Position Spotlight: Head of HR
Today we’re sitting down with Franzi, Head of HR, to talk about how GetYourGuide has changed over the years, her daily tasks, and to share her advice for anyone wanting to join the team!
Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Franziska, or Franzi, and I’ve been working at GYG for 3 years.
How did you find GetYourGuide?
I was planning a trip, looking for some things to do, and actually stumbled upon GetYourGuide. At that time, I also happened to be looking for a job in Berlin. So, when I saw the opening for HR Specialist, I decided to apply.
What is your role at GetYourGuide?
Right now I am leading the HR Services team as Head of HR. There are 4 people in Berlin and 1 in Zurich. We also have 4 full-time positions and 1 working student position open.
I will soon be transitioning into a different role working as a People Partner for Business teams. As People Partner I will collaborate with senior management to identify business needs and provide solutions in alignment with the business unit and HR strategy and practices.
How would you describe the team’s working style and dynamic?
We work in a very focused manner and share knowledge with each other a lot. Whenever there is a question, we ask each other so we can solve problems quickly.
We also have a lot of fun, of course. The spirit of the team is great and the team is very motivated.
Can you please give us a brief summary of what your job entails?
As HR Services Team Leader, I wear two hats, that of a team leader and that of an HR specialist. The responsibilities can be split into 5 buckets:
GetYourGuide is a fast-growing company, and we provide support in setting up the different global offices. We establish the policies, contracts, and organize the payroll. We also do bi-weekly catch-ups with the respective destination managers in the different locations. We are their contact point and the extended arm of the headquarters. Each year we open 3-4 new offices.
Once a candidate has accepted a job offer from GetYourGuide at any of our global offices, the recruiters pass them over to HR. We prepare the contract, we set up the new hire’s account, and, if necessary, we support their relocation.
In addition to onboarding, we also handle offboarding. We run exit interviews with a structured question set customized for each department, and our aim is to get as much information and as many insights as possible from the person leaving. We try to understand the push and pull factors. After the exit interview, we take the feedback and try to improve our processes.
We don’t manage payroll internally, but we communicate any changes to our external partner. Due to our complexity, global entities and international employees, this is a complex process.
Team Management/Performance Management
I have 1:1s on a weekly basis with all of my team. As a Team Leader, I really want to focus on their personal development, to know how my team wants to develop and how I can best support them. I also conduct alliance meetings to understand their career direction. We always say “own your own development” at GYG. So, when one of my direct reports tells me they want to develop, I am the first person to support them.
I coach them and try to avoid just giving answers. I ask them how they would approach a certain task, how they would solve the problem. I want to help them build confidence to make the decision and own the decision on their own.
How has your role changed since joining GetYourGuide?
It has changed completely. When I joined, we only had 80 people, and now we have 415!
I was also working alone at the start, but over the years I have built up the team. The role was, and has always been, very challenging. I am constantly faced with new problems to solve. For example, we only had our offices in Zurich and Berlin when I started, and now we have 16 offices worldwide. I had never even opened an international office, so it was a completely new experience for me!
Over time, we have also taken on additional projects like developing a performance management system, completing performance potential analyses, and outlining clear career paths for every role, team, and department.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
The hardest part generally in HR is that you are always in between the business and the employees. We need to cover the interests of GYG and the interests of our employees, but sometimes this can be misaligned.
It’s always important to know what the employees want, what the company wants, and then to bring these 2 together.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
You have contact with so many nice people. To get to know people is truly the best part. To feel like they trust you and come to you when they have any issue. It’s this aspect that makes me feel like I’m doing a good job.
What advice would you have for someone who would like to work as an HR Services Team Lead at GetYourGuide?
We are looking for someone who is very proactive, who sees challenges before they occur and has a growth mindset. This person should also have a high service mentality. Our employees are our customers and at GYG we are customer-obsessed. So, we must always work to serve our employees.
What is your favorite thing about working at GetYourGuide?
Our culture! And our employees of course. Even though we’ve nearly quadrupled in size since I started, I’ve never seen a drop in culture. We are not a company with values just posted on the wall, we really live and breathe our values.