Jody Jordan is Chief People Officer at CarTrawler, the world’s leading B2B technology platform, connecting customers and travel companies to car rental and mobility solutions globally.
We asked Jody to share her thoughts on HR, her career and the challenges facing her and CarTrawler
HRHQ: Tell us about your career journey and what originally attracted you to a career in HR?
Jody Jordan: I didn’t start my career in HR. After studying Applied Languages & Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University, I initially embarked on a role delivering a business transformation programme, supporting the migration of European activities to a newly established Dublin hub. During the international assignment, I became intrigued by the HR team’s work in establishing the Dublin business and sought an opportunity to collaborate with them. This curiosity led me to a graduate programme with a specialisation in Compensation & Benefits, and from there, my passion for people and organisational development flourished.
HRHQ: What has been the most significant change in the HR world since you began your career?
JJ: The most significant change in the HR world since the start of my career is the shift toward purpose-led organisations. I also believe leaders now recognise the importance of emotional intelligence and empathy in successfully leading teams. There’s a heightened focus on holistic wellbeing, encompassing emotional, physical, and financial aspects, with organisations providing support to enable employees to thrive.
HRHQ: What is the most important HR challenge facing you currently?
JJ: Maintaining our positive culture and high levels of engagement at CarTrawler is a top priority. In the evolving landscape of hybrid work, striking the right balance to preserve our unique culture is crucial – and isn’t always easy. Our people strategy’s core element, “Nurture Amazing Leadership,” is instrumental in navigating this challenge and ensuring that leaders deliver outstanding performance and unlock the full potential of our organisation.
HRHQ: From an employee’s perspective, what does a great HR service mean?
JJ: A great HR service means creating a workplace where everyone can be at their best and thrive. This begins from the initial connection with potential future employees and extends throughout their entire tenure with the company. It involves providing meaningful support, fostering a positive work environment, and ensuring a seamless and enriching employee experience.
HRHQ: How should HR professionals design their career, and how much can you realistically career plan?
JJ: HR professionals should design their careers by embracing versatility and continuously expanding their skill set. While it’s essential to set goals and aspirations, the dynamic nature of the HR field requires adaptability. Embrace diverse experiences, take on challenges outside your comfort zone, and stay attuned to industry trends to remain agile in your career journey.
HRHQ: What advice would you give a person at the start of their HR career?
JJ: Get involved in as many aspects of HR as possible. Be curious, seek opportunities to learn, and don’t shy away from challenges. Building a strong foundation across various HR functions will not only broaden your expertise but also make you a more effective and insightful HR professional.
HRHQ: What soft skills do you believe are key to progressing your career?
JJ: Key soft skills for progressing in a HR career include effective communication, empathy, adaptability, and resilience. Being able to connect with people on a personal level, navigate through change, and bounce back from setbacks are crucial attributes in the dynamic HR landscape.
HRHQ: What experiences should HR professionals try to get as they build up their CV?
JJ: HR professionals should seek experiences that expose them to different facets of HR, including talent acquisition, employee relations, organisational development, and change management. In addition, gaining international exposure and participating in diverse projects will provide a well-rounded perspective, which is essential for navigating the complexities of HR.
HRHQ: What are you most proud of in your career?
JJ: I am most proud of the impact I’ve had on building organisational effectiveness, strengthening cultures, and developing individuals, managers, and leaders to drive business success. Contributing to significant change programmes, leading strategic initiatives, and fostering a positive work environment that enhances employee engagement are achievements that resonate deeply with me.
Since joining CarTrawler, I take immense pride in the strides my team has made in advancing gender equity. Our commitment to creating equal opportunities for all, with a specific focus on removing barriers for our female employees, has resulted in a noteworthy double-digit reduction in our Gender Pay Gap. We firmly believe in supporting employees at every stage of their life journey, and to this end, we have implemented a series of progressive policies and support systems that drive gender equity.
Our collaborative efforts extend beyond our organisation, as we’ve established impactful partnerships with the ‘30% Club,’ a movement dedicated to fundamentally boosting female representation across leadership roles. Additionally, our engagement with ‘Connecting Women in Tech’ underscores our commitment to increasing female representation in the technology sector in Ireland.
I am particularly proud of our partnership with ‘Code First Girls,’ where we are sponsoring a number of our female employees to transition into a career in Engineering. While we are at the initial stages of this transformative journey, I am genuinely excited about the prospect of continuing to drive positive change across the organisation in this crucial space.
HRHQ: What is the best part of your job?
JJ: The best part of my job is the opportunity to be at the intersection of people and business strategy. I really enjoy identifying great talent, unlocking potential, and building organisational capability. Being part of a dynamic organisation and an agile HR team, working with individuals who share our vision, purpose, and values, provides me with a tremendous amount of energy and fulfilment. In addition to my journey and experiences, I am incredibly fortunate to work alongside an exceptional CEO and leadership team at CarTrawler. Their visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to creating an extraordinary workplace inspire me to bring my best every day.
HRHQ: Many thanks Jody for taking part and we wish you and CarTrawler the very best for the future.