08 Feb 2019

“I strongly believe that the essentials of the HR manager’s job are not dealing directly with company staff.”

Gabriella Bassi

Like Comment

Sirma Doneva has over twenty years of experience in HR management and today she is one of the few professionals to have modern HR management skill set in Bulgaria. Innovator at spirit and a ‘people skills’ professional with proven track record of accomplishments, Sirma had worked on board of large corporations in multiple industries with various types of property. In 2018, she started, what she calls a patriotic-inspired venture, the "Business Partner HR" service, designed for small and medium-sized Bulgarian enterprises.

Through her independent firm Mid-Point Partners, Sirma offers ready-made HR management tools effectively adjusted  to the Bulgarian business climate. Recently, she focuses mainly on assisting "small" and "newly grown" businesses on their way to successful development through the application of world known HR practices.

Сирма ДоневаOn Human Resources, Sirma was invited to talk, precisely because she holds an advantage, taking her far ahead of her competitors – her broad knowledge base. An economist with an in-depth understanding of the business processes within the enterprise and the goals that business leaders are pursuing, her distinctive style and achievements prove that HR management is not the goal of "stepping up with trends", but a responsible job, which if not done under the supervision of highly qualified, and skilled professional with long and diversified experience, it could have a long-term negative impact over the business performance.

  1. What is the advantage you have that earns your clients’ trust?

My clients say they value my business mindset. Unlike most HR professionals, who seem to be psychologists or linguists, I am a graduated economist. My qualifications enabled me to develop a genuine understanding of business priorities that, in turn, allows me to competently gather the right team of experts to work toward achieving whatever objectives the business might have. Thus, HR management is not a fashionable idea, but rather an alignment of all resources needed in reaching company sales targets and profit projections, executed under a proficient supervision.

I strongly believe that the essentials of the HR manager’s job (or Business partner) are not dealing directly with company staff - what’s the general manager’s responsibility. The true added value of our work comes in a form of interaction with our customers – the company’s management team. I always try to challenge managers’ mindset, and not just force popular ready-made HR solutions upon them. I am not selling a specific HR product; I am rather choosing and adapting the best available option to suit the business, or alternatively am creating a new HR instrument in order to fully meet my customer’s needs at price point most convenient for them.

  1. What is the most common fault businesses commit when it comes to building teams?  

Failure in drawing the right boundary between personal and work relations, and communicating it further across all teams. It is a matter of company culture; one model  frequently adopted by companies today, suggests fostering informal work relations, maintained in a friendly atmosphere. This works well up until when small teams take on rapid growth leading to expansion. Then the bigger team finds the old-fashioned way of working particularly challenging and hindering their future development. That’s when the staff grows to appreciate better corporate management tools such as: process charts, written rules, formal communication channels, etc. All these could assist leaders in taking decisions based on business logic instead of personal preferences.

  1. How much importance should be given to staff training as part of the business development plan?

When in pursuit of success, it is necessary to understand, to begin with, that importance should be given to the key factor in the entire working process, which is the employee, and not merely to his/her training. Once having set all business objectives, we need to take step towards identifying any gaps there might be in the organisational capabilities, presenting obstacles to our accomplishment. Those could be: processes, measurement systems, structure, people skills, company culture, etc. Then, and only then our agenda becomes figuring out whether the projected outcomes could justify investing into staff training.

HR Gabi

  1. Do young Bulgarians have enough “know how” of business management and how competitive they are on the European market?

Today’s generation is extremely lucky for being exposed from an early age, to an ocean of information and opportunities for skill development required in modern business life. Young Bulgarians are not only competitive employees on the European market, they are too very capable entrepreneurs. I personally, and we all witness many instances of Bulgarians occupying senior positions in multinational corporations. There is also a huge number of successful Bulgarian companies aggressively opening offices throughout Europe and the world. Only 10-15 years ago, it was almost impossible to come across a Bulgarian branch of an international corporation managed by a Bulgarian national, let alone find a Bulgarian ex-pat managing foreign company outside the country. The most recent trend, though, is bringing accomplished Bulgarians with managing experience back to run companies in Bulgaria. The only obstacle that could possibly make any experienced manager (or entrepreneur) in any country for that matter stumble, is misunderstanding of the local labour force and its work ethics.

  1. What are the latest approaches toward efficient HR management among Bulgarian companies? 

One current challenge presented to Bulgarian companies is related primarily to the workforce scarcity combined with lower loyalty levels. This locks up HR managers’ main efforts into a constant search of innovative approaches for attracting and retaining employees both qualified and unskilled. Compensation issues are not a crucial factor any longer. Evidence for this is the level creativity has reached, we are witnessing wider usage of social media, which allows new headhunting techniques, or even using current employees as brand ambassadors, etc.

Another issue is the internal communication. Last year, we’ve conducted relatable employee opinion surveys in several small and middle enterprises, operating in different business fields. What has appeared generally common in the findings is the fact that employees do not feel satisfied with the quantity, quality and frequency of the work-related or company-related information they receive. Internal communication could be one of the strongest indicators for a great or a mediocre employer. And here comes an opportunity for all employers to show creativity for their business sake.

Like Comment

Categories: IBA Blog , Friday Buzziness

Tags: #manager #HR #interview #discussion #tips #buzziness #IBABlog

Comments (0)

Archive / Search


Follow on Instagram