TIM CONRADS / HR MANAGER
What do you think the Heppner spirit is?
Heppner is characterized in particular by our employees and their team spirit as well as by a decentralized site structure. We have the ability to be decision-makers and actors in our missions. At the same time, we use the synergies from the group structure, for example by exchanging of experiences in the sense of best practice and by uniform framework conditions. This combination is the cornerstone of the company’s success and longevity.
The five corporate values reflect very well the mindset of Heppner’s employees as much as the corporate culture. The strong personal responsibility, the very high level of commitment, as well as the business thinking are fully part of our day-to-day job to our clients. Heppner creates the necessary framework conditions for this, as these characteristics are specifically supported and promoted by a decentralized decision-making culture, a family-like working atmosphere and personal development opportunities. I see a further strength in the development and training of talents, combined with the various opportunities for promotion within the group, which ultimately lead to great loyalty. At the end, I think that this structure encourages staff to be innovative on a daily basis, to make decisions and therefore to keep a continuous improvement process going. In my opinion, these are fundamental values for achieving fulfilment in one’s work and for giving oneself the tools to progress in-house.
What are the tasks of your job?
As an HR manager, my tasks are very diversified and can be categorized as demand planning and budgeting, personnel recruitment, personnel development and personnel support. Above all, my goal is to ensure the manpower requirements of all teams and their fullfilment at Heppner. This is particularly important in order to enable business growth and to offer our clients an optimal and dedicated service. To achieve this, it is important to be in a regular contact with the teams and the management, but also to foster team spirit. It is essential to maintain communication, mutual support and understanding of each other’s tasks and challenges.
Personnel development, especially the individual support of talents and the training of junior staff, is another very strategic part of my work. Internal success, which we deeply believe in, is an integral part of our upskills objectives.
My tasks also include the targeted recruitment of new employees. As HR manager, I am also the first point of contact for colleagues and new employees on many issues. I have this key responsibility to represent Heppner to future talent. As part of the management tasks, I am also in close and regular exchange with the HR team of the group, am able to participate in the integration process and am responsible for the realization and implementation of many group-wide measures and topics. In addition to these higher-level areas, there is also the administrative work, such as managing and processing data, creating evaluations, and preparing payroll. Ultimately, my job requires the ability to listen, to understand and to guide others. That’s what I like most.
If you had to sum up your job in 3 words, what would they be?
- Diversity: The varied tasks, such as the recruitment process of new employees, conducting the People Review, conducting staff interviews, implementation of Covid19-measures or saying goodbye to a colleague into a well-deserved retirement are what make this job so appealing.
- Flexibility/Quickness of action: I think that these two words apply to pretty much every position in a freight forwarding and logistics company, but they also very well describe the area of HR, especially with regard to personnel planning and procurement, as short-term personnel absences or increasing order numbers often require flexible solutions that work as quickly as possible.
- Communication and sociability: Whether in the implementation of group measures, in a job interview or in a personnel interview, in our profession the type of communication is essential for success, taking into account the situation and the person we are talking to.
What are the main qualities required?
Empathy, knowledge of human nature and enjoyment in dealing with people: I think these qualities can be helpful in any profession, but in my field they are certainly a basic requirement and essential for successful HR work. As a personnel manager, it is important to build an honest and trusting basis with colleagues, but also with potential new employees. This is only possible if you can relate to the interests and concerns of the person you are talking to.
In addition, loyalty, authenticity, and integrity: For me, it is very important to present the company and its values authentically when dealing with potential new employees but also with colleagues. This embodiment is only possible if you identify with the company and if you are credibly loyal to its values. Of course, leadership qualities are also needed, especially with regard to motivating employees and implementing measures.
What is your background and why did you join Heppner?
Like many of my colleagues, I started my vocational training at Heppner Hamacher 16 years ago and successfully completed it after three years. Afterwards, I worked for a good year in the warehouse logistics department, where I looked after some customers and did the administrative processing of goods movements. In the period from October 2009 to September 2011, I completed with the support of the company a two-year course of study at the DAV (German Foreign Trade and Transport Academy), graduating with a degree in business administration in transport economics and logistics. Since 2011, I have been employed in the company’s warehouse logistics department, where I have once again looked after a permanent customer base, planned action business and, in the meantime, also taken on tasks from the customs department. Since then, I have also been responsible for the trainees in the company, from recruitment to taking them on as permanent employees. In addition to the day-to-day business, I have also been responsible for the realization of some projects in the last few years, such as the eco-profit or AEO certification and purchasing processes. In March 2020, I made the switch in a very peculiar period to the HR department and have been HR Manager at the Gronau site since then.
Like many other profiles with whom I have had the chance to grow professionally, I have built myself up at Heppner and developed my skills year after year. I am very proud to be part of the adventure of the family group and to give this opportunity to other talents.
What is the success you are most proud of in the group? (Collective or individual)
I don’t think there is just one success, but many great achievements. Personally, it makes me very proud every year when our trainees successfully pass their final exams and if we are able to take them on as permanent employees. I accompany the trainees from the day of the interview, and it is simply a great pleasure and a bit of pride to see the individually development of each one these young colleagues.