"Recruiting is not for everyone. A recruiter must have a certain character. It is a high tolerance for stress," head "and acumen"
Interview with the founder of the IT recruitment agency Lucky Hunter Tatiana Melnichuk
Tatiana Melnichuk talks about her professional experience, recruitment pitfalls, gives advice to novice recruiters.
—Tell a few words about yourself. What education have you received, and has it affected your future choice?
"I have run the gamut of the agency work, from a recruitment consultant to the head of the recruitment department, and five years later I realized that I needed to go forward and I chose the IT sphere."
No, education has not affected my choice. Actually, I've been in recruiting for about twelve years. I started working very early. After school, I entered the LETI (Electrotechnical Institute) and started to work in a small recruitment agency that provided a quality service. It was called "Soyuz-personal". We were working in competition with leading agencies and selected various staff: from workers to TOP managers. Then I realized that I was not ready to continue my studies in the specialty in which I studied. I did not see myself in it, so I linked my life with recruiting. I have run the gamut of the agency work, from a recruitment consultant to the head of the recruitment department, and five years later I realized that I needed to go forward and I chose the IT sphere. I accidentally got an interview at the company "Openway Group". For me, it was some other world: another company, other people, other issues. It was so interesting that I realized that I would work only in IT. It was quite difficult to get a job in an IT company without experience, but I managed to get into a very cool startup. They took me to the position of the first recruiter, and it has turned my life upside down. We recruited the coolest teams in the city that we could. We had incredible projects then.
— What was the most difficult in the beginning?
— It's a good question. Let's start with the fact that there are two different types of recruitment: internal and external. Each has its own difficulties. I was an external recruiter, so I worked with a large number of customers. They are all different, everyone has their own flow. You need to know a lot of information to fill a job opening, but it is not always provided. Internal recruiters face the same difficulties, but still, when you are young, you are 18 years old, this amount of information seems incredible. You need to be able to communicate with people and professionally conduct interviews with candidates. In the world of IT recruitment now everything is online, but earlier, when we started to work, we invited candidates to our agency. They had to come to us first, then to the employer, and when some top managers came and saw that a novice recruiter was sitting there, it was necessary to keep the brand and conduct an interview qualitatively.
— And you did not think to retrain, become an internal recruiter?
— I worked as an internal recruiter. I was an HR professional inside the company and combined the functions of both recruiting and adapting, motivating new employees. In addition, since I am a fan of recruiting, I led some freelance projects for IT recruiting. Therefore, I was well-known as an IT recruiter. So this is what I have always been doing.
— Have you ever thought about changing your profession?
— No, never. The only thing is that when I was an internal HR professional, I thought to delve into this environment since the Human Resource sphere is quite broad: adaptation, motivation, and a lot of other areas. Still, recruiting is what I love most and do best. Therefore, it never occurred to me to radically change the profession, as it never occurred to me to leave IT. IT is awesome.
— And in what areas did you select staff?
— In many. I selected personnel for the oil and gas industry, I supplied all the major industrial facilities that our government oversees. I selected huge teams of three hundred people: welders, adjusters, engineers. I selected a variety of managers, logisticians, and even sales assistants. When we worked in a wide-profile agency, it never occurred to us to refuse at least some order.
— Why then IT?
— Because for me it was growth. In IT, you always need to think, you need to constantly be in trend, and people here are completely different. You need to speak in another language, and for me, this is the most respectful area in which the work of a person is valued, the person himself is valued and professionalism is highly valued, therefore it is very comfortable and pleasant to work here.
—What is the most pleasant for you in your profession? Why do you love it?
"When you have an exact list of companies from where you have to entice a specialist, and it is always so interesting and exciting."
—I like best that the result is always visible. Almost always there is an "exhaust", and it is quite fast. I like communicating with people, I like to help companies find the right person, and the person find the right company. Besides, I am very interested in the service of "headhunting", when you have an exact list of companies from where you have to entice a specialist, and it is always so interesting and exciting.
— Reminds espionage ...
— Oh yes! At dawn of recruiting, we called, introduced ourselves by other names. There was no Linkedin when you can just write to a person. Therefore, we tried to find this person by phone. It was a top hunting performance. Now it is very easy to find a person if he is registered on social networks, and after all, this has never happened before. The Internet was not actively used. It was harder than to write a letter or ping a person on social networks.
— So, have many changes taken place in the last 12 years of your work in recruiting?
— Many, yes.
— What other changes have occurred?
— If we talk about IT recruiting, then everything has become online. Employers do not always invite candidates to offline interviews; they first offer a Skype conversation in order to understand how much the candidate and the customer are interested in each other. I've also noticed that people have less time for everything. Speed and momentum have increased. I remember that when we staffed two hundred people and more, we spent much less time and did everything in some light mode than we do now staffing four programmers for some company. Now the IT industry is developing very actively, and demand on the market exceeds supply, so everything is constantly changing, especially in IT recruitment.
—What do you think about Russian recruitment in general? I know that you are recruiting staff both in Russia and abroad. Is there any difference?
"In Europe, it is normal to consider a resume for two or three weeks, and it may happen that the candidates simply do not wait until the end of the sourcing and selecting process."
