Spotlight on a career path - Diana
By Adriana Noailles on Feb 13, 2013
Hi! I am Diana and I am the EMEA HR Shared Services Center Supervisor. I joined the team at the beginning of 2009, as a Junior Analyst. What I knew then about the job was that I would be supporting other HR teams in the region. How to do that I was about to learn in the next couple of months. Let me first tell you what the team I am part of does. The EMEA HR Shared Services Centre was launched in Bucharest in March 2008 and it’s purpose is to cover several HR related processes including the Pre-Employment Screening of candidates, supporting the local HR teams, the Recruitment organisation, managers and employees across the 41 EMEA business groups.
I remember that the first trainings on the job were abounding in details related to HR processes and procedures I have never worked with before, a brand new HR system and web applications, combined with more than 50 basic HR contacts to get familiar with. While making my way through all the new procedures and guidelines to, I was also enjoying this new, exciting and entertaining environment I was part of.
With a manager who was encouraging but also challenging me on a daily basis, colleagues supporting me but at the same time making sure I stay on the right track and, nonetheless, multicultural teams to work with, I tried my best to surpass the newbie stage. What also enhanced my development was the fact that the HR SSC was taking over new projects and activities, for which I was either a good match or a rookie volunteer. To draw a parallel here, it was not just me who was growing but the department itself which I soon realised to be a trait, a feature of the ever-changing environment at Oracle.
An important milestone in my development was taking over the management of the Pre-Employment screening process, also a new activity of the HR SSC, in cooperation with an external provider. The challenge this time was not only to accommodate a new process internally, but also to get familiar with the external provider’s different approach and ensure the company adjusts to Oracle’s standards of swift and qualitative service delivery. As the process was supposed to cover the background check for candidates across the European countries and South Africa, the HR SSC developed a sub-team dedicated to this activity, for which I became the team leader.
Everything about this process was new: our stakeholders were no longer the local HR team, but recruiters across EMEA, who were more used to working directly with the provider, rather than in cooperation with a shared service center. There was also the new external provider who was facing unexpectedly high number of urgent requests from its new client. On top of this, we were building a brand new team to bring value and efficiency to this process. It took us more than one year, countless conference calls and meetings to reach the aimed performance.
Moving to a Management role
I was still intensively involved in the Pre-employment screening process when the wind of change hit the HR SSC team. The one who had been my direct manager and mentor for the last three years, decided to take a new career opportunity and bring the same commitment to delivering the high-quality services, that the HR SSC was now known for, to a new department within Oracle. Those of you who developed a great professional relationship with someone you will no longer work with, acknowledge the mix of feelings this kind of experience can generate. It’s the bittersweet sentiment of excitement for the other’s career step ahead but also the sadness that you will no longer share the achievements, the frustrations and the morning coffees as colleagues. Fortunately, though, this was compensated by the fact that the move was internal.
Due to my experience as an operational analyst, the knowledge on the background check process and also the team management skills developed during my years with the PES team, I became the HR SSC’s team new manager. Since then, my biggest challenge was to move my focus from a single process and the management of a small team to the entire department’s performance, efficiency and well being. With even more changes happening during the last year, several team members transferring out and newbies joining, there were always trainings to accommodate, new personalities to get to know and the constant challenging yet enjoyable task of making sure that suitable skills for certain projects and activities are not missed out.
After almost one year of directly coordinating the team I am delighted to see those who less than six months ago were bashfully stepping into the HR SSC office, growing into confident, independent analysts, ready to take over complex projects. Luckily, around me there are also the colleagues I have and am still growing together with, who get together for a brainstorm on a situation without solution at the first glance and that also hit the hot chocolate machine for a well deserved and relaxing break once in a while.
Looking back at these last four years I can only hope the next ones will be at least half as exciting and rewarding and I am confidently looking forward to all the projects one can be a part of while working at Oracle.
My advice to you, young ambitious achievers, is to always seek ways to improve your performance, keep a positive attitude towards changes and find joy in your work together with the people you share common goals with. Though it may sound stereotypical, this is my success story of making the work feel both fulfilling and gratifying.