IN THE MIDDLE | beyond the job description

Going Beyond the Job Description: Human Resources Professionals

By Alyanna Silvestre
Published April 08, 2021

Human resources is often viewed as a department that only cares about the company. With a lot of common misconceptions about HR, Canva Philippines’ Country HR & Head of People Services Alvanson “Vanson” So opens the door to the truths of human resources in the first episode of “Job Defined,” a podcast that aims to show the realities of different careers beyond job titles and job descriptions.


Human resources is about the people.

In Vanson's interview with Soyao on "Job Defined," contrary to popular belief that HR only cares about the company and its policies, the experienced people lead said that HR professionals advocate for employees.

HR professionals are commonly known for talent acquisition as well as offboarding, but their role in talent management and retention is as vital. These professionals act as consultants providing solutions and preventing roadblocks from occurring in the first place to keep not just the business’ operations running but also to keep the employees secured and satisfied.

When viewed from a wider perspective, the HR department’s actions benefit everyone in the company. For instance, they find the balance between the needs of the organization and the needs of the people to build a motivating environment. They also help the staff and the executives grow respectively by improving the former’s “coachability” and the latter’s “coaching abilities.”


A lot of skills are needed to have what it takes to be an HR professional, but for Vanson, four key skills will help a person excel in the industry:

● High Attention to Details - Being keen to “people details” enables an HR professional to empathize with the workers, which helps them develop better programs and provide career assistance.

● Analytical Skills - Having the ability to analyze both data and the employees helps an HR professional understand its impact on the overall status of the organization, therefore allowing them to come up with needed solutions.

● Problem-Solving Skills - According to Vanson, an HR professional must know how to attack the problem and not the people. He highlighted that to thrive in this line of career, one must master the art of recognizing problems and digging deep to the root of various bottlenecks.

● Customer Service - The ability to cater to the needs of customers, which, through the eyes of an HR professional, are the internal stakeholders, the executives, the employees, and the company’s external partners, allows HR to “formulate holistic people programs that would benefit not just the employer but also the employees.”


“It’s for someone who has a passion for people’s growth.” --  Alvanson So, Country HR & Head of People Services of Canva Philippines

When asked about who human resources is for, Vanson said that educational background should be the least of one’s concerns, what with himself having completed a computer science degree first before finding himself in the middle of negotiating with executives and workers. However, he highlighted the importance of having the passion to help people reach their full potential and achieve sustained and consistent wins while having the drive to fulfill business goals.

There’s still a lot of misconceptions surrounding the department of human resources. While it cannot be debunked all at once, Vanson did a good job at clarifying the role and responsibilities of HR professionals in a whole variety of ways.

To learn more about human resources, listen to the whole "Job Defined" podcast episode here:

“Job Defined” is hosted by Mr. Patt Soyao, Icon Executive Asia’s managing director, and powered by Podcast Network Asia, Southeast Asia’s first and biggest podcast network agency. For more information, visit the series’ official Facebook page here.