Meet Yan Gelman, Senior Global HR Leader:

Yan Gelman, a dynamic HR leader, started his career in accounting before making a deliberate shift towards HR to make a more substantial impact on people. With a track record of aiding emerging companies globally, he specializes in building HR functions from scratch, steering companies from zero revenue to over $500 million. Yan’s diverse experience spans consumer products, FinTech, and big data, all united by his passion for cultivating exciting growth trajectories. Currently, as a Senior Global HR Leader, he navigates the intricacies of global hiring, remote work, and employment compliance, making him a compelling guest for discussions on contracting, tech leadership, and more. Yan Gelman’s journey is a testament to the fusion of financial expertise and a genuine commitment to driving meaningful change in the HR landscape.

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Quick Read: Yan Gelman, Senior Global HR Leader, Interview Highlights

Greetings, everyone, and welcome back to Default Global. I’m your host Vit Koval. Today, we connected with Yan Gelman, Senior Global HR Leader who shared his thoughts and experiences on global hiring, HR, and remote work, among other aspects.

Yan’s Journey in HR

Yan began his career in accounting and gradually transitioned to HR, where he felt he could make a greater impact on people. His HR journey has involved working for emerging companies locally in the US and globally, helping them grow from zero HR functions to many and from $0 in revenue to 500 million plus. His experience spans various sectors, including consumer products, FinTech, and big data.

Synergy of HR and Financial Strategies

In Yan’s opinion, HR and finance have to work together as they share a common goal — bringing people and companies to their best selves. He emphasized the importance of budgeting and smart growth. You don’t want to overhire or hire ahead of the curve. It’s crucial to work with finance leaders, CEOs, and HR to figure out what you are trying to accomplish. Every investment, including in people and facilities, has to bring some return on investment.

Managing Global HR Operations

Managing global human resources operations across different regions like the US, Singapore, the UK, and the European Union, Yan stressed the importance of asynchronous work, respecting each other’s privacy and time. He also highlighted the significance of being intentional about culture and creating global camaraderie.

Effective Remote Communication

When it comes to effective remote communication, Yan’s rule is: When in doubt, communicate! And if you’re still doubting it, over-communicate. Both formal and informal communications are crucial. His company introduced values awards based on company values, which helped to build and strengthen culture.

Paid Transparency and Diversity Initiatives in Hiring

Yan also shared his experience implementing paid transparency and diversity initiatives in hiring. He noted that these initiatives are aimed at leveling the playing field, particularly for those from marginalized communities. On diversity inclusion side, he stressed the need to intentionally build diverse pipelines and expand the pie. Diversity begets more diversity and ultimately leads to improved employee engagement.

Employee Satisfaction and Time to Hire

At Spokeo, Yan managed to reduce time to hire and improve employee satisfaction. He achieved this by understanding what drives employees and what makes them excited about the company. A comprehensive and intentional engagement survey helped in this endeavor.

Emerging Trends in HR

Looking at the emerging trends in HR, Yan sees AI as a significant game-changer. AI can help weed out some people during the hiring process and figure out the profile of an ideal candidate. However, the human component in HR, like understanding who people are, can’t be replaced by AI.

Advice for Global Hiring Expansion

Finally, Yan offered advice for tech company leaders considering global hiring expansion: Don’t be afraid to hire people who live far away and don’t look like you. Listen to your HR people and give them a seat at the table. And most importantly, never stop learning.