Rapid Fire: What Is People Strategy?

In this short series, we help you get some honest, behind-the-scenes details about what different jobs are really like from mid-career professionals across a variety of functions, industries, and companies.

The 6 short questions are based on our What Does This Job Entail framework and are a great way to gain quick insights about a job, and build an in-depth analysis for to prepare your resume, cover letter, or interview preparation. Let's dig in and learn some more about the job function above. 

What's your name?

Christian Harry

What's your title or function?

People Strategy

What industry do you work in?


What led you to this career path?

I fell into the Human Capital space in my first job but really enjoyed it; it was a great blend of my business skills, passion for people, and psychology degree. I spent several years in consulting at Deloitte prior to DoorDash. At Deloitte, I worked with consumer and big tech clients to design talent strategies and programs. The strategy part really interested me, but I also wanted to build my resume through owning and operating a program. DoorDash was the perfect place to blend my consumer and tech experiences, and provide an opportunity to own a program in the talent space.

When you started in this job function where did you need to get up to speed?

Since I was able to bring some industry experience or knowledge / skills to DoorDash, I really focused on learning the culture, the people / stakeholders, and the ways of working. Given this is really my first job in ‘industry,’ I wanted to take time to learn what that looks like and how I can be most effective within my role.

When you started in this job function where did you hit the ground running?

In consulting, you get a lot of great exposure to multiple clients, industries, business models, etc. When I started my career, the primary value I could bring was doing what was asked of me and thinking critically how to solve our clients’ problems. As I grew in my career, I learned a lot of different approaches to talent strategy. At DoorDash, I was able to leverage that diverse experience with clients to provide an external perspective on talent to an organization that’s growing quickly. I was able to use those experiences to help our team think differently about talent at DoorDash.

What does your day-to-day work look like?

I am part of the Talent Management team at DoorDash. Our primary focus is building programs, processes, and infrastructure to support talent across the organization as we’ve grown exponentially over the past 2-3 years. My primary focus is on designing, leading, and executing the Performance Management process and cycle for our employees globally, in alignment with our broader talent management programs. Day to day looks different but overall, I partner with our broader team and key stakeholders to make decisions and build our process which typically launches in January.

What are some of the challenges that you run into in your role?

I would highlight a couple areas: 1) Stakeholder management is always a critical component. However, when you have a younger organization that was used to doing things very quickly and agile, it takes a conscious effort to bring those folks along. It’s really important to build buy-in and something I’m continuously doing in my role; 2) Managing speed vs. quality in your work. We are used to running fast and executing programs quickly. However, when we were a smaller company, we were able to be more agile and nimble - as we’ve continued to grow quickly, the quality is now more important because it has a more significant impact on our employees, company, and processes. At the same time, it’s also important to be able to work swiftly to meet the emerging business and market / talent needs. It’s really important to balance these two ideas and work in an agile way.

What types of questions are you asking regularly in your role?

I generally ask these 3 questions: 1) What impact does this decision have on future processes and programs?; 2) Who are the key stakeholders that we need to bring along?; and 3) How does this program impact the employee experience?

What's your favorite piece of career advice you've received?

One of my mentors at Deloitte always said - ‘take your career in 6 month increments.’ As a planner, this has helped me focus more on what do I want to learn right now and how do I get there instead of feeling pressure to have my 3/5/10 year path laid out.

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