—There is a difference. We have very high speeds. If we recruit staff for domestic companies, it is always very fast, prompt. It is quite possible to find a candidate in a week, and in a two he will start job. We always get quick feedback on the resume. If the customer does not respond within four days, this is surprising and unusual. In Europe, it is normal to consider a resume for two or three weeks, and it may happen that the candidates simply do not wait until the end of the sourcing and selecting process, because it all lasts for three weeks, and you sit and wait when they give you feedback. They also do not quite transparently talk about their processes, they initially say that the recruiting process will be one, but in fact it turns out to be different. It is a bit complicated to understand them at the first stages of cooperation, but when the recruiting process is set up, everything becomes transparent, albeit slow.
— It turns out that Russian recruitment wins?
— It does not win, it is simply more understandable. We find it difficult to change from an incredibly high tempo to a slower one. We work with the guys in the west and try to somehow get back into their routine, but it is morally difficult for us because everything lasts so long. It is important not to lose sight of the fact that a person still needs time to move, to coordinate visas. It turns out that the closing of a vacancy can reach up to six months, it is very long.
— How do you think: everyone can become a recruiter, or certain skills are needed?
— Recruiting is not for everyone. A recruiter must have a certain character. It is a high tolerance for stress," head "and acumen. You need to quickly navigate the situation, keep abreast, work in multitasking mode. At the same time you have to solve a huge number of tasks, do not forget anything. In general, recruiting is considered to be the most complex service. A lot of things must come together in order for a person to accept an offer, not to have a counteroffer, to quit the job. Therefore, it is definitely not for everyone, not everyone can withstand such a high rate of work.
—What advice would you give to beginners?
"There are no impossible tasks in recruiting, everything depends on the recruiter's perseverance and persistence."
—First, you need not to be afraid of anything, to be brave. This is a very valuable piece of advice because many novice recruiters are afraid to write to a candidate, they are afraid to speak, but if you initially designate that you are a novice recruiter, people will be lenient towards you. Secondly, constantly learn and delve into something new and don't try to find the ideal candidates, because they do not exist. You need to understand that candidates make their resumes poorly, while customers poorly formulate their requirements. It is necessary to guess which candidate could be appropriate and empirically identify the ideal one. But the headline is not to be afraid, to think, to improve your skills. What is more important, to understand that there are no impossible tasks in recruiting, everything depends on the recruiter's perseverance and persistence.
— What mistakes can novice recruiters make, and how to avoid them?
— Firstly, they search for the ideal candidate and, of course, not find him. Secondly, they use very few sources for searching. The most common mistake is to begin work, until you fully understand the vacancy. Until you understand who you are looking for and which requirements are primary and which are secondary, nothing will get done.
— For more than a year, you've been not just recruiting staff, you've been the head of the company. Tell us why you've decided to open your own agency?
— The idea came to me from outside. Once, one of my customers, with whom I worked on freelancing, asked why I would not open my agency. I didn't take this idea seriously. I thought it was unnecessary and uninteresting to me. But then I somehow organically switched to freelance. Many of my customers, when they learned that I was now a "free bird", started giving me a huge number of vacancies, and I realized that I was not coping. Since that time it all started. I took one employee, then a second one and a third, then Yandex came to us, and I realized that this was no longer a "joke", and we have become a full-fledged company. I started with a small agency that provides a good service, and I wanted to create the same agency. We are small, but at the same time we work with the largest companies in Russia and in the world, we provide a very good and high-quality service, and this is very important for us.
—And how have you selected staff in your agency?
"I pay attention to some universal values: adequacy, rationality, ability to work in high load mode."
I take girls mostly without work experience. One of the main requirements is knowledge of the English language, but this is not a problem, because almost all young professionals know it. Then I pay attention to some universal values: adequacy, rationality, ability to work in high load mode. During the interview I ask how a person sees his work, then I tell him how we are working, and if a person is not scared and we are pleasant to each other ( this is important because we spend most of our time at work), then most likely we will cooperate. I can say that employers try to lure my recruiters from my agency because after six months they become really cool specialists, but nobody leaves us. This is good news.
— And on what principles do you build relationships within the team?
— This is necessarily mutual aid, trust, support. We have never had any conflict situations between recruiters. We always help each other, share the candidates. I am a very loyal leader, and if a person needs something, I will give it to her with pleasure.
— What do you think: will there be any changes in the world of recruitment?
— In the world of recruitment or in the world of IT recruitment? If we are talking about just recruitment, then I don't think that there is something that can change drastically. The same rules will apply there, as the markets themselves are not very agile. As for IT, I'm sure everything will change. Due to the fact that there are not enough specialists, and the number of start-ups is growing, so the salaries will be higher and higher, the speeds will also be higher, the requirements for candidates will decrease. But now lots of schoolchildren enter IT universities, so I hope that in five years we will even out this situation, but I'm not sure.
—There is a quote: "The desire to succeed without hard work, similar to the desire to take the crop where you did not plant the seeds." Do you agree with it? Why?
"I do not believe in a success that comes for no reason. To achieve something, you need to work hard."
Yes, because everything in life is difficult, and nothing happens for no special reason. I always tell my recruiters that any work will be rewarded. Maybe not now, maybe after some time, and we are convinced of this. The more we work, the more we are lucky, and we really work very hard. I do not believe in a success that comes for no reason. To achieve something, you need to work hard.
Lucky Hunter has been successfully recruiting IT staff for more than a year for large companies, such as Yandex, and for promising start-ups. On the account of the agency more than a hundred filled job openings. If you need to find an IT specialist, the Lucky Hunter team will be glad to help you.