Why we hired a People & Culture Specialist (and why you should too)

Nov 25, 2021
min read

Through a dedication to teamwork and accomplishing great things together, we’ve successfully managed our growth here at Humi. In fact, we’ve more than doubled our team this year alone and the forecast isn’t showing us slowing down. 

But as any company scales, you should never lose sight of your most important asset – your people. That’s why we’ve made it a priority to not only keep nurturing our working environment and relationships, but to set the standard for what a great work culture should be

group hug mama tammye GIF by Queer Eye

In 2021, we made the decision to seek out a People & Culture expert to join our growing HR team. What exactly does that mean and should you consider the role at your own company? (Spoiler: yes). Read on to learn what it’s all about. 

What is a People & Culture Specialist?

For Humigos, culture extends beyond social events and office ping-pong. While those things are great, we believe culture is the entire employee experience, and at the heart of it lies our People & Culture expert, Sneha Deokie

Role and responsibilities 

It’s important you take the necessary steps to preserve and strengthen your work culture, especially as Canadians and the rest of the world adopt new means of work and grow virtually. The purpose of a People & Culture Specialist is to take care of just that. 

Sneha is an HR professional who holds a diverse set of responsibilities related to enhancing the Humigo experience. When she first joined, her role was centred in supporting recruitment in candidate experience and onboarding Newmigos. Especially for those joining us remotely, Sneha ensured people were supported, and that those from diverse communities felt included at Humi. 

And while Sneha’s job is still very much centred around those aspects of HR, she’s since taken the lead in driving our equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) strategy, with guidance from our EDI partner, Entelechy Consulting – an ongoing initiative that will ensure Humigos from all backgrounds feel heard, safe, and included at work. 

A work in progress 

As more companies make the conscious effort to prioritize EDI in their workplace, culture-specific HR roles are beginning to enter the market. On the same note, that means there isn’t yet a defined name or static set of responsibilities company to company for this employee experience superstar. They all share the same goal though: creating a real sense of belonging

Why is culture so important?

The world of work is changing, and expecting your people to head into an office full-time just isn’t a thing anymore. So as hybrid working models make their way into Canadian workplaces and we begin to embrace the best of both remote and in-office work, employers need to make employee engagement a priority. 

The human side of HR can no longer be ignored 

HR has long been thought of as exclusive to hiring, firing, and paying employees, but that isn’t the case anymore. The pandemic especially has put things into perspective, and top talent aren’t interested in working where they don’t feel like they belong. 

Retention, retention, retention 

What’s the point of scaling if you don’t have a team who cares about the success of your business? After all, without a team behind you that truly believes in what you’re doing, can you really be successful? 

Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Without nurturing that process, talent is 2x more likely to seek out new opportunities. 

GIF by The Bachelor

Additionally, more than 2 in 3 hiring decision-makers say their company has taken action to promote a more diverse and more inclusive workforce and work environment. But creating a great culture isn’t a one-and-done deal – it’s an ongoing effort. To truly stick to making and maintaining this a reality, you need a dedicated leader to do the work, invest in your people, and drive that strategy forward. 

EDI isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s good for business 

Companies who prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion simply perform better. According to McKinsey and Company's Diversity Matters report, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. Additionally, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. 

Adding a dedicated culture specialist to your HR team not only ensures you’re making room for different perspectives, backgrounds, and identities at your company – they make sure that once they’re on the team, they’ll want to stick around. 

For more information on how you can start building a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), and to learn more about Sneha’s role at Humi, watch our recent webinar featuring Sneha and our EDI consultant and President of Entelechy Consulting, Darius Sookram. 

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