hr perspectives, usa, switzerland, pia

Meet Pia, HR Perspectives

During my assignments I learned about:

In 2013 I joined the HR Perspectives Program and with that embarked on a fantastic 2-year journey of personal and professional growth and development.

My first assignment was in the area of Talent Development in the regional HR team for the region Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa of Roche Pharma in Basel. I had the opportunity to work with HR colleagues in various affiliates across the region and gain insight into the multifaceted people challenges they face on a daily basis. My projects included establishing a cross-regional framework for development planning and launching a regional opportunity board.

After that I moved to the UK for my second assignment to work as recruiter in the UK and Ireland affiliate for Roche Diagnostics. I very much enjoyed attracting great talent to Roche, assessing candidates during interviews and assessment centers, discussing with line managers about their needs and consulting them on their hiring decisions. The experience of working in an affiliate was truly eye-opening after having worked in a regional HR team before - it helped me to connect many dots and gain a deeper understanding of Roche's matrix structure and collaboration model.

With my HR expert experience from the first two rotations in Talent Development and Recruiting, I felt ready to move into an HR generalist role for my third assignment and chose to support our Global Product Strategy organisation as Human Resources Business Partner in San Francisco, where I learned the full range of operational HR processes and policies, as well as strategic HR initiatives and acting as a thought partner to business leaders and leadership team.

For my fourth and last assignment I moved to Budapest, Hungary to work for our Global Shared Service Center for HR. I was fortunate to be part of the change management workstream for a large project to introduce a new global HR knowledge base and ticketing system for Roche. Furthermore I set up a career site and leadership development programs for the Servicing organization. During my rotation in HR Servicing I gained very valuable insights into the overall HR value chain.

During my assignments I learned about numerous aspects of the Human Resources function and at the same time gained culturally enriching experiences. For me, working together with and being exposed to experienced HR professionals and leaders from all parts of the organization in itself is an excellent learning. By networking, asking a lot of questions and getting colleagues’ thoughts about my work, I continuously build my big picture of the Roche organization and learn to understand how we in HR can create an environment in which employees feel valued and can grow to their to full potential.

From a personal perspective my biggest learning so far is:

In Roche I came to know a supportive environment where people are approachable and inspire each other, are willing to share experiences and provide guidance – irrespective of their hierarchical position. I am impressed that people’s commitment goes far beyond their immediate area of responsibility - they are truly interested in understanding each other’s views, in collaborating across boundaries and working towards our overall mission of making a difference in patients’ lives. So in summary, my biggest personal learning was to realize that for me Roche is a truly great place to work that offers just the right atmosphere to develop new skills, take risks and accept challenges.

My challenges are:

Throughout my HR Perspectives Program I have been overwhelmed by the diversity of opportunities that Roche offers and always found it challenging to make a decision for my next assignment - as this meant to say no (for now) to another great opportunity.

Especially choosing whether to work at a large or a small site has been challenging for me. Being based at large sites such as the Roche Headquarters in Basel or Genentech in South San Francisco provides lots of occasions for participating in interesting trainings, attending official events around a variety of topics or networking at informal get-togethers. Large sites also have the advantage that major HR functions are based there, which makes it easy to stay up to date with the latest developments in HR and always have an expert close by. Small sites on the other hand allow gaining a full picture view of how an entire affiliate works and what challenges it faces – far beyond immediate Human Resources questions. By interacting with colleagues in various business functions on a daily basis, the potential learning can be very broad and of strategic nature.

The great news is though – no matter if large or small site, you will meet and learn from truly inspiring colleagues and leaders all across the company.

Post-Program Role:

After graduating from HR Perspectives I moved to one of Roche's largest sites in Mannheim, Germany and worked there for 3 years as HR Business Partner for various global functions in our Diagnostics division. In that role I was fully responsible and in the lead for all people topics for my client groups. I got to work with great leaders and employees and with a fantastic network of HR experts as well as local HR servicing colleagues. My experience from the rotations during Perspectives helped me to leverage best practice from different organizations, divisions and locations in Roche for the needs of my client groups. After having gained in-depth experience in local HR Business Partnering in Germany I just moved into a Global HR Business Partner role in Basel.

Tags: Career Blog, Areas of Expertise