February 10, 2022

Time for a change? Let’s do it together! An Interview with Anastasiia, Head of HR at Make it in Ukraine

We can't wait to introduce to you the entire amazing team behind Make it in Ukraine. We hope you have already read the interview about how Diana went from an intern to a team leader.

Today we are talking about Anastasia, the head of HR. How she started in the team, what tips she has for those who want to grow, and how she sees the industry. Grab some coffee/tea with cookies and let's get started.

1/ Let's start from the very beginning: who did you want to be as a child?

When I was 6 years old, my dream was to become a vet. My parents weren’t really happy about my choice, but that didn’t really stop me. I was somehow disappointed in our Education system however, despite this, I do have my Veterinary education diploma. I still love animals (smiles her famous Mona Lisa-Esque, meaningful smile)

2/  What was your previous career path?

I already had experience as HR generalist, People partner, Office balancer. In Ukraine and the CIS, it is a very fuzzy role, providing a lot of different, sometimes unexpected, functions. Therefore, it has many names, but that feels like another life ago. I think I’m in a very different place now. I am a lot more confident and at peace with myself, than I was back then.  

3/ Why did you decide to change your profile to recruiting?

I just wanted some changes in my life. And I was excited to try remote work. It was a hard decision for me because I love long-term relationships with companies. I love stability in all walks of life, but I understood that I needed to push myself and try something new and exciting. Does it sound old-school? (smiles childishly)

I was ready for something more, and MiU offered me that.

4/ Why did you choose IT? It’s not the easiest field to get into

6 years ago it was really hard to get a job in IT, I was a girl who was trying to find my calling.

I knew that I love people, and I am a people-person type of girl. I have finished IT recruiting courses and HR-generalist courses, but I haven't decided which of these I'm more interested in.

I have sent my CV to all huge and well-known companies. And... didn’t get any answer. I was disappointed but still believed that I would get my chance.

They say doors are opening for people who are knocking, and so it did. I got my first job in a big outsourcing IT company that just opened an office in Lviv. I started as an HR generalist, so that meant I was in charge not only of recruiting, but also of implementing and improving the company culture. I was very happy that day, and generally thankful for the chance.

When I came to MIU, I had 3,5-4 years of experience already. I would say, I felt like one of “the big boys” in IT.  But I was very nervous before the first team call with the whole management.

Many thanks to our matchmaker, who supported me a lot those days, and still supports me. 

I would say though that despite not being new to this, in MiU we tried to do things differently. So my background gave me the tools to understand the process, but here we changed how we do the interviews, and how we communicate with the candidates. That doesn't mean we reinvented the wheel, or anything like that, but we definitely put a lot more time and focus on our Client/Candidate experience, among other things. 

Make it in Ukraine About Us Recruitment / HR in Persons

5/ How did you find out about MiU? What was the trigger to write to us?

Before remote jobs became mainstream, I really wanted to try this “remote lifestyle” (after more than 3 years of day-to-day office life).

Actually, you found me, and I really liked the idea of a totally remote team and I also appreciated the fact that the candidates were being offered a direct contract with the customer; It felt very honest and transparent. MIU And I met each other at a very good moment.

6/ What "newbie mistakes" have you experienced first hand? Can we share a few?

Oh, I have made a lot of mistakes. The biggest one I faced was probably the fear of making mistakes, and because of this I was very limited in my actions.
To solve this I had to turn to our team. They helped me understand that making mistakes is maybe not good, but it’s something we each have to go through in order to discover ourselves and improve in this new space. I did my best to let go and started to put my thoughts into action (with ups and downs, sure).

My advice to you: just believe in yourself, trust your instinct and study whatever you can. Look at the way more experienced colleagues are approaching things, analyze it, and adapt it to your work.

Important note: don’t be afraid to ask, but better do it after googling the most obvious things first.

7/ What is something that, in your opinion, every recruiter should have?

That easy-to-talk-to feeling. The recruiter sets the tone, so if you’re open, clear in your communication and a good listener, you’re off to a good start. The rest is much easier to learn.

8/ Was it hard for you to start to work remotely?

I had to buy a chair and table, (I'm kidding). As I said earlier, I love the remote job, I am generally an introverted person beyond work, so the remote style is perfect for me. I see a lot of pluses, which Diana has mentioned in her Q&A (be sure to read it).

