Over the past 20 years, Hacer has proudly constructed landmark buildings for some of Australia’s best-known corporations and enterprises.

4 years ago, they decided it was time to employ HR as a function within the business, and Claire Wall, HR Manager for Hacer Group took on the opportunity with great pleasure!

We sat down with her to hear a little about her experience and what it has been like in 2020. 

Tell us about yourself, Claire.
I’m (nearly 8 years) married and have two boys, Ralph 5 and Harvey 2, who both keep us on our toes. We live in the North Eastern suburbs of Melbourne and love riding and running the amazing trails along the Yarra flats. When we’re not in Melbourne, you’ll find us on the Mornington Peninsula or Queensland’s stunning Sunshine Coast. 

What’s something unique about you that not many people know?
I still see my younger self pop up in Boost Juice stores across the world.  This year I came up behind Boris Johnson. It was 15 years ago that I took part in a fun photoshoot filled with melons, bananas, pineapples and fellow colleagues (I was working in a support HR role for Boost Juice at the time).

You are an experienced HR Professional with a background across multiple industries. Tell us a little bit about that and what it was like transitioning into the Construction industry.
HR is an amazing career, providing you like dealing with people! It doesn’t matter what industry or sector you’re in, people are always the focal point of the role and for me, that’s what makes coming to work every day, so rewarding.

No matter your particular focus, HR is all about balancing the interests of employee and employer – serving and protecting both groups as fairly and equally as possible. Often these interests align but on occasion, they directly oppose each other. Anyone for a game of ‘piggy in the middle’?

I’ve enjoyed working in both Retail and Construction – both of which come with their own perks and pressures. It’s about embracing it all as you go. The biggest change I found in moving from Retail to Construction was the gender split; shifting from 90% female, to 90% male! Despite the vast differences brought about by this split, humans are humans, and all come with their intricacies, no matter the gender. However, one assumption of mine before making the move was that women tend to gossip more than men. Ha, let me tell you …

What’s it like working at Hacer? What do you love about it?
I couldn’t recommend it enough. I love the people, the size of the business, the diversity of the projects and how open our Directors are to change. It’s an amazing team to be a part of. 

COVID-19 has had a massive impact on all businesses. How has Hacer adapted and supported the team during this time?
Like all builders in Victoria this year, rapid adaptation has been our way of life. The ever-changing restrictions, rules, and regulations COVID has thrown us have certainly made for a challenging year. Equally, however, 2020 has brought this industry closer together – I’ve never seen employers, member associations and industry bodies collaborating so regularly, respectfully, and transparently, all in the interest of keeping our sites safe and open.  

In addition to compliance changes made, at the onset of Lockdown 2.0, we instigated a weekly theme to keep the team connected and motivated. We covered a diverse range of topics from resilience and creativity, to movement and cooking. Particularly highlights included weeks where we collaborated internally to develop company-wide touchpoints such as our Hacer Spotify Playlist, and a Hacer Cookbook of Family Favourites.   

Of course, outside these group-wide initiatives, communicating regularly across the organisation about the importance of checking in with each other, and really leveraging the support and expertise offered by our EAP provider, have been paramount.

What’s something you are personally really looking forward to?
Christmas with family, and getting out of Melbourne and Victoria! 

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