In an exclusive interview with Aderonke Salami, granted Bayo Speaks as a face of the week. She revealed her background, lifestyle, career and achievements.
Aderonke Salami is the Founder and Lead Consultant of Unicorn HR Consulting which bridges the gap between employers and employees, partnering with companies to ensure they achieve their clients objectives, maximize opportunities and overcome challenges, providing services in Human Resources and Recruitment Consulting, Career Advisory, Policies and Procedures Documentation, Performance Evaluation and Management, Writing Services, Brand Influencing, and Speaking Engagements.
She Originated from Ondo State but born and raised in Lagos State. Her background was a mix of traditional and modern lifestyles.
Aderonke Salami is seasoned in English Language and Public and International Affairs.
She is passionate about events and helping brands achieve their goals.
May we get to meet you; who really is Aderonke Salami?
I consider myself someone who wears many hats. I am Human Resources and Recruitment Consultant, Career Coach, Writer, LinkedIn Brand Influencer, Event Manager, and Public Speaker.
Can you please tell us about your background?
Funny how I like to say that I am both from Ondo and from Lagos State… hahaha. This is because my dad is from Ondo and my mom is from Lagos. I am the eldest of three siblings, mainly lived all our life in Ikoyi and Lekki environs. My background was a mix of traditional and modern lifestyles because my dad had a German background for a long while and taught some of his lifestyle to us. But we were the typical close knitted family that had fun being a family.
Briefly tell us about your educational background?
I studied English Language as my first degree at the University of Lagos and Public and International Affairs for my Master’s program.
What do you do for a living?
I am the Founder and Lead Consultant of Unicorn HR Consulting which bridges the gap between employers and employees, partnering with companies to ensure they achieve their client objectives, maximize opportunities and overcome challenges, providing services in Human Resources and Recruitment Consulting, Career Advisory, Policies and Procedures Documentation, Performance Evaluation/Management, Writing Services, Brand Influencing, and Speaking Engagements.
When did you know you wanted this job?
I knew this role was for me when I came across the pain points a lot of candidates and employers had when it comes to recruitment. My background in managing 35 sites and over 400 staff helped to shape my HR role. Also, knowing that I could help a lot of candidates get into the job market and ensure they are valuable to themselves and to any organization they find themselves in birthed a community of proactive professionals known as the Unicorn HR Circle. It goes beyond being a job to growing a community.
What career mistake has given you the biggest lesson?
Hmm… I do not consider it a mistake but more like lessons learned. Making sure I do my due diligence before signing any dotted lines especially out of desperation. Now I preach this to any who cares to listen, never to be in a hurry to offer your services, no matter how fine the blueprint is. If it looks too good to be true, then it is too good to be true.
What dream did you have while growing up?
Hahaha… I had lots of dreams. But one of my biggest dreams is to have an institution that caters for women and children’s welfare.
Can you please tell me about your passion for events and writing?
My passion for events stemmed from helping my mom plan her events. One thing I enjoy is putting the pieces of the puzzle together and seeing the bigger picture of a successful event.
Also, writing for me is like baring out my soul. For every word I pen down, a part of me is in it. I started writing at a very young age, as a teenager in my diary, but in 2015, it became my escape route for coping with my dad having cancer, and ended up becoming a department in Unicorn HR Consulting.
What was your first win that made you confident that you were doing the right thing?
This is a tough one to answer, but I will say my best win was when I was invited to Covenant University to speak about Employee Advocacy in the Organization to final year students of the Faculty of Business Administration.
Who is your mentor and why?
My mom is my mentor. Because of how industrious and resilient she is. When it comes to business, she is fearless and a risk taker who isn’t afraid to take up challenges and She has succeeded in building businesses that have grown within a short period of time.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
My spare time is used for reading. I enjoy reading and learning about new places, ideologies, history, and people. I also enjoy like watching cartoons and documentaries with my family.
If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?
What’s the passcode to the biggest gold vault in the world? Hahaha …. Now you know I can play.
Can you please tell us about the people you admire?
Whoosh! I admire a lot of experienced professionals such as Yemi Faseun, Ibrahim Sanusi, Dupe Olusola, Owen Omogiafo, Edememe Oladiji-Wusu, Omobabirin Adeola Osideko, Nkem Offonabo, and so many others. Mostly I admire people who take out time to give value to others, in one form or another.
What’s your opinion about feminism and do you think every woman deserves to be a feminist?
My Opinion can be very controversial as I describe myself as traditionally modern. Feminism as we know it in the Nigerian space, is not what feminism is all about. And I am not a fan of Nigerian feminism. I studied it in school but what we learned is different from what is being practiced. But if we look at it from the point of view of equity, I believe that both men and women should be a feminist.
Are you ever depressed and why?
I realize that our generation is big on labels. But except clinically diagnosed I won’t consider myself as ever being depressed. I have had times when I have felt really low in life. One of the most profound recollections was when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Even though I had to be strong for everybody as the eldest, I shut most people away. Luckily my introverted nature didn’t make it obvious.
What are some of your achievements?
Some of my notable achievements are, being nominated as a fellow at the prestigious IMC Nigeria.
In 2021, being nominated as State Delegate and Talent Acquisition for Women for Equality Inclusion and Sustainability Foundation (WEISF).
In 2021, I received an award for Distinct Positive Values at TIBA2021 Awards, Nominated in the Category for Most Outstanding in Consultancy Human Resources by the Feminine Nigeria Achievement Award.
In 2022, I featured in the 2022 LinkedIn Directory of 2000+ Women Who Inspire Through Their Work, and selected as 1 of 4 Africans in the first ever Tealfeed’s 100 Creators’ Program, 2022.
Where do you hope to be in the next four years?
In the next four years, I see myself still pioneering the career front, notably building value employees around the world, and partnering with global companies to ensure we drive home the value that employees are.
Great interview and insight. Weldone Aderonke. The best is yet to come. You are a trail blazer. Lots of love.