Leadership Spotlight: Saná Rasul
Saná: “I have been an HR practitioner for about half of my adult mature working career and one of the things that I quickly learned is a lot of small and medium companies with HR professionals only have one or one and a half people in that department. It was always challenging to gather resources. I have been a member of SHRM since I was in college and even with that connection I wasn’t finding the resources I really needed. What I found was that I needed intellectual property. I really wanted to start connecting with other HR professionals. HR Girlfriends was just the right thing to do for myself and my peers”.
Helios HR: In addition to being the founder of HR Girlfriends, as the Human Resources Manager at a local Government Contractor, what is your top challenge today and how do you address it?
Saná: “My top challenge in the government contracting space is finding talent. We are asked to find unique, needle in the hay stack people. I would argue that it is just as challenging to find talent as it is to win the contract. I think that it is really important to have a strong network. When you are not connected to the right people to help you do your job internally and externally you create additional work for yourself. For example I have been looking for a Section 508 Technical Expert to work on a contract with the VA [Department of Veteran Affairs]. Section 508 compliance has been around for about 13 years, which can be considered a small time frame to actually build up experts in the field. Through my network I was able to identify several outstanding candidates for the role. Make sure you know the right people so you can accomplish your tasks at hand. If they are not the right source, I bet they will know someone who will be.”
Helios HR: What makes you excited to go to work every day?
Saná: “I love what I do. I can remember so many times getting up to go to various companies within my former life. I worked in real estate management for commercial residential properties and wasn’t content. I am driven every day through my ability to serve people in the capacity that allows me to really affect their lives. In HR I get to help people navigate health insurance for an employee's new born or walk them through FMLA. When you know you’ve taken care of one worry for someone, there is no money that you can associate with that.”
Helios HR: How would you define your leadership style?
Saná: “When you hire someone you must allow them to do the job at hand. I do not micromanage, I allow people to lead in their own capacity. I like to leave room for the margin of error. I also try to get my hands dirty with my team, I am not above any kind of work. I also delegate with consideration.”
Helios HR: What advice would you give to someone looking to enter into the HR field?
Saná: “Be Patient! The point of entry is so challenging now. I am so proud of the field I am in. I didn’t realize that I escaped the barriers for entry when landing my first HR role a few years ago. Now with the challenges of actually getting a position, just be patient and get connected. You don’t have to work in the field to join an association or volunteer in the HR community. Just be open minded!”