Humans of HR: The story behind the leading lights – their career, motivation and achievements.
Delivering effective HR for a fast-growing remote-first business is just the latest achievement for Kristen Tronsky, who has loved HR since she was at school.
06 March 2023
Simon Kent, Head of Content – The HR World
Even during her education, Kristen Tronsky was attracted to HR. Reading about the evolution of labour laws and employee rights in her high school history class and later majoring in Sociology with an emphasis on work and organisation at Boston University, she found herself fascinated by the value and process of aligning people strategy with business strategy.
This was an area, she found, where work could be done which would ensure mutual success and positive outcomes.
“In HR, we have the unique opportunity to understand every aspect of the business we’re supporting,” she explains, “the people, strategy, metrics, and patterns across every function. No matter what HR role you have or what level you are, there are few things more satisfying than using that all-encompassing perspective to help coach, guide or support the successful evolution of a business.”
This is certainly something she has put into practice at her current business, DoiT, a leading provider of cloud cost management technology and services. Tasked with supporting thousands of global customers with their cloud technology the company has been experiencing hypergrowth, expanding to over 500 employees across over 20 countries.
The value of the perfect fit
Tronsky’s career has seen her working across practically every aspect of HR at one level or another, inevitably giving her enough experience and knowledge to take the role of CPO. She started out in Talent Acquisition, learning the value of finding the perfect fit between employee and organisation. Through this she realised how important it was to understand the unique overarching challenges, opportunities, and cultural elements that can influence the success of a new hire.
With this focussed experience Tronsky then took on a HR generalist role, launching and managing global programs and operational processes that shape every aspect of the employee lifecycle. She also gained expertise on global employment law and compliance requirements. “With that credibility, I was able to move into a business partner role to advise leadership, shape organisational development, manage change and navigate employee relations concerns,” she says. “The foundational experience gained from those early roles combined, allowed me to build a strong reputation as a strategic advisor with a deep understanding of each business I was supporting. My reputation for consistent stellar results, translated into more and more leadership opportunities at companies like Altisource Labs, CloudHealth and now DoiT.”
At her current organisation Tronsky says she is proud of the People Strategy Team they’ve put into place, having built this from the ground up over the past two years. Not only has the company brought significant talent on board, but they have worked to give their team members a great experience at the company, offering transparency across the business and allowing their employees to work autonomously and asynchronously across more than 14 time zones. “The challenges that come with this type of pace present a lot of opportunity to demonstrate leadership, and I love watching our team in action,” she says.
“The challenges that come with this type of pace represent a lot of opportunity to demonstrate leadership, and I love watching our team in action."
While DoiT is a remote first company and offers particular challenges and opportunities, Tronsky’s previous experience has more than prepared her for the current task: “Before joining DoiT I had a similar career defining experience and HR team at CloudHealth,” she says.
“Building that business in partnership with the rest of the stellar leadership team and ultimately supporting our successful acquisition and integration into VMware was an awesome experience as well.”
Being a remote first business has enabled the company to grow rapidly without traditional limitations, but it has also demanded a disciplined approach by the HR department to keep control while the business has grown. Tronsky talks of taking a ‘pragmatic approach’ to scaling essential programs, resources and tooling needed to ensure the business exceeded its strategic and financial goals each year. “As a result, we continue to thrive and grow in an economic climate where many other companies are having to make heart-breaking decisions to scale back and cut team members,” she says.
As well as bringing new people into the business, DoiT has had the capacity to promote internally, gaining no less than 80% of its leadership team from within. “It’s particularly critical for us to invest more in empowering and developing our management team, ensuring clear top-down alignment on company and professional development OKRs and maintaining a rigorous approach to managing change and internal communications as an entirely remote company,” says Tronsky.
With these structures in place, DoiT presents an impressive HR system, built on the one hand on very clear traditional HR structures but also ready to deliver a people service for a cutting edge contemporary business.
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