Interview with Luciana Diaconu - Senior HR Manager London Stock Exchange

Main HR challenges: attraction, retention and career development plans. Here's how London Stock Exchange Group handles these challenges in alignment with their business goals, as told by Luciana Diaconu, Senior HR Manager.

In the following interview, we get to know more about LSEG's HR strategies from a more practical perspective and about their sure-fire ways of attracting the right talent for their company.
 

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself as an HR professional

I have over 10 years of HR-related experience, especially in the area of organizational development, but including all HR-related processes.

Before this, I’ve gathered experience in business and management mainly in commercial areas  and this helped me frame the HR processes in a larger and more relevant business context.

I am happy to bring my experience from both business and HR, but  I am also interested to learn from the tech industry, which proved to be a very dynamic environment with specific challenges.
 

2. What are the main challenges in HR? How do you and your team handle them?

In my view, the main challenges in HR are to foster the development of a strong organizational culture and use it as leverage in competition; a culture where employees understand the business and are aware of their contribution, to maintain a high level of engagement especially in this unprecedented time and to ensure a strong leadership that drives success.

There are also challenges regarding the attraction and retention of talent and helping people reach their full potential. Even if they decide to leave at one moment in time, they will carry this with them, will create better standards in the market place and they will continue to be your ambassadors even after leaving the company.
 
Addressing the challenges:
As an HR team, be it local or global, we always try to ensure that any HR strategy or plans we define are aligned with the business goals.  

From a more practical perspective, we make sure we invest in people development, measure the impact of all initiatives we have, listen and understand colleagues' feedback, and (re) adapt/ evolve as fast as possible.
 

3. What are the top 3 soft skills you look for in an employee? What about the hard skills?

We all know that we need to attract the right talent but also we need to ensure that the new joiners embrace easily our values. If they don’t share these values, a miss-alignment will not be compensated by hard skills.

We look for people with learning agility, drive and curiosity, as a minimum set of skills ensuring the foundation of what they will build in their journey in LSEG.

As hard skills are very specific to each role, it very much depends on the technologies required. But, generally, we are always in search of software developers, infrastructure engineers, quality testers, project managers, data scientists just to name a few.
 

4. How do you determine if a candidate fits your company’s culture? What are you looking at?

Our recruitment and selection processes are very thorough and multifaceted  involving many stakeholders from HR and business but also using modern assessment tools;

This way we ensure that the process is two-folded: we understand our potential future colleagues, and they have the chance to better assess their match with the role, our company and our organizational culture.
 

5. How do you manage to attract and retain top talent?

We continuously conduct assessments to understand the market we are in and identify the pillars that are the most attractive for professionals and keep us competitive in this industry.

We learnt that people are attracted to work in companies where they can contribute to the accomplishment of its vision/purpose and also they are attracted by the newest technologies and exciting projects.

Another point, high on our agenda, is to have healthy career progression policies and processes, creating career opportunities along with a large array of learning and development options for acquiring both technical and soft skills.

Reward and recognition is also an area we focus on, including an extended list of benefits for our colleagues. 
 

6. How do you keep your employees engaged? Are there certain benefits that have a bigger impact on employee motivation and engagement?

We have many internal engagement activities for our colleagues. We organise periodically Townhalls and Breakfasts with Management, both locally and globally. We have our Bucharest Social Committee with different clubs started and managed by colleagues with different passions, from football, nutrition, books and many others.

And, of course, there are many fun and engaging activities that we have reorganized during this period, mentioning only a few: online fun surveys treasure hunts, online gatherings and teambuilding.
 

7. How do you help employees learn and evolve in their career?

We facilitate open access to a wide range of learning tools and platforms, training programs and certifications and we benefit from our global footprint in all related aspects. 

We implemented a very strong model of Career Framework linked directly to the development needs for each role seniority and also with talent specific. 
 

8. What pieces of advice do you have for a candidate who wants to apply for a job at London Stock Exchange Group?

I highly encourage all those interested in joining the LSEG team in Bucharest to update their CV with the most relevant experience for the role they want to apply for.

Also, it is very important to prepare for interviews ahead of time, both technical and HR. This is the only time you get to convince managers and the HR colleagues that you are the one for the job.

We are looking for colleagues interested in the bigger picture of how the technology industry is evolving who are driven, resilient and eager to leave their mark on the projects and teams they are part of.

Check out all the available positions from LSEG Romania here
 

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