HR Mentor

Mentorship is powerful and incredibly useful in anyone’s career. The long-term impact of mentoring can be life and career changing.

Mentoring is a long term relationship where the focus is on supporting the growth and development of the mentee. The mentor is a source of wisdom, teaching and support.

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We firmly believe in the value of mentoring as a tool for organizational learning. We are also convinced that mentoring plays a strategic role in the fulfillment of HR goals and are therefore committed to sharing knowledge, perspective and insights regarding best practices in HR and to advance the cause of the HR profession within and beyond Nigeria.


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What Separates the Best HR Professionals from the Rest?

What Separates the Best HR Professionals from the Rest?

Part 1 What it means to ‘Love the Business’

I recently consulted for a firm that needed specialised HR services, and the CEO shared an experience with me that I believe reinforces what it means for ‘HR to Love the Business’:

The company was going through some major internal challenges as a result of rapid unplanned growth. They were experiencing broken processes, ineffective policies and procedures, poor quality of talent, and low business performance.

To stabilise and transform the people process of the company, the CEO engaged a recruitment agency to help source for a competent Head of HR (HHR) who had quality experience in the area of business turnaround.

Several candidates and interviews later, the CEO decided on hiring a well experienced and acclaimed HR Turnaround guru. Little did he know what he was getting into.

According to the CEO, one month after hiring the candidate, he began to seriously reconsider her suitability for the organization. She was consistently missing her deliverables, she submitted documents that were full of errors, she scheduled unscreened candidates for interviews with the CEO (he ended up spending a whole day interviewing about 10 candidates without finding any suitable). In spite of these, the CEO said he held his peace, until the event that broke the camel’s back occurred during the Monthly Performance Review.

 When the CEO requested to know why vacant roles had not been filled (or why suitable candidates had not yet been identified), the HHR responded that attracting talent was difficult because the brand of the company was poor. Imagine this coming from your HHR.

 The CEO said he almost had a fit. Until her tenure, the company had never had any problem attracting talent. Moreover, if indeed the company’s brand was poor, how was it that they were able to attract her as HHR? Was it because she wasn’t a talent? The CEO explained that he had no choice but to call for her resignation. If the excuse for failing to deliver on an agreed result was to blame it on the ‘poor brand of the company’, then what hope was there for the organisation under her watch?

The lesson here is: when HR is negative about the organization, it is impossible for them to help the organization.

Therefore, Henry David Thoreau was right when he said: “Do not hire a man who does your work for the money, but him who does it for the love of it”.  Nowhere is this advice m0re appropriate than when hiring the organization’s HR professional.

Dear HR professional, do you love the business you currently work with?

It is important that you understand that without love for your organisation, it is almost impossible to deploy the passion that is required to be a business person. Therefore, it is critical that you take a minute to examine your love quotient for the firm you currently work with.

The following questions will guide your self-examination:

  1. Are you passionate about the business/organization?
    • Are you willing to sacrifice extra time and energy in building the business?
    • Are you concerned with doing the bare minimum while waiting for your monthly paycheck?
  2. Are you eager to go the extra mile to get things done even if you are not duly recognised or rewarded for it?
  3. When selling the organisation’s brand to applicants and new employees, do you do it enthusiastically, with excitement or do you just run through the motions?
  4. Are you brimming with ideas about how to take the organisation to the next level or are you just marking time in the office?
  5. When employees speak negatively about the firm, do you guide them to see the positive sides of the organisation by letting them know that there are at least 2 sides to every story or do you find yourself encouraging those negative feelings by your words, actions or inactions?

Honestly rate yourself

If your answers to question 1(a) & question 2 is NO, your level of motivation is low.

If your answer to:

  • Question 3 is that you ‘run through the motions’
  • Question 4 is that you are ‘just marking time in the office’
  • Question 5 is that you ‘encourage the negative feelings of employees’

You need to resign your appointment and get another job in an organisation you love and have passion for.

As an HR Professional, it is vital that you understand that the success or failure of your organisation rests largely on your table. There is too much at stake, and approaching your job with little passion and zeal could spell doom for the organisation.  If as an HR professional you do not believe in your organisation or cannot sell the brand of the company to top talent, then you are jeopardising the wellbeing of the organisation.

Without love for the business you work with, you will stifle your own development as a professional and you will hurt the growth of the business. Your love for the business is what births the passion that fuels your commitment to the organization. Without commitment, you’ll not succeed in sticking it out long enough to help the business succeed.

And if your thought is that: “It is impossible to love another’s business like your own’”, you are only partly right. While it takes a truly exceptional person to love a business as deeply as the owner loves it, to ‘love the business’ in this context is to have an ownership mentality.

It is to be incredibly invested in the company’s success to the extent that you do everything in your power to ensure the business succeeds.

If you have any contributions, questions or enquiries about this publication, please contact:

The HR Community Manager

Olugbenga Gideon
Telephone: +234 903 194 6744

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