Balancing in Louboutin’s
With HR VP of Americas, Aly Pennotti
Aly Pennotti is leading Human Resources for the Americas with one of the most prestigious and iconic global luxury brands in the world (all while being a wife and supermom to 3 adorable boys). As a trusted partner and someone I have worked with for years, Aly is a rare gem in the HR space, working hard to ensure her teams are happy, productive, and supported as she creates a working environment where everyone is embraced for having a voice and owning who they are, authentically.
In this Method Masters Blog, Aly shares her wisdom and insight from an insider HR point of view on how to make a great impression in the interview process, what not to do and what a brand responsibility looks like to make an interview process a positive one.
Read on to learn more about Aly’s career journey and how she balances it all!
What is something you are proud of in your career?
Well, most recently, I have to say, I am proud of how I was able to be promoted to Vice President- and after having my third child – and while in the midst of a pandemic. I think that was pretty cool to be able to elevate in my career while a lot was also happening in my personal life. So many women, unfortunately, are taking steps back to balance both and I was fortunate enough to experience the opposite.
I took a step back and focus on my time management and to ensure I was not wasting days, hours, even minutes. Asking myself, what are meetings I need to attend, where I can have my team step in, delegate tasks, calls etc.
Prioritizing was the key to my productivity. Making it a point to not be involved with everything. I almost think the more you have on your plate, the better you are at managing your time.
I think there is a misunderstanding in business that leaders are not doing their jobs right if they don’t lead by example. Managers think they are saying the right thing when they say, “there is nothing I would ask my team to do that I wouldn’t do myself.” I don’t buy this mantra entirely. I think there are levels within organizations for a reason. If I am doing some of the tasks that I did while I was a coordinator, then something is wrong with the way my department is set up. It’s not meant in the way that I am “too good” for certain things but meant in the sense that this is why we have levels and it’s important to elevate from tasks and be efficient, adding layers and structure.
And to note -my team teaches me something all the time; I learn from them every day. To me, that is much more of a current model than the antiquated top-down (only) way of learning.
Dynamics and leadership operate in different shades.
In your opinion, what makes a candidate stand out for you in the interview process?
Tell us who you are – the person behind the function.. I don’t care if you are the best accountant in the world, if you don’t share a sense of who you are or that you fit into our culture, then it’s hard to know if you will be a successful hire.
And.. stop playing it cool, if you want a job, show it to us! I appreciate the candidates who drink the Kool-Aid and you can tell they really love the brand they are interviewing with.
What drives you crazy that candidates do when applying for jobs OR in an interview?
First, when candidates do not write a Thank-You note to follow up. I appreciate and look forward to Thank You notes after every interview.
The best Thank You note is one that circles back to the conversation highlighting moments that stand out in your interview .
I also want to know that you want this job and this action reaffirms the point.
Secondly, when an offer is given, there is an expectation to accept in a timely manner, ideally to have an answer in at least 24-48 hours respectfully. In my experience, if someone takes more than a day or two to decide, they do not want the job.
And third, if you have jumpy background, explain to us the story (the elephant in the room), own your story- do not be dodgy, be honest without be disrespectful. Transparency is everything. People understand not every job is going to be your long-term place, but shed some light.
What advice would you give for someone looking to make a career pivot on how they can nail their dream job?
A good personality that shines. To put your best foot forward in the interview you have to be warm and forthcoming about who you are and showcase your personality into what you are doing as a function of a role. Make a joke, smile, laugh, get personal and have a conversation. Also point out the obvious so you break the ice. “I realize I don’t have experience in XYZ, but here’s what I do have.”
What is the best way to handle the offer process and how has it changed in your opinion?
People want the full package, other incentives etc.
Candidates are becoming more knowledgeable about what is available to them; you have to have transparent HR teams that can explain all the details in the offer in more detail than ever before. Taking extra time on the company’s side with candidates is key.
It is HR’s job to explain a job and the details of the company but is not our job to sell it. At the end of the day you want to be able to ensure you have someone who wants to come on board to build a career with your business. If you have to sell it, then it may not be right.
Do not invest time in someone that is just leveraging the process to get more from their company.