#HRSpotlight2021 | Lacramioara Daraban, Head of Human Relations at Continental Sibiu: Data-Driven HR Will Be An Important Trend To Follow In 2021, As Digitalization Is Fundamentally Changing Our Industry

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 22/01/2021 | 15:10

The HR industry changed a lot in 2020 as the new pandemic context brought new challenges, but skillful HR managers successfully overcame those and transformed their companies’ approach to employee retention, engagement, retention, or satisfaction among others. We featured all this in the exclusive HR Spotlight Interviews, in which we talked to several top HR professionals, but now, as 2021 is predicted to become its own beast, BR decided to revamp the series. Without further ado, let’s kick off 2021 with the pros and explore the HR trends of the new year. For the second episode, Lacramioara Daraban, Head of Human Relations at Continental Sibiu, returns after her original interview for the second season of the #HRSpotlight series!


  • 2020 Overview: the most important actions and programs in your organization?

Although 2020 was an atypical year, I have to say the pandemic situation did not have such a big impact in the way of working in our Human Relations department. We were already quite advanced and digitized, so our most important projects and programs followed their course – perhaps sometimes slowed down due to context, but reinvented, adapted and successfully completed, in order to offer a positive #EX (Employee Experience) even in these times.

I mention here remote interviews, online trainings and onboarding, such as launching an Employee Advocacy Program and even an Online Internship option for students. I also add my favorite, Alumni Program.

Last year, in areas as training, employer branding and recruiting we had to reinvent some of our processes. In the recruitment area we moved almost all the interviews online. The pandemic made us transform the way of hiring, using technology platforms for 99% of the interviews and managing to safely connect with the candidates, but in the same time offering them a live experience. The next step after a successful interview is onboarding, and we managed to move the induction sessions online, too.

Coronavirus boosted interest in online learning, but we were already prepared. With Continental Sibiu’s #passion2learn strategy and the concept of AT AW AD Learning (AnyTime, AnyWhere, AnyDevice), expanded the learning options available, giving the employees multiple choices: classroom trainings or an impressive selection of e-learning trainings.

The idea of mobile work was not new to us, so it wasn’t difficult to move from traditionally office to hybrid working arrangements. The idea of an online internship worked just as well. Based on students’ feedback, this very first edition was a success. They had the chance to experience projects from software, hardware and test area in an online form that we would not have thought of if the context had not required it.

Last but not least, I mention the Employee Advocacy Program that helps the employees who want to learn more about our company and social media to represent us as ambassadors in schools, universities and even social media. It seemed natural to even organize Social Media Training sessions, to guide our employees and to keep them properly informed and creative.


  • Keeping an eye on the future, with so much change and uncertainty on the horizon, how is your organization now to accelerate the 2021 changes?

Actually, the future has arrived. In 2020 we were able to quickly adapt to changes, thanks to the advanced digitization processes and the commitment that our employees have shown. For 2021, we keep our optimism and confidence open. The challenges and changes of the new year can be overcome only with the involvement of all employees – I have no doubt this will happen. Continuing the digital transformations started last year, working hard and accelerating our appetite for fast learning and adaptability, 2021 does not look bad at all.


  • Which will be from your perspective, the 2021 top 3 most important trends that HR leaders will follow?

The pandemic normalized remote work, so I strongly believe that working from anywhere will continue to be one of the top trends of 2021. Workspaces will become more and more flexible, and the well-being of employees will continue to be not only a trend, but a priority. After the crisis, the mental health and the safety of our employees are in focus. Still, the story is not complete without mentioning that concepts like Work from anywhere, #EE Employee Engagement, Self-Responsibility, Accountability – strongly depend on each other.

The data-driven HR will be an important trend to follow in 2021, as digitalization is fundamentally changing our industry and the way we work. Human Relations is a key partner in shaping this transformation, using analytics and metrics to drive performance. Using analytics in HR grows mutual value for the organization and at the same time for employees.

Running routine HR Processes using Data Care Robotics; Kaizala App for communication with the employees, Success Factors App… are just few of the “wow” things implemented this year in Sibiu.

Making the most of online tools for learning and development is essential in 2021. During the pandemic, classic trainings have moved online, as well as job interviews and events, presentations or workshops. The need of continuous learning and adaptability makes the third top trend in HR. Besides HR digitization and transformation processes that apply in the organization, our employees benefit of many career development tools and are likely to make performance. We have expanded the learning options available in the organization by giving colleagues the opportunity to choose between classical, classroom trainings, and an impressive selection of e-learning on all those topics of interest to us as an organization. It’s up to each employee how much wants to evolve and grow professionally.


  • How your organization will adapt the future normal, shaping the future workforce and keeping the engagement?

No one can tell for sure what exactly is the ‘new normal’, I think the idea of ‘future normal’ is already here and we already have adapted to it. During the crisis, we managed to redesign our employee’s way of working and keep their productivity engaged by let them choose what suits them best: working from home or working on site. As for the future workforce, we, at Continental Sibiu, are confident and prepared. In the last two years we have been designated the most desired employer, so our future colleagues will join an ideal workplace in company of the future, digitized and optimized for the current times.

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