This blog post is an interview conducted with our HR and Employer Branding Specialist – Magdalena Pliskowska who joined SolveQ last year in November. Magda wants to share her thoughts about specific aspects of HR in the IT industry and how she’s gained this knowledge and practice so far. We believe it will help some of you who consider a similar career path in the future.
You have many years of experience as an HR Specialist in the IT industry. How did it all start?
I’ve always dreamt about being involved in human resources management. My journey with that started in 2011 when I graduated from my master studies in Political Science and postgraduate studies in HRM. First, I participated in a few months of practice in Blue Media where I got to know the basics of work in the HR department. Very quickly I started my first serious job as a junior IT recruiter working for an international agency and after that changed it for internal HR working for well- known software house- Goyello for almost 2 years. My job was day-to-day contacting with potential IT candidates, participating in IT job fairs, employer branding activities, conducting soft part of interviews. Later I got pregnant twice and tried to combine work from home partially and take care of my children. I started cooperating with the gaming agency that was providing resources for AAA clients and game producers. It was for me a new lesson where I could get to know some technical knowledge about creating games. Mostly looking for C++/Unreal Engine, C#/Unity Developers, and Artists. I touched also cooperation with AR/VR industry. After almost 2,5 years working there, I decided to return to a full-time job and started a short journey with a British agency where I was responsible for sourcing and delivering resources for international clients. Meanwhile I had an opportunity to be RPO Talent Acquisition Specialist for Spartez for a few months where I was responsible for recruiting Java Developers. I missed a lot working within a team of IT guys and sent my application to SolveQ. And it was an excellent choice. I have an opportunity to work within all aspects of HR like recruiting, improving HR processes, increasing engagement, closing cooperation with executives.
What are your responsibilities now at SolveQ and which direction you want to focus on further development?
At SolveQ I am responsible for building and implementing the company’s strategy in HR, including improving HR processes, coordinating recruitment processes, building values, and culture of an organization. I care about internal and external communication and support employees in their further development. I think it is my dream job as I’ve always wanted to work closely with people. My career path goes in a very natural way. I’ve started with recruitment and now I am committed more in building and implementing HR strategy. I want to be more involved in employee performance reviews or more business partnering. It means I want to direct my career into being an HR Manager.
What personality traits help in the recruiter work? What soft skills are worth working on to be a great recruiter?
First of all, you need to like working with people and talking to them. The recruiter’s job is simply selling job offers to the potential candidate and examine if she or he suits to that. You need to be a good observer and an active listener. Your empathy will help you to diagnose your candidate’s needs. Often you need to make a quick decision and be perfect in building long-term relations with your candidates. To be a great recruiter you need to think ahead and keep an open mind. You need to gain some technical knowledge within IT to help you in understating the roles you work on. You need to emphasize and play well with hiring managers. Being a recruiter is a constant self-improvements job.
What about technical knowledge? How did you gain it?
I’ve gained IT knowledge by the practice and by direct working with programmers who always try to explain it clearly. I’ve read a lot of articles and participated in plenty of courses at Lynda to improve my technical knowledge. But honestly it goes with practice as now I can fast recognize which technological stack is proper for a specific job offer. Of course, I learn every day and do not stop. Being curious and constant self-improvements are the basics of being a great recruiter.
What is specific in the IT recruiter’s job and what is the difference regarding other industries?
It is said that working as a recruiter in IT is the most difficult if we compare it with other industries. It is more specific as you need to know the trends, the job market is run mostly by the candidates. Usually we need to get to passive candidates who are not enough motivated to change the job. They are motivated mostly by the higher salary. As an IT recruiter it is crucial to build a large network and build long-term relationships for possible future cooperation.
Could you please share some advice for those interested in working in HR, where to get knowledge about it? How do they need to prepare for the work in IT? Where they should look for a first job?
If you want to start your career in HR it is good to have basic knowledge about management staff, the psychology of organization, labor law, you need to use fluent English as well. The best option besides studies like psychology or economics is of course getting the practice in a real. I recommend taking the first step by attending some internship in the company and get know the daily tasks of HR Specialist/Manager. To start work in the IT branch, you need to be interested in that field. Read a lot and meet with people from this industry by attending some job fairs/meetups. If you want to start the first job, follow job alerts posting in social media and job portals. Ask your friends if they could recommend you to join their team.
Read our other blog posts about women in IT: