After studying Economics at the University of Augsburg, Deniz Strößenreuther completed a management training programme at Deutsche Bahn (DB) Netz AG. Having held positions in management development at DB Regio and DB Station & Service AG, among others, and as HR Business Partner Senior Executives, Deniz has been with the US software company Hyland since 2018. As a senior HR manager, she deals with a wide range of tasks, such as Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, Change Management and Leadership Development.
How and why did you get into Human Resources? Originally, I was interested in Marketing and Human Resources Management during my studies, because both disciplines deal with the psychology of human beings, which I found incredibly interesting. I finally decided to start my career in Human Resources because I believed that I could make a greater contribution to promoting a positive corporate culture. What do you do today? My current role is to provide HR services that are aligned with the business requirements in the regions assigned to me. To do this, I had to build trusting relationships with my team and the management. I think that this is mainly achieved through regular exchange of ideas and mutual feedback.
“My experience with Managing Directors is very diverse. Nevertheless, what they all have in common is a lack of time and patience in dealing with complicated HR processes and tools. Their expectation for HR is therefore excellent professional advice, speed and solutions tailored to their needs. One of the biggest challenges for them is the acquisition and retention of talent […]”.
What was your most exciting project in terms of HR and why? I can think of so many exciting projects as I am passionate about all my HR matters. The last exciting project was the harmonisation of the employment contract conditions of employees in Europe. Through a company acquisition, our US parent company acquired several locations in Europe. Not all of the employee conditions inherited from the transfer of operations were compatible with the corporate culture. In addition to the challenges posed by labour laws, it was primarily a process of learning about the culture for all those involved. So my translation work in this case went far beyond the linguistic aspect …What is your experience with Managing Directors? What do they expect from an HR employee? My experience with Managing Directors is very diverse. Nevertheless, what they all have in common is a lack of time and patience in dealing with complicated HR processes and tools. Their expectation for HR is therefore excellent professional advice, speed and solutions tailored to their needs. One of the biggest challenges for them is the acquisition and retention of talent and how they successfully ensure digitalisation. Here the expectation for HR is that they will make the right skills available and offer programmes to develop the skills and retain good people.
“Dealing with uncertainty is a major challenge in digitisation. What you learn today may be obsolete tomorrow. Therefore, agile forms of work collaboration are being practised wherever it makes sense to do so. For HR, this means […] making sure that all those involved in the company are involved and closely monitoring the resulting change processes.
In your opinion, what are the current requirements and demands on the HR department? As an HR Manager I always ask myself: If I wanted to sell my service on the market, would I buy it myself? What makes me different from other standard offers? The trick is to make a significant contribution to the business as a partner and not to reduce HR activities to services alone. After all, these can also be outsourced. Therefore, HR should understand the business and have a close contact with key people. A special focus should be placed on employer branding. However, knowledge of current trends outside the company is also important to identify the skills of tomorrow. What challenges do internationalisation and digitalisation pose for HR? When it comes to internationalisation, I tend to think of very simple things like various languages, cultures, geographical distance, bridging different time zones. This makes communication a real challenge. For HR, this means dealing with different employment law requirements and understanding that there can be no “one size fits all”. This requires flexibility and considerable patience (and humour). Managers must also be made aware of this diversity. Dealing with uncertainty is a major challenge in digitisation. What you learn today may be obsolete tomorrow. Therefore, agile forms of work collaboration are being practised wherever it makes sense to do so. One of the greatest challenges of digitisation is how to deal with uncertainty. For HR this means, on the one hand, making sure that all those involved in the company are involved and closely monitoring the resulting change processes. On the other hand, for talent acquisition, I would employ trendsetters who have mastered the art of addressing the target group correctly. In your opinion, what makes the perfect HRer? I don’t know if there should be a perfect HRer. After all, every person has different strengths and every business has a different focus. I would be more concerned with having those strengths in a team that complement each other. That way, everyone can do what they do best and have fun doing it. The ideal HRer, working as a business partner, for example, should be solution-oriented and pragmatic. The ideal HRer who goes through the employee’s employment contract with the employee should be thorough and conscientious, especially when dealing with confidential data. Both in one person is normally difficult to find. What did you think of your cooperation with HR Global Consulting? HR Global Consulting has given us a guiding light in Global Mobility. It helped us to recognise where we stand as a company with our globalisation efforts and what homework we still have to do to better establish our business on the international market.