tq vibes

Colleague Spotlight Series: Meet Andreea Ciufudean, HR Team Lead

tq vibes
clock 08/07/2024

With a genuine passion for working with people from all walks of life, Andreea Ciufudean has found the sweet spot between challenge and fulfillment in HR. Starting from overcoming personal hurdles to rolling out initiatives that boost workplace happiness, her journey highlights the importance of empathy, authenticity, and adaptability in creating a supportive and inclusive work environment. Join us as we dive into this interview of a dedicated professional whose knack for understanding and connecting with employees truly sets her apart.

Career

Bianca Cornaciu [BC]: What do you like most about Human Resources and what led you to choose this career path? 

Andreea Ciufudean [AC]: I have been working in HR for about 6 years and it was my first choice when I chose a career. What I like most about human resources is the opportunity to work closely with people from diverse backgrounds. Every person I interact with has a unique story, set of skills, and perspective, which constantly provides me with new insights and learning opportunities. In HR, I find a perfect blend of challenge and fulfillment, and it`s a privilege to have a chance to be a part of the professional journey of some people.

[BC]: What has been the most challenging situation you’ve encountered so far in your career, and how did you handle it?

[AC]: The field of human resources involves numerous challenges, especially due to working with people and the emergence of new and unforeseen situations for which the best solutions must be found. However, beyond these external challenges that anyone working in HR faces, I would like to highlight the internal challenges I encountered at the beginning of my career. It is often believed that HR specialists are extroverted individuals, capable of finding topics of discussion in any context. In my case, it wasn’t quite like that; being a more introverted person, it was initially difficult for me to integrate into a field that required daily exposure to groups of people, constant discussions, interviews, and other interactions. Nevertheless, these aspects are precisely what attracted me to HR – the exposure and the chance to counterbalance my shyness. Over time, I managed to cultivate my extroverted side as well.

[BC]:  Can you share a successful HR initiative or project you led that had a substantial impact on the organization? 

[AC]: The initiatives I am most proud of are those that bring joy and professional satisfaction to my colleagues. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to participate in various initiatives aimed at contributing to the well-being of colleagues and improving the work environment. These initiatives, whether I rediscovered and improved them or implemented them, have been here at TechQuarter, together with the entire HR and Marketing team.

Field Learnings

[BC]:  What are some key qualities you believe are essential for an effective HR person?

[AC]: I believe that several key qualities are essential for an effective HR specialist, with empathy being at the forefront. Empathy allows HR professionals to understand and connect with employees, fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment. Another important quality is authenticity; employees want to see the human side of HR personnel, encouraging open communication. Objectivity is also essential and brings professionalism, ensuring that all actions are carried out with integrity and respect, promoting fairness in the workplace. Adaptability is crucial as well, as HR interacts with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and it is important for HR to understand each individual’s viewpoint. All these qualities are supported by a positive, proactive, and open attitude.

[BC]: From your experience, what are top 3 ingredients for a successful onboarding process? 

[AC]: Simple: clarity, support, and constant feedback. For a successful onboarding process, it is essential that from the beginning, the new colleague clearly understands the expectations regarding their role and responsibilities. Especially during the initial period, it is crucial to help them integrate, adapt to the organizational culture, and understand internal processes. As they are guided in their new role, it is important for the new employee to receive constant feedback, to know what they need to improve and what they are mastering at a very good level, thus helping them to recognize their strengths and work on areas that need improvement.

Leisure Time and Hobbies

[BC]: Can you recommend a book, movie or article that has inspired you recently?

[AC]: A book I read recently explores the transformative power of small and consistent habits and how they can lead to significant changes in our lives. I found several practical strategies for creating good habits and eliminating harmful ones from our lives. The general idea is that success and personal progress come from daily small actions, not from large and rare changes. But I don’t want to tell you more; I’d like you to discover it by reading the book ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear.

[BC]: Do you have any hobby/ activity to unwind and relax in your free time?

[AC]: I like to stay active, so I go to the gym regularly, about 4-5 times a week, and I also practice yoga occasionally. I am very interested in psychology and personal development, and I enjoy reading books or articles on these topics. I like to self-analyze and discover different aspects of my personality. Although I am very afraid of flying, I love to travel and visit new places, to see different lifestyles, habits, and cultures. Of course, I never miss the opportunity to take lots of photos of various views. A hobby that not many people know about me is my passion for interior design. Sometimes I make small changes in the house, decorate according to the season or thematically during holidays (I have an impressive stock of decorations for Christmas and Easter.).

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