How does a network of HR experts help recruiters in the RPO collaboration model? Is it possible to combine the work of an RPO recruiter with freelancing? Natalia Szubert, an RPO recruiter in the IT field, talked about opportunities for growth as an RPO recruiter, professional challenges and her history at Talent Place.
What did you do before you came to Talent Place?
Before coming to Talent Place, I worked as a freelance recruiter and did recruiting, primarily in the IT industry. Previously, I worked in an IT company and there I was responsible for all HR-related matters, but I mainly dealt with recruitment. And even before that, at the very beginning of my career, I was at an IT sourcing company and there I learned basic HR stuff. So you could say that the IT industry has been scrolling through my work from the beginning.
What is your role at Talent Place? What do you do here?
I work part-time on RPO projects, and the rest of my time is spent on freelance assignments for IT companies. I like the fact that there is such diversity, because I always have the opportunity to recommend a candidate, if not in one place, then in another. Let’s say a candidate doesn’t quite fit into one of the processes I’m running. In such a situation, I check if I can’t offer it in another process – and if there is a possibility, I do it. By combining my work as an RPO recruiter and freelancer, I have a wider range of opportunities. And it manages to combine these two roles without a problem. As an RPO recruiter, I basically have the same responsibilities as a freelancer, because we hire for different projects. However, I can see the difference when it comes to belonging to a team. During RPO cooperation, I feel that I am part of the company. I have meetings with people who work inside the organization, there is a bond between us, we build a relationship.
What does RPO cooperation look like from your perspective? What does such work give you?
It certainly gives me a sense of security. I am assured of a fixed monthly salary. And flexibility, because I set my own time and mode of work, which is very important for me. That I have this freedom, I don’t have this typical 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. work model, that is, the hours I have to “sit” in the office. It’s cool that I have a choice, I can decide and set the working hours myself. I really appreciate the contact with people who work inside the company. It’s a huge dose of knowledge and experience sharing for me. You can learn an extraordinary amount through this. You can look at different things from a different perspective.
On the other hand, it’s nice to support such startups at the beginning of their journey. The company can learn from the example of HR experts how to get some things done or how to prepare some processes. Take onboarding, for example – we happen to help work it out. Startups are companies that are just forming, and RPO recruiters can help them prepare some of the cases, lay out career paths, create a culture and work organization. So if a company is just creating such an environment, it too can benefit from the support of RPO recruiters. I am happy to be a part of this.
What does your workday look like?
I know it’s often hard to talk about a “typical work day” for a recruiter, but I try to have a structure. Of course, it varies, because there are internal meetings or with candidates, so sometimes the schedule changes. But I make it standard for myself to, for example, check emails in the morning, answer messages, browse apps, answer messages on Linkedin. Then I have meetings, usually between 11 am and 2 pm, even until 3 pm. Of course, there are times when I’ll sit down in the afternoon and post to candidates or hook up new people on Linkedin. Or in the evening, if someone is interested in an offer, for example, at 7 or 8 p.m. we write about it on LinkedIn. I have already happened to schedule a candidate at 9 p.m. for an interview the next day. I take a very flexible approach to this and try to seamlessly intertwine work and rest – I value the fact that I can take half an hour to rest, use this time as I want, and in the evening still do something, write to the candidate or establish something. I feel free simply (laughs). This is great.
What challenges did you happen to face?
There was one case where our team at Talent Place had to get very creative with the process. Usually we have so that at the beginning of the cooperation we receive from the client the necessary access, information about the company and the process, and then, together with my teammates, we had to collect a set of information on our own: about the company, the types of contracts and how their HR, employment, paperwork processes are carried out. This required us to devote the time we normally spend on sourcing or interviewing candidates, for example. We had to be very flexible and creative here. On the occasion of this challenge, it came out how well our RPO team works together – each girl gave a lot of herself to successfully close the project despite the difficulties. I think that as a team we rose to the occasion.
How can the Talent Place community help in the work of an RPO recruiter?
Certainly, a big advantage is that we have recruiters from every industry. And they are recruiters with varying experience. If I, for example, have less experience than some people in a particular industry, I can turn to more experienced colleagues. I’ve already learned a lot from them anyway, but still, if I have a problem, I ask a person from the Community and always get an answer. Recruiters are open to conversation, eager to provide guidance, share knowledge and experience. You can also learn something from other people’s mistakes. Occasionally I will hear from someone younger in seniority, and then I also help. For example, if I’ve been doing something wrong and I see that this person is duplicating my mistakes, I directly say, “Don’t do it this way, because it doesn’t work. Instead, try doing this way or that way.” We help each other with various recruitments. We suggest methods of action, talk about tools. It makes you feel so taken care of and that you are not alone with the project. It’s all a hugely valuable thing to be able to benefit from the Community’s knowledge, and it’s actually free.
To whom would you recommend working as an RPO recruiter?
To someone who values flexibility at work. What’s cool about Talent Place is that no one dictates any mode you have to work in, you build your own model to suit your needs and preferences. It is something amazing to me that you can work so 100% the way you want. Very cool feeling. If one appreciates it as I do, one will find oneself in the role of an RPO recruiter. And if it is important for someone to have security and a sense of belonging to a team, to feel that you are not alone, that you can always ask someone for help, for advice. Working with Talent Place is for people who appreciate different work models than a typical 8 am to 4 pm office environment. Or for those who like to travel, because here it can be easily combined -. No matter where you are, you can work on projects and explore new places after work. And in the RPO model as much as possible you can do that, because, like freelancers, we work 100% remotely. From myself, I can add that I am very comfortable working here. I’ve never felt so comfortable anywhere else, I recommend everyone to give it a try, even just to see if it’s the job for them.