Doug Gillan

Doug Gillan

Head of HR - UK

Global HR for a Global Player


As Arçelik continues to grow as a truly international global player, our focus on sustainability becomes increasingly important, not only in terms of our production capability, environmental credentials and competitive positioning, but particularly in our ability to attract, retain, develop, challenge and reward our greatest asset – our people.

Our ability to stay ahead of the market and the desire of our employees to help drive the success of the business is paramount if we are to continue to expand the global footprint of the Company and in order to do this the business increasingly needs to develop appropriate policies, procedures, practices, development opportunities and reward mechanisms that not only complement our local markets, but also promote flexibility and the increasing need for mobility across the business.

As the business grows, the need for subsidiary reporting capability becomes more acute and the need for mobility increases, as does the requirement for top management to be able to analyse and have it its finger tips up to date global data in order to be able to effectively manage an increasingly diverse business. The HR community is a truly international one, with representation from Northern and Western Europe eastwards right across the globe to Australia and our need to plan and react to changes required within all of our businesses as well as in the centre is an exciting challenge.

As we grow, the need for HR to provide a joined up service increases, so twice a year we meet as an international Global HR Team to compare experiences, market trends, challenges, opportunities and threats, but more importantly to share best practice and develop the appropriate infrastructure across the whole organisation to support the wider Arçelik EVP so that our attraction, recruitment, development, reward, succession and mobility planning becomes increasingly more joined up.

These twice yearly meetings are not only essential as a vehicle for sharing and communicating key information about the wider Arçelik business, but also act as a catalyst for driving key projects across subsidiaries. In the UK, we take it as a complement that we are regularly asked to pilot new initiatives and we hope our experiences in working with colleagues in Istanbul in setting the parameters for initiatives such as the new SAP Global HR database and Hay Grading projects which are now going live worldwide have a positive effect for all areas of the enterprise. As we move into 2016, we look forward to improvements we will be making through the SAP Success Factors project that will further enable slicker and more effective development, succession and performance management.

I should add that representing the UK and Ireland, I am particularly lucky, not only to head HR for the largest sales subsidiary, but also when meeting colleagues in or from different countries my life is made easier because everyone speaks English. It is really quite humbling, almost embarrassing, but very much appreciated when you are in a meeting of Global HR representatives from almost every continent to find that everyone speaks much better English than I speak Turkish, Russian, French, Romanian, Chinese, German, Spanish, Arabic, Polish, Ukrainian, Thai, Italian etc… (to name a few). I can however say Happy New Year in Japanese, so who knows that may come in useful one day!