Make it in Ukraine About Us Recruitment / HR in Persons
Working from home is like workation sometimes 😌

9/ Tell us a bit about the Make it in Ukraine Internship program. How were the best interns selected? Give our readers the advice on what you need to do to become the best intern and "win the prize"

Last summer, we decided to conduct an experiment with the internship for our team. This means intensive education with the job contract for the best trainees. There is a trend in recruiting that is gaining popularity and is justifying itself: "If you need a good team, teach them yourself".

So we rolled up our sleeves and gathered the first group. Then we conducted a test selection among those who applied. As a result, we formed a group of N people, and happy to say they are still with us. 

What to do to win? 

You have to be interested in what we are doing and study hard. Also, I really appreciate openness in people. Therefore, our interns who got job offers were good at studying, and they were synced in values with MIU. One important thing is just to observe and learn from your colleagues - we have lectures, 1on1’s, team calls - if you pay attention in them, you will learn so many new things, and improve faster than you thought possible, 

10/ The internship was a one-time event? Or are there plans for a new enrollment for interns?

Definitely not a one time thing. As mentioned, we have a slightly different approach to recruitment and like to give everyone a fair shot, so this year we will have a few internships actually. The first one will begin at the end of February, followed by a summer internship. I cannot wait to see the new interns. 

If you’re ready to apply, be sure to contact us here: anastasiia@makeitinua.com  

11/ What is your approach when someone is blocked in the work process?

Like with any problem, we try to find the root of it. If we understand what is causing the blocker, we can understand how to fix it. So the first step is always jumping on a call and going over the problem. The majority of times the cause is in how we perceive and approach a situation; once we change focus, a number of options become available.

12/ What is something you’re struggling with, as the Head of HR? 

The hardest thing is to teach people to talk about what they want, about what they like and dislike.

Open communication, trust, and a healthy atmosphere is something we strived to build, and I think we managed to do it. Now it’s a question of maintaining it, which is not easy, but it’s worth it. 

13/  We all know that English is a huge pain for many people. How did you learn it? Any advice?

English is important, no doubt!  I studied with a Tutor, and also took part in the "Work-and-travel" program. My English really needs improvement, but it's so exciting to work on it and feel like it is becoming better and better.

We also have English lessons, in groups of 3-4 people twice a week, where we can practice our language plus get to know each other better and talk about anything. The main point is just to keep practicing, everyday. 

14 / What 3 words would you use to show potential co-workers that MIU is a great place to work?

Freedom, Transparency, and Trust

15/ What are you the most proud of in your work with MiU so far?  

Team! I love our people. I like that we are growing, and our people stay with us. I love that we are all different, but with our common goal - to build a good service.

16/ What is a change you’d like to see in the modern recruitment field? 

I suppose I would love to see more professionalism in communication between recruiters and developers. I know it sounds corny, but I really think that if the recruiters understand the developers, and what they want to achieve, the process will be a lot better. On the other hand, we need the devs first to know what they want, and then not be afraid to go for it. So this is something I’d like to see more of.

17/ What is something you’d like to try or learn in the future? 

I would love to study psychology, and use my knowledge for MIU development, and make it even a greater place to work. But also just for me. Understanding how the human brain works is fascinating. 

18/ What do you usually do when you're stuck with a particular issue or decision?

When I am stuck with anything, I try not to hurry, and try to calculate or predict my results if I take any action. 

But I am trying to avoid this kind of "suspended" state in each area of my life.

Make it in Ukraine About Us Recruitment / HR in Persons
Some relaxation after hard work

19/ What inspires and relaxes you after a working day? Any hobbies?

My hobbies are pretty simple: long walks with my dogs in the forest, cooking, fishing and watching movies. I have a lot of communication during my working days, so on weekends, I prefer to recharge. And of course, mountains. They are my love, Lviv is pretty close to the Carpathian Mountains.  

20/ Where do you get your energy/motivation from? 

When a person loves his/her job, there's no problem finding motivation. Generally, I love to make big plans and aims, it makes me feel alive. Also, when I feel my contribution to something important and big, which can make people's life better, I am 100% satisfied.

21/ What books could you recommend to our readers (or maybe even to our future teammates)?

My fresh readings were these.

For self-development: 

Psychological books and nice books just for the soul:

So, maybe you'll find them interesting, too.

22/ Some closing words about how's it going now, at MiU?

Our candidates are happy with their current companies, and our clients come to us again and again to gain more talented UA Developers. Our recruiting team is stable and doesn't leave MIU. I am happy where we are now, but I believe things will be even better in the next few years. We have so many plans and projects for our Talents (stay tuned, and you'll see).

So, after all, how to get to us on the team?

💌 Contact our Team Lead Diana (via email or Telegram). You may already know her from this story.

Let's be in touch!

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