Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Anna Shchetinina: “It is important for us that new employees feel their significance from the very beginning”

Dear partners!

Selecting personnel for a company is an important process which can last over a week or even a month. Indeed, when searching for new employees, it is important to assess the professionalism and personal qualities of candidates as well as their ability to work on a team. Human Resources Manager Anna Shchetinina talks to us about how specialists are found at Kiosk IT System Trading LLC. 

Interviewer: Anna, tell us about what you do?

Anna: I’ve been involved in the selection and evaluation of personnel for a year and a half now. I like the work, as it allows me to meet and get to know new people. Our company is expanding rapidly and new branches are being opened, so it is of importance to us to systematize work with staff. In the UAE nearly everyone is an expat, so there is quite a lot of work with newbies. Coming to a new country is a trial. Everything here is different – the level and rhythm of life, the laws and language, culture and traditions. This is why my task is to make the adaption process for new employees as comfortable as possible. 

I.: Pease describe the personnel selection process at Kiosk IT System Trading LLC?

А.: In the company there are two sources for personnel recruitment – internal and external. In the first case, we share information about vacancies on our official site. In the other one, our company searches for employees using specialized job search resources and forums. We choose candidates with the relevant set of professional skills and invite them for an interview. The future company employee goes through several interview stages. This practice helps him form an impression about the company not from the words of HR alone but also from those of the future supervisor. The initial interview is conducted by the HR manager. The division head subsequently determines how well the candidate’s professional and personal characteristics fit the position. In addition, we give each candidate a task which helps us evaluate his level of knowledge and typical thought processes. We are interested in long-term cooperation and make decisions very deliberately since the new person will be part of our team. 

I.: Anna, what is guaranteed to interest you on a resume? 

А.: First of all, meeting the job requirements, having work experience and the desire to work hard. Second, the candidate’s personal qualities: responsibility, attention to detail, the ability to handle stress, knowing how to analyze one’s own work, foreign language proficiency and the like. After analysis of all points, we invite the candidate for an initial interview. We form our opinion about the person directly in the meeting. 

I.: What do you pay most attention to during an interview?

А.: We direct our focus on the details of the specific position, for example, if we are looking for an employee for the sales department, then we expect the person to “sell himself”. Applicants for this position must be able to communicate easily and naturally with their interlocutors, know how to win people over, and be friendly and flexible. It is a different matter if we’re searching for a specialist for the finance department. Here the main qualities are seriousness and focus, attentiveness and a high level of responsibility. Sometimes applicants are only interested in bonuses, corporate bonuses, prizes, sick leave and holidays. But it also happens that at the first stage of interviewing, a person proposes interesting ideas as well as paths to their realization and expected results. 

I.: Anna, is there anything particular you look for when you are hiring for certain positions in a multi-national company? 

А.: It has turned out that specific nationalities are employed in several company divisions. For example, experience has shown that Filipinos perform very well in the finance department. It is pleasant to work with them. They are accurate, don’t make mistakes, follow the established rules and procedures, and finish assignments on time. Colleagues from Pakistan, India and Nepal constitute the technical division. Our technicians quickly adapt to the new environment and work harmoniously with each other. The sales division is the most varied in terms of nationality. Here there are employees from India, Pakistan, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. But all of them are equally result-oriented and can easily find a common language with clients. 

I.: And how do you like working in such an international company? 

А.: Today we have working for us specialists from 9 countries. Such a diversity of cultures really helps personal development. I like this kind of cooperation very much since communication with people of other nationalities makes it possible to gain interesting social experience, learn about other traditions and cultures, and make new friends and acquaintances. 

I.: After the company has brought a new employee on board, do you continue the introductory process? 

А.: Of course, we have a whole procedure in place for the adaptation of new hires. We take this process very seriously since the career of employees in the company and the outcome of their future work depends on it. During the first few days, we introduce new hires to their colleagues, induct them and explain the rules and procedures. After the trial period, management makes a decision regarding future employment based on their performance. Division heads always prompt staff on what to look for. For us it is important that people feel their significance from the very beginning. 

I.: Robert Baden, president of the company Rochester Software Associates asks all candidates an interesting question: “Imagine that we are standing in front of a skyscraper. I give you a barometer and ask you to figure out the height of the building with it. How are you going to do that?” Do you prepare such questions for interviewees? 

А.: They give these kinds of questions to candidates whose positions involve creative work. This helps to make the interview more interesting and assess the applicant’s level of erudition and logical thought processes. Sometimes we ask interviewees similar questions insofar as their reactions can tell us a lot, for example, how fast they can find a way out of a situation, or whether they have flexibility of thought or are dependent on others’ opinions. When conducting an interview, I ask candidates to describe their best friend from a negative perspective. As a rule, candidates enjoy talking about the good, but a question about the negative leaves them confounded. It’s interesting to watch the reaction: what will the candidate chose out of the “bad” qualities of their friend and how eagerly will they speak about it. 

I.: I’m curious. If you were given the question about the barometer in an interview, how would you answer it? 

А.: The funny thing is that that was exactly the question they asked me when I was applying for work here 8 years ago. Not knowing much about physics, I suggested two simple possibilities – lower it down on a string or measure the speed of the barometer’s fall. But, to be honest, I knew the correct answer in advance. 

I.: Anna, do you remember your first job interview? What emotions did you have? 

А.: Honestly, I wasn’t scared at all in my first interview. It was like this: I came to the office, told them about myself, answered all the questions, and they offered me a job. But the first interview for the position of HR manager made me nervous. 

I.: Why? 

А.: It wasn’t clear with whom I was supposed to talk. When it was time to answer, I was thinking about what else to ask. As a result, I wasn’t concentrating on the answers and I seemed unprofessional. But that is the experience, at any rate. 

I.: Anna, what qualities do you think a good HR manager must have? What should one know and be able to do? 

А.: First and foremost, a personnel manager is a profession. So one must have mastery of basic knowledge in this sphere. Additionally, so that work will be maximally effective, one has to be friendly, sociable, considerate, ethical, non-confrontational, and capable of interacting with managers and staff. It is important to know the main processes in the company as well as additional information like, for example, what the laws of the country are so your colleagues can rely on you for advice whenever necessary. On my part, I always try to help someone understand the situation and solve any problems. 

I.: Anna, thanks to you we have learned more about all stages of recruitment in our country. Thanks for the pleasant conversation. Good luck in your work! 

NT.Payments (Taunigma FZE & Kiosk IT System Trading LLC)

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