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Jul 4, 2022

We were pleased to welcome Michaela Dedic, Global Diversity and Inclusion Leader at Novartis, onto the EMEA Recruitment podcast.

“The simplest way for HR to influence is to take an active lead in developing the culture with the executive teams.”

To kick off the episode, Michaela shares the last thing that made her smile with Paul Toms; she’s been battling a bird that keeps pecking at her plants. It’s a hobby that Michaela has invested in since working from home more during the pandemic. She compares tending to her plants to the way she helps people grow and develop within the organisation. 

Michaela explains the role Human Resources plays in culture change within a business. While we are often taught to provide solutions quickly, Michaela believes in the power of listening to your partners to enact change.

She had to set clear boundaries for herself when working virtually over the past two years. Part of Michaela’s approach was to set time aside for herself and to reach out to colleagues to talk (not just about work). 

Michaela has worked for Novartis since 2016. She credits the company for its investment in Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and recognising how D&I can drive innovation. For her personally, it’s an interesting and rewarding role, but not something that will change overnight.

We discuss the impact of business intelligence and data on the HR function. Talent Acquisition, in particular, is seeing “great innovation” in identifying talent and driving productivity. Nevertheless, Michaela finds some aspects “a bit scary”! 

Paul explores the key steps to an effective and efficient recruitment process. Michaela offers her advice on writing the perfect job description, ensuring strong communication with candidates, and streamlining the interview process. She is also a firm believer in building talent pipelines for the future – and the need for candidates to prepare.

Michaela didn’t fall into HR by accident; she realised at university that she was curious about people. It was more of an administrative role when Michaela joined the industry, but has since expanded and grown. 

In the future, Michaela sees developing the next generation of corporate leaders as a challenge for HR, as well as working on cultural diversity, inclusion and equity, and wellbeing. Following the return to the office post-pandemic, companies also need to retain their best talent. 

We end the episode by finding out Michaela’s one piece of advice for her 18-year-old self, along with the business leader who made an “enormous impact” on her career. 


If you’re looking for a particular part of the episode, please use the timestamps below:

00:59: The latest thing that made Michaela smile
02:32: Helping people grow
05:15: The power of listening
07:18: How Michaela adapted to the pandemic
10:35: Finding the balance when WFH
13:07: What it feels like to work in D&I
18:18: Essential characteristics for success
22:40: How data is changing the way we work
26:21: Streamlining the recruitment process
33:31: Finding the right people for the company
35:20: How Michaela got into HR
39:08: The biggest challenges facing HR
44:31: Advice for Michaela’s 18-year-old self
46:06: The biggest influence in Michaela’s career
49:15: How to connect with Michaela

If you’d like to connect with Michaela, send her a message on LinkedIn.


EMEA Recruitment is proud to support Operation Smile through the podcast. We hope to create 100 new smiles through our partnership. If you can help us reach our goal, please donate:


This episode is hosted by Paul Toms, our Founder, and Rose Jinks, Senior Marketing Executive.

More information on our specialist recruitment services can be found through our website: 

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If you have any feedback on the EMEA Recruitment podcast, please get in touch with Rose:  


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