Whether it’s developing HR strategies or driving organisational performance, Five agency’s Head of HR Ana Petrovic is always on hand to deliver! Here’s her advice for cultivating company culture, ensuring your co-workers hit their KPIs and how candidates can adapt their CVs to really make a difference in their job search…
You’ve been Head of HR at Five for five years – please could you give our readers a quick update of your key tasks for this role and how you implement these in the workplace…
The beauty of my job is that my key tasks change how the company grows. Currently I work on scaling the company while nurturing our culture. This includes talent acquisition, employer branding and people development. Luckily I work with a team of talented people who make our million ideas about everything possible!
As Head of HR you are responsible for cultivating company culture. Can you give an example of a successful strategy you’ve introduced that’s helped your colleagues achieve their KPIs…
I believe everyone needs a bigger picture and a sense of meaning in their goals or KPIs, to see how their work contributes to the entire organisation. At Five, we try to address that with a series of connected initiatives. Some are conducted annually, some quarterly and some monthly.
‘Offsite’ is a big discussion-workshop that gives everyone the opportunity to share their input on our company vision and most important goals for the year. This is our annual starting point in a way.
In our Objective and Key Results (OKR) sessions teams clarify and prioritise their ideas that will contribute to company goals. In monthly demos and quarterly all hands meetings we keep everyone updated on projects we’re working on, together with a recap of the previous period and plans for the next one. We also use both opportunities for two-way communication, holding open discussion and Q&A sessions. These sessions help to ensure that each month we are all on the same page.
Finally, we also have monthly one-on-one meetings with employees where they can address anything they want with their team lead. The one-on-one meetings ensure every individual gets support, coaching or guidelines from their team lead in achieving OKRs, long term goals, skill development goals… or just general support about anything important for that person.
You’ve been involved in recruitment and talent acquisition since 2001… what made you choose this as a career? Also, please could you tell us how you started your journey on the career ladder…
I was always been interested in Psychology and curious about people and their personalities, so a degree in this field was my first and only choice. Once I obtained my degree in Psychology, this quickly led to my first job in talent acquisition – a career where you can follow that curiosity and build on it to achieve tangible, meaningful results!
What are the three key attributes every HR Manager should have if they want to succeed in business?
We once placed an advert for a position in HR titled ‘Shoulder to cry on’. Of course this was a PR stunt, however it does encapsulate one of the qualities needed to thrive in HR. The perfect HR professional should also build trust, be action-oriented and have a strategic mind.
What would you say are the most innovative talent acquisition strategies for graduates in 2019?
I’m not sure how innovative it is, but I think a good strategy is to open up and engage with your graduate candidates as much as possible. Show them the people they will learn from, what will they work on and how your culture looks like. They want to envision how they can grow with your company, no empty phrases but concrete, real stories.
What is your one piece of advice to a job seeker who is having trouble securing an interview, let alone a new job?
Redesign your CV and motivation letter. Make it relevant for the company you’re applying for. Don’t copy your CV data in the motivation letter, write about your real motivation for the company and the job you’re applying for. Where possible, describe your results instead of actions.
Finally, what’s your proudest working accomplishment?
I could list some cliché things here – building the company from 50 to 180 people, building my team etc. Anyway, a lot of things in HR are not individual accomplishment but a coordinated effort of many people who put the ideas into practice. However, when I tone down the sceptic in me and really do some quality introspection, I’m proud to be a person who constantly works on herself and tries to increase the value she brings to her work environment.
Five is a mobile design and development agency, founded in 2007, that builds award-winning digital products. Their clients include Rosetta Stone, Marriott International, Penguin Random House, Napster, and Choice Hotels. Click here for Senior Growth Marketing Strategist at Five, Ana Karic’s guide to getting noticed on LinkedIn!