HR future leader of the month: Rafael Campos Valdez

HR magazine speaks to the future leaders of the function about what they think will shape it

What are your main concerns in HR today?

As a D&I professional my main concern within HR today is around the inability to keep up with the latest D&I developments. Two areas of worry are diversity data gathering and the mitigation of unconscious bias throughout all HR processes. Diversity data gathering is critical in order for an organisation to have accurate D&I metrics, but many are still operating HR systems that weren’t designed to capture this data. Additionally, many businesses face different data protection laws in different countries that make it difficult to obtain this data. Though many organisations have unconscious bias training, a lot have yet to look at how we can improve HR systems to mitigate the possibility of bias in the first place.

What will become more important for HR over the next five years?

Up until now D&I has simply fallen into the HR family by default. Though I feel this is where it should stay, I think HR needs to work on ensuring that everything it does – from recruitment to talent – is seen through a D&I lens. As the topic grows in popularity HR needs to be able to demonstrate that all departments can help make the business more diverse and inclusive. Is your IT department up-to-date with the latest in ICT accessibility? Has your marketing team thought about representing the LGBT community in your adverts? HR needs to be a leader in the D&I space so that other areas of the business can learn from it.

What subjects will HR still be tackling when you retire?

The impact of unconscious bias will still be on the agenda. It’s human instinct to make decisions based on unconscious judgements, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying to implement changes in our decision-making processes to mitigate its impact. If we don’t businesses will miss out on top talent. Additionally, companies will continue to struggle to attract a diverse workforce and create inclusive workplaces.

What do you plan to do to change HR for the better?

My plan is to make D&I a part of every HR role. I want recruiters to offer accessible interviews to all candidates; I want HR business partners to include D&I in their catch ups with the business; I want talent teams to routinely manage the diversity of who’s going through the pipeline. I want D&I to be a part of every HR role so that HR can lead by example on all things D&I.

Rafael Campos Valdez is diversity and inclusion manager at TSB Bank