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Gregoire Nitot – CEO of dreams in the HR Heroes Contest

You have received the HR Heroes award in category of CEO of dreams, what it means to you?
Being awarded is a pleasant feeling. I’m really proud that I have received such a positive title – I’m proud and I want to say thank you. At the same time I know and I want to Sii staff thinking that my goal is not to collect awards, only to continuously develop, change, thrust forward. For me personally and for the entire company.

– Your nomination has been supported by the information that Human Resources area in your opinion is one of the most important and you dedicates 1/3 time of your work. Why did you decide on such an intense involvement in this area?
I believe that for any business in the world people and team are the key. Whole company is built by them. Business – regardless of industry – is similar to battlefield – we win only when we have the best people, the most experienced managers, when we know how to build a great team and when we are good at teamwork. Matched people and good internal organization of the company is needed. Therefore, I perceive HR as a key. Me and all the managers in the Sii spend a lot of time working in the HR area: interviews with people responsible for the recruitment process and development of staff to develop the best tools for managing HR: annual evaluation questionnaires, job descriptions, competencies card, path of development… I care about constant communication with HR and continuous feedback. Very important part of my work are annual talks with my subordinates or decision-makers in specific areas. I also believe that the key investment for company are the best employees. It is crucial in terms of business, but not without significance is the fact that I like it. I love working with people. My chief principles here are transparency and honesty. Sometimes it is difficult because you have to know how to say “no”, give negative feedback, even fire someone – for the good of the team and the company.

– How did it happen that in general you decide to develop your career in Poland? How was fought your career?
During my studies in 1999 – I arrived to Poland for Erasmus exchange to SGH. I was study but also fell in love with Polish girl. I went back to Paris, but love and business opportunities which I had in Poland made me to come back and start a business here. I’ve put on the IT industry, I searched the investor and after 3 years I’ve returned to Warsaw to become the founder and first employee of Sii – for 8 years the fastest growing IT and industrial engineering services provider. After 8 years I’m still the president, but one of more than 1500 employees. Now Sii has 8 branches in the largest Polish cities. As president I am responsible for the overall development strategy of the company.

– What barriers do you see in the functioning of the HR industry in Poland? What we should pay more attention to?
In Sii our main problem is hard HR. When 90% of our engineers are men, the challenges generated by law, regulations, rules, working hours… In my opinion in Poland trade unions also provide problems to HR. They are characterized by an attitude of continuous opposition and it brings sometimes for employees good results but for short-term. They lock for business development.
HR issues in Sii, even those tough, are not seen as problems, but as strengths: at the contact point of HR and business appear good, innovative ideas, which, thanks to the fast decision-making process are rapidly implemented. Even if some mistakes happen – I treat them as the best training for me as a president and for whole team.

– How do you see the future of the HR industry? It is said that HR in the form in which it currently operates will not survive. What do you think, in what direction our industry is going to develop?
HR in Poland is a great thing, because of people – Polish workers are the most precious wealth of the country. It have to be only skillfully managed. HR needs more sophisticated tools, which can help modern technology. HR needs in Poland more IT support. HR Director is a person with broad powers, which must also understand the technology and its impact on HR processes. If the Polish HR managers have the knowledge, they are just needed more arguments to convince the Executive Director, the President or the business, that they need capital to invest wisely in HR and IT solutions dedicated to HR. It is necessary that all HR processes work effectively, because the important aspect of HR is to support business development. HR must understand how the business generates profits and revenues, and why we win with our competitors. It must be understood that the first goal of business is profit, because constant gain allows you to provide dynamic development and good working conditions. Without it, the first cut is labor costs, and ultimately – employment.

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