In our “Getting to know” series, we feature the people behind Scoutbee, their motivations for joining the company, the work they do, and a bit about their life outside the office. Next up in the series is Kathrin Neubert, our Chief Human Resources Officer.
With 20+ years of HR experience, Kathrin has previously held management roles at companies like MetaDesign, Jesta Digital, MTV Networks Germany, and STUDIOCANAL. Passionate about aligning people and strategy, Kathrin is in the perfect position to create the opportunities and environment to help Scoutbee and its employees grow and develop.
So, Kathrin, what does your job entail?
In a nutshell, I make sure our people strategy supports our business goals and that everything we do reinforces the culture we’re building. This is related to questions like the values we want to uphold, what competencies we need in the future, how we nurture our internal talent, and how we attract and retain future talent. How do we create an inclusive working environment where our team of 32 nationalities can thrive, how do we reward, communicate with, and engage our teams and, if things don’t work out, part ways fairly. And last but not least, I also see my role as being a trusted partner to our employees and leaders.
You joined the company in October, 2021. Why did you choose Scoutbee?
I’ve been in HR for over 20 years, mainly in the media, in film, or in an agency environment. After a while, I felt the need for more freedom and the room to grow a company. That’s when I got introduced to Scoutbee. One of the things that attracted me was definitely the value proposition of the product. With the challenges our planet and global supply chains are currently facing, we can make an impact by digitizing procurement and giving procurement teams the data basis for better, more sustainable, or more innovative decisions. And, of course, the discussions with the team, with everyone I met, the stage the company is at and what we can do to develop it further were also reasons that made me choose Scoutbee.
What’s a typical day like for you?
There’s no such thing! If you look at my calendar for today, it’s just meetings, which isn’t a typical day luckily! Most of my days start with a (good) coffee and a check-in with my team. As we’re in different locations or working hybrid, this is our space for updates, a look at priorities, or just a casual chat.
The rest of my time is a wild mix – from very strategic topics to preparing communications and facilitating workshops, to working towards our team and company OKRs, right down to very operational tasks like invoice approvals. That’s also the beauty of the role – it never gets boring. I love the combination of the strategic and the human side of it – talking to the teams, to individuals, making sure we understand exactly how they want to grow and develop, and then creating opportunities so they can do just that.
What’s your favorite memory of Scoutbee so far?
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already – it’s difficult to choose just one! Obviously there are the everyday interactions or wins, from honest conversations in the leadership team to employees stepping up and succeeding in new internal roles… but for me, one memory that stands out was when we had a company event in September 2021. Funnily enough, I hadn’t even officially started in the role at that stage! But it was my very first “Ooh that’s nice, I like it!” moment. The night before the event, we were preparing our presentation but we were also sitting there as a management team, blowing up balloons, and there was this mix of the professional – “OK, we’re presenting our strategy and we have to align the company to that” – and also a very personal feeling of us all being in this together. That really stayed with me.
What advice would you give to new hires?
Well, we have to work for 40 years so we should do something we love, ideally somewhere we can grow and learn, and then share that with others.
What are your hopes for the industry?
Well, I’m in the people profession, so my greatest hope is that this is seen as a strategic function with a seat at the management table in every organization, and that our knowledge and expertise is recognized. Nobody ever questions data or engineering professionals, but when it comes to people, everyone’s an armchair expert! I’d like for organizations to appreciate the tremendous value that HR Management can create – by building the capacity for change, by emphasizing a learning focus, by developing organizational models and ways of working that enable businesses to achieve their goals, by creating a culture and values framework for effective collaboration… I could go on!
This is clearly a topic that’s close to your heart! But let’s move on to a more personal set of questions if you don’t mind. What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?
I love traveling. I’ve been to Iran twice, a country that’s been in the news lately because of its struggle for freedom. I remember those trips in particular because the experience was so different from my usual life. Any stereotypes I had were completely shattered when I met the people, learned about the history of the country, and traveled with the locals. It’s an experience that made an impression on me in so many ways. And I also love Greece. That’s my spiritual home!
If you had the chance, who would you be for a day?
Someone who could make an impact in the world. Either that, or someone who has a lot of fun! I don’t have a specific person in mind… oh, maybe a man, to see what that’s like!
If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?
A book, a boat to get away from the island, and a cocktail because I can’t!
Do you have any overused words or phrases?
I do like the word “however” – I think it’s such a nice English word. And at Scoutbee, we use “alignment” a lot!
What ability do you wish you had?
Speaking every language, being able to communicate with people in their native language just like that. That would be really cool. I’ve been trying to learn Greek for years, and some Farsi when I traveled to Iran, so I know how hard it is to get to a level where you can actually have a conversation. If everyone had that ability, it would bridge so many gaps.
What’s the first thing you’d buy if you won the lottery?
I think, if I had a lot of money, I’d found a library. I’d love that – a school or a library with my name on it.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Berlin?
Getting out of Berlin! I love going to the lakes in summer and just chilling. I think that’s the beauty of it – that you have the city on one hand so you can meet up with friends easily and, on the other hand, you have the lakes and the nature that I enjoy so much.
Would you like to join our team? Please check out our “Open Roles” here.