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Expert’s talk is a series of interviews with Human Resource leaders from the tech industry. In this chapter, we host the multi-disciplinary and HR pioneer, Timor Shabtay-Shalom, Head of Human Capital at Viola group.

Timor Shabtay-Shalom

During the past 15 years, Timor covered almost all aspects of human capital management, including talent acquisition, employee experience, compensation & benefits, people analytics, labor law, HRIS, and HR management.

As an HR specialist with a wide perspective over different HR disciplines and organizations, we bring Timor’s valuable insights on how to combine this knowledge into actions.

Q: Experiencing almost all aspects of HR, yet compensation & benefits remain your main area of focus. Why?

After my first exposure to this area and upon learning its importance and the effect it has on a company, e.g., on budget, employee internal equity, strategic thinking, and data-driven decision-making, I immediately understood the depth of this role and set out to become an expert in it.

I’ve learned that yearly salary reviews are not merely numbers and salaries. They start by thinking deeply about the company’s strategic positioning philosophy. Then building a budget based on HC and specific criteria, reviewing talented employees, looking at market data, working with managers, making sure all employees have been noticed, preserving internal and external equity, and not skimping on any one of these. All of this can be managed with a user-friendly tool that will provide comparison and monitoring of the process.

Furthermore, I am passionate about process management, and I know how to build and customize these processes per company, given its different demands and limitations. Since Compensation & Benefits is comprised of all of the above, I have found myself a home in this arena.

Q: What is the main goal and challenge for HR in a Venture Capital? How it is different or in comparison to the HR role in a business’ company?

As VCs, we see our role as not only to find excellent entrepreneurs but also (or I should say mainly) to roll up our sleeves and bring significant added value to scaling of companies – this includes helping them with one of their most significant pains, recruitment of talent & retention.

So, contrary to an internal HR position, my “target audience” is ~100 portfolio companies, in different stages, each with different challenges, but all with one thing in common – as the competition on human capital at tech companies becoming stronger, and startup growth is becoming faster, they need significant help. That is where we (Viola) come in. We have decided to be an active player in helping these companies deal with their challenges. This includes building a “Viola Careers” page that aggregates more than 500 open positions from all of our portfolio companies, opening our contact list and helping with C-level recruitment, and building benchmarks and best practices that answer frequent questions we are asked by our companies on matters such as recruitment processes, compensation packages, welfare conditions, and other HR info.

I see my main goal as creating a common baseline, as generic as possible, for horizontal projects that will serve all of our portfolio companies, to be pursued in parallel with personalization per company, each with its own challenges.

Q: What are the tools or practices organizations apply these days on their path to success? How it is impacting HRs?

Over the past couple of years, we have seen that the field of people analytics is being implemented in more and more companies as an industry standard.

It’s always in a company’s interest to improve recruitment processes, retain workers, increase productivity, and maintain a high level of motivation. Simply put, in the era of data-driven insights, People Analytics allows organizations to identify weaknesses and optimize performance based on data and statistics.

This knowledge brings us to data-based HR processes. This has a major impact on the HR manager’s daily work: new positions have been created, changes in the way information is being collected are emerging, and parsing and saving relevant data has changed.

Q: What is your tip for young HRs about the skills required to make an impact in today’s workplace?

The tips I have is not only for HR people but rather for everyone at the beginning of their career.

  • Be up to date – Take new courses, go to meetups, read articles and always check for the latest news.
  • Network – It could bring you to new ideas and help you to develop yourself.
  • Think for the long run – where will I be in X years from now and don’t stop believing you’ll achieve it.
  • Last but not least, learn from your failures.

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