August 02, 2012 // By: Angela Dunn
To expand business in China you need insight, experience and wisdom both executive talent and frontline employees. So when the executive board of SAP agreed to expand the company’s presence in China almost a year ago at the company’s first Beijing-based SAPPHIRE NOW, a lot of sales professionals and IT cracks started polishing their CVs. SAP’s plans to launch a massive hiring effort (approximately 2,000 workers) and open six new offices sent ripples through the job market.
But before hiring field reps and developers, the company had to give its HR department a boost. Senior HR professionals with excellent English skills, experience in the IT industry, and international experience would be the prime candidates for the hiring effort.
SAP had the good fortune to find Mary Liu in January of this year. With strong credentials (15 years at Motorola and three at Microsoft) Liu had also worked as an independent consultant and fit the profile for vice president of HR. But it was perhaps more her attitude that won the SAP team over after they went knocking. “I always challenge myself to be a consultant to the company,” she says by phone from Beijing. “And I always ask myself two questions: What could I do differently at SAP? And is the journey rewarding?”