Sara Hill, Chief Human Resources Officer, Ceridian

Sara Hill is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Ceridian. In this role, Sara oversees the global human resources functions across Ceridian and is based in Minneapolis. She has responsibility for enhancing the employee experience, increasing employee engagement, and developing people and talent management strategies to bring Ceridian to the next level. By hhuffingtonpost, 05/06/2015

Prior to joining Ceridian, Sara most recently served as Senior Vice President, Human Resources at U.S. Bancorp, providing HR leadership for the Wealth Management and Securities Services division. Sara has worked at Fidelity Investments as Vice President of Management Effectiveness. She has also been a consultant with The HayGroup, where she led HR consulting engagements primarily in the areas of organizational effectiveness and management development.

How has your life experience and career made you the leader you are today?
My life experience has taught me to differentiate between what really matters and what doesn’t. As a mother, a wife, a business leader, a community member and in so many other roles, I am constantly aware of a multitude of opportunities and challenges. Focus and simplicity are a requirement for being effective in any role.

At Ceridian, we are moving at breakneck speed – evolving from a service bureau to a cloud technology company, which forces one to focus and prioritize accordingly. In human resources in particular, there are always a million tasks to do every day. My career and life experiences have strengthened my ability to zero in on what is important, and prioritize what’s needed most. Being able to focus is the only way you can be successful in business today.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Ceridian?
My past experience as an HR leader in other industries, coupled with my HR consulting experience at a global management consulting firm, gave me invaluable foundational knowledge about the human resources practice. Essentially these experiences have helped form my conceptual thinking about what human resources is and what HR leaders can do to help drive business objectives.

Innovation within the HR industry, especially at Ceridian, has greatly influenced my thinking. Previous experience says: “this is how it is done”, but my recent experience has taught me that we can do things differently, and not always “by the book”. As a result, this drives positive change and innovation. This contrast in thinking has helped me as a leader to set the course and develop new practices and concepts that modernize HR. It also highlights the fact that HR is an important component of business success, which is supported by the increasing popularity of the CHRO title within organizations across North America.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Ceridian?
A top highlight for me at Ceridian would be witnessing real transformation in a remarkably short amount of time. When I joined the organization, Ceridian was a leading global services company looking to dominate the Human Capital Management marketplace. Only a little less than three years ago, Dayforce and Ceridian decided to join forces marrying Dayforce’s development expertise and innovative technology with Ceridian’s experience, established customer base and market research. The combination effectively positioned delivery of the most advanced workforce management solution and subsequent broader human capital platform in the industry. This transformation has reinvigorated the entire organization from HR to software developers to the sales force. Employees and customers alike are excited about our products, services, our brand and the future of the company.

However, this transformation also brought along its obstacles, which required quick thinking to overcome. Blending the two companies’ geographic and cultural differences at the start of this transformation was a challenge that we as an organization successfully overcame. Employees from Dayforce and Ceridian are now fully integrated at all levels of the overall Ceridian organization, an achievement I take immense pride in as an HR professional.

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