Lacramioara Daraban, Head of Human Relations at Continental Sibiu, says that mastering all of today’s challenges and staying ahead of the curve isn’t just about what the company plans to do, but also about the way it does it and with whom. Keeping the HR team agile, authentic, passionate, great at engaging employees and focused on smart solutions, results in the entire company being on board, working on the same mission.
By Anda Sebesi
How would you define your HR policy?
At Continental Sibiu, we are essentially growing a city in the city, not just in terms of the number of employees but also in terms of skills and technologies. Our People Strategy is guided by a well-connected and strategic mix of objectives, derived from the business strategy, inspired by our experience of the last 20 years in Sibiu, and shaped by market trends. Some of the main pillars of our strategy are: making sure that Continental Sibiu is “the place to be” and offering our colleagues a great employee experience; being the most attractive and progressive employer within our market and beyond; living ownership and shaping a culture where people are empowered and leaders are inspiring; learning anytime, anywhere, on any device and shaping a proactive learning culture; developing talent and HR digitalization.
What were the main initiatives the company dedicated to its employees last year?
We understand that employee engagement, development, and recognition are essential for any organisation’s long-term success. Under this umbrella, several programmes, initiatives, and events were organised last year for the #PeopleOfContinentalSibiu: from strategic ones such as tailormade retention workshops, rewards and recognitions programmes, agile learning solutions, improving work flexibility or kindergarten extension to fun activities like “Children at the Office.”
What is your strategy in terms of attracting and retaining talent in your company?
With a community of almost 4,500 colleagues, a hiring need of hundreds of positions per year, a vast diversity of roles and competencies, plus the goal of being one of the most attractive and progressive employers in the region, going the extra mile in our retention, recruitment, and employer branding activities has become a must. We are shaping and developing our future talent market within strong partnerships with high schools and universities. Over 300 students are working at Continental Sibiu as part of a paid internship programme with flexible schedules. Most of these students decide to stay with us after graduation, so every year, more than 150 fresh graduates join our team, mostly as engineers and developers. We also support their education by having over 40 Continental experts teaching in partner universities and by working closely with over 50 Continental Ambassadors who represent our company inside universities and organise activities for students such as competitions, technical presentations, company tours, and more. Scholarships and investments in laboratories and research projects are also major elements of this partnership. Secondly, we try to have a balanced level of expertise in our company and work on attracting professionals through our programmes such as software & technical academies, engineering training programmes, proactive networking and recruitment events in different cities, an alumni programme, technical conferences, improving our application process or rolling out cross-channel employer branding campaigns. We foster a positive and inclusive workplace culture and make sure that our employees are valued and rewarded for their hard work and dedication.
3 HR challenges for the automotive sector in 2023
- A larger qualified talent pool is available on the market but it’s increasingly difficult to attract;
- In the hybrid work context, the market is no longer local/regional but rather a national or even international one, which calls for a mindset shift and strategy adaptation;
- Constant changes in employees’ expectations as Gen Z takes over.