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RingCentral’s Chief Human Resources Officer is focused on fundamentals

90 days into her new role, CHRO Bobbie Grafeld shares her vision for the company

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3 min read

Highlights:

  • Bobbie Grafeld joined RingCentral as Chief Human Resources Officer 90 days ago.
  • We checked in with Bobbie to learn more about her vision for RingCentral’s people, policies, and procedures.

One of the things that’s immediately clear when speaking with new RingCentral Chief Human Resources Officer Bobbie Grafeld is that she knows how to take our HR game to the next level. With experience at tech industry leaders like PayPal, eBay, and 2K Games as well as eCommerce giant Walmart, Bobbie is definitely the right person to help drive RingCentral to future growth. We sat down to chat with her about her first three months at the company and what her vision is for people strategies, AI innovations, the power of good data, and more.

Assessing the current state of HR.

Bobbie told us she spent her first thirty to sixty days just getting to know RingCentral and developing a plan to leverage some of RingCentral’s strengths—a high-performance culture and dedication to tech innovation. She also identified opportunities to better use data and analytics and build up infrastructure including policies, procedures, and end-to-end operations to ensure the entire HR team was on the same page strategically. 

Decision-making as an organizational strength. 

Streamlining decision-making is one important aspect of Bobbie’s organizational procedure overhaul. As an insider at some of the largest technology companies in Silicon Valley, Bobbie learned that too many layers can slow things down. One thing she appreciates about a growing company is the ability to pivot quickly and knowing who can make quick decisions is a critical part of that. Staying nimble is something tech companies pride themselves on so Bobbie intends to simplify with strategic hires and team empowerment.

“I hire people to do their jobs—subject matter experts, thought partners—and we’re going to go through how plans fit into a broader strategy. It’s really enabling my team to go do their best work.”

Bobbie Grafeld, Chief Human Resources Officer

Using AI for improved talent acquisition.

Artificial intelligence is shaping all aspects of technology companies right now and human resources is no exception. From an HR perspective, there’s a huge advantage to speeding up the talent acquisition process. Bobbie and her team are currently implementing new AI tools to help identify and nurture qualified candidates. “It’s unmatched with what an actual person can do in terms of speed, efficiency, and content.” She acknowledges that there is still a need for the human touch and plans to continue working with recruiters to communicate the value proposition and give greater context. 

AI quickly delivers HR support.

Answering employee questions regarding policies, procedures, and benefits is yet another way AI is shaping the HR space. “Anytime you can deliver concise correct information quickly to a manager or employee, it’s a big win.” General questions regarding vacations, sick leave, etc., can be answered with a chatbot, providing a huge advantage from an operations standpoint. Giving employees and managers immediate access to information provides greater efficiency within the organization and this is another AI innovation Bobbie plans to roll out in the near future.

Improving employee experience.

Bobbie also wants to level up employee experience. RingCentral currently offers a myriad of benefits that include hybrid work, lifestyle coaching from TaskHuman, managed care from Care.com, communication tools from Rethink, HeadSpace for mindfulness, rewards from PerkSpot, pet insurance, and annual CaRing days to help maintain life/work balance.

A new chapter.

With her two daughters now both in college, Bobbie and her husband are recently empty nesters.  She has spent most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area, after moving from Vietnam at the age of three. She loves to travel and a few of her favorite places  are New York and Asia, “I’ve traveled extensively, and there’s an energy in New York that can’t be matched.” Her favorite part is the planning. She told us that in another life, she would have been a travel agent. As a self-described “foodie” Bobbie says it doesn’t take a Michelin star to make the food great, “Give me a little hole in the wall or street food vendor any day!” 

Originally published Oct 19, 2023

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