At the end of the last article we left Annemarie about to embark upon what was to become an exciting, tough and rewarding career with Cummins.
“Recruitment is a very positive activity; when you find the right candidate for the role you make a difference to the candidate’s career, and to the Hiring Manager’s team.”
It was at this stage that Annemarie decided to stop the flying, partly because of the financial risk when taking out future loans to continue the hour building whilst it became clear that a potential recession was on the horizon, but also because she was so excited about the Cummins job. She joined the business in January 2008 in Corporate Recruitment looking after professional roles in continental Europe; travelling a lot, mainly to Germany, Belgium, Romania, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Annemarie described it as “brilliant, the best job in the company” adding that “recruitment is a very positive activity; when you find the right candidate for the role you make a difference to the candidate’s career, and to the Hiring Manager’s team.”
She then moved into the role of Talent Acquisition Leader for Europe looking after recruitment for the larger sites in the UK as well as Europe and had a small team reporting into her.
“In 2012 Cummins acquired part of a business in Marktheidenfeld in Germany. I was asked to help recruit some of the initial key roles which didn’t come with the acquisition such as the HR Manager and Finance Controller. I spent a good amount of time working with the local team as well as travelling to Germany. I was subsequently by the end of 2011 approached to take on the role of HR Leader on site as an expat assignment. I was a bit torn as it sounded very interesting but I was very happy in Recruitment, I felt Recruitment was my passion but on the other hand I also recognised that there wasn’t much more for me to explore at that point in time within Recruitment at Cummins. Although I didn’t have any hands-on line HR experience, but I had partnered with line HR a lot and was well trusted. There was a lot of work to do. It was all about making sure that we were integrating into the larger Cummins world from a process/procedure perspective but culturally as well. Acquisitions are special, you need to realise that you deal with a group of employees who did not apply for a job in Cummins. It is therefore not a given that they will feel immediately comfortable whilst also dealing with major change. I think it helped that I’m Dutch, I speak German and I like to think I understand the culture quite well. I learnt a lot and worked incredibly hard including making sure that there was a successor by the end of the year, ready to take over so that I could return to the UK after 15 months in the role.”
Annemarie is now HR Leader for Europe; she still looks after the Marktheidenfeld site as well as a small office in The Netherlands, a manufacturing site in Darlington and has dotted line responsibility for Mexico where they have set up a manufacturing site the same size as Germany. “It’s an exciting job; I’ve been able to continue to strengthen the relationships I already had and this role is more strategic so no recruitment; it’s about setting out the strategy for all the sites I look after. It’s a very supportive role, removing barriers to make it possible for those strong, local teams directly in the business to be successful.” She still travels a lot and visits the teams regularly.
On the 1st July Annemarie is moving into the Labour Relations Lead Role for Europe, and will be responsible for Labour Relations, dealing with Work Councils, Unions, and Joint Consultation Committees. It’s a corporate role again across all business units; it’s a very supportive but strategic role. Her task will be to support the local teams to work with the various bodies representing employees. It also includes making sure that Cummins create the right environment for all employees not just those within the bargained groups. She recently started a Post-Graduate Certificate in Labour Law through the CIPD so she sees this is as an excellent opportunity to put her learning into practice.
“people can always surprise you”
Next week we put Annemarie on the spot for some Q&A during which she talks about her career highlights so far.