We asked him about his daily tasks, what he pays attention to while browsing through applications and what a candidate for a job at Metapack can expect during the recruitment process. Do we have your interest? Then read on.
How long have you been working at Metapack and what made you decide to apply to this company?
After three years in my previous job, I decided to simply check the market. Two of my friends were working at Metapack then. Interestingly, one of them left the company at the time, but it was more about what he wanted to do in life, not how Metapack treated him. When I was considering accepting the offer and asked him for advice, I heard that I shouldn’t even think about it (laughs).
Recruiting new employees is no longer just about posting ads and interviewing candidates. What exactly are your responsibilities?
If I had to describe it exactly, it would be a lot. Maybe let’s not focus on everything, but on what is the most important. And what is importantis to identify the needs well – not only related to a given position, but also the needs of the team,which the person is supposed to join. Without this understanding, it is possible to recruit the best candidates, but not necessarily those, who fit the puzzles. A team of extroverts may need someone of equal temperament, or on the contrary, a person who will talk less and listen more supporting others with their judgment and opinion. I will not avoid a sports analogy, but often teams composed of all superstars don’t win championship titles.
How do you search for talents? Is it already a standard that every candidate from the IT industry should have a Linkedin profile?
It’s a standard, if someone is looking for a job. Then the job is also looking for him or her. I use LinkedIn, I try, of course with the consent of the candidates, to establish relationships with them that go beyond the scope of the current recruitment. Sometimes the job that we could offer them at a given moment would not be the best combination for them and for us. However, I already know what advantages the candidate has and I am eager to contact him whenever I see a chance for a mutually satisfactory cooperation. In addition, I have the opportunity to work with students on various occasions.
I would not do much without the help of my colleagues from the company, who are eager to contact me with their friends who are looking for something new for themselves.
You are dealing with a large number of submitted applications. What are the most common errors you encounter? What candidates should avoid?
There are still CVs written and sent in bulk, these are my strengths, and if you need one of them, please fit me somewhere. And these are sent to 50 different companies. One of the keys that opens the heart of a recruiter is describing skills that meet our needs listed in the job advertisement. It’s not about being dishonest and writing about qualities or knowledge that we don’t have. However, if it’s very close somewhere, it must be skillfully emphasized.
For example, I didn’t use the tool you use, but the one I had experience with has 80% of the same functions. It’s very important to remember that no two companies are alike, doing the same thing in the same way. Knowledge and experience will always be different. It’s worth paying attention to good practices that you apply in your own work and with which you can join us. It is also not a rule, but for me a Cover Letter is always welcome, showing the extra effort the candidate has put in applying. There, too, you can devote some space to good practices and the style of your work, which may be relevant to the employer.
It is said that each recruiter has their own key by which to evaluate the incoming CVs. How do you browse applications? What do you pay attention to first?
Well, I don’t think I belong to the “every recruiter” category. I don’t have a key, I look for elements that would be this “added value” in each. For some candidates it will be experience, for others the profile of the current employer, for others it will be interests or courses. In terms of aesthetics, a CV written “on the knee”, without a chronology, without a clear layout, devoted to issues completely irrelevant from the point of view of the position for which the candidate is applying is certainly offensive.
Every candidate for a job at Metapack passes through you. It is you who contacts the people submitting their CVs and you also accompany them during the first recruitments. Tell us a bit about this stage – what can job applicants expect, how many interviews there are, who is involved at every step?
At the beginning, I contact candidates by phone, ask for knowledge about us, about the reasons why the candidate wants to join us. I also try to build my knowledge all the time, also in technical matters, in order to initially obtain information at the stage of the first interview, to what extent the previous experience, knowledge and potential of the candidate are consistent with our needs. I also always want to speak English, because it’s our must-have. I always emphasize that it’s not about quoting Shakespear in the original, but you have to be able to communicate.
In addition, I give tips, on a fairly general level, which issues will appear in the next interviews. Everyone gets it, so it’s not some form of handicap. Also, conversations around specific topics are often more productive.
As for recruitment tasks, they are a standard for a developer position. Although it requires additional commitment of the candidates, it also gives them a chance to show their creativity, to surprise us with an unexpected solution. Also on the basis of such tasks, it’s much more natural to conduct an interview. A bit like a racing driver. Don’t tell us how you would complete this lap, just get behind the wheel (laughs).
An interview for a job is a lot of stress. Do you have any proven ways to get rid of it before the meeting?
First of all, it’s important to realize that this stress also often affects people who recruit. I also guarantee that these are not people who want to throw themselves at you and tear you apart.
Second, stress is a close relative of not being prepared. The less confident we are, of our skills and willingness to talk, the more stressed we get.
Third, don’t be afraid of not knowing everything. There are no people who know everything, and sometimes you can see a candidate losing self-confidence after a few poor answers, which affects how he or she presents himself or herself in the later part of the interview. Relax, this is not a driving test where you have to be 100% effective.
Fourth, and this is probably enough, you just have to have a lot of these conversations to feel more confident during them and not to repeat the same mistakes. As I recall my first interviews, both as a candidate and a recruiter, these are not events that I can brag about (laughs). But these were certainly situations from which a lot of lessons could be learned.
Finally, a question that we had to ask. Has recruitment changed during the pandemic? What challenges are you facing today and how is Metapack solving them?
There is a dark side to the recruiter’s job. Since it was Christmas recently, it occurred to me that Santa gives gifts to all children, and the recruiter usually makes an offer to one person and 10 others must refuse for various reasons. In the current situation a lot of valuable people have to look for a new job and unfortunately many of them have to be refused. Of course, there’s no way to convey bad news in a funny way like in a Monty Python sketch. For my part, I try to treat candidates fairly and also give tips that will make it easier for them to apply to us again or find a job in another company.
So it’s always a challenge, but specifically for me, how to communicate information about a negative decision with tact, respect for the candidate, but also giving him an impetus for development. As for Metapack itself, the company doesn’t solve these challenges. However, it does something much better, because it gives me a lot of support, freedom of action, and I can always talk to people with whom I work about what can be done differently to improve the entire process.
Thank you for the interview.