Interview: Global Chief People Officer, Jude Duff
Whether you are exploring your next career move or simply brushing up on your interview etiquette, this exclusive interview with Jude Duff, Chief People Officer of Daniels Health, will be a great resource. As a global partner in healthcare waste management, we are always working to fill our bench with the right team members. Continue reading for an intimate look at how we approach Culture and to understand what attributes create a standout candidate for us.
Born and raised in England, Jude studied law at university and ended up in Australia through her love of travel, and it’s here her story in HR begins… Cutting her teeth in recruitment she worked in various industries before joining the Australian business 11 years ago, and she now serves as our Global Chief People Officer.
TOPICS COVERED IN THIS INTERVIEW
1 / How would you describe the culture of Daniels Health?
There are no passengers here, Daniels Health is a highly entrepreneurial business. I can't speak for every department because they are all different, but I do think there's a glue for all of us: we work hard, we play hard, and we really care about what we do. We know how we can make a difference. There's a lot more that connects us than just work, which is pretty special, and it's why you see so many individuals that have been here for an exceptionally long period of time in an era where that is no longer normal. We run a million miles an hour, and we care about our people and the gifts they bring.
2 / What makes a great candidate interview?
A key for me here is authenticity. Whatever makes an individual unique, let that flag fly, be yourself. If you are truly yourself, and you answer to the best of your ability, you will put your best foot forward, and we get to see the real you. Of course, an individual that's taken the time to thoughtfully research our company goes a long way. Someone that can articulate their skills and experience as applicable to the role and their future is also great. And yes, of course, qualifications are important at times, but we're also a company that doesn't look for you to have a degree unless critical to a role, we're a place that really focuses on what competencies and traits you can demonstrate.
Personally, I always look for humour or personality, whatever that is to that person. How do you reach them? On what level can you connect on? Then there's that little something special that makes things add up to be a good fit: you look at their history and competencies, where they’re at in their journey and how that fits to us now. As a business, we also need to understand how we can engage and provide development for folk in the long term. It’s also worth noting this process is a two-way street. As representatives of Daniels we’re being interviewed at the same time, and we're expecting people to vote with their time and their lives by joining us.
3 / How do you ensure that Daniels is providing equal opportunities and creating an inclusive environment?
There are processes and practices that simply must be followed. But for me, they also need to be followed in the spirit of what was intended or required. It’s not just what the law says, it's about who we are and how we want to work. For instance, in terms of hiring, we focus on adding to our pride and culture. So, it's not just about fitting into our culture, it’s about what you can add. We're far greater together than we are as individuals – it’s about building teams, no matter what your story is, varied backgrounds, gifts and attributes blended together, this when then magic comes into play.
When it comes to our existing team, certainly at the moment we're really focused on making sure every employee has a voice. Most recently we've looked to achieve this with very transparent communications, with “ask the leadership” forums, with our regular engagement surveys, and with offering learning and development opportunities through our LMS. We've made a significant investment and commitment with the systems and processes we've put into place over the past 2 years to afford everybody an environment where people can speak up and to develop a place where you can bring yourself best self to work. That's the person that we want to see. And you know I think that's one of the greatest ways you can create an inclusive and diverse environment. Enable the team to show up to work as themselves – or bring it to work remotely, as we currently stand.
4 / Working from home as a parent during a pandemic isn’t a simple task – what do you do to manage work/life responsibilities?
Do you want an honest answer? The idea that one can work and homeschool at the same time was pure comedy on my part, pure comedy. It's a juggle, and you're always going to feel guilty about something, that starts from the moment you carry a child. Did I eat the wrong cheese? Did I work out too much? You’re predisposed to think that way. And you know you are never going to get it perfectly right. I think I often come to work just to have people listen to me – it's like a mini break. I just try and do my best in every moment, stay present, and I seriously keep my sense of humour packed.
Get help in where you can, use everybody else's gifts, and just roll with it. I try and give myself a break as much as possible. I hope that I'm setting an example for my children; they see that I enjoy working and doing what I do. My children are quite wilful and have quite the personality…. I wonder where they got that from.
I'm also very fortunate, I have a lot of family support, from my husband, my mum and dad. I'm part of an incredible People and Culture team and I can trust my peers to have my back… Of course, I've also got Dan Daniels, who maintains an unconditional faith in my abilities to get the job done.
5 / What advice would you give to fellow women (or anyone, for that matter) who are trying to grow in their career?
I've been extremely fortunate to be guided by some really phenomenal men and women throughout my career. I'd say you need to be your own authentic self: understand what actually makes you unique, you need to understand what you're bringing to the table. What are your strengths (and be aware of your weaknesses) and then the trick is to exercise those strengths in the right moment; timing is everything. Be confident in yourself, you were hired for your skills, use them. You've got a voice, use it. Set the bar high for yourself and for those you work with.
I'm not paid to toe the line; I try to respectfully give my opinion and expertise and I try and share it at a time when I think it will be palatable or I will be able to drive meaningful change. I'm not always right, but I do say what I think (this could be a weakness). You've probably got a gift that nobody else around the table has, so use it, and never be afraid to ask questions. I always ask questions, find the right moment and never be afraid to ask questions. In fact, never be afraid – full stop. It's a normal feeling, so take a risk, be outside your comfort zone and enjoy it.
And finally, if it’s not natural to you already, you better learn how to effectively delegate and leverage fast. The quickest way to progress your career is to build highly capable, exceptional teams. You will never be promoted if you are indispensable. Hire smarter people than yourself and always hire above your team’s average.
Now that you've seen inside the mind of our Global Chief People Officer, and learned more about what creates the Culture of Daniels Health, how about joining our team? Join an organization with folks who truly believe in our mission of Making Healthcare Safer. Embark on a career journey with the potential for massive growth and enduring personal connections. To find your fit at Daniels Health: