Meet Gero in HR Services

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Gero, SVP HR Services, Bertelsmann AG
Name: Gero

SVP HR Services

Location: Gütersloh



Social Networks:

View Gero Hesse's profile on LinkedIn


Describe your educational background.  How did you come to Bertelsmann?

I studied Business Administration with a main focus on marketing, leadership, and organizational psychology.  After working for Accenture as a consultant, I joined Bertelsmann because I felt that here I am able to create and impact change in a very positive and entrepreneurial way in a very entrepreneurial company like Bertelsmann.  At the same time, I really enjoy the combination of traditional Human Resource practices combined with leading edge IT and Technology - the two go very well hand-in-hand!  I am convinced that I made the right decision!

Describe your career history.  What have been your professional experiences prior to your current position?

After joining Bertelsmann I started working in the Corporate Management Development group in our corporate office.  My main tasks were recruiting and development of High Potentials.  At the same time I relaunched Bertelsmann's career site and implemented an applicant tracking system for the company.  This was the start of an idea to introduce Human Resources Shared Services (HR Services) within Bertelsmann.  Since 2006 I have been heading the HR Services Department.  HR Services provides IT tools and services (e.g. Recruiting Process Outsourcing, Payroll Services and Survey Services) to all the decentralized Bertelsmann HR Departments (and yes, some external customers too).  Next to the services topics I am also responsible for two strategic topics: Employment Branding and Health/Work-Life Balance topics for employees at Bertelsmann. 

Describe a typical day at your job!

Different!  No two days are alike!  This is primarily due to the fact that my department covers a lot of different topics - from Recruiting, via Payroll and Employee Surveys to Employment Branding and Health Management.  On the other hand, Bertelsmann is very international and decentrally structure.  Therefore, there are a lot of very different customers (HR departments) and provides (e.g. job boards, IT-providers, web agencies...).  To be able to provide all the services mentioned before, I have to deal with marketing, sales, controlling, leadership and HR topics.  Next to "different" the other fitting word would be "communicative" since I have a lot of different contacts.

Why do you work for Bertelsmann?  And what is the most important thing in your job?

One of the most important reasons for me to join Bertelsmann was the company culture.  We have four essentials: entrepreneurship, creativity, partnership, and citizenship.  Each day I see in my job, that there is true entrepreneurial freedom.  It is very important to me to be able to start and try new things.  And to take responsibility for my own actions - this is really motivating.  In my job, my team is the most important thing.  A great set of very different team members who know their business, who take responsibility and whom I can rely on.  It's great fun to work with them!

Have you had the opportunity to travel as part of your job?
Yes.  Since Bertelsmann is very internsational and decentrally structured, it is crucial for an internal service provider to establish trustful relationships with all customers.  I was in Bertelsmann locations in the US, UK, Netherlands, Belguim, France, Spain, and Luxembourg.  By visiting programs in Bertelsmann University I also visited France and Sweden.


What is CYOC?

CYOC is the abbreviation for "Create Your Own Career"

The slogan emphasizes individual career opportunities and entrepreneurial freedom, which employees of Bertelsmann get. The following video shows what Create Your Own Career means for our employees.