What makes life at Teranet exciting? If we absolutely had to pick one thing, it would be the people we work with every day!
In this new series, we shine the spotlight on the individuals on our team and share their thoughts, experiences, and tidbits from their lives.
.. and today we are getting to know Dana Cioffi, Human Resource Leader at Teranet, a little bit more.
Q. How did you realize that HR was the field for you?
A. It actually happened by accident. I had decided that I wasn’t going to finish my degree and was going to become a waitress. My father, who is incredibly supportive, told me it was fine to pursue what I wanted but if I wasn’t a student I would have to pay rent.
I thought I would outsmart him by taking some continuing education courses at Ryerson! The semester had already begun and one of the only courses for which enrollment was still open was Introduction to HR … and that’s it really. I was hooked an hour in. So, I went on to finish my degree the following year and also received my HR Certification.
Q. What are the key responsibilities in your role?
A. I lead the Talent Management Team at Teranet. We develop programs that pull together the employee life cycle. Some of the key questions we answer on a daily basis are:
- How do we attract the right people?
- How do we help them with career development?
- How do we make sure that they can move on to their next challenge internally?
I like to think of Talent Management as a big puzzle – all the pieces need to fit together to tell a story.
Q. How does a typical day look like for you?
A. Well, in today’s environment no day is typical. Especially during a global pandemic, my focus is on managing our teams, who frankly are the key to everything we do!
Q. What keeps you motivated to go to work (virtually that is) every day?
A. I know that, in this role, I can have an influence on what the organization will look like three years from now. This is what excites and motivates me!
Q. What made you join Teranet?
A. I’d say the opportunities that are available at Teranet. When I joined the team, Teranet was in the process of a fairly large acquisition. For me, that was a great time to join an organization because HR was on the verge of a transformation and I wanted to be a part of it.
Q. What do you enjoy the most about working at Teranet?
A. Truth be told, part of my job is about understanding why people stay at an organization. At Teranet, I hear the same thing over and over – family. We are a group of people who have each other’s back, even when times are uncertain and things don’t go as planned. This is what makes working at Teranet so rewarding.
Also, Teranet allows me to bring my whole self to work. Being a mom doesn’t stop when I turn on my computer and being an HR Leader doesn’t stop when I turn it off. Teranet gives me the opportunity to balance both.
Q. What do you see as a major trend in the field of human resources in the next five years?
A. I have to say global recruiting. This year has taught us that our talent pools don’t have to only be within the city we live in.
Q. What skills are needed to succeed as an HR professional?
A. You will hear people say they want to work in HR because they want to help people. I say if that’s your motivator – HR actually isn’t for you. We make tough decisions, which aren’t always popular, we balance the needs of the organization against the needs of its people … and that’s a very delicate dance.
Q. What advice would you give someone considering a career in HR?
A. The hardest part about securing a role in the field is gaining experience. So, when you’re looking to build your experience and learning about the field, do look into opportunities within the non-profit sector. Volunteering can not only help you gain relevant work experience but learn a lot of other valuable things too!
Q. Who is the one person, living or dead, you would love to have dinner with?
A. Van Gogh. He was an inspirational and innovative artist. Though he ultimately lost his fight, he pushed hard through mental illness.
We are a closely-knit community at Teranet and we are always on the lookout for exceptional talent to join us. To become a part of our growing community, keep an eye out for new roles here: https://www.teranet.ca/career-opportunities/.
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