We are very excited to speak with Paul Rodoreda, Director of Operations at Haufe Group, Barcelona.
Haufe Group is considered one of the most innovative media and software vendors in Germany. More than one million customers – including all DAX 30 firms – generate over 400 million euros in revenue. The Freiburg-based firm currently has more than 2.100 employees within Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Romania. Taking companies into the digital age and creating the workplace of the future. With competence, passion, and experience.
1. First can you tell us a bit about your job and what teams you work closely with?
My job is to ensure a flawless operation, between both engineering and product here in the Barcelona office.
We have an Interesting characteristic within Haufe group since we are not only an Engineering site. We also have a product organization building products from scratch. I work closely with the Product and Engineering leadership team and am here mainly to support all the people also.
2. What brought you to this area, what’s your background?
I have always had 2 passions (that are not on a hobby level)
- Animation and Cinema
When I was young, I was useless as an artist so I decided to go into engineering school in Mexico. I study Electronic systems engineering and started to work as “the IT guy” in an animation studio. I love animation, but I can’t draw, however, I did know how to work computers! I continued my studies in Finances and Management for some years, as I was the only one within this position, I started to create and develop processes which further led me to the position of Executive Producer of the firm. From here, I always remained within operations and management.
In early 2013, I had the opportunity to move to Barcelona as a general manager for a University that specialises in audio, animation, filming and cinema. From then on it has been evolving and in 2020 I have landed here at Haufe Group which I am very pleased with!
3. What time does your day start, and what does your typical work day schedule look like?
I am usually an office animal, I certainly recognise the benefit of working from home, however, naturally I like to be visible and available to the people within the office.
My usual working day would be to arrive at the office an hour before most
- Organise myself, urgent tasks, important readings, emails etc
- When the people start to arrive, I like to be visible so they know i am here and available
- I schedule regular meetings, 1-2-1’s
- At the end of the day, when everyone has left , I go back to my individual tasks and close any pending stuff I might have.
I am a person of routine. Monday mornings are financial mornings and planning with the team. Tuesday and Thursdays are typically my 1-2-1 with the wider team. Everyone has access to my schedule so I am flexible to suit them.
4. What kind of projects are you currently working on?
One of the many projects my team and I are working on is the redefining of the feedback framework and process in the office.
The classic yearly performance reviews are great, however, we are working on something new and different, with the aim to achieve a valid, honest and transparent cycle of conversations, feedback and recognition.. Trying to be as 360 as possible.
I am a big fan of the OKR methodology. Using outcomes instead of tasks as a driver, OKRs encourage accountability in every step of achieving success through metric indicators.
5. What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?
Over 2017 I took it to grow Playground, a media company I worked with, from publishing video news in 3 languages to 7 and from a local Madrid-Barcelona operation to a global operation opening offices in Miami, Mexico City, Bogota and Buenos Aires.
Lately, something I am proud of as a specific achievement, is when I led the Talent Acquisition team at Letgo, hiring 128 people in senior positions of engineering and data science. This was achieved by a team of 4 amazing recruiters in 10 months! Before this project I had never actually done anything talent acquisition related before, so was a big achievement and success of the team.
Up to date with every company I have worked with there are still people who call me today, for advice rather personal or professional and still call me “boss”, this is really something I am extremely proud of.
6. What is the one app you could not live without?
Spreadsheets! My father taught me on Lotus 123 back in the 90’s, then moved for years to MS Excel and I have spent the last 10 years using Google’s Spreadsheets… I love’em! and consider myself a power user!.
7. What’s the best thing about working at Haufe Group?
There are many highlights to working for the Haufe Group, here are a few important ones to me;
- This is still a family owned business that has been running since 1934, and some years ago they decided to hire a full board of executives which provides lots of security and certainty.
- They really prove we are one family with actions, not just fancy speeches and meaningless gifts.
- The company respects people for the simple fact of being people!.
- Diversity is important to them, and we actually have a female CEO.
- Open and honest culture, listening to new ideas, obtaining feedback and actioning on these.
8. Who is your professional role model?
This may sound extremely cheesy but honestly, my father & grandfather.
They did everything right in my opinion. This doesn’t mean they were extremely successful and millionaires, however, my grandfather was a tailor by profession, migrated to Mexico and started his own little shop there. My father then grew this into a large company, 5 big stores with almost 2000 employees; now gone thanks to one of our classic Mexican economic crises . The relevant part is actually how they made their business decisions, which always had a strong focus on the customer but always Thinking about the people, not only their employees but how they are helping the community and if their decision potentially improves someone’s life. Incredible role models!
9. What makes Barcelona a good country for technology, startups and diversity?
It is an incredibly multi cultural city. The talent pool we have here is amazing, all over the world, bring in all types of points of view, wisdom not only technical but also cultural. An amazing mix. The city, life, environment is so appealing to people it almost became a natural talent magnet.
10. Which tech trends are you most excited about?
CRISPR technology, everything relating to medical genetic engineering. Interesting field to watch, one area I have been following a lot is the technology relating to the genetics behind gender. The more we know about this the better we will be accepting of the world.
11. What are the top 3 qualities you look for in an employer?
Honesty and transparency are key and now I am a father, stability is also important to me. I look for a company who is humane, takes social responsibility and genuinely cares for the people and community.
12. And finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to a tech professional starting out