Meet The Team: Q&A Session With Huddle’s VP of People and Culture, Josipa Beti

April 30, 2024

Meet The Team: Q&A Session With Huddle’s VP of People and Culture, Josipa Beti

Today, we shine the spotlight on Josipa Beti, our VP of People and Culture. Join us as Josipa shares her unique journey, innovative HR strategies, and the passion driving her role at Huddle. Let's dive into Josipa's story!

What inspired you to pursue a career in People and Culture, and how has your journey led you to your current role at Huddle?

My journey into People and Culture began with my deep interest in human psychology, which led me to study psychology in college. However, it wasn't until my active involvement in various student organizations during my time at university that I truly immersed myself in the complexity of Human Resources.

Volunteering in these organizations exposed me to a dynamic environment where I contributed to talent acquisition, training initiatives, onboarding processes, and skill assessments. It was like stepping into a real-life playground of business operations, offering me invaluable insights into the dynamics of organizational behavior and employee management. This experience ignited my passion for HR, prompting me to delve deeper into the field.

Even before completing my studies, I embarked on a career path in the HR domain, starting with a role in a headhunting agency where I built my skills in recruitment and employer branding. Over the past decade, I've had the privilege of working with diverse organizations, ranging from large corporations to innovative startups. Witnessing the evolution of HR over this period has been remarkable; the transition from traditional HR practices to a more holistic approach centered around People and Culture underscores its increasing significance within companies.

What truly drives me in this role is the opportunity to collaborate with managers and employees alike, facilitating their growth journeys and championing the implementation of impactful processes. At Huddle, I found alignment between my passion for nurturing talent and the company's vision, making it an ideal fit for me to contribute my expertise and continue evolving in this dynamic field.

Can you share a particularly memorable success story or initiative related to people and culture during your time at Huddle?

It's difficult to choose just one event that shaped our People and Culture framework into the employee-focused environment it is today.

Upon joining Huddle, I was tasked with building the HR/People and Culture department from scratch. There was just 25 employees, many of whom were new to the workforce. There was a lack of structure and processes, and one of our initial endeavors was introducing a basic spreadsheet for employees to request time off. While seemingly straightforward to us, it sparked surprising reactions from the team, with some saying,, "What is this? We're becoming too corporate!" It was a moment that highlighted the need for communication and education about the importance of such systems in organizing workload and fostering transparency.

As we navigated this transition, we encountered the challenge of managing dispersed offices across the US, UK, and Europe. To streamline employee data management and ensure consistent onboarding experiences, we implemented a modern HRIS (Human Resources Information System). This platform has become integral to our daily operations, facilitating seamless communication between the People and Culture team and employees across all locations.

Last year, we launched an Employee Engagement Survey to enhance satisfaction and identify areas for improvement. Insights from the survey helped us set concrete objectives for continuous improvement. Currently, we're implementing a pulse check survey to measure our actions' effectiveness. At Huddle, our approach isn't about individual successes, but consistently addressing employee needs, enriching our culture, and driving positive impact.

Huddle has been growing rapidly. What strategies do you employ to attract top talent and ensure a smooth onboarding process for new hires?

We've implemented several strategies to attract top talent and ensure a seamless onboarding process for new hires amidst our rapid growth trajectory.

One crucial aspect of our talent acquisition strategy is the presence of an in-house Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding Specialist. This dedicated role has proven pivotal in expediting our search process and streamlining the selection process, resulting in faster recruitment cycles and ensuring the best-fit candidates join our team.

Secondly, we leverage the power of employee referrals by offering a referral bonus program. This proven best practice not only encourages better engagement among our current employees but also empowers them to play an active role in selecting individuals who align with our company culture and values.

Additionally, we actively engage with student organizations and participate in relevant events to foster awareness of our company within the community. This has helped us bring on board talented individuals who started with us as students and have now become integral team members.

Given our relatively recent entry into the market, having been established for a bit over three years, we prioritize our presence on social media, blogs, and industry events. Our Marketing team drives this effort, spreading our mission and culture to resonate with potential hires.

For onboarding, we use a people management platform to start the process before the new hire's start date. We're also improving our onboarding to suit each team's unique needs, ensuring a smooth transition. These strategies ensure we attract top talent and set the stage for long-term success and growth.

In your experience, what are some of the common HR challenges that small businesses encounter, and how does Huddle approach addressing these challenges within its own context?

A common HR challenge for small businesses is knowing when to hire an HR person. Owners juggle hiring, admin, and legal tasks alongside growing the business. This can lead to overwhelm and burnout as the workload increases with growth.

When I joined Huddle, we had 25 employees, a turning point for our growth. I believe early HR support is crucial to establish administrative and legal frameworks. This frees up business owners to focus on strategic growth.

HR professionals serve as invaluable companions in navigating these challenges, providing support, guidance, and expertise. They not only alleviate stress and workload but also challenge business owners to strive for excellence while fostering a positive work environment.

I've had the privilege of working with a CEO and co-founders at Huddle who appreciate the value of having a dedicated People and Culture team. Their inclusive approach and reliance on our expertise not only validate the importance of HR but also make us feel valued and appreciated for the work we do. This supportive environment enables us to effectively address HR challenges and contribute to the company's overall success.

What role do you believe collaboration and knowledge-sharing play in advancing HR management practices?

In the HR community, there's often a tendency to highlight successes and accomplishments while overlooking the challenges and failures encountered along the way.

Open collaboration and knowledge-sharing help us learn from each other's experiences, avoiding mistakes and fostering innovation. There's no one-size-fits-all solution in HR, so sharing insights allows us to tailor approaches to fit our organizations' unique needs. By working together, we continuously improve and drive positive change in HR practices.

Lastly, what do you personally find most fulfilling about your role as VP of People and Culture at Huddle?

As VP of People and Culture at Huddle, I love the chance to keep learning and growing. In my time here, I've faced all kinds of challenges, like managing teams across different countries and dealing with various workplace cultures and laws. But these challenges keep me motivated and eager to develop new skills.

One of the best parts of my job is building the HR department from scratch and working with an amazing team who share my passion. At Huddle, we're encouraged to come up with new ideas and try new things to keep our employees engaged and our company thriving. It's a supportive environment where everyone's ideas are valued, and that makes every day exciting. I'm grateful to be part of a team that celebrates innovation and encourages personal and professional growth.