Search
Advice » In the Workplace» Work-Life Balance » Balance Work and Life as an HR ...
Balance Work and Life as an HR Professional

Balance Work and Life as an HR Professional

Can an HR professional really have a career and family without tipping the scales? HR professionals are facing the same issues as the employees they support. But can they take advantage of the programs they administer? We asked three HR pros to explain how they keep it all in check.

Spousal Support

Meet Debra Caplan, HR director of Harcourt General Inc. and the mother of 10-year-old twins. Caplan's spouse has a position that affords him a great deal of flexibility. She says this has made a huge difference in her ability to keep things balanced.

But, like everyone else, there are times when she watches well-thought-out plans fall apart. Getting the dreaded call that her child is sick always seems to come when her spouse is traveling.

"Without family in the area, you are basically on your own," Caplan says. In this case, there is no choice but to cancel that big presentation and head to school to pick up your child.

In some organizations, choosing your child over the presentation could be a death sentence. Before coming to Harcourt, Caplan worked for a company that valued face time more than results. "Things got uncomfortable if you had obligations that took you outside the work setting," she recalls.

Setting the Tone

Gregg Barnes, HR manager at Teradyne, starts his day at 5:30 a.m. so he can get home and spend some quality time with his wife, 4-year-old and 2-year-old twins. How does he manage to keep up the pace?

"I drink a lot of Mountain Dew," Barnes replies.

Barnes pretty much sets the tone for his work group. He has hired most of the people on his team and lets them know what his situation is up front. He also assures potential staff members they can expect to maintain some sort of balance in their lives. Like Caplan, he also works in a company that supports his situation.

Teradyne allows employees to work reduced schedules and offers telecommuting as an option in some situations, Barnes explains. He also notes that few employees take advantage of the telecommuting option. In his own position, he feels compelled to maintain a normal work routine in order to develop his fairly junior team.

Given his long workdays, how does Barnes keep his life in check? He says he is fortunate enough to have a spouse who has chosen to be at home with the kids, despite her MBA from Wharton. The Barneses also have a part-time nanny and use mother's helpers, allowing his wife to shuttle the kids around. Such extra help takes a lot of pressure off him.

Adjusting Standards

Wende Malster, senior associate with Gatti and Associates, is the mother of two young children, ages 3½ and 16 months. She is a recruiter who places HR professionals and works for a firm that has allowed her to build a flexible schedule: She is in the office three days a week and works from home two days. When working at home, she often works evenings or when the kids are napping. Other members of the firm also work flexible schedules, paving the way for others, Malster says.

It also helps that, as a recruiter, Malster's job is sales-driven and commission-based. She has learned to make the best use of her time by choosing searches that will lead to the highest commissions. And she no longer feels guilty about walking away from assignments and saying no when her plate is too full.

Still, Malster says she has had to revisit her vocational expectations. She is no longer a full-time employee, so she can't expect the same level of productivity from herself if she is to remain an involved parent. "I have had to adjust my standards," she says.

How supportive does she think companies are in helping their employees deal with work-life balance issues? "Companies are making a lot of strides, but, overall, it's not where it should be," she says.

For example, while conducting searches, Malster often asks clients if they would consider hiring someone on a flexible schedule. They often respond, "I really can't." This is the HR community, the same people who work on the front lines, helping employees deal with similar work-life balance issues.

Is it really possible for an HR professional to balance a career and family without tipping the scales? Maybe, but be ready to make some compromises along the way.

Latest Jobs

Roofing Suppy Group
Posted: 04/25/2014
Saint Louis, 63110
St. Mary's High School
Posted: 04/25/2014
Saint Louis, 63111
Volz Incorporated
Posted: 04/25/2014
University City, 63132
Taylor's Jewelry
Posted: 04/25/2014
Saint Louis, 63101
Company Confidential
Posted: 04/25/2014
Saint Louis, 63129

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.1.40.6-214
eTrustLogo