Life@LACE – Chiara Camerada

by | May 24, 2024

Life @ LACE
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Life@LACE – Chiara Camerada

This week, our Life@LACE series features Chiara Camerada, HR Transformation manager at LACE, exploring Chiara’s experience, growth, and challenges faced by clients in the industry.


How big was LACE when you first joined?

I joined LACE in 2019 when we had around 15 employees; now we are 85! We had a much smaller office in London Bridge, and we all worked in an open space, from the team’s most junior members to the founders, Aaron and Cathy.


Why did you decide to join LACE?

In my prior position, I was a manager on the Global HR Operations team at Pearson. During that time, I attended a LACE event where co-founder Aaron Alburey was presenting.

Aaron’s talk on change and adoption left a lasting impression on me, where he challenged his audience to use a robust, evidence-based approach. His demeanour and analytical approach stood out to me, offering a refreshing perspective that resonated with me. The LACE event’s vibe was so great that I immediately applied for a job!


What kind of work do you enjoy at LACE, and what has been your favourite project so far?

I found it all enjoyable because there’s always a good variety of things to learn. Some projects have also pushed me beyond my usual comfort zone.

Whether the project has been within my strength areas or a little bit more “unfamiliar”, I genuinely enjoyed them all thanks to the fact that we have a great mutual support system at LACE, where we can rely on each other’s expertise.

The best way to achieve an outcome that is great for the client and that you can feel proud of is through dialogue and collaboration with colleagues with more experience. This collaborative approach not only benefits our growth but also leads to better outcomes for our clients.


Have you been involved in projects that allowed you to explore different aspects of your skill set?

Every project I have been involved in represented a growth opportunity and enabled me to broaden my skill set.

This is also thanks to the solid mutual trust that we have internally and the focus on people’s development. All project leads and senior colleagues I have worked with so far have been open to listening to my developmental goals, giving me the opportunity to be exposed to activities and responsibilities new to me and providing feedback. The most recent examples I can think of are how I gained confidence in Programme management and senior stakeholders management  thanks to Becky Jones and James McLintic and how I broadened my knowledge of payroll strategy and operating models working with experts like Simon Puryer and Chris Kirby.


How would you describe LACE’s growth?

Having spent my career in large corporations, the growth trajectory at LACE is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s undeniably rapid, yet it feels like it’s been a long time.

Attending LACEFest last year, our annual team celebration, and witnessing the extent of LACE’s expansion was genuinely moving. What stood out to me was how we have managed to preserve the same atmosphere and values despite the significant growth. So yes, the pace of growth has been impressive, but it’s evident that our executive team is managing it effectively and staying true to our core values.


How do you think they’ve achieved maintaining the same culture?

It goes back to the role modelling of our founders: transparent and genuinely caring, with a tremendous work ethic that cascaded internally to ensure that we are always committed to delivering excellent quality and being innovative and flexible around clients’ needs.

The founders and exec team maintained a culture of transparency and openness to feedback… So we are still all sitting around the same table, working together, no matter the position in the hierarchy. Of course, the office is bigger and the team is more layered, but the bottom line is that we managed to keep the same attitude.


What are the most common challenges you see clients facing?

Through my ‘ops’ eye, I still see many opportunities by returning to the basics, such as a clear and sustainable HR op model or documenting processes and the scope of HR services.

Another great opportunity is to have the right capabilities in-house to drive results, bring change and establish a culture of continuous improvement. Capabilities such as data literacy, experience in project management, stakeholder management across other functions, thinking agile and involving the employees in co-creating HR initiatives and products that are right for them.