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The 20 most influential Hungarian HR leaders in 2024 - Kinga Németh, AUDI HUNGARIA Zrt.

On 6 June, HR Portal published its list of the 20 most influential Hungarian HR leaders, based on months of research. This is the second such compilation after 2022. As in the past, Kinga Németh, Member of the Board of AUDI HUNGARIA Zrt. responsible for Human Resources and Organisation, was included in the list. We now present her and her thoughts on HR management to our readers.

Németh Kinga, Audi Hungaraia-

What does HR look like at your company?



At Audi Hungaria Zrt, with almost 12,000 employees, we shape and manage personnel and organisational tasks with around 200 HR colleagues. We cover the entire portfolio of strategic HR competencies, with a strong focus on end-to-end processes and customer-oriented solutions to support our powertrain and automotive businesses and service areas.



By a complete HR portfolio, I also mean shaping our employer image in the external and internal labour market, or the continuous market-oriented development of our remuneration system.



Our recruitment is present in the Hungarian and now international labour market, and our staff and organisational development is particularly important in the highly dynamic and changing world of the automotive industry.



A strategic component of our Audi Academy is our dual vocational training, which supports not only our company but also the region and the labour market with highly skilled professionals in an industrial environment.



Adult training, retraining and post-graduate education are important components of our flexibility, which we implement in close cooperation with our strategic partners, the vocational schools in Győr and, in higher education, Széchenyi István University.



I would like to emphasise that in our complex world of HR, it is only possible to provide good answers to the questions asked in a collaborative way, which are useful for our company, but also of equal value to our collaborating partners.



We have two areas of responsibility that many may not take for granted as HR topics:




  • One is our health management, which places a strong emphasis on prevention to ensure the physical and mental health of our communities, representing a huge value to us.

  • The other is internal or employee communications, where we keep our colleagues informed through constantly evolving communication channels, digitally and face-to-face.



What has HR achieved in the past year?



I would like to mention a few achievements that are particularly important and valuable for us. More than 20 years ago, we were the first in the country to start our own dual vocational training programme based on the German model, which has resulted in young skilled workers with special automotive skills entering the world of work year after year, whether at Audi Hungaria or at other automotive companies.



It is important and unique that from last year we have created a gateway to higher education for our young people who have completed dual vocational training.

This kind of transferability is, I think, a useful and model initiative for the whole country and is of particular importance in today's increasingly tight labour market.



Our workforce is extremely stable, with a very low turnover rate for many years. In a demand-driven labour market, it is therefore particularly important to ensure a very high level of training and retraining of our existing workforce.



I would like to emphasise that these steps were only possible with our partners, the Széchenyi István University and the Győr Vocational Training Centre.

The loyalty of our employees to the company is proof of our success. The company has been awarded the title of "Employer of the Year" several times in recent years. Audi Hungaria has also been recognized with the "Family Friendly Workplace" and "Reliable Employer" awards.



As an HR manager, what values do you work by?



Credibility, transparency and consistency are the most important.



I believe that our values underpin the way we operate and have a place in all aspects of my life, including my role as an HR leader.



Can you share an experience/experience in your career that has significantly influenced the HR leader you have become?



During my many years at Audi, I have recognized and learned the importance of sticking to my beliefs. I do this under pressure, even in difficult situations. Self-Reflection has been a good companion over the decades. It's important for me to see how my actions and behaviors affect those around me, what I perceive from my own perspective. If I make a mistake, I stand up in front of my team to correct it, I apologize. If I'm convinced I'm going in the right direction, I fight to the last minute for the right solution.



I listen to my inner voice, I've also learned that my intuition has never let me down so far, listen to it, but always put the facts next to it.



There are basic principles that we should always keep in mind. Black does not make white and white does not make black. These values and principles help me a lot in my work. My experience is that they have always pointed me in the right direction in the long run.



What major HR projects are you currently working on that you would highlight?



I've talked a lot about the transformation of the automotive industry, which is affecting us fully.The most important issue now and in the next 1-2 years is training, retraining and creating the psychological security for our employees that will encourage them to change, learn and develop.



Yes, I know change generates constant uncertainty about how to be safe in it. This is where leadership skills training and information forums are needed, where questions can be answered at all levels of the organisation.



Our other big theme is the reconciliation of generations in the world of work. We have at least 4 generations in our company now, with very different development focuses, habits and interfaces. Covering this diversity well and cost-effectively is no small challenge, finding ways to address and train them, and ways to help and support our employees to connect with each other around shared values and the success of the company.



It is important for us to automate repetitive, repetitive, standardised HR sub-processes with the right digital solutions to increase efficiency,
also with the aim of optimising our resources. Another new project is the informal networking within our organisation. We know, we see and we feel that within our 12,000-strong organisation there are these micro and macro networks that are extremely valuable and effective for the company. We want to get to know them better so that we can make them work for the company even better. We are convinced that these informal networks can help our employees to understand the transformation of the automotive industry and the need for it, that Audi Hungaria as a whole, its departments and employees should be open to this transformation and ready to learn.



What challenges do you see for the HR profession and the labour market? How is your company adapting to them?



Digitization and automation are a big challenge in the HR profession. There is a great emphasis on building competencies, because it is useless to be a good HR person if I cannot identify the right tool for the process and business model among the technological solutions due to lack of competence. We have a lot of work to do with this today.



The challenge for the labour market is that there is a shortage of skilled labour. This is a European phenomenon. We can respond to these with fast, efficient, mini credit qualification content that develops the competences effectively, even in a real work environment.



How do you stay informed about industry trends and best HR practices?



I actively use the extremely high level of professional knowledge of the organisation, as everyone is part of Hungarian and international networks in their field of expertise and thus a lot of information flows.

I am happy to participate in professional conferences where I can meet HR professionals from the most outstanding companies in the Hungarian economy. I always come away from these events with lots of inspiring ideas.



We work with consultant colleagues who hold up an external mirror to see where Europe or the world HR trends are and where we stand in comparison. The only way to be good is to measure ourselves against the best.



It's good to be aware of trends, but as a large company we decide to apply them only after careful consideration and impact analysis, because our size means that measures and regulations following new trends have to "work" well with a very homogeneous workforce.



What advice would you give to aspiring young HR professionals who want to make a significant impact in their organisation?




  • The key to professional success is continuous learning, openness and self-reflection.

  • Think in a diverse team!

  • Collaborate!

  • Always consider the ecosystem!

  • Have fun in what you do!





Note



Kinga Németh was born in Győr, Hungary, and graduated in German from the University of Szeged, followed by a degree in Economics from the Budapest University of Economics. In 1997, at the age of 26, she started her professional career at Audi Hungaria. He worked in the controlling area and then moved to HR, where he was appointed Head of Human Resources in 2001. In 2017 he became Head of Dual Vocational Training at AUDI AG in Ingolstadt. From 2021, he will be a member of the Board of Management of Audi Hungaria responsible for Human Resources and Organisation.



Read our article on the 20 most influential Hungarian HR leaders here.


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