October 1, 2023

Q&A with HiBob’s talent acquisition partner Beth Jenkins

This month, we’re excited to introduce you to Beth Jenkins.

Beth works as a talent acquisition partner at HiBob – an HR-tech unicorn, helping to revolutionise the work experience of HR professionals & their teams. Since signing with HiBob and implementing its integration in MELP, we’ve been meaning to get an inside look into a famously awesome HiBob culture. We’ve asked Beth about working in HR tech, her advice for HR professionals working in start-ups & more.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit more about your role within HiBob and your experience in HR-tech?

I’m currently a Talent Acquisition Partner at HiBob, but have recently moved back from a secondment opportunity to work closer to the Partnerships team and Marketing team, which was by far the most challenging, yes exciting and rewarding experience I’ve had. My role as a Partnerships Marketing Coordinator was to facilitate Partnership Marketing collaborations and opportunities. More recently, moving back into Talent my role has moved into a partnership focussed role, working closely with stakeholders across the business to facilitate and lead the recruitment for various roles across HiBob. The best part about working in Talent, is that I get a small insight into all the roles and the teams at HiBob.

No surprise, in the context of HR-tech, we’d like to touch upon AI. Everyone talks about the benefits, but do you see any threats to using AI in HR processes? What would be the first thing you would or already did automate in your daily tasks? Do you have your favourite HR AI tool?

When implemented thoughtfully, AI can enhance HR processes, driving efficiency and allowing HR professionals to focus on higher-level strategic initiatives. While AI holds immense potential in revolutionizing HR processes, it’s crucial to acknowledge potential threats as well. One significant concern is the risk of perpetuating biases present in historical data. If not carefully curated, AI algorithms may inadvertently reinforce existing disparities in hiring, promotion, or performance evaluation processes. It’s imperative for HR-tech solutions to employ robust bias detection and mitigation strategies to ensure fair and equitable outcomes.

I also believe that an over-reliance on AI can potentially erode the human touch in HR interactions. Personalized support and empathetic understanding, especially in sensitive matters, cannot be replaced by technology alone. Striking the right balance between automation and human intervention is vital for a holistic HR approach.

There’s also the question of data privacy and security. With AI processing substantial amounts of employee data, there’s an increased responsibility to safeguard sensitive information. Compliance with data protection regulations, transparency in data usage, and robust cybersecurity measures become paramount.

In navigating these challenges, HR-tech companies need to be committed to continuous improvement, transparency, and ethical practices.

It’s difficult to choose a favorite HR AI tool – although I have found Generative AI useful from time to time and I feel this might be one that has immediate benefits for HR professionals dealing with admin heavy tasks.

HiBob is growing fast. As professionals in the employee welfare industry, tell us about how HiBob keeps its’ team happy & engaged.

Yes HiBob is growing fast, in fact we just announced a new round of funding to support our expansion into new geos as well as to enhance the product. Bottom line, HiBob is all about employee engagement seen through many lenses in order to foster a culture of belonging and opportunity. For example, we provide collaborative learning tools – in fact, we recently launched a platform called BobEd that offers access to personalized training resources and opportunities for upskilling – thus empowering team members to grow both personally and professionally.

Effective communication tools within the platform are also instrumental in creating a cohesive work environment, especially in dispersed or remote teams. Features like instant messaging, video conferencing, and discussion forums facilitate seamless collaboration and relationship-building.

We understand that recognizing and celebrating achievements is a cornerstone of employee satisfaction, and we use our platform for peer-to-peer recognition, performance tracking, and rewards programs. This not only boosts morale but also reinforces a sense of value and belonging.

I’ll touch again on the importance of inclusivity in employee well-being. An HR team should be able to easily provide resources for mental health support, wellness programs, and tools for managing work-life balance (i.e. flexibility), ensuring that team members feel supported and cared for. We run popular programmes throughout the year and these are often conceptualised by in-house committees or ERG groups that have been set up for exactly this purpose.

What do you think will happen with remote work culture? Are we all bound to come back to the office? How do you handle remote work challenges at HiBob?

The future of remote work culture is poised for a permanent dynamic shift. While some roles may necessitate a return to the office for collaboration or specific tasks, the widespread adoption of remote work has demonstrated its viability. Many companies are likely to adopt a hybrid model, offering employees the flexibility to choose where they work based on the nature of their roles. It’s important to invest in technology, prioritize clear communication, promote work-life balance, recognize achievements, offer professional development opportunities, and gather and act upon employee feedback. Balancing flexibility with structure is key to navigating the evolving work landscape. This is indeed what the platform aims to enable customers to do.

At HiBob, we pride ourselves on being a modern, people-centric company, and we ‘drink our own merlot’ in that sense. Ultimately, embracing remote work as a sustainable and integral part of the company culture requires a balance between flexibility and structure. By prioritizing the well-being, growth, and connection of employees, a business can successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities of the evolving work landscape.

Startups have a very high need for top-notch talent and most of the HR processes must be started from scratch – could you give some advice for HR professionals working in scaling startups?

In a scaling startup, HR professionals play a crucial role in driving growth. They must be adaptable and responsive to changing organizational needs. Finding candidates who align with the company’s values is essential, and a strong employer brand helps attract top talent. Investing in scalable HR technology is vital, as processes often need to be built from scratch. Effective onboarding sets the tone for new employees, and offering growth opportunities helps retain ambitious team members. Balancing compliance with innovation is key, and transparent communication channels are crucial. Data-driven insights are valuable for optimizing HR strategies, and promoting continuous learning benefits both individuals and the company. These principles empower HR professionals to navigate the challenges of scaling startups, contributing to overall success.