October 21, 2021

From Intern to Team Lead in a year. To the Moon with Diana

💎 How it all begun

Who did you want to be as a child?

I wanted to be a cashier (Diana smiles her ever-charming smile

I was a funny child, so my dream was to have a big shop and to be a cashier there. In my mind, I thought they have a lot of cool toys, food and money. Fortunately, I chose another way. And here we are.

How did you find out about Make it in Ukraine?

My friend has been working as an intern there, and he told me a lot of interesting stories about the team and all the cool opportunities he is presented with, so I was pretty sure that I need to be part of this team. He recommended me to the Head of HR, and in 2 days we had an interview.

What were the stages you had to go through?

Nothing complicated, even back then MiU was very clear on what they wanted, but I did have a pretty long interview with the Head of HR about my experience, motivation and expectations. 2 days later I had a call with our founders already as an intern.

💎 Study, study and more study - the life of a newbie 

Is it scary to be a newbie?

Always (smiles). Sometimes you are afraid to say or do something wrong but we have the coolest team which always communicates with you and asks how are you feeling and how they could help you. It becomes easier every day, and by the end of the first week, you’ve already made your first steps, so it’s all up from there. 

How did you manage to rocket jump from Junior to Team Lead so quickly? What's the magic formula?

I have been working as a “usual” recruiter, but I didn’t really know what IT recruitment entails. So everything was totally new.

It would be really amazing if I said that I found Pandora's box or invented a formula for success. But no. I suppose it’s all about passion and effort. I'll let you know if I figure out how to get into this rocket faster, though.

How hard was your training? What was the biggest challenge?

Sometimes it was hard, that’s true. We had a lot of positions for unicorns, so finding the right person to have a real match was a big challenge. But super strange that the most difficult task was just to conduct an interview with a person from Canada in English. It was a big step out of my comfort zone.

Is the IT field confusing and difficult to understand and get into?

It’s just a question of time. Few weeks of work and a good relationship with Google should help. It’s ever-changing, so there is always new information to learn, but that just keeps things interesting. 

💎 Is recruiting a worthwhile industry to work in?

Why should the younger generation think about a career in recruiting?

Right now, a lot of young people are trying to find their dream job. But because of their fear or lack of experience they are going for low-paid jobs because they don’t know a better alternative. I’d love to remind them that doing an internship in a field you’re interested in, will pay so much more in the long run, than anything else you could do for your career.
So take the chance, and sign yourself up for that dream job you have in mind, and of course, if you want to be a recruiter, marketer, or sales specialist write to us, we’d love to meet you.

What kind of hard and soft skills does a recruiter need? 

I can make a long list with competence, but you can find them everywhere. The 2 most important things: be flexible and know how to Google. Every time we are faced with new information and technologies, searching- skills really help.

There are many free or cheap courses of recruiting where you can get useful information. Stay up to date with news from famous recruiting agencies and IT companies, and you will already have a theoretical base. But I’m more for practicing and working with real vacancies, gaining knowledge and experience from real-life challenges.

What is the biggest problem that recruiters are facing now? 

I guess we have 2 factors that sometimes stop our working process, but not sure I’d call them problems:

  • LinkedIn restrictions.
  • Non-responsive candidates.

But today there are so many tools and ways to approach a candidate, that we don't think it's a problem. For us, it's an exciting, creative game in which winning is really satisfying and encouraging.

💎 Life in Make it in Ukraine 

How would you describe MiU in 3 words? 

Team, Development and of course Fun.

Make it in Ukraine is still a startup, how do you see its future? 

Our startup is growing and becoming stronger and stronger as a company with constant clients and a big pool of candidates. So there is no doubt that in the near future we will see even bigger results and accomplishments, so I'm very excited to be a part and grow alongside it. 

You’re younger than the majority of your team. Is the age difference something you ever struggled with? 

I cannot say that I’m feeling strange or uncomfortable working with people that are older than I. Being a Team Lead comes with a lot of team calls, and opportunities to speak with everyone but the actual recruitment team calls me Baby Di sometimes, we’re always professional and respect each other, it’s just a nickname, but I really like it (smiling).

How many people are in your team now? And how do you keep a connection with them? 

I have 7 amazing girls in my team, and we have easy, productive and nice communication with each other. For us it is super important to be friends and have the opportunity to speak about not only work but also share cool ideas, share what’s happening in our lives and of course, we always have this ‘girls stuff’ to discuss. You know what I mean (smiling secretively).

And the most valuable it's no competitions or gossip, we are totally against this.

The great thing is we are on the same page with the whole team. Honestly, I cannot imagine the opposite situation. Communication and a clear understanding of each other it's the cornerstone, the strength of any good team.

How does your team grow? How do people come to you now?

Right now, we are growing at an exponential rate.  A bit more than a month ago we started an internship for recruiters, so right now we have plus 5 amazing newcomers. And it’s just the start. Pretty sure that this year a lot more professionals and interns will come to our team. Everyone with new, fresh ideas and ambitions, I’m very excited. 

Is your team geography extensive?

Our recruiting team right now is in different parts of Ukraine, so it’s kind of a big distance between us.

