Meet the people who help our clients design and build innovative technology solutions to benefit their businesses as well as their customers: our subject matter experts aka SMEs. In this series, we’ll discover how they came to work in the industry and the changing role of technology in our lives. We’ll also get a glimpse into what makes them tick as people outside of work.
This time, our guest on Meet the SME is Leticia Chajchir, People Director for the Americas. Based in Rosario, Argentina, she balances caring for Endavans by leading our entire American People team with caring for her family and friends with good times and good food.
Thank you so much for joining us here, Leticia. What has brought you into the tech industry?
I started working as a recruiter and learned about recruiting in IT in a call centre company that had their own software development centre to develop their systems and tools internally. When I got to know the IT world, I knew I wanted to stay here. The tech industry has characteristics that no other industry has, which are innovation, creation and growth. The possibility for constant change and, therefore, the need to reinvent ourselves and what we do is unique to IT. Working in the People function in IT is always challenging: it obliges you to think out of the box all the time, and that is what makes it attractive and exciting!
What has been the biggest innovation since you have been working in the industry?
The IT industry has seen numerous innovations in recent years, but the most significant one I witnessed is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Today, we are seeing how it revolutionises all industries, in IT particularly through Large Language Models that can assist with tasks like writing and programming, improve efficiency, productivity and automate processes that used to be manual.
In the HR space, it helps us with many different tasks, especially in recruiting where AI gives us the possibility to screen resumes and reduce time-consuming manual tasks. For example, a chatbot helps our HR teams to automate our processes and allows employees to access information and answer questions in a more efficient way. These bots provide employees with answers to queries about things like employee benefits, scheduling, insurance, vacation and sick leave.
And what is the biggest challenge or opportunity you are seeing and what should businesses be doing to prepare for this?
One of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the IT industry is the increasing demand for cybersecurity. As more businesses and individuals rely on technology, threats such as data breaches, ransomware and other malicious attacks are becoming more frequent and sophisticated. At the same time, this creates a significant opportunity for businesses that can provide robust and reliable cybersecurity solutions to meet the growing demand.
What makes you proud about your work at Endava and why?
As I always say, what makes me proud of working at Endava is that our leaders and our people live and learn through our core purpose and values. Each of us at Endava is responsible for building our culture. And that has never changed, not even with our growth, acquisitions and changes in our organisational structure. What we do every day, and what we envision for the future, is always about our people. As part of the People team and being passionate about taking care of our Endavans, this is fundamental in feeling that this is our end goal as it feels authentic and real.
Working with people in tech, where did you experience a challenge or setback? And more importantly, what did you learn from this?
Developing new and more IT talent has always been challenging in our industry across the globe. But as leaders in this industry, we are responsible for changing that, by growing and developing new professionals, especially the future generations, by giving opportunities to candidates that want to change their careers, training and developing junior people and graduates, etc. We need to keep investing in talent development and building new capabilities by providing our people with the tools to learn and grow.
Now, we’d like to dig into a few more personal questions. What was something you thought would be easy until you tried it?
Definitely skiing! Here in the southern hemisphere, July is the coldest month of the year, and during the last winter break, we tried to go skiing in Patagonia for the first time. Everybody told me it would be a great experience and that, with a couple of lessons, I would be able to take the blue ski slope. But nobody told me how hard it is to first put on so many layers of clothing! And then understand how to put on the ski equipment. It definitely took me more days than I expected to actually ski! Of course, my girls got it the first day…
Would you be brave enough to share one of your guilty pleasures with us?
Of course, and I can identify it very fast! Buying more shoes than I can wear! Seriously, I can’t control myself when it comes to shoes, I like sneakers, sandals, boots, and most of the time, I don’t have the occasion to wear them. When I travel, I have to make sure that I take a big suitcase because between the ones I take and the ones I buy, my shoes take up more than half of the space.
If you were not working as People Director at Endava, what would you be doing instead?
I would probably have stayed in the media industry or would be working in a public relations agency. I love the power of communication, language and content creation. It would definitely always be a role that means being part of a team and in contact with people.
Finally, would you share a favourite quote with us to send our readers off with some inspiration?
Happiness is no more than enjoying the simple things of life.
It’s been great getting to know more about Leticia. Stay tuned for more insights into the work and life of Endavans in the next part of our Meet the SME series!