Hiring and firing department transforms to value driver, says Zip

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Human Resources has undergone a facelift in recent years, and now more typically prefers the name of People and Culture. The change is much more than cosmetic. Instead, it reflects the transformation of its goals away from its traditional transactional role into a mission these days to grow business value.

Digital Nation spoke to Anna Buber-Farovich, chief people officer at Zip Co, about how this area has transformed at the fintech.

“I personally think that we really need to stop thinking about HR as HR, it's beyond that and it has been for many years,” says Buber-Farovich.

Buber-Farovich describes the HR or people function as a product-based function, where the customers are Zip employees and the business leaders.

The HR function, or people function, is the most embedded in the business, she says.

Through the deployment of their people partnership model, each leader in the organisation knows who to go to as their first point of call for any people-related concerns.

“I actually have business partners allocated to each business unit and to each leader. And those people partners know the business inside out how we make money, where do we invest, what are the challenges etc.”

“Then, almost every solution we bring to the table is a customised solution to the business goals and challenges that the business is facing.”

While HR has traditionally been accused of being a support function to other growth areas, Buber-Farovich argues that the people function at Zip is a key driver of growth for the business.

“I don't see myself as a support function I never have, and I don't see myself as a support function at Zip. From a budgeting perspective, it's still maybe. But I'm first and foremost a business driver,” she says.

Despite the strategic role of HR, the function still faces a number of key challenges.

Buber-Farovich believes that building the right relationships is crucial, and having organisations change their mindset around the HR functions is key going forward.

“This is where we really need to transform into becoming those true [innovators], leading the way business leaders that could help companies grow, scale and bring their culture to life.”

“We are also working with a very tech-savvy young population, so we like to power everything we do with technology.”

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