Meet Our New People Operations Manager, Ali Harpur
At Atomic DNA, we understand the value of workplace culture when attracting top talent. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce Ali Harpur, our new People Operations Manager. Read on to learn more about her.
Welcome to Atomic! What does People Operations mean and what do you do?
As People Operations Manager, I am responsible for maximising the team’s value through talent acquisition and management, culture and employee experience. Simply put, it’s about designing a culture that people want to be in and are proud to identify with.
Tell us about your career to date.
I returned to Ireland two months ago after spending five months travelling in Latin America. Prior to that, I lived in San Francisco, California, for four years where most recently I was on the People Operations team at a custom mapping company called Mapbox. During my time there, the company was rapidly scaling — we were a team of three under the wider People umbrella, supporting a global team of up to 400. Before Mapbox, I completed a Master’s Degree in HR Management and worked in HR both in a professional services environment here in Dublin and at a not-for-profit in Oakland, California.
Why is HR important?
To work in any creative or fast-paced environment, you’re expected to care deeply about the work you do and the success of your company. This personal investment from employees means that they expect more from you too so it’s important to invest internally. Basically, HR is vital as it helps power people’s productivity.
Is there anything you learned from working in HR in the U.S. that you’re excited to bring to life at Atomic?
If a company wants to develop their team in the most impactful and intentional way, a People Operations mindset is essential. There is a huge shift happening right now globally and HR is reinventing itself as deliberate, consultative and strategic.
Atomic recognises that the only way to attract and retain innovative creatives is to innovate yourself. People Ops, in particular, represents a shift away from the way companies traditionally understand the value of their team. There has been a growing realisation within organisations that their people are not simply resources but are actually their greatest assets. I began working with a People Operations mindset for the first time while in the U.S. and I’ll never look back.
Are there any particular areas of HR that you are passionate about?
Workplace inclusion is an area that I truly champion. In particular, I’m passionate about how HR can advocate for neurodiversity in the workplace. All of our brains work in different ways and everyone’s approach is unique and valuable. Collectively, diversity of perspective has so much value — both on a personal level and as a business case. It’s more reflective of the society we live in.
Additionally, as a member of the LGBTQ community, I have a personal interest in how we can make all workplaces as inclusive as possible for everyone. It’s an exciting time for D&I in Ireland. There are some fantastic organisations and people leading important conversations in this field. I’m a big fan of Vessy, which launched its 2019 Diversity in the Workplace report earlier this year and gives great insight into the top priorities within this space. Also, Diversein.com holds excellent workshops with a really practical approach to D&I. If you would like to get more involved in the D&I space, I encourage everyone to check out Eventbrite because educational and collaborative events are consistently coming up.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
It’s exciting to join an organisation that is so self-aware. You can’t see the label from inside the jar, so I’m looking forward to viewing the team’s lifecycle from a holistic perspective during the first few months. Longer term, I’m looking forward to developing strong relationships with the team and building out Atomic’s people strategy.
What’s your favourite part of the job so far and why?
I’ve joined a team of phenomenal employer branding experts, which is as good as life gets for a People Ops nerd like me! Atomic leads the way in industry-defining work and the team are super smart — I have learned so much in my first month.