The rest of our Make it in Ukraine team is international (Romania/Spain, UK,France) and we all work remotely. 

But when you don’t have to work from one specific place, well that comes with many possibilities. For example, I just came back from Spain and even though I had to work while there, the sea and mountains made it all worth it, and just give you these good vibes, so I really like that freedom. 

What does team building look like in an all remote team? 

We are working remotely, but sometimes we meet each other in different cities. For example, this spring, the recruiting team made a workation meeting in Lviv.  And this summer we had a whole week of team-building, and we really had a great time together. So I’m pretty sure that it depends on the values of the company and the desire to meet each other.

Do you think companies will go back to office work or stay remote?

Most likely, we will have a combination of these styles. Not sure that we will see too many companies going back to full office work right now, because it’s time for change; people found this new way of working, and they’re not ready to give it up just yet, and the companies also realized that this method is cheaper, so it’s a win-win, but of course, there will always be people that prefer to go to office everyday.

You can find more in our recent blog post and our comment for VESTI UA

What challenges are you facing in your work, right now?

Right now, as a Team Lead, I’m trying to give my team a clear vision of their growth and make sure they understand our objectives. We have KPIs and statistics, but we need to recognize that recruiting it’s not a constant process. It's difficult to have permanent standards or stable situations, week by week. But we always know how we can improve our processes and move according to our plan.

What would make even an experienced recruiter join Make it in Ukraine?

For sure, it's our culture. We are not just another usual recruiting agency. We have a lot of freedom, opportunities for development and, as I mentioned, cool open communication. It’s totally okay to work and go out together or have fun while we have breaks.

And it’s pretty important that we are trying to find an individual way of development for each recruiter, that’s why everyone is growing without doing any boring tasks.

💎 How to stay productive and keep your life balanced

Tell us about your self-development?

Don’t want to be boring, but yes, it's really important. After a lot of interviews with Architects and CTOs, I understood that the learning curve never stops. Highly experienced and 5 figures professionals are constantly looking to further develop their skills and personal qualities to be in demand on the market, so for me that’s a good indicator that reading books is a must-have activity. I try to learn as much as possible from any source out there, and try something new just to be in shape.

This is probably the most discussed problem. How did you learn English, and how important is it really to know the language? Any other languages you’d like to learn?

Actually yes, English it’s a really big problem among people in Ukraine. And I can’t say that learning foreign languages it’s easy for me. But It’s important to improve your communication skills to have the opportunity to speak with foreigners, because so many more doors will open for you, once you have English under control.

How to make it up effectively? Practice, practice and more practice! Don’t be afraid to speak with people in English, and do it as much as possible. 

I am really in love with French, so probably in the near future I’ll start looking into improving my skills in this language as well.

Do you have time for hobbies or just work?

For sure, I have. We are all about Work-Life Balance. So after work, usually I have dancing classes (ballet, heels dance), sports (stretching) or other activities to stay in shape. From time to time I do some boxing and shooting (just bottles or empty aims).

When you are spending a lot of time next to your laptop, it's nice to go out and switch off. In addition, I have my weekends when I can do anything that I want and don’t think about working processes or candidates (although we love them all very much).

How do you keep the Work-Life Balance, you've mentioned? Is there a methodology to find a solution?

It’s a combination of different factors:

  • Enough hours of sleep
  • Free time after work
  • Basic time management rules.

But super cool if in addition you can do something for your soul. Because besides professional growth, we need to find more ways to grow as a person. For example, try something completely new: sports, art, or cooking. Once I was really upset and started to cook dumplings. Maybe it’s a bit strange but it’s really effective. You should try it.

Do you ever get the imposter’s syndrome? How do you cope with it? 

Oh, yes! Especially when I became a Team Lead, most likely I was experiencing this syndrome. Not being sure if you are good enough in the new position, a normal but pretty dangerous feeling. There are many new tasks, and responsibilities you’re presented with, so It's important to have people around you who can give you objective feedback and support. Fortunately I found them in Make it in Ukraine and in my friends. 

Do you have some book recommendations for our readers: for the profession, for the soul? What are your favorite ones?

I like to advise books from the perspective of a friend, not a psychoanalyst or self-development coach. Incredible stories of people, sci-fi, romantic, historical or modern, about culture or tradition, — all of these are awesome book genres. 

For recruiters, however,  I highly recommend "Who: The A Method for Hiring" (by Geoff Smart and Randy Street) and Daniel Goleman's "Emotional Intellect".

Images: Amazon

Also, I like autobiographies about famous successful people for inspiration.

Speaking about books for the soul, check out Elchin Safarli

He grew up among ordinary people (not sugary celebrities or rich bosses). And he is able to highlight the most beautiful things in ordinary people's lives. He is able to write beautifully about love and people's stories that touch the reader's heart. And he tells it in simple language, easy to read and enjoy.

So, after all, how can someone join your team?

Just be a cool, motivated person with ambitions and desire to grow. We are always open for both professionals and newcomers in recruiting, sales or marketing. Because soft skills are much more important than hard skills. 

💌 So, contact me (via email or Telegram). Let's get familiar with each other.
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