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Twitter’s Head of HR APAC and IHRP-SP, Lim Zhi Rong ⁠— Of vicarious success and bringing authenticity to HR

Lim Zhi Rong, Head of HR APAC at Twitter and IHRP Senior Professional, has been recognised for his contributions to HR over the years. However, the rewards of the job lie not in his own success, but in the success of others. Zhi Rong has always been enthusiastic in contributing to build a vibrant HR Community and he has a strong passion to progress the HR Profession.

 

Having worked across a range of HR functions in the financial, oil and gas, fast-moving consumer goods and tech industries, Zhi Rong has more than a sound grasp of the roles, responsibilities and relevance of HR as a strategic organisational function.

However, there is more to the job than this, he shares. “I joined the HR profession because it is a sector that allows me to live my purpose at work, that is: The more I help others to succeed, the more I succeed.” He elaborates: “Through understanding business needs and translating them into actionable HR priorities, I often work with business leaders to ignite the human spark and build a better business that is purposeful and sustainable.” Identifying the factors that light up this spark gives the job purpose.

Looking back on about a decade’s worth of career experiences, he highlights an overseas stint to Manila as one of his most significant career milestones as the Country Head of HR. “It was a meaningful experience as it was my first overseas stint and as a first-time line manager with direct reports,” he recalls. Working in a developing country gave him valuable experience from a country HR management perspective. “For any Regional HR leader to be truly successful, they first need to appreciate how Country HR works and the challenges they face,” he adds.


An exercise of reflection

It was this mindset of expanding his horizons and gaining professional perspective that spurred Zhi Rong to take up IHRP certification. “I decided to take up the certification because I believe in getting endorsed with the mark of quality that employers seek, and signal to my fellow HR Professional Peers that we should seek to stay current in our roles as HR Professionals,” he shared. Besides, getting certified gives him the opportunity to be as part of an ‘exclusive’ certified HR community in Singapore of likeminded professionals.

He found the process thorough and organised and a rigorous exercise in recounting and reflecting on HR scenarios and experiences. Thinking through and explaining processes and situations he had encountered was invaluable. The questions raised helped him, as a HR Professional, provide clarity for less obvious perspectives or considerations to support decision making – and to do this with while maintaining integrity and confidentiality.


The way forward in HR

Unearthing this interest, nurturing this passion and driving professionalism in the HR sector is something that the certification process can do. Another advantage to the process, says Zhi Rong is that it reminds practitioners to adopt a continuous learning mindset. One of the challenges he – and many of his peers – face at work is the changing landscape. There is a need for HR to continuously improve as well as stay abreast of local and regional updates to employment laws. “The certification process is a great way to be reminded of the latest relevant practices that is sound for our people and the business.”


Zhi Rong’s Reflections on HR 

Zhi Rong was shortlisted as a finalist for the 2016 HRM Awards – Best HR Leader, and in 2017 was selected as the 2017 LinkedIn HR Power Profile in Singapore. He shares some of his reflections on HR’s role and purpose.

  • HR plays the role as the moral custodian of the company, to balance the need to serve and protect the business.
  • Appreciate the latest employment legislations and best practices, as HR should enable the business to live and breathe, so that we are creating a fair and inclusive working environment for our people.
  • Understand the need and play our part in the greater calling to professionalise the HR Profession in Singapore.

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