DisruptHR Cayman: Interview With Dawn Burke

DawnBurkeDawn is the VP of People for Daxko, a leading software provider for member-based organizations nation-wide. As VP of People, Dawn has one primary job: To provide all team members with a rewarding career experience. It’s that simple. In addition, her team is responsible for finding great talent, developing team members and preserving Daxko’s unique culture.

In addition to 20 years HR experience, she’s a national speaker, writer for Fistful of Talent and DawnHBurke.com, serves on the HR Advisory Board for the University of Alabama, and gives back to her hometown by serving as President of her local SHRM chapter. She’s also addicted to TV, loves to cry at movies, thinks wine and a wheel of brie makes a well-balanced dinner, and sings in her car daily.

Dawn will be one of the speakers at the DisruptHR Cayman event on May 25.

HR Gazette: Why did you decide to be a speaker at DisruptHR Cayman?

DB: This was a super easy decision. There were a few reasons:

A) To connect with great HR folks and talk new ideas. And when HR pros have a cocktail or two in them, the new-wave HR conversation gets like jazz (HR folks can be a lot of fun).

B) If Chris Bailey of CML Offshore and organizer of HRDisrupt Cayman says “jump, I’ve got some great HR programs I want you to be a part of”, I say “how high”.

C) Location, location, location.

HR Gazette: What will you be speaking about at DisruptHR Cayman?

DB: My topic is called “Dead Man Walking: How Being A Wingman Is Killing Your Career”.

HR Gazette: Why is your topic important to HR and Talent pros?

DB: The HR field has gotten so broad it is easy for HR and Talent Pros to become overwhelmed with being “everything to all people”. Some HR Pros believe their true value is in supporting everyone else to help others become successful. Although that is very altruistic, I think HR’s value proposition is so much greater than that. So much so, I think this message is worth shouting from the rooftops. Or in the case of the Caymans, the beach.

HR Gazette: The DisruptHR format means you only get 5 minutes to speak to the audience. What unique challenges and opportunities does such a condensed speaking slot offer?

DB: EDITING! It has been eye opening how easily you can make great points with few words. Those who know me know this is difficult for me (ask my team!). Shakespeare said, “brevity is the soul of wit”. I have found that to be true with the Disrupt Format.

HR Gazette: You’re a big name in the HR space. Please share 2 or 3 other ‘influencers’ in the space who you follow and tell us why.

DB: Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett, who are also DisruptHR Cayman speakers, are the two I follow the most. Why? They are smart. They are at times irreverent. They are fun to read. They genuinely care about the profession and others. I’m gonna throw in one more for good measure, Neil Morrison. He is a Group HR Director for Penguin Random House, ostensibly a pretty big outfit (4000 folks). He too is smart and funny. He also has a way of making complex issues simple. And he is trying new things in as an HR Director, for a large outfit, which can be a big challenge. Oh, and since his is British I have to say he is dashing.

HR Gazette: What do you think will be the major developments in the Talent and Recruitment space to watch out for in the next 12 months and why? For example, how does the growing numbers of Millennials in the workplace shape traditional talent acquisition and management approaches?

DB: Simplification of all HR processes. Period. The modern workforce is too busy, technology (ostensibly) makes things easier, and HR needs to get out of the way. Video Interviewing Platforms aren’t necessarily new, but I think they are going to gain much ground over the next 12 months.

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