LSST students speak with Rosa Riera – Vice President for Employer Branding at Siemens AG
By Kunal Chan Mehta | Article Date: 11 June 2018
Siemens AG, a global powerhouse in the fields of industry, energy, healthcare and infrastructure, has employer branding as its core and is fine-focusing on the way people view the multipart company.
Rosa Riera, the Vice President for Employer Branding and Social Innovation at Siemens AG, answers stimulating questions from LSST students from our London, Luton and Birmingham campuses about corporate and employer branding.
Rosa is currently overseeing the transformation of the Siemens employer brand and aims to bring a new relevance to the business that has over 372,000 employees worldwide.
LSST student interviewers: Renata Carvalho, SU President; Angel Terjek, Y2 Business Foundation Degree student, London campus; Camelia Ioo, Y1 FdA Business and Computing student, London campus; Sadiqul Choudhury, Business Management student, Luton campus; Malina Badea, Information Technology (Top-up) student, Luton campus and Latisha Swaby, BA Business Studies (Top-up) student, Birmingham campus.
1. What do you do at Siemens?
I am responsible for the Siemens Employer Brand and for Social Innovation globally.
2. What has your extensive 17-year experience at Siemens taught you?
That you need to stay open and curious to understand change and work hard to make any kind of change work for you. Oh, and don’t forget to have fun on the way.
3. What did you do before Siemens?
I worked briefly at a local newspaper and a local radio station.
4. Has the ‘digital disruption’ created a shortage in talent across each and every industry?
Yes, but it is not only the technical knowledge but also knowledge about new business models, new forms of collaboration, co-creation, and communication. The people and community skills are just as relevant as the technical skills.
5. How is Siemens rethinking its employer brand and employee experience – and is it now moving towards a personalised employer brand?
We realised that the talent market does no longer favour big multinational corporations as it did in the past. By looking at the data (surveys, rankings; focus group interviews) we realised that Siemens was perceived as rather cold and distant and hard to approach. This, however, does not match our experience with our colleagues who are very open, diverse, and collaborative. We realized that the best way to show what it is really like to work at Siemens is through a conversation person-to-person. Therefore, our employer branding strategy is to spark conversations about the future of engineering and what it takes to get there. And we do this by featuring our colleagues who work on very relevant topics and who have also very interesting personal stories to tell. Then we share and scale the stories through social media which allows a direct exchange if people want.
6. What makes the Siemens brand strong enough to compete in today’s uber-competitive market?
Our mission is to make real what matters, which means that we focus on areas that are super important for all societies and develop products and services for these areas (healthcare, mobility, energy, industrial automation; digitalisation). We believe that businesses need to serve society (we call it “Business to Society”). All of this is accomplished by over 370,000 colleagues in nearly 200 countries working together. Only few companies can offer this worldwide.
7. As a respected Vice President, what sets your management style apart from your competitors?
I guess this is something you need to ask my team and my peers. I believe in leadership from within. It is a leadership style that is dialogue-oriented and that tries to not rely on hierarchy as a tool to get things done. Instead, I view my role as to develop the vision and strategy for my area of responsibility and to get everybody excited and motivated to do their best. Then it is my role to remove as many obstacles as possible so that my team can focus on their job. We sit in an “open office” which means that we don’t have assigned desks. This helped us improve communication and information exchange.
8. Siemens has lots of products and services – it would not seem that everyone would know these. For example, Siemens’ surgical machines appears like an oxymoron. Why is this?
We don’t have consumer products and are a B2B or B2G (Government) company. Therefore, many of our products and services are not well known. However, if you are in need of medical assistance, you will instantly see the benefit of medical equipment that can help doctors with their diagnosis and therapy. Our entire lives require safe, affordable, and accessible electricity. We all want to travel and commute in a reliable and safe way – this requires trains, transportation systems (such as traffic management systems), e-mobility and so forth. I could go on through the entire Siemens portfolio. As soon as you start to talk to Siemens people who work in these areas, you realise why they love their jobs: everything we do has a positive impact on many, many people’s lives.
9. What have been your main regrets at Siemens?
Not many. I always regret not spending more time talking to people, getting to know them and their work better. This is important because you gain a much better understanding of the company, its values, and the areas we can all work on improving.
10. Where do you picture yourself in 10 years’ time?
In an interesting job surrounded by friendly, collaborative, intelligent, and motivated people. Hopefully also in or near an urban area (I’m a city girl…) and in a nice home with my family.
11. What is your greatest advice for LSST students?
Learn how to learn. I love this quote by Alvin Toffler, an author and futurist: “The illiterate of the future will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” What you learn is important but at least equally (if not more) important is how you learn to learn. Listen to podcasts about how to learn, team up with your peers and start study groups to discuss the best ways to learn based on the newest scientific findings, watch YouTube videos, read books on this, anything to lay the foundation for wherever your careers will take you.
Also, I’ve always found this to be important advice that has helped me in my career and also personally: make an effort to remain open-minded and curious (but apply critical thinking) and don’t forget to remain polite and kind online and offline.
For more information, visit:
Siemens’ Careers visit: www.siemens.com/careers
Siemens’ UK website: https://www.siemens.com/uk/en/home.html
Note from LSST’s Founder and CEO: Once again, LSST students from each campus have co-created strong and thought-stimulating questions for a highly respected Vice President. We hope that the experience and wisdom gained will support your current studies and future career paths. I thank Kunal Chan Mehta in LSST’s press office for setting up this opportunity and urge students to email or meet him should they wish to partake in any such future interviews – I am aware that there are many more exciting opportunities.
Mr Syed Zaidi, Founder and CEO, LSST
Please email the author of this article firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or comments or if you would like to take part in future interviews with industry leaders.