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HR Ambassador Nominations (SMART HR Event) – Today, Florin Dumitru

Florin Andrei Dumitru is one of the six finalists nominated in the HR Ambassador competition, organized with the support of the SMART HR Event. The voting session will take place “live” during the 9th Edition of the SMART HR Event, scheduled for May 23 and 24.

C&B: Tell us about your career path. What drew you to the field of human resources?

Florin Dumitru: The year 2024 marks ten years since my first job in human resources. I became interested in this field during my second year of college, when I studied national and then European Labor Law. Later, during my master’s, I had the opportunity to attend a leadership and team management course, taught by a professor active in human resources. From there to my first HR job was somewhat of a fluke. Specifically, after returning from the USA (work & travel), I started applying in various fields, including HR. Among the interviews, there was one for an HR Specialist position, where things clicked. Ten years later, I’ve been through four multinational companies and hold a position I dreamed of in my early career years in this field.

C&B: How do you think the role of HR has changed in recent years, and what impact have these changes had on your profession?

Florin Dumitru: HR has evolved significantly in Romania in recent years, thanks to many multinational companies that have offices here. The role of HR in business has increased in importance and complexity. It has moved from a perception where HR meant only administrative activities and payroll, to a role of consultant for business problems, personal development, employer branding, and emotional support. I felt the beginning of this change in 2020, amid the pandemic. New topics have emerged that have developed into activities and projects within the team. Also, the need and desire of organizations to have well-prepared and loyal people has generated many complex processes in which we, the HR people, work. Another factor of change is the diversity of generations. The differences between generations, along with the evolution of jobs, create a complex mix that we study and try to translate into solutions beneficial for both employees and employers.

C&B: Is there an HR initiative or project that you are particularly proud of? What challenges did you face, and what did you learn from this experience?

Florin Dumitru: In the last two years, I have worked intensely with the team on a project aimed at creating a process for managing employee performance. I am very proud of the outcome of this project because I believe we have brought an original perspective to the classic performance evaluation processes. This process is focused on developing people, not evaluating them, and the discussions between manager and employee are on equal footing. I faced many challenges that caused delays, radical changes, and sometimes frustrations. Looking back, all these contributed to my development and to a final process very suitable for the people and the organization. Certainly, the success of the final project is due to the refusals and changes made along the way.

C&B: How do you approach diversity and inclusion management within the organization? Can you give us a specific example?

Florin Dumitru: Locally, we haven’t delved deeply into this topic yet. However, starting last year, along with the colleague who handles L&D, we have been organizing workshops titled “Beyond Diversity,” through which we offer colleagues the chance to perceive the differences among us from different perspectives. Additionally, since last year, we have been carefully analyzing various indicators in this area and reporting monthly and annually at the group level on diversity and inclusion. These reports give us a clearer picture of the areas where we need to work both locally and globally. More specifically, at the local level, considering that we have factories in Sighișoara and Sovata, we try to be very attentive to the needs of people in these areas, especially since there are cultural and language differences. Regarding inclusion, we are an employer that carefully analyzes the age category of 45+ years and are very open to employing people from this category.

C&B: What are the main qualities you consider essential for an HR specialist nowadays?

Florin Dumitru: Active listening, patience, and the ability to be empathetic are fundamental. Then, diplomacy and the ability to manage sensitive and confidential information are crucial. If I look closely at what my weeks look like, I would like to mention two more essential qualities: organization and emotional stability. The diverse activities and unforeseen events that arise require impeccable organization. Regarding emotional stability, the various situations we find ourselves in when working so much with people, from tears to anger and private life difficulties that spill over into the professional realm, require a balanced approach related to emotions and feelings.

C&B: How do you see the future of work and what is HR’s role in shaping this future?

Florin Dumitru: The future of work is a topic that concerns me quite a bit, given that I still have 30 years of work ahead and I also have children. I plan to specialize in career consulting in the near future, and this topic is closely related to what future jobs will look like. The future of work is about upskilling, reskilling, and inclusion. In developed countries, we will face a declining birth rate, and the same is not seen for the number of jobs. Even though many activities will be automated, I do not foresee a decrease in the need for human employees.

C&B: What advice do you have for companies regarding adapting to the new challenges in the world of work?

Florin Dumitru: Companies need to be as connected as possible to current challenges and try to anticipate the effects of all foreseeable changes. Preparing for necessary changes in companies is very important, both as a process and in terms of communicating to employees. Sufficient time must be allocated for this. Results are not seen overnight. Therefore, keep your eyes open and ears alert, but most importantly, keep your arms open when it comes to change and adaptation.

C&B: If you had unlimited resources, what program or initiative would you implement to improve employee well-being?

Florin Dumitru: Wow, what an interesting question! It’s perfect for breaking out of the limits we set for ourselves. Maybe it already exists; I haven’t looked, but I’ve thought about a space for reflection, as well as the chance to experience. For each employee, I would try to fulfill a dream related to travel, providing budget and time for travel to as diverse areas as possible. If someone dreamed of seeing New York, Japan, the jungle, or a sunset in Brazil, I believe such experiences change our perspective on life. Moreover, reflection travels, whether alone on certain trails or inspirational in highly developed or underdeveloped areas, can offer the chance to achieve objectives from each employee’s bucket list. In this way, people can rediscover the meaning of life, the joy of living, and continue to develop.

C&B: Why did you apply to this contest and why do you think you should win?

Florin Dumitru: I applied to experience the pressure of such a contest and to contribute to the development of this function in Romania. I want to offer those around me my perspective on the profession. To win? I have already won much more than if I hadn’t applied!



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