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Corina Matei: I make sure that the right people are at the right place at the right time

March 28, 2023

She always wanted to become a teacher. That is why she went to the Pedagogic Highschool. She loves children but also all the jobs related to humans. That is why she started working in HR. If she didn't work in HR, she would choose interior design, fashion or working with teenagers. Until then, she is doing an amazing job as HR Team Lead at CGM Software Romania, where everybody knows her and loves her.  

Let's get to know Corina Nicoleta Matei better, and let's see what she has to say about her work, but also about her life. 

„It is all about the results. And the first step is to take responsibility” 


How did you start to work in HR and what is your career path until today?  

I used to organize trainings at a consultancy firm, in Iași. Our collaborators sent their teams for training, and, at some point, they asked us if we could also bring them new people. So, this is how we started the recruiting process for them, and this is how I started my HR career. I had a mentor who was there for me for each step, and she helped me a lot in understanding this industry.  

I really liked what I was doing, and it just came naturally to me. What was surprising even for me is that I was looking for the right people in 2 weeks, while they were looking for 6 months. I was making only a CV selection, maximum 5 telephone interviews, I was interviewing only 2 or 3 people and I was helping them to prepare for the final discussion. Some people that I recruited back then are still working in the same job.  

After some time, I decided to take a break for one year and a half, and just have some time for myself. I helped different people with recruitment as project-based work, and that was the time when CGM Software Romania contacted me for the first time. It was a brand-new company in Iași, with just a few people, who wanted to expend and to create here the software development hub in Romania for CompuGroup Medical, the mother-company from Germany.  

In the beginning, I didn't want to work with them, because they needed someone in-house, and I wanted to enjoy my freedom. More than that, they were looking for candidates in Iași, and I had more experience in IT recruitment only in Bucharest and abroad. But they insisted, and I took a shot with them. We both liked working with each other, and, in September 2016, two months after the official launch, I got hired and became a CGMer.  

I liked the idea of building everything from scratch, with a very small team. And I liked the fact that I had the freedom to create my own job description. Even now, I prefer each person to build his or her role, depending on each person's personal skills. I don't believe in predefined things, and I think that a job can be done in so many ways.  

The initial job title at CGM was that of Recruiter. But, with time, I became HR Team Lead, because I was doing way more than just recruiting. I started to be involved in organizing all kind of activities for colleagues, to take care of their onboarding, to do the internal and external communication tasks, to take more responsibilities in the HR Admin and people management, to solve any kind of problems appeared and so on.  


Please explain to us what this HR Team Lead role means.  

Team Lead means first of all a team. It came as a natural need once the team got bigger. My role means coordinating the team, finding a solution when things get rough, facilitating the processes and making them better and better, making sure we have the results we all want, evaluating the team, identifying the team`s needs and focusing on their growth, people management responsibilities, legal situations responsibilities, making sure that the right people are at the right place, and all kind of HR tasks.  

For me, it is all about the results. I think each person decides or should decide how to get to them. And the first step is to take responsibility.  

What can you tell us about the people in your HR team? How are the people, how did the team form and, most of all, what is your team`s role in the company?  

The team is extremely diverse. Each person is different, but the important thing is that we complete each other perfectly. And we are so different, because this is my objective. I believe in diversity and completing each other. Each team member brings something different, covers a different need, shows a different perspective.  

Roxana Crețu was the first full-time recruiter. She is my other half, completely different than me, who always manages to complete me. Adrian Breabăn is like the BackEnd of the team, who brings a realistic perspective over things and also who is our pillar of stability and silence. Cosmina Teodorescu and Dragoș Argint are the effervescence part of the team, who bring all the energy and who are the first interaction between CGM and the candidates. And then there is my role of seeing them, listening to them, understanding them and offering them the support that they need to find their solutions.  

The role of the HR department in CGM is to ensure the human resources based on the company`s needs, the quality of the work environment, matching people in teams, to offer the possibilities of growing in their career paths and help people to collaborate better. I do think that a system doesn't function well due to its parts, but due to the relationships between people.  


