Switch Stories – HR BP Gaëlle Laurent


At Tobania, we value our in-house talent. Because great people are our core business! Therefore, we do everything we can to facilitate internal mobility and empower our more than 1.000 Tobians to take their career at Tobania into their own hands. Many of our great Tobians have already done so, which is why we would like to highlight one of them who embarked on a new Tobania adventure. Featured in this issue: Gaëlle Laurent, HR Business Partner (BP) at Tobania.Support.

Can you briefly introduce yourself, Gaëlle?

Hello, my name is Gaëlle Laurent. I am HR Business Partner (BP) within the unit Business.Support and have been working at Tobania since March 2019.


Initially, you started as a Tester. How would you describe that job?

On my project, I was a Test Analyst and Tester. For me, this was a job with a lot of variety in terms of tasks, where I regularly had to process a lot of new info in a very short space of time. We worked closely together in a team context and at the same time, we could work independently and figure things out by ourselves.

I learned an incredible amount during my Tester years. You learn to figure things out, think further when you get a requirement, spar with your colleagues, work agile and secretly the most fun of all: trying to break the tool. You are taught to think in a different way and learn to put yourself in the shoes of an end user, for example.


Why did you choose to switch jobs internally?

I have always loved HR, and working with people. At Tobania.Testing, I was also a coach and I loved it. When the opportunity arose, I therefore grabbed it with both hands. I had known for some time that I wanted to step into HR one day and came across the position as HR BP at Business Support.

How would you describe the job of a HR BP?

The job of an HR BP is very varied. It includes a very wide range of tasks, and lots of contact with consultants and clients. You never know what the day will bring. We also work closely as a team with the entire Business Support staff as well as with colleagues from for example Payroll and Fleet.

Some of my daily tasks are for example the onboarding of new Tobians, the follow-up of Tobians, maintaining customer contacts, and doing all administrative follow-up.


What do you like most about your current position as HR BP?

The contact with the consultants and customers. I love following up as closely as possible with the consultants, even if it’s just assisting with a small incident or a question. It always gives a boost and smile on my face when I have been able to help someone. Team collaboration is very important to me in this role as well. A cliché for many, perhaps, but team work makes the dream work really applies here.


What surprised you about the job that you didn’t expect upfront?

It is one crazy adventure, in the positive sense! I started as HR BP around six months ago and I am still learning every day. There is still a lot of variety in it.


What keeps you focused? Do you have tips or tricks you can share?

The drive to keep delivering the good work, to keep learning and improving myself, and to develop further. In short: to grow further as HR BP. And most importantly: to follow and support our Tobians as well as possible.


How did your internal application process proceed?

This went through the HR BP of my previous unit, Tobania.Testing. Afterwards, there were discussions with the manager of Business Support – the Business Unit Director – as well as with Corporate HR and the HR Director.

“Think carefully about what you really like to do. A career switch should not be a whim. What gives you energy? What takes energy?”

Many people like to take on a new challenge, but they have to be willing to take the plunge. Can you give them some tips to easily manage their internal career switch?

Think carefully about what you really love to do. A career switch shouldn’t be a whim. What gives you energy? What takes energy? For example, take an online training course beforehand so you have a better understanding of what to expect before taking the plunge. As just said: do what you love to do and what gives you energy. On Sunday evening you shouldn’t be thinking: “Oh no, tomorrow is Monday again.”, but rather: “Yes, we are ready for a new interesting and meaningful week!”

Fancy joining Gaëlle?

Interested in more interesting (witch) stories? Then be sure to take a look at our Tobania Stories tab on our job site.