#08: Carlos Torres, Leadership and Talent Senior Director at ASM

About Carlos Torres:

Carlos Torres is an HR leader with a wide experience including HR Business Partnering, Centre of Expertise and HR Transformation leadership roles.

Carlos has extensive experience working with multinational organisations in the USA, UK, Japan, Switzerland, Netherlands, Malaysia, Russia, Morocco, Angola, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago.

He is the Leadership and Talent Senior Director at ASM. Prior to joining ASM International, Carlos had worked at Imperial Brands, Korn/Ferry International and Accenture.

Carlos has a major in Production Engineering and has completed a Postgraduate Certification on Change Management.

Listen to the full discussion here:

  • Stream by clicking here.
  • Download as an MP3 here.

Connect with the Guest:

Carlos Torres: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Driving force for Carlos’ career
  • How growth translates to somebody who’s managing the leadership and talent function
  • How does ASM make sure to attract young blood
  • Different steps in driving and growing the number of female population or particular group in the organization
  • Most important skills required in reaching senior executive roles

Show notes:

  • [1:25] What has been your driving force for your career? 
  • [2:04]  I really got passionate about advice and learning and consulting provides those two things, you learn so fast and I always said it’s all about you truly learning something when you’re able to teach it. 
  • [9:04] I always say to people, I look after everything, except anything that is related to outsourcing, technology, or compensation. Everything else sits in my area. And that’s how I started my journey with ASM and I joined in such an exciting time where semiconductors were already doing well.
  • [10:52] With the recent chip crisis, they have been at the center of meeting the demands, and it has led to a period of amazing growth for the organization. I think it would be very interesting to see how that growth translates to somebody who’s managing the leadership and talent function. What are some of the key elements which you’re focusing on?
  • [14:18] The challenge is not just the growth, it’s also this legacy. So you have the people with all the beautiful knowledge from 20 years in the company, working in all these technologies that have been evolving over time then you have new people coming in and new engineers. So we have all these beautiful combinations.
  • [15:41] We are working with all these challenges and embrace it as best as we can. There are two things that we’re doing. One is focusing on this human side of things. So we care, because I already assume we deliver and we know various parts of who we are and how we hire people. And the other part is the priority session. We need to prioritize aligning with people, because in that way if we all have the similar expectations, we can actually then move forward.
  • [17:33] What are some of the examples of how you actually implement this feeling of we care, especially coming from the team, which you’re leading in a way from what I hear it looks like you guys are the ones who drive this whole culture of we care and even if it’s not, directly driven by you?
  • [18:45] I think the key thing I tell my team is that we are enablers, but we have to lead the way. So for me, I always tell my team, we cannot just follow the demand of the customer, we have to be ahead of the demand of the customer, and somehow lead them towards and influence them into the way or things that we need to do. 
  • [22:05] The only way is by enabling managers and enabling your people team in the local location, because they are the ones that are having the conversation with an employee and one of the key things for next year is going to be on employee experience. We will start analyzing how the touch points with employees, how it’s being perceived, and what kind of emotions or motivation is driving. 
  • [22:39] How easy or difficult it is to attract people into the semiconductor business given typically, most would not really know about it. How does ASM make sure to attract young blood? 
  • [23:04] I think it is challenging in the sense that it is similar to me. So what we’re doing right now, if you take our LinkedIn company sign at the moment, we started really translating to plain language on how actually we contribute towards a better society.
  • [25:41] How are you driving this beyond just being a numbers game that we got this much female population or we got this much from this particular group in this much percentage, because sometimes corporations, the way they measure, they get focused on just those measurements. So what are the different steps you’re taking to drive the agenda?
  • [31:27] There are two very simple things that we focus on. We’re definitely focusing on making an inclusive culture and that’s for everybody, LGBTQ, gender, race, and everything that we know- gender is a particular challenge for the tech industry. And second, we’re putting attention into how to attract, retain and develop female leaders.
  • [31:56] COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant talent challenges. So the hiring freezes, layoff salary, canceled bonus, tele working, increased employee stress and burnout. How are you helping to overcome this burnout in ASM? 
  • [33:29] The first thing that we need to do is to look at the safety of the employees. Then the other part that we have been looking into is whether there are policies immediately put in place on how to keep communication, and then the third part that we did is launching engagement survey to understand how can we measure whether the people are doing well, and the different areas and engage with the organization, and so on. 
  • [36:32] Which technical or soft skills are most important for a professional to get into senior level leadership roles?
  • [36:40] I think it’s the emotional intelligence. It comes down to two things, understanding your team and to understand your team, you need to talk to them and then you individualize the way on how you manage the team. The second thing is learning agility and that’s about how to be able to learn from your previous experiences to apply into a new complete experience. So these two things for me would make the difference for a leader.
  • [39:16] What is the one change you made in your career which helped you reach the stage you are in?
  • [39:32] One is surrounding yourself with the right people. I think that’s fundamental. And if something that changed in my life, meditating earlier, I will encourage people to find what it is. It could be yoga, taking some extra five minutes, some time for yourself, or something that will recharge your energy. So make sure that you look after yourself. I think that’s very important.

Related Episodes:

#05: Sonali Roychowdhury, VP HR, Supply Chain & Labour Relations at P&G

#06: Agnes Goh, Talent Acquisition Vice President, SAPMENA at L’Oréal

#07: Anjali Menon, Regional Head of Talent Center of Competence for APAC and Sub-Saharan Africa at Nestlé

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