The Nurturing Ground of Growth Seekers – Interviewing Head of HR, Aratum
Ms. Ailene Lopez is the Head of HR at Aratum. She holds multiple certifications, including LPT, DipHR and CLSSYB. Having extensive experience in training and development for the past decade, her mantra is always “work hard and play hard.”
It has been estimated that the average person will spend one-third of their life at work. That’s roughly 90,000 hours at work over your lifetime.
If you are looking for personal and career growth, working in an environment that values your individual development and helps you unleash your full potential can make a huge difference in your professional life.
Let’s have a heart-to-heart discussion with Aratum’s Head of HR, Ms. Ailene Lopez, to know more about what a growth seeker should look for from their employer and what contributes to Aratum being a nurturing ground that fosters learning, collaboration, and support.
Q: Nice to talk to you, Ms. Ai. With your HR experience, let’s start with what you think are the most sought-after attributes/skills in the current job market?
A: To answer this question, we can think about in this era of Artificial Intelligence: what makes us stand out as a human being – what are our unique advantages?
Mundane, routine tasks can be taken over by machines. We get tired, but machines don’t. Technology can help us execute no-brainer tasks. However, there are three core attributes of talents that we think cannot be replaced by machines. And these three are also the core values of our company, Aratum.
If you truly believe and live by these three values, you will be who we are looking for in the Aratum team. And you will thrive with great career growth, not only in the current job market but in the future, too.
Q: What are the three core values then?
A: First of all, caring. Everything starts with care. We all care about ourselves – but in a deeper sense, are we living intentionally, with a purpose, towards our goal? Do we care about our time in this world: are we making a difference to this society? Are we spending our time contributing to something better?
We don’t only care about ourselves; we care about others as well. Are you a team player? Do you care about your customers? Are you helping them to solve problems? If you care about all these, your passion will show in your work, and you will work joyfully with colleagues and customers.
Q: Right, caring is such an important factor. What about the remaining two values?
A: The second attribute is attention to detail. If you care enough, you will start to dive deep: what is the rationale behind a certain decision? Why do customers behave in certain ways? Then, you will pay attention to the specific small needs that can make a huge impact on the workflow.
For example, Aratum is a supply chain technology company. We empower businesses for growth. We need to go through in detail, e.g., what are our customers’ current process pain points? From their order handling in e-commerce marketplaces to their warehouse management system to the last mile of delivery. Every one of our 44 teammates, be it front-facing sales consultants or programmers behind the scenes, is thinking about the nitty-gritty that can make lives easier for our customers. Across our offices, no matter whether the colleague is in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, or China, we all have one goal in mind. For this, we are willing to drill down to details and be meticulous in execution.
Q: What is the final value then?
A: Finally, data-driven. Research shows that data analytics jobs will grow by 23% in the coming decade, much faster than the average of 5% for all other industries. People who can master data are obviously in high demand. Why? Because decisions cannot be based on sand. Data speaks louder than words, and they don’t lie.
In Aratum, we value objectivity and well-researched initiative. Employees can make proposals with data and improve the company with new ideas. It doesn’t matter where you are in the hierarchy; the most important thing is whether the idea is sound and logical and if you have done your homework research. If yes, you can make an impact here.
Q: All these values are valuable. But how does a company demonstrate that they are nurturing employees to get better at these?
A: If you are a growth seeker, look for a growing company. Your personal goals will then align with the company’s. How do you know if a company values a growth mindset?
In Aratum, we offer monthly training sessions on a variety of topics, e.g., cybersecurity, wellness coaching, and project management. We subsidize the employees’ Reading Club and encourage employees to become avid readers. We also subscribe to quality publications, e.g., Harvard Business Review, for employees to widen their knowledge.
If you have specific courses or industry events in mind that you want to attend, you can also propose to your manager for approval. These are especially helpful for fresh graduates and aspiring professionals who want to widen their horizons.
Q: Thank you, Ai. What else would you like to share with growth-seeking job seekers?
A: Growth is not easy. During interviews, you might feel very excited about the new opportunities ahead. When you get onboard and reality hits, you can start feeling inadequate because there can be gaps between your current ability and targets. It’s normal.
As an employer, I must say it is pretty rare for a company to be willing to invest heavily in talents with an attitude to grow. We have an HR Checkpoint (30-60-90 days) and an Individual Development Plan that your mentor will especially make with you and for you. Our employees enjoy above-the-market perks and benefits as well. Our offices are all located in prime areas, e.g., BGC in the Philippines. I enjoy my everyday with cool and collaborative colleagues. Plus, we just hold a series of wellness activities for everyone to get fit physically and mentally.
If the following sounds like you, come send us a CV at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have openings in sales, marketing, and IT.
2. Humility and Humbleness
3. Critical Thinkers
4. Solution Makers
5. Problem Solvers
6. Resilience and Grit
7. Happy Disposition in Life