Tina Finsen, Chief People & Culture Officer at Linkfire: “A career in HR can be incredibly rewarding if you have a genuine interest in helping people grow”

Linkfire is a company on the cutting edge of technology, so it should be no surprise that Tina Finsen, its Chief People & Culture Officer, embraces its use as well. Indeed, as you will discover, by removing mundane and repetitive tasks from the HR team it’s now possible for them to focus on what really matters: the people.

Of course, that massively oversimplifies the challenge. As Tina told us, her mission is “to shape and nurture HR functions that would not only support businesses but also cultivate a culture of engagement, growth and excellence”.

And here’s one final reason to listen to what Tina has to say. Linkfire is a Danish company, and famously Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. A positive attitude to work culture is one of the key reasons for this, and that shines through in this interview.

Tell us about your role

I currently work as Chief People & Culture Officer at Linkfire, the world’s leading SaaS marketing platform for the music and entertainment industries. Here I oversee all aspects of Linkfire’s employee and workplace operations. This includes ensuring that we continue to attract the best talent and cultivating a world-class organisation with a strong and adaptable company culture that champions diversity, inclusion and empowerment.

What made you pursue a career in HR? And what advice do you have for anyone considering a career in HR?

I originally embarked on my career in financial accounting, but I gradually found myself spending more time in the HR department. As I immersed myself in that environment, I became increasingly captivated by the work being done there. Eventually, I made the conscious choice to transition into a role within human resources. This decision has turned out to be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling decisions I’ve ever made. I am continually motivated by the opportunity to contribute to the individual’s personal and professional growth.

Tina’s career started as a trainee at E&Y. In the 20 years since she has held a number of senior roles at companies such as Canon, Linde and AltaPay

The advice I would give to anyone contemplating going into HR is that it is a diverse field, and different roles within HR can have varying responsibilities and focuses. Consider what aspects of HR you are most passionate about and tailor your career path accordingly. Ultimately, a career in HR can be incredibly rewarding if you have a genuine interest in helping people grow and thrive within an organisation.

How do you think offices as we know them will change in the next decade?

I anticipate that the traditional office environment will undergo significant transformations in the coming decade, possibly becoming even more adaptable than it is presently. This shift could involve reducing the number of permanently assigned desks in favour of a greater emphasis on collaborative areas, meeting rooms and shared workstations. It’s likely that hot-desking and hotelling will gain prevalence as employees follow rotating schedules for in-office work.

Moreover, office design will increasingly prioritise the cultivation of collaboration and creativity. Open floor plans, huddle spaces and brainstorming areas may see greater adoption, and the seamless integration of virtual collaboration tools with physical spaces will become more prominent.

At Linkfire, we’ve embraced this shift towards flexibility by offering remote and hybrid contract options. We’ve also upgraded our tools to support this more adaptable way of working. I believe that all business owners should align with these changes to remain appealing and relevant to new talent.

What are the top three challenges HR professionals face today?

Certainly, looking ahead, HR professionals will encounter several significant challenges. First and foremost, the concept of leadership is far from static; it’s a dynamic skill set that must continuously evolve. The business landscape, workplace dynamics and employee expectations are in a constant state of flux. Leaders must adeptly adapt to these changes, acquiring new skills to effectively guide their teams in these evolving environments. Nurturing leaders’ proficiencies in areas like conflict resolution, effective communication and emotional intelligence becomes crucial for fostering healthy team relationships and mitigating workplace conflicts.

Secondly, change management remains a pervasive concern. Employees often resist change due to the uncertainties it brings, including concerns about job security. Here, HR professionals will play a pivotal role in managing and mitigating this resistance, ensuring a seamless transition during organisational changes.

Lastly, in an increasingly competitive talent market, attracting and retaining top talent presents an ongoing challenge. HR must craft and execute compelling recruitment strategies that not only draw in skilled employees but also retain them for the long term. Furthermore, promoting diversity and inclusion in the hiring process becomes essential for building a well-rounded and innovative workforce capable of meeting the demands of the future.

These three challenges collectively define the evolving landscape of HR in the years to come.

Related reading: What’s lazy-girl jobs? The TikTok work trend tech companies should know about

In your opinion, what has been the most significant technological advancement impacting HR?

From my perspective, technology’s most notable impact on HR has been the introduction of Self-Service HRIS for the management of the entire employee lifecycle. These portals empower employees to independently handle various HR-related tasks, such as updating personal information, accessing pay stubs, requesting time off and enrolling in benefits. This transformation has substantially lightened the administrative workload for HR teams, allowing them to dedicate more time to value-added activities such as leadership coaching and fostering employee engagement.

Additionally, technology has ushered in a revolution in how HR professionals engage with employees and oversee their performance. Performance management has shifted from being an annual review process to a continuous, real-time feedback and development system that encourages ongoing improvement and personal growth.

Many HR departments continue to digitise more and more of their processes and workflows – has this been the case at Linkfire?

At LInkfire we have also digitised our HR processes for greater effectiveness and efficiency, where we use systems from leading software providers. These digital solutions have revolutionised our human resources management, making it easier to handle tasks such as recruitment, employee onboarding, performance evaluations and payroll processing. By leveraging technology, enhancing operational efficiency and minimising administrative overhead, we have successfully reduced our HR workforce from an HR staff-to-employee ratio of 8,1 to a HR staff-to-employee ratio of 4,2.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and how has it shaped your career?

One of the most impactful pieces of advice I’ve ever received was from a former manager who introduced me to the “2-minute rule”. This guidance has been a game-changer in decluttering my mind and influenced my life and the way I handle tasks and productivity. By swiftly addressing minor tasks, I liberate my mental capacity to focus on more intricate and challenging projects. This mental clarity has played a pivotal role in enhancing my overall productivity.

What is an HR initiative you’ve spearheaded that you are particularly proud of?

Throughout my career, I’ve achieved numerous successes, but one particular accomplishment vividly showcases my dedication to leadership and adaptability. It occurred when I took the lead in orchestrating a mass redundancy process to close down a company. This endeavour stands out as one of the most formidable challenges I’ve encountered, requiring both empathy and strategic expertise. What truly distinguishes this achievement, however, is the enduring resilience it instilled in me.

Fortunately, the company was swiftly repurchased by its original owner the following day, allowing me to commence the task of rebuilding the organisation and rehiring the employees I had to let go just the day before. This experience underscored my capacity to pivot and excel in rapidly changing business landscapes.

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Tim Danton

Tim has worked in IT publishing since the days when all PCs were beige, and is editor-in-chief of the UK's PC Pro magazine. He has been writing about hardware for TechFinitive since 2023.