Five minutes with… Laura Castillo, GM of human capital management at FinancialForce.com

by Chloe Taylor21 Jul 2015
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

The best advice I’ve ever been given is from my father, who taught me, among many life skills, the importance of building trust and earning respect. He told me that these two qualities would gain huge rewards in all aspects of life. I truly believe in this and it has been fulfilling to me in my personal and professional life. If everyone were to approach professional relationships with this mindset, imagine the difference businesses would see in productivity from employees and the quality of service delivered to customers.
 
What challenges do you think HR will face in the next 10 years?

HR will face a major shift in how organizations serve their people. From the rapid innovation of technology to the diversity of today’s global workforce, the way companies think about HR and how they approach attracting, acquiring, motivating and developing people has already changed exponentially and will only continue to accelerate. We must now acknowledge that business leaders, managers and workers are the drivers of the HR process. HR must approach the role of HR in a way of partnership and trusted advisor to the organization and recognize that traditional approaches to human resources just won’t work anymore. Yes, we must reduce risk and adhere to policies while ensuring the organization is compliant, but we must also deploy tools and information that engages people and communicates the company culture and direction. We must embrace multi-cultural and multi-generational needs and recognize that putting the power in the hands of our workers and managers is the key to HR leadership and continued success.
 
What is the most interesting aspect of your role? 

I have the unique opportunity to think outside the box on how FinancialForce.com delivers technology that makes a positive difference in the workplace. I embrace being a change agent by leveraging what we learn from executives and industry thought leaders to deliver on where we are headed and not where we’ve been. It’s something that keeps me enthusiastic and motivated with my work.
 
What do you feel is your biggest professional achievement to date?

My biggest professional achievement to date is my support of the career development of so many young people and helping set them up for success in their careers over the last 25 years. It is incredibly rewarding when you recognize a talented and motivated person and then give them their ‘break’ only to see them grow both personally as well as professionally to become leaders and innovators in their respective industries.
 
How would you sum up HR professionals in two words?

Business partners
 
Complete this sentence: If I weren’t in HR, I’d be…

On the sidelines as a reporter for ESPN. I love sports and all it stands for - the power of working together as a team, the motivation of competition, and how to win and lose gracefully. I am intrigued by the stories of top athletes and learning what drives them to excel to the top of their game. 



Laura Castillo is the general manager of human capital management solutions at FinancialForce.com.

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