Quality HR Requires Good Interpersonal Relationships

Our HR Business Partner Ridwan Ahmed has been passionate about human resources since his college days. He joined ACONEXT in fall 2022 to start in a junior position and told us about his first impressions. The conversation focused primarily on shaping the future, strategic action, and people as the driving behind every business.

ACONEXT: Let’s start with a funny anecdote. As luck would have it, you were there when we were having our employee photo shoot in Fellbach to sign your contract and you just went along with it, why?

Ridwan Ahmed: I had indeed only come to sign the employment contract before my actual starting date at ACONEXT. And then I was suddenly asked: “Hey, we’re doing a photo shoot for our employer brand today. Would you like to take part spontaneously?” And then it all happened very quickly. I signed the consent form, took part in the photo shoot and later my face was everywhere, even before I had officially started at ACONEXT. My colleagues were joking about my steep career climb from day one.

Which areas interested you the most as a student, and why did you choose HR?

Negotiation management, business psychology and corporate management jump to mind.

My interest in HR actually stems from my work as a working student at my previous company, where I worked in HR with a focus on digitalization. There I realized that I was particularly attracted to the field of HR, among other things because no two days are the same and, above all, you can contribute to the achievement of business goals, especially in strategic HR. Because what people often forget is that the most important resource and driving force within a company is people. 

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for retaining and attracting talent. But you can [...] find out what employees want.
Ridwan Ahmed

There are some important differences between the traditional profession of recruiter and that of HR Business Partner, which do you think are the most important ones?

The role of an HR Business Partner is understood differently in every company. I would say that recruiters focus lies on employee recruitment in particular, and applicant management. The HR Business Partner, on the other hand, looks at the company with a bird’s-eye perspective — with all the disruptive factors that could prevent a company from continuing to be successful in the future. To give an example: If you notice that a company has an older demographic structure and that experienced employees will be leaving the company soon, it is important to consider concepts, for example, to ensure that important knowledge is not lost to the company. This can be achieved through personnel development programs, for example.

Which HR and personnel topics are particularly dear to you?

It’s difficult for me to choose just one topic. In my opinion, all points of contact between an applicant or employee and a company along the employee life cycle are important. If I had to choose, I would say that the future trends in HR, such as flexibility in terms of working hours and location, workplace structure and the digitalization of HR processes, should not be ignored, as people place much more value on them today than they did in the past.

War for talents, lack of workforce, quiet quitting and 5 different generations that need to work collaboratively, what do you think employers need today to attract and keep talent?

Due to the increasing transparency on the job market, especially through digital media, employees are faced with much more choice. This does indeed make it more difficult to find and retain talent. Of course, you could simply say that you can easily hire and secure talent through employer branding, job fairs and good working conditions, but the fact is, it’s not that simple. Not all companies have the same starting position, resources, or opportunities. For example, there are certainly jobs where it is not possible to work from home. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for retaining and attracting talent. But you can use employee surveys to find out what employees want, and you can learn from similar companies that are.

What advice would you give to anyone considering a job at ACONEXT?

Don’t be shy, just apply! I had the by far most relaxed job interview ever at ACONEXT.

The interview for ACONEXT was held by Magdalena Zalewski


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