Digital teams

Up close and personal with Lisette Valk: DPDK’s new Head of HR

Written by Pim van Helten on 2, Auth 2022

Lisette Valk, DPDK’s newly appointed Head of HR, joined our team recently. What better way to introduce her to all of you than with an up close and personal interview. It’s time to get to know her better, find out what makes her tick, and what she has in store for DPDK.

Before diving in, let’s start with a quick introduction. Lisette is an HR expert with over 15 years of experience. She previously worked at Talent Pro where she started as a trainee and ended up in the boardroom. Her expertise lies in building high-performance teams and getting the best out of people. By joining DPDK she has stepped into a completely new industry, pretty brave if you ask me.

First of all, congrats on your new job! We’re happy to have you onboard. What led you to DPDK?

Thank you, I’m excited to be part of DPDK! I’ve been working at the same company for over 17 years and realized it was time to expand my horizons. I wanted a new challenge and to put my strengths into practice more. That’s when my path crossed with DPDK’s. When I read about the role I immediately said to myself: “This is my job!”

I can imagine that you’re eager to start. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?

First and foremost, I’m looking forward to meeting everybody. I can then draw insights from this talented bunch of international people and use those to take DPDK’s HR department and employee experience to the next level. 

I’m curious, have you always wanted to work in HR?

Yes and no, as it was actually a lucky discovery. I started my career in finance - insurance and banking to be specific. But I soon realized that what interested me most was people and what motivates them. When the opportunity to switch to People Manager arose, I took a chance and developed myself further in this field. Which I’ve never regretted! After nine years, I became HR Manager and started exploring different ways of how HR contributes to the core process of an organization.

And what is it that you like the most about working in HR?

Working with people always excites me. Everyone is different and has their own strengths. My biggest motivator is not only to get the most out of myself but also my colleagues. HR plays a big role in empowering employees. A challenge I like to tackle is creating working conditions where employees are comfortable and equipped with the right resources to expand their skill set. And finally, there’s never a dull moment in HR! 

On the flip side, what do you find the most challenging aspect?

It overlaps with why I like working in HR: each person is different, and this makes it difficult to please everyone. I believe in the power of in-person contact with colleagues to really get to know what’s going on in the workplace and in different departments. Then it’s easier to notice challenges and make adjustments. Remote and hybrid working changed this of course. Yet it’s fun to find new ways to ensure a nice working environment. 

You’ve a lot of experience in the financial industry and I suppose digital is new territory for you. What excites you about the digital industry?

You’re right, the digital industry has been unfamiliar to me - until now ;). So far, I can say that it’s very inspiring - not only for myself but also for other industries. The digital industry is moving faster than ever before and is always one step ahead. It's definitely a source of inspiration, and I'm sure for other industries too. 

In addition to that, I find it quite interesting to see the cohesion between different departments. For example, take design and tech teams at DPDK - they’re collaborating to build unique digital products. I wasn’t aware of the dynamic between these teams to bring creative ideas to life.

If you had to define your job in one word, what would it be?

Awesome :)

Last but not least, what do you enjoy most when you’re not working?

I like spending time with my family and friends over wine and good food. I also love to travel and go on adventures with my husband and kids. The kids are getting older and we’re looking forward to exploring the world with them.

Pim van Helten

Pim van Helten


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