As head of HR of the government sector at USIS, Susan Parent understands how important the people are to the service industry. In a recent interview with ExecutiveBiz, Parent shared some insight into how she became successful and offered some helpful tips to upcoming HR professionals.
Before Parent landed at USIS, she held various management HR positions in the retail field and hospitality industries. She spent a few years in these fields after school, but felt that she belonged elsewhere. “I felt strongly that the next possible move might be to take the service industry to the next level which for me was government contracting.”
She has since significantly contributed to the company’s growth and success. Moving through the ranks, Parent worked her way to her current position, where her current duties are to “represent the government voice when it comes to things like benefits buying decisions and talent management plans and those types of things that we share across the Altegrity family of businesses.”
When asked how she recruits top talent, Parent explained that her initiative was to make USIS the employer of choice. Her day-to-day engagement and interaction with employees made this possible, and she believes that these interactions make USIS a great place to work.
ExecutiveBiz also asked her to offer some advice for people starting out in the HR field. Parent explained that understanding the business will bring success.
“Understanding business is really very important as you progress through the HR ranks. At an early stage in an HR career understanding the business, understanding compliance, giving a darn about the people programs is what’s important. Really, frankly the further along you get – while you need to build on those foundations it really becomes very, very critical to continue to have a voice to really understand business,” said Parent.