A focus on HR with Amber Dekker

Pretty much anyone who has ever had a job will most likely have had to interact with human resources at some point. For some, the largest part of that interaction will cover employment contracts and onboarding but there’s a lot more to it than that. For example, not so many people know that HR can offer support to employees from conflict resolution to career advancement opportunities and training to the management of benefits and compensation.

So, we wanted to fully get under the skin of what goes on behind the door marked ‘Human Resources’ and with that in mind, we decided to ask Amber to give us her take on what it’s like on the inside.

Professional Philosophy

“They’re not on the balance sheet but our people are our greatest asset.”

I’ve been at Aexus since September last year in the role of Human Resources Generalist. As the name ‘generalist’ would suggest, it covers everything related to employee management.. That’s a part of the job I really enjoy as it means no two days are the same. I work predominantly with the Benelux and US teams to take care of the complete employee life cycle. That’s a pretty broad subject of course, but to narrow it down a bit, it’s about contract generation, onboarding, offoarding, employee benefits (both statutory and company), promotion and a whole host of other things. In our HR team, we also work together to handle all areas of compliance, employment law, local and national regulations and try to update policies and procedures as necessary. So, while it’s true to say we’re busy, we will always make time for an employee who wants to talk or needs to see us. I truly appreciate the level of autonomy and trust Aexus has given me to take ownership of projects and come up with initiatives to streamline and improve our operations. I feel very valued in my role.  

I first started working in recruitment right after graduating for my BBA in 2020. I was working for a specialised recruitment agency as an office manager and assistant consultant. It was the second of these two roles that really grabbed my attention and in my time there I learned a lot. It was such a good grounding for me to learn all about different types of organisations, different company structures, workforce structures and how companies run their business operations. We also had a very broad customer base which meant I was working with all kinds of businesses. I’d always had a slight interest in HR but working in this job made me eager to make a career out of it. That’s when I decided to start my MBA in Leadership & Talent Management. I was ready for the next step in my career. Then, one day, I was browsing through some tech sites I follow on LinkedIn when I found Aexus. I went to their website and as soon as I found the HR role, I applied straight away. No hesitation. They got in touch, I did my interviews and within about two weeks, I had my start date confirmed.

When I arrived at Aexus, there was a big recruitment drive on and I have now onboarded so many people, I could do it with my eyes closed. We had a bit of a growth spurt and once that calmed down, there were some changes in the department. That’s how I ended up handling two regions (Benelux and USA) mostly by myself. I graduated from my MBA last October and it has been very exciting to put all my learning into practice. I have also taken a course to become the confidential counsellor of Aexus, which I’m very proud of. 

As much as I love the department, there are some aspects I’d like to see moving forward. For example, one of the things we’re focussing on at the moment is employee engagement. There are plans in process but I’m keen to see them come to fruition. We’re continually developing our systems and processes like rewards and benefits as well as learning & development and engagement, so that’s exciting. Beyond day-to-day goals though, I truly hope that we can grow the HR department and take on new colleagues there too so we can grow our remit. The goal would be to become a really successful HR department with a people-first mindset. That way, we can bring a world class experience to the employees, the management and indirectly, but just as importantly, to our partners.