Interview with Karla (34), senior recruiter in the Human Resources shared service unit
After her degree program in business administration, Karla started her recruiting career at a human resources consulting firm. Several years after having supported various clients in their recruitment efforts, she wanted to change her focus: With her change to EQOS, she is now assisting only one company, but she is fully in charge of recruitment. Thanks to her comprehensive experience and professionalism, she now helps the specialist departments in finding suitable new colleagues for their teams.
Karla, you are the first specialised recruiter hired by EQOS. Do you think that was a good step forward for the company? And what added value do you provide for the specialist departments?
Professional recruitment has many benefits for both companies and applicants. Our quality is a reflection of the quality of our employees. The fact is that we do not only compete for the best expert talent in our market segment, but for many positions we are also in competition with regionally based companies from other sectors. You can only prevail with a strategic approach, i. e. with professional recruitment and a person whose main responsibility it is to take care of that. In my job, I cover the wide variety of functions involved in a structured hiring process. I relieve the specialist departments by completely handling the recruitment process. My support saves them both time and resources. Of course, I also serve in an advisory capacity, which ranges from the correct approach during the search and an attractive description of the position to how the interviews should be conducted. Furthermore, I keep an eye on all legally relevant issues and the corresponding compliance, such as the GDPR and the German Anti-Discrimination Act. I bundle this knowledge and ensure that applicants always receive the same quality of service, feedback and interest on our part. It is my goal to make the candidate experience, i. e. the way a candidate experiences the company during the application process, a positive one. This also includes an intensive personal contact with the applicants. Even if someone is not a good fit for us and receives a letter or rejection, he or she should nonetheless retain a positive impression of EQOS.
Is there something like a daily routine in a job that is as diverse as yours?
Of course, there are tasks that are repetitive. For example, the received applications must be checked every day and the current searches must be maintained. And then there are the job interviews that must be coordinated and conducted. In addition, there are meetings with the new colleagues after two weeks and after a year on the job. Despite those things, there is no constant daily routine and the work is never done at the end of the day, because recruitment is a continuous process. Moreover, I handle every open position individually, from fitter to head of a profit center. There is no standard procedure. There are also new issues such as onboarding and introductory job training or the question of how we can attract attention without having to run job ads. How can we manage to look interesting for the recruitment market and ensure that people associate positive aspects with our company? All of this comes down to a single thought: What makes EQOS future-proof in this area?
I bet you have to continuously demonstrate your soft skills. Is there something that particularly helps you in this aspect?
You have to be able to talk in every situation (she laughs). Being tongue-tied is a total no-go, whether you are in interviews or at a trade fair booth. It is my responsibility to keep the conversation going, to move it forward and to be convincing. What is equally important: I am highly structured and organised. I dance at up to 40 different weddings and must therefore be able to retain an overview of many things simultaneously. Without this ability, I would likely be unable to work in this job.
Long-term success is much more than just filling a position.
What makes recruitment such an exciting field for you?
I have always enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles and I view successful recruitment the same way. The following question always takes center stage: How can we manage to fill the vacant position with the right employee and do it in such a manner that not only is he or she the right fit for us but that we are also the right fit for him or her? And what can I and the company do to further improve this matching process? I don’t just look at an applicant’s CV but also ask if the person and his or her expectations are a good fit for us. Long-term success is much more than just filling a position. From my point of view, we can only speak of success if both we and the candidate can still say after a year that the position has been filled correctly. And in addition to that, there are those unforeseen things. In recruitment, you do work with people and therefore a great variety of personalities. Even if we have given our best and are certain that we were convincing, a candidate may still decide against us for many different reasons. And this frequently happens for reasons that we cannot influence. Yet on the same day, a candidate who you thought you would be unable to convince suddenly says yes. Within minutes, you can go from the lowest low to the highest high.
Finally, can to tell us about a moment you remember particularly fondly?
Generally, what is really nice about my job is that I am allowed to experience the success stories of colleagues who I have either accompanied all the way or of whom I at least never quite lost track. For example, there is one former applicant who was uncertain for a long time about whether the responsibilities and the company would be a good fit for him. From our point of view, it had long been clear that this man would be successful and that he was exactly the person we were looking for. With a little bit of convincing, he finally joined us and has developed comprehensively over time. He now runs his own department. It is great when both sides, the specialist department and the hired individual, provide me with feedback after some time that everything works well for them. Or when the “newbies” give me rave reviews about their supervisor, their own work and the company during the annual performance review.