IntlSOS 30 Years - From East to West - Page 167



08 Developing a Global Infrastructure | A Professional Approach
It’s a compassionate company
and that’s very rare.
— Leigh Lawson
An Early Interview
Human Resources
Dr Myles Neri first came across the
company when Pascal called him
about a reference Myles had given
for a colleague whom Pascal had
interviewed. They talked and Myles
was intrigued by what Pascal told
him about the company. Shortly
afterwards he found himself in
Singapore, being interviewed for
potential positions in Jakarta and
Hong Kong. Myles met Pascal at the
American Hospital of Singapore. He
was in the middle of a complex
medical transport so they ended up
talking about that instead of the job.
Myles then accompanied Pascal to
Changi Airport and helped him
prepare the case. On Myles’ return to
Australia he was told he had the job
– but as Myles points out, due to the
rather unusual interview procedure,
“both of us had completely forgotten
to specify whether the job was in
Jakarta or Hong Kong!”
In those exciting early days of the company, everyone
was busy, people were constantly travelling and their
roles evolved as new opportunities came along.
Detailed written contracts and job descriptions
simply were not a priority and recruitment tended
to happen through personal networks.
Above: Dr Myles Neri and Francesca Viliani
in the clinic at the Freeport mine,
Democratic Republic of Congo, 2014.
Just as other areas of the business became more
professional over time, so did HR. Job descriptions,
remuneration, and all the other usual aspects of HR
have gradually become part of our infrastructure.
Recruitment processes have been formalised,
although the Founders are still very involved in the
process, as are other senior managers. Due to our
matrix structure, when senior people are recruited
they have to undergo a number of interviews; some
say it “feels a little like joining a family.”
In the early days training mostly took place through
personal mentoring; senior personnel spent much
time passing on their skills and knowledge. With so
many people joining, new ways had to be found. As
standard operating procedures were developed so too
were training modules to ensure global consistency
and quality delivery. This was further underpinned by
the evolution of our values and our quality charter.
HR systems are now in place but recruitment
remains a challenge. Finding the right people with
the right skills is not easy, especially given the
numbers we need to support the growth of the
company. Currently we are recruiting more than
2,000 people per year, which works out at ten
new people every working day. This is where being
industry leader is a disadvantage – there are no
obvious competitors to poach from!
Jennifer Westen: “We are committed to building
a world-class HR function by recruiting the right
people to continue to grow our business. We are a
people-focused business so recruiting, retaining and
developing the right talent is critical to support our
culture which is based on our values of Passion,
Expertise, Respect and Care.
We are a dynamic and growth-oriented business
that offers exciting opportunities globally for
people who wish to have a challenging and unique
career experience.”
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