HR in a software development team
This post is also available in : Spanish
Interview with Sara Martín, HR at Pandora FMS, a software company
“Human Resources”, what are “Human Resources”? Vegetal charcoal? A set of goods or means of subsistence? The ability to touch your nose with your tongue or move your ears on demand by just focusing your mind on them? Yes, many would consider the latter as an awesome resource, and human too, but no! Today we are not going to talk about that. We are going to talk about true Human Resources.
Human Resources is that department within companies where everything related to the people who work there is managed. Selection processes, hiring, welcoming, training, promotion, payrolls, contracts, layoffs and more human things that they make up. As department, it is essential to deal with employees, real matter, pure charcoal that gives life and energy to the hitherto lifeless machine of companies.
A good head of human resources must have instinct, leadership, patience, cunning, know how to behave, commitment, kindness, a vast knowledge of comics and glamor, the latter two are optional, but Sara Martín Boluda, Head of Human Resources at Pandora FMS, also has them.
How and why did you start working at Pandora FMS?
When I finished my studies as a health social worker, I decided to continue training in the field of psychology. While I was getting my second degree, I decided to look for a job that I could combine with my studies. And so I found a job as administrative assistant and receptionist at Pandora FMS. One of the things that most caught my attention was that, within my tasks, I was also going to be able to take part in personnel selection processes. As soon as I stepped into the office for the first time and saw the tentacle of the Maniac Mansion in a picture, I thought “this place rocks!”. That’s how they got me from the start. Within a few months, I began to carry out the first selection processes. I increasingly had more HR tasks, so I decided to get training in the sector and study a Master in HR. A year later I was already head of HR.
What is Human Resources for a company and what exactly do you do in your position?
That question would be enough for another whole interview, so I will try to be brief. The HR of a company includes all the administrative tasks related to personnel, but it is much more than that. In my case, I give much more importance to the human part. At Pandora FMS, I have done all kinds of tasks, but within HR one of the things I value the most is trying to keep peace within the organization, to help people to be as happy as possible in here, and stay motivated working comfortably. I think that way we are all much more productive and that is a visible benefit for the company.
Among those kinds of tasks, I am in charge of the administrative management of personnel, that is, holidays, transfers, payrolls and the little day-to-day things. Also recruitment and personnel selection and internal and external training, as well as the prevention of occupational risks, social benefits, mediations when necessary, etc. In addition, I’m also in charge for the Community-related issues and the wonderful videos, which you can watch in our channel.
What are the keys to choosing well when hiring someone?
The most important thing is to fit within the team and have the necessary knowledge to carry out their tasks. At Pandora FMS, we place great importance on resolution and learning and adaptation abilities.
I don’t think there is an ideal candidate. Throughout my life I have seen may endless job offers where they asked for all kinds of programming languages, in addition to high level of English and 5 years of experience, offering a salary below the market, but then, for example, when you talk to them, the candidate will never actually speak English and will only use PHP. That way you leave many highly talented people out of job offers, people willing to give their best and with a learning curve that can pleasantly surprise the team.
How is team spirit encouraged or how is the employee encouraged to work hard?
The truth is that it is hard and since recruiting at home due to COVID, much more. Now that you say it, I think that all the professionals in the sector are wondering the same.
For our part, we have always done small actions to enjoy being in the company, whether it be ordering takeout together, celebrating the birthdays of the team members, meeting in the evening to hang out, “team building” through games or our wonderful summer barbecue and christmas dinner. Now with the pandemic, we only have team meetings through Meet and improve the training of people who request it or who need to improve any of their abilities. We all hope all of this is over soon and we can organize our long-awaited barbecue of the year.
On the other hand, for workers to work to the fullest, it is necessary for them to understand what they do, that their work has a meaning and they can enjoy it. There are always monotonous and boring tasks, but when you know it is for something, everything has much more meaning. In addition, having a team full of wonderful people, who collaborate and always make you smile, helps a lot to work motivated and with a smiling face. In the end, a company is made up by its workers and, here at Pandora FMS, we can be satisfied, we have the perfect team.
Any tips to make a layoff smoother?
No, the truth is that there is no trick. It is an unpleasant situation and much more when we work in such a united way. We all know each other very well and every time there is a layoff, it is hard for everyone. You have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, be tactful, explain the process in detail, not go beat around the bush too much and try to help as much as possible so that this person can find a new job.
How many years have you been in the company? Any funny anecdotes during these years that help to liven up a meal or a hangout?
I have been working for four years and I think I had many anecdotes during this time.
On my first day working here, for example, they gave me a documentation to shred, so I got on it, but when I saw that it started to get stuck and the sound started to disturb everyone I shared the room with, I was so embarrassed. I tried to remove the jammed paper and broke the shredding machine. A lovely girl named Carla rushed to help me and tell me not to worry. I think since then there is no shredding machine. That was the beginning of a great friendship.
The truth is that I have had a great time during these years, I have had a blast and I have very good memories.
What is the geekiest hobby you have? Does it help you in any way in your work?
I’m quite a geek in general. I collect comics, I really like video games, playing board games and role playing. I guess I have the full pack. But apart from that, I am also fond of yoga, mycology and I love fossils.
I’m kind of weird and I guess that made me fit in well with the team. We are lucky to have common hobbies and that makes lunch times much easier.
What band, singer, DJ, instrumentalist, or thing can’t you stop listening to lately?
I’m on an endless loop with Candlemass and Amelie Lens. Yes, they have nothing to do with each other, but electronic music and doom metal are my two favorite genres.
Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when I say these words:
* Pandora: FMS
* Friday night: Pizza
* Team: Pizza
* Sunday evening: More pizza!