If you could define HR and the HR person, how would that definition sound?  

I think that the perfect definition of HR is the one written on our HR office door: „The unofficial lawyer, psychologist, event planner, teacher, peacemaker, career planner, detective. See also: therapist”.  


What does a successful job interview mean and what are the main rules for a good job interview?  

In my opinion, the best interview is when, at the end of the job interview, all the people involved feel that they spent quality time together, they see the value in it and both parties have the desire to work together. Of course, a very good interview is also when the right candidate has an honest, fulfilling and inspiring conversation with the right interviewer.  When the candidate joins us, we say it is a success on a business level. When the candidate doesn't join us just then, we say it is a success on a human level and a valuable talk on a long-term.  

Corina, beside your work in the HR team, you are also a member of the Romanian Steering Board. What does that mean to you?  

I was on the Steering Board from the beginning of it. It had different names and different forms, but the important thing is that it functions great. The Steering Board establishes the road of the company for the next years. That is why I consider it important that we are not a board, but a team who cares about its colleagues and their achievements. And we do a great job together: Christopher Roy Turner (General Manager), Roxana Crețu (Senior HR Consultant), the 4 VPs: Adrian Barna, Ovidiu Drîmbă, Loredana Armanu, Adrian Cristea, and me.  


What inspires you?  

Definitely, the people. I am shaped by the people around me and their life experiences. It is impossible to learn everything by yourself, from your own experiences only. That is why I love diversity so much. Each person comes with a personal experience, and together we are simply amazing. I like to see people that come to the office, people that I interact with all the time, people that I have known for so many years and I watch them grow. And I love knowing all the personal things about each one of them, because this is how we form the strong relationships between us.  


What do you like most about CGM?  

I will say again: the people.  

I also love what I do. Not the tasks per se, but the area that I work in. It is my way of being. And I simply fit in here.    


What do you think are the main reasons that people get hired at CGM? What attracts them most from what you tell them during the interview?  

It depends a lot on their needs. They come for the people, growing opportunities, the eHealth domain that we work in and all the medical IT solutions that we create, the hiring process and all the services that we offer to them.  

I strongly believe in a culture of services. And I think that a product company should function as a service company and adapt everything to what happens around it.  

You were the first guest at Ask me anything. Dinner editions, where CGMers can register for a dinner out and a bunch of questions for someone from the management. How was the experience?  

I went out to dinner with Andrei Lefter, Cristina Oancea and Sorin Scripcariu. I took them to Carbon Restaurant, one of my favorite restaurants in Iași. For more than 4 hours, we talked about so many topics, we shared impressions and we laughed so much. We even created a group, where they still ask me things there.  

It was cool that they represent 3 different generations of internships at CGM. We talked about the different backgrounds that they have, the countries that they lived in, passions, kids, childhood and many more.  

And if you want to know what questions did I receive, here are some of them: How would you describe yourself, beyond your shyness? What do you do on a regular working day at the office? What are the most important things that you accomplished in CGM? Is there someone or something in CGM who limits you? What has CGM Romania that other business units don`t have? What would you do in CGM Romania if you were above Chris?  

I think it is a great opportunity to get closer to the CGMers and to know each other in a completely different environment. I can't wait for the next editions.  


What are your plans for 2023?  

Uuh, I have a lot of plans for this year: to make the processes more efficient and to create new processes; to raise the quality of the HR services; to develop the 3 to 5 years plan that we established in 2022; to make the working methods between departments better and better.  

On a more personal level, I would like to see that the HR team can work completely independent of my presence, so I can focus on other perspectives. And even on a more personal level, I want to be extremely active and to introduce more discovery time through new sports: skating, climbing, hiking, pilates, yoga. And definitely more spare time for myself, because in the past years I overworked, and now I feel that I really need a balance and more me time.  

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