Head of People Operations at Infobip
We caught up with Luka Babic, our Head of People Operations, who shared his views on the future of Human Resources, specific challenges of the IT industry and Infobip's growth.
• Congratulations on receiving the Human Resources Award from HR Centar as part of the EAPM (European Association for People Management). Tell us about the judges’ choice, why did you and Infobip win?
Thank you. I think I received the award based on Infobip’s impressive organic growth personnel wise along with its multicultural and worldwide reach. Also, the achievements of our People Operations team globally were very impressive to the judges and truly differentiated us from the other nominees.
• Why did you choose Human Resources in IT, what inspired you to choose this career path?
I didn’t intentionally choose HR. My intention was to work in the field of IT because of the challenge, the go-getter mindset of the entire high-tech movement. While I studied psychology at Harvard University, I had a few good friends, literally down the street from Harvard, at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) who had already fueled their own start-ups and I found their entrepreneurial spirit to be very contagious. After graduating, I was standing at the crossroads of academia and IT, and eventually decided to pursue a more dynamic career path. As a Psychology Graduate, I naturally fit the HR profile, but I wasn’t sure what a job in HR really meant. I chose to add my own tactics to this role and I have been leading HR into what really symbolizes Infobip; seamless cross-department team spirit. Infobip’s People Operations cherry-picks the practices from Infobip’s Sales, Marketing, Product Development, Support and Business Analysis, and merge them into a key function, which the main objective is business enablement throughout its organization and employees.
• The international Infobip culture, how would you characterize it?
A former POP team member wrote a blog about the international aspects of Infobip’s culture called Around the World in Eight Hours. She explained the difference between a multinational corporation where employees may share the part of the email address after the @ sign versus an international company where people from different parts of the world work dynamically together on joint projects with common objectives. The latter truly demonstrates Infobip, and how we work together. The spirit of the international character of Infobip’s culture is expressed and celebrated during our global internal networking conference Connect, where we bring team members from offices across the globe together to our HQ for a week of knowledge-sharing and fun.
• The Infobip Academy at the Pangea Campus HQ, what is its function and overall objective?
The initial purpose of The Academy was to scale the onboarding process and organize it in a way where mentors would benefit from a more efficient employee enrolment process. After graduating from The Academy, each employee arrives at his/her new position, armed with knowledge, the Infobip culture and a genuine understanding of our technology. Later, we experienced that Academy groups bonded very well and developed meaningful connections across different departments. The Academy has become a great silo-breaking and culture-forming tool.
• Infobip offers a number of benefits for our employees. What are some of the benefits employees enjoy working at Infobip?
We recently conducted an internal poll about Infobip’s benefits with the objective to explore and determine which benefits our employees find the most attractive. The results were highly satisfactory. The top-two benefits were education budgets and internal education. I believe the results showcased the growth-mindset of our company culture. Learning and seeking new knowledge resulting in innovational thinking is the true Infobip’s identity. In the process, we conducted two pilot benefits programs. The first one had education budgets that granted a great extent of freedom of educational choices to our employees in R&D departments. The second initiative was Bippers Educating Bippers, where employees from various departments submitted their expertise as an educational offer to fellow Bippers. In return, each employee submitted their educational requests to the pool of Bippers participating. The programs were applauded, and we are focusing on developing these two initiatives to include the entire company.
• What are the overall global recruitment goals for Infobip?
At any given time, Infobip has approximately one hundred positions available. Our recruitment plans are adjusted according to the business plan and we keep agile planning sessions synchronized with business planning. Our current focus is the expansion of our Engineering Teams in our existing Development Centers. Our goals are focused on bringing quality talent within an optimal time frame, providing competitive and appealing offers to current and prospective employees.
• Infobip’s Pangea Campus HQ, located in the historic and serene area of Istria, Croatia, is currently recruiting Software Developers. In the recruitment campaign, Istria is the new Ireland, Infobip is reaching out and attracting talent residing way further than this region. Why is the campaign instrumental and what does it really mean, Istria is the new Ireland?
When Croatia joined the European Union back in 2013, it experienced an exodus of IT professionals moving to Ireland. Ireland became a high-tech Mecca for the recent Eastern European EU members allowing computer science graduates and tech professional to work for companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Salesforce, and PayPal among others. When opening the doors to Campus Pangea, the first tech campus in South East Europe, we wanted to explain and show the local development community that there is no need to move across Europe to work on global, world-class projects. The objective of the campaign is to educate IT professionals about the opportunities provided by Infobip and attract them to move to Istria. Combining the beautiful weather, spectacular landscape and medieval history, I do believe that life in Istria is can offer fantastic balance.
• A prospective employee, thinking of joining our company today, why should he or she consider a career at Infobip?
I’d like to express to all prospective Bippers out there that Infobip is a company that provides vast opportunities for people who have a strong growth-mindset, who like to do things in non-traditional ways, and who truly have a passion for what they do. It is a company where the CEO finishes his every email with the sentence: We are just starting. It is also a company where people are excited about tackling our competition. If that kind of environment triggers you, then Infobip is very likely the right workplace for you.
• How do you see the future of HR evolving?
I believe the key goals of future HR departments will be to utilize analytics in improved ways by integrating key HR tools evolving in the digital space. The ongoing efforts for leadership development and employee engagement practices are instrumental parts of HR that unfortunately too many companies are lacking today. Change in this arena will require a diversification of HR workforce and inclusion of professionals from different backgrounds and areas of work to broaden the views and scope of its function. We will most likely see more Engineers, Data Analysts, Marketers and Financial Specialists joining the HR ranks in the years to come.