“Finding the best talent is definitely not a gut feeling”
Christina is the Lead Talent Acquisition Manager at Stryber and joined the company in October 2018. Together with the talent team, she managed the growth from about 20 to over 100 people joining Stryber within the last 2 years. Here she gives some insights in the daily life of a Talent Acquisition Manager.
What is your role at Stryber?
Finding the best talent for the company and making sure that we build a diverse team that believes in our company values and culture. The talent team also makes sure that our Newborgs – that’s what we call our new colleagues – have a smooth onboarding and we accompany them through their Stryber journey. Our role is to find and hire the best talent but also make sure that they are integrated into the Stryber Family.
What are you passionate about in your current role?
Connecting people with the perfect role and organization using a data-driven approach. Understanding the candidate’s values, background, potentials, and where they want to be and then bringing that together with the right role is very fulfilling. Then, seeing them grow in the company keeps me motivated. It is not about the quantity but the quality of hires that actually gives me a feeling of success. Of course it is not only the role that I am very passionate about: with Stryber I found a company that believes in my potential and constantly enables me to create impact in my role and develop my unique skills.
What makes a good Talent Manager?
Finding the best talent is definitely not a gut feeling.
For me, being empathic and at the same time understanding and using the data driven approach in recruiting makes a good talent acquisition manager. As a talent acquisition manager, you act as an ambassador of the company, so it is important to perfectly understand the company’s USPs, what makes the company stand out among the competitors, the company’s culture and it’s vision, and who the people are and what their motivations are. Talent acquisition is definitely teamwork, therefore it is important to pull the strings together as one team.
What is your biggest Challenge?
Stryber is still a startup, but it is also a fast growing company.
The market for the roles we are hiring is very competitive, which makes hiring a huge challenge as we are competing with big names in the industry and we definitely do not want to compromise on talent. We have to be creative and flexible with our approach and open to try new things. It is an everyday challenge, but also a chance to learn and try new things. I have been with Stryber for two years now and every day is challenging but also very exciting. We don’t get satisfied with the status quo, but instead we always challenge ourselves on how to improve and get better and this expectation drives me to always go that extra mile.
Our amazing talent team having a virtual coffee
Which project you/the team have worked on was the biggest success for you and why?
Our extraordinary Team! Building the talent acquisition process and structures from scratch has been my biggest success. With this foundation, we were able to grow our team from 20 to 90 within 18 months with two talent acquisition managers.
Throughout this journey I have learned a lot and have been able to try things out and implement them. With the “best argument counts” mentality it makes it even easier and more fun. Giving a unique and great candidate experience is also our priority and we continuously work on how to improve the candidate journey by collecting qualitative feedback from our candidates. You can see the results for yourself on Kununu and Glassdoor 😉
Has the current situation had any impact on the hiring process?
The current situation has not much impact in our process, except the last step which is our in-person interview day. Our interviews were already virtual before the pandemic, so this is pretty much how we have operated before. Of course, it is not ideal to hire someone that we haven’t met in person, but on the other hand we also have to be flexible to continue our hiring process.
For you as a talent expert: is there any difference in a fully remote hiring process?
Having virtual interviews definitely increases the speed in the hiring process, but I do believe that it is important to have at least one personal touchpoint in the recruiting process, not only to have a better impression of the candidate, but also for the candidate to get a better sense of the environment and the team.
What is your secret recipe for the mix of startup speed and professionalism/quality?
I believe finding a good balance on getting things done while at the same time not compromising on quality is a good mix. Understanding the priorities, defining KPI’s, and focusing on solutions helps me to get things done and achieve results.
Where do you educate yourself to stay up to date in your field?
I start my day with reading on what’s going on online. LinkedIn is essential for hiring, but there are some other mediums and blogs as well. Currently Clubhouse is the most discussed platform; let’s see where that goes. A regular exchange with experts working in the same environment with best practices is also a good way to keep oneself updated on trends. Of course, there are some classics that are “must read” for talent acquisition like Work Rules by Laszlo Bock.
What’s your best advice for someone who’s looking for a job like yours?
Foremost, it is important to know what you want and where you want to be in the future. It sounds simple, but it is more than only knowing the industry, role or work structures. Be aware of what keeps you excited and motivated, know the values that you believe in and then find that ideal company.