Annie Lim, VP HR, Hummingbird Bioscience

In this role, Lim oversees people and talent as a cross-functional HR partner to the CEO and senior management team to lead end-to-end HR functions.

Biotech company Hummingbird Bioscience has appointed passionate D&I advocate and HR leader Annie Lim as Vice President for Human Resources, effective July 2021.

In this role, Lim oversees people and talent as a cross-functional HR partner to the CEO and senior management team to lead end-to-end HR functions. She is focused on driving talent management, employee engagement, recruitment practices, organisational development excellence, and leading the organisation to a highly motivated, productive, and engaged workforce.

"It is amazing to play this vital role to focus on building employee competencies during the pandemic, driving change, enabling vibrant company culture across multiple sites, and supporting wellbeing," Lim shared with Human Resources Online.

Lim continues to be based in Singapore, bringing with her over 25 years of HR experience across several industries.

Through her many leadership roles in MNCs such as Sanofi, Danaher Corporation, GSK, Adecco, and Citrix, she excels in driving strategic business decisions and providing leadership direction towards talent management and organisational development. Most recently, she was Head of Talent Acquisition & Diversity Outreach (APJ) at Citrix, prior to which she had tenure in Shanghai as well.

"After so many years working overseas in Shanghai, Brisbane and across APAC, I am glad to be based in Singapore," she shared. 

"Reporting to the CEO, it has never been more thrilling to be a true HR business partner and catalyst for organisation growth; and to be an enabler, to drive more people-related decisions and contribute with impact across the business and leadership for matters of people & organisation."

On this exciting development, HRO caught up with Lim for more insights into her career journey. Interview excerpts below:

Q Congratulations on your new role! Looking back, what has been your most cherished moment with your former team and company (Citrix)?

My prior experience working with the cloud technology industry has been exhilarating. Working with global and regional teams to use technologies to solve problems, expanding our talent engagement, supporting employer branding, and value creation to help stakeholders win businesses, have all been sensational moments.

Q In your new role, what is your number one priority for this coming year, as well as some of your professional goals?

In 2022, my key priorities will include catalysing workforce strategies, powering up talent engagement, building critical skills and leadership competencies, all while implementing systems and processes to help achieve the next stage of the organisation's rapid growth into a world-class international biotech company. I am personally enthusiastic and highly motivated to make an impact to the business, and make people successful in their roles.

Q You’ve been in HR your entire career. What do you love about it?

Every day, I am given a chance to solve complex challenges, learn new things, scale higher heights, and create meaningful relationships, that can have lasting impact to the people and the organisation.

What I love about HR is: it is a people business, and there is never a dull moment.

Over the years, many organisations would've undergone tremendous changes. What inspires me, and brings me to work every single day with much enthusiasm, is the opportunity to serve the business, to act as mentor coach, and to help people to keep looking ahead. And to do what I love: bringing the organisation through transformation, and paying it forward to support people’s growth has been a strong belief and a rewarding journey for me.

Q You’re not new to the medical space. With Hummingbird Bioscience, you’re back in the business of caring for people. Would you say this industry has always been your calling? Is there any unfinished business or areas of opportunity you’d love to dip your hands into?

It is always fascinating to be able to converge my past experiences in healthcare with my recent technology space experience into bio-tech life sciences, which is a growing industry. Growing people is also a very important part of business, and pivoting towards patient-centricity, and impact our society has always been my calling. I would love to continue to weigh in STEM and diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) into HR strategies, and using technology to enhance HR strategies and solutions.

Q Hummingbird Bioscience is all for AI/machine learning and data science. How would you look at those elements and incorporate them into the HR function and processes through your time here?

As a global biotech company, we love studying data! Of which, our core value of intellectual integrity is to incorporate rigorous science and data analysis to drive our decision making, even when it challenges our original beliefs. In the same vein, within HR, we breathe the same value of excellence—using HR data analysis to aim for the highest standards in everything that we do. Together, we live our values to power up teamwork to succeed in drug development with the commitment of each employee to work together collaboratively.

Q You’ve always been a passionate advocate of diversity. How will you continue to fulfil that mission in this new role, especially in the STEM sector?

After working in HR for over close to over 25 years, I appreciate the many opportunities that my superiors have empowered me with to drive diversity and enabling the organisation as a place where we feel valued, inclusive, belonging.

In the areas of science and technology, I will continue to pay it forward through my corporate HR hat, my duty as grassroot leader (People’s Association), and as a volunteer mentor coach to promote diversity, inclusion, racial harmony, social cohesion, and bridge communities. I believe by doing so, I will be a better version of myself; enrich rewarding career experiences, and have wonderful fulfilment to support the STEM sector.

Q Let’s end with a fun question – if you have the opportunity to meet your past 21-year-old self and your future 65-year-old self, what's the one thing you’d tell her, and another that you’ll ask her respectively?

I always gravitated towards jobs that are complex, challenging to go beyond, fast-paced, and at high-growth companies, where I truly enjoy myself. So, if I were to meet my younger self, I will tell her, nothing can stop you; be bold and courageous, and YES you can! Like what Mahatma Gandhi said: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." It is all about having a positive growth mindset.

As for my future self when I retire, I will ask her: "Have you achieved moving from success to significance?" as echoed by Bob Buford in his book Half Time. Reflecting on my HR journey, I'm often reminded that all experiences are wonderful things, and that I am grateful for the people around me.

The invigorating source of our happiness need not wait to see what others do. Be the odysseys of change, and keep the spirit of continuous lifelong learning!

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