Wendy De Leon, PHR
Area Director of People Services
Two Roads Hospitality
What led you to Human Resources as a profession–how did you get into your current role?
In my past life, I was a program manager for OSHA compliance training, contracted out to manage programs for different companies. One of the companies I worked for said I would be great at Human Resources and offered me a job. The job was for Clift, a hotel in San Francisco, it seemed like it would be a lot of fun. So I followed my heart and went for it, and I have never looked back. I always thought you worked to make money, I didn’t know you could actually love your job at the same time, until HR found me. Now I am the Area Director of People Services for Two Roads Hospitality and I couldn’t be happier.
In your opinion, what is the future of HR? How do you see it changing over the next few years, especially in terms of HR innovation?
HR is and will always will be about the people. HOW we serve the people and organizations is the part that changes. The future of HR is a marriage between technology and relationships. We started from being the “principal’s office,” to business partners, and now we are going to evolve with the rest of the world and become more efficient, accessible and relatable through technology. In terms of HR innovation, innovation comes from people, and HR is able to foster an environment that inspires others to keep moving the needle forward. HR hires, develops and motivates the people and leaders of the organization. The systems and techniques in which we manage the team member life cycle will change based on discoveries and forward-thinking, but the core of HR will set the stage and give the platform for PEOPLE to be innovative in their organizations.
What do you find is the greatest reward working in HR?
The impact we have on people’s lives is the reward. We get to celebrate their successes, help people through difficulties, and contribute to the growth and development of our team members. That is the greatest reward.
What role has NCHRA played in your career?
NCHRA was the first HR organization I joined when I had no experience in the field. The opportunity for education that NCHRA offered me allowed me to grow quickly in my career. I received my PHR within the first year of HR (my training years qualified me for the pre-requisites), I passed only because the preparation course was amazing! From there, I have been able to keep up with all the new trends and the CA compliance aspects of HR because of the comprehensive classes offered by NCHRA. They have allowed me to volunteer to assist in classes I want to attend, so when I exhausted my training budget at work, I can still learn, grow and flourish. And more importantly, renew my certifications and gain a few more.
What is something people might not know about you?
What people might not know about me is when I take personality assessments it always shows me to be less compliance driven, more “If I can’t do it that way, how can I get be creative to get that done,” and relationship-driven. I am compared mostly to a salesperson’s characteristics. Although some might see that as a negative, I’ve learned to use my strengths to help me be compliant and creative, and use my relationship-building skills with my team members.