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HR Freelancer Spotlight: Dee Ann Rutens

HR Freelancer Spotlight: Dee Ann Rutens

Dee Ann Rutens runs Jubilee HR Consultants in Mobile Alabama. She is the latest featured HR Consultant to join HR Lancers. We asked her some questions by email to find out what she specializes in.

  1. What do you consider your top 3 skills as an HR freelancer? 
  • Root cause analysis.  Together with my partner, Kathleen, we have the real world experience to quickly triage and stabilize a situation, and recommend steps to address the human behaviors that contributed to the situation.  We like to ask is it a “won’t do” which is a behavior issue, or a “can’t do” which is a learning issue? 
  • Focused communication skills.  Ability and wiliness to have difficult conversations in a diplomatic, focused, and productive matter.  And, most importantly,  coach our clients to do the same.  Ability to create the many documents that comprise the HR infrastructure of a company, and do it in a way that accurately reflects a client’s culture. 
  • Talent analysis is such a broad category, but understanding “current state” of your team is critical for success.  Your high potential team members are your flight risks, spend time creating a development plan that includes impactful stretch projects.  Understand your skill gaps so talent acquisition efforts focus on those… hire for your weaknesses not your strengths. 
  1. What’s been your Biggest accomplishment in HR?

Launching the corporate talent development function with a focus  on working with the hiring managers to understand the real need for any opening.   Not simply a list of responsibilities, but what makes someone successful in those roles.  I created a core competency library, that helped the hiring managers define what they were really looking for.  Kathleen and I also wrote and launched a training program on conducting behavioral interviewing.  These efforts were wildly successful and made an immediate impact on the teams.  The hiring managers came to understand that every opening presents the strategic opportunity to add real talent and address strategic needs. 

  1. Which project from your past work are you most proud of?

My Jubilee HR business partner, Kathleen Parker, and I were lucky enough to work together for a large manufacturing plant, build the HR infrastructure and then successfully integrate five new factories that our company acquired. 

I am immensely proud of rolling a new annual performance appraisal strategy built on the GE model.  This one page document took much of the pain out of the process for the managers by eliminating the scoring system that felt like “grading”.   Instead we included a section that said “Consider doing less of….” And “Do more of…..”   This led to meaningful conversations managers had with their team members and allowed them to focus on the competencies that delivered results for their department.   Additionally, the managers used this time to set performance goals, with specific measurements.    

4. Do you believe the HR space is poised for more freelancers?

Human Resources freelancers are poised to make a huge impact on companies that take advantage of the many talented professionals willing to offer their services.  We do live in strange times, and I believe the physical office is not dead… however, even the most extroverted of us have learned to be effective in the remote environment.  My advice to business leaders is to search for the specialized talent that can help you transform your team. 

This remote environment means more information may be at a business leader’s fingertips, but this can also lead to some trouble.  The need for competent, experienced, HR professional services has never been greater.  

  1. What types of HR projects would you love to work on as a freelancer?

I would actually love to help companies build their HR systems and infrastructure, the administrative tasks, to be efficient.   Then use the time saved to mentor the HR team to be true business partners and coach managers to become leaders of people.    

  1. What's a fun fact you want people to know about you?

Jubilee HR Consultants is headquartered in Mobile, Alabama which is actually the birthplace of Mardi Gras.  My business partner and I both enjoy participating in the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States.  

  1. What advice do you have for HR execs entering 2021?

Entering the workforce is a socially conscious generation.  They want to see a company’s diversity and inclusion mission.  Now is the time to address that.  Additionally, candidates want to understand how a company embraces environmental concerns, regardless of the industry. 

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