, etc.) and as an HR Manager in London, UK.

You’ve worked in many countries as an HR consultant and manager. What are some of your key takeaways from this experience?  

Each client and each company are unique. Best practices are best practices for a reason, but I have learned to be flexible. What works for one company does not necessarily work for another. Having worked in 3 different continents, I have learned to appreciate and value the uniqueness of each country, industry and client. Regardless of where you are from, we are all people and want to feel valued. The benefit of having worked all around the world is that I can take use all that experience and knowledge in favor of Kavin Group to further benefit the company and make it even better than what it already is.

What do you like the most about working in Human Resources?

I love working with people and to be able to empower them to reach their full potential. What I enjoy the most is having the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and helping them succeed.  

How have HR practices and priorities changed as a result of COVID19?

COVID19 has changed everything except our inherent need to belong, to want to be a part of something greater than ourselves, and our need for recognition. Although we might not share the same physical workspace anymore and we as individuals want more flexibility in our jobs to accommodate work-life balance, HR leaders play a more important role now to ensure employees do not feel disconnected from their companies. We need to rethink workforce strategies, employee expectations, and evaluations from a remote context.  

Why does HR matter now more than ever? 

As HR leaders, it is more critical for us now to understand and accept the large-scale shifts in how employees work and how business is conducted. To ensure job satisfaction, we need to focus on the holistic well-being of our employees in the new normal. Employees’ needs have changed: they demand more flexibility in their work and HR needs to bridge that gap to ensure the business’ goals are still achieved while maintaining a happy workforce.

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