By Maria Pashchyna
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Interview with FreySoft HR expert

In our interview we asked our HR manager to talk about

  • the first job in IT – tips for the candidate to find his future employer and be satisfied with the offer;
  • qualifications – what requirements most IT companies have in the recruitment process; from where to start the job searching if you have no previous experience in the niche;
  • the hiring process in FreySoft – what are the steps of the recruiting candidate for the team; why the process is minimized;
  • motivation within the team members – how to motivate and engage the employees.

About the responder

Tell us a little about your experience working in the HR field.

My experience in the HR field is over 12 years. I’ve been working as an IT recruiter, HR manager, happiness manager for companies of different scales and directions. To clarify, the number of the organization’s team members could vary from 25 to 600 people. 

What kinds of tasks were you responsible for in past roles?

The responsibilities were mainly about organizational development, recruitment, performance management, and motivation & retention of the employees. 

To be more specific, for example, when I worked as an HR manager in one company, I needed to clearly understand the level of involvement and satisfaction of both the entire team and individual employees. And after, to offer the solutions if needed. 

Let’s say, on a project, developers had spent much time on trivial documentation rather than on the work itself – on writing code. In addition, some of them could have a low level of English, which significantly complicated the communication with customers. As a solution of happiness manager was to involve business analyst, project manager to the particular teamwork to maintain communication and clarify requirements. That positively influenced the next stages of the work. Meanwhile, we also arranged English-speaking clubs for a narrow circle of the company. It has significantly improved the team members’ level of the language.

And, of course, if talking about the classic duties of the HR manager, that is, you are the one who meets the new member of the team on the first working day. I was responsible for making a pleasant environment for the newbie employee as well as connecting him with others on the first days. How to successfully pass the probationary period, how to take a vacation, what is the plan for the employee’s development, internal processes, etc. – all these have been part of my responsibilities.

About getting the job in IT 

From where does a novice developer need to start looking for an IT job today?

First, I recommend determining where you are now and assessing yourself on 3 points. That is English, skills, and commercial experience.

Start searching the job’s up-to-date resources and social media, so you get the general situation on the market. You can turn freelance. Or look through courses from IT companies (a lot of ones after passing their courses offer the first job). Share your tests on GitHub. 

All in all, it is not so important for novices from where to take the personal first-hand business. The major point is to move in that direction, to search for opportunities that companies offer, and to use them right. 

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The most difficult thing is to overcome the threshold of entering IT, and then within the company and the team, each day brings new knowledge and opportunities to get the necessary information. Try, make mistakes and move on. 

You mentioned the up-to-date resources for finding the information about open vacancies / the company’s data. What are the most relevant ones?

My top resources include DOU, LinkedIn, Djinni, and telegram channels. It makes sense to also register on the freelancer site Upwork, for example. 

Besides, now at FreySoft, we have a good number of open vacancies. You also can find your relevant one.

Often, while looking through the requirements that most IT companies have for the potential candidates, you can lose yourself in that huge list of demands 😉 How can an IT developer understand that he suits the offer, even though he may not have all the mentioned qualities of the open vacancy?

Usually, the main technologies are indicated in the first place, mostly it’s 2-3 of them. The rest are mentioned as a plus. 

Today, the priority is also the relevant level of English, starting from the intermediate level and above. Especially it is essential if in the description of a vacancy there is direct communication with the customer.

If your experience meets the requirements by about 70%, then you should respond and write a cover letter for the position.

To continue, it frequently happens when the candidate has no professional education or previous experience in the IT area. However, he or she would like to develop oneself as an IT specialist. In this case, what would you recommend? 

In fact, many developers are self-taught. I would say the background in the form of work experience or education is not so much sufficient as the ability of the IT specialist to solve problems, find the required information, and learn in the process. Thus, when talking about engineering jobs, one should remember not only to learn hard skills but train the soft ones. Communication, performing tasks, and possibly negotiating are the basics.

In the context of technical expertise, here I would recommend finding the most optimal way to learn for yourself. Someone watches the informative videos, someone has experienced friends in the field and can learn from them. Another open Google and do the first thing that seems reasonable.

There are a lot of ways to get started. Even if it didn’t work out for you now, the number of incorrect options would decrease, and you make the experience. 

What is a top priority for the IT company in the candidate’s requirements – the developer’s expertise/practice or his system of values? Based on your HR experience, what do you think? 

It depends on the corporate culture and company values. Most companies conclude that it is easier to upgrade a sophisticated employee if he does not have enough knowledge than to change his views and value settings. That is to say, soft skills come first. 

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On the contrary, the candidate can find information about the corporate lifestyle, culture, values of the specific company on its website, social media, etc. It is better to initially understand the company’s values so that ​​do not contradict yours. 

A simple example, if you are comfortable that all the processes are spelled out, the tasks are clearly set, and BA and PB clarify all the requirements with the customer, then it will be a suitable position for you. However, if the candidate wants to directly interact with the client, take part in discussions of the solution, and so on, then he needs to search for a more flexible and engaging job. There is no good or bad approach, there is a candidate and company mismatch. 

Can you suggest your tips for the candidates who are looking for a job in the IT niche?

  • If you have neither experience nor education, I advise you to read articles on IT specialties. And see the starting positions on the market. 
  • Free courses are also a great option. Most of them are of basic competence. But this is enough to understand whether or not it is interesting for you to follow the direction. 
  • Pass the tests. As an independent method I do not recommend it, but in combination with the course, it helps. 
  • Take a closer look at yourself. Which task you can do for a long time and not get too tired and keep interested. 
  • Do research, study the market, see who you are more interested in communicating with. View the profiles of candidates and their stories. Someone will definitely captivate in the process – the IT guys, who are fond of their work, can greatly inspire you.

About FreySoft 

Share with us some details about recruiting a programmer for FreySoft. If the candidate would like to become a member of the team, what does he need to expect during the hiring process?

We have a very comfortable and simple recruitment process. According to the candidates’ reviews, this is one of our advantages on the market. We receive feedback on the process like “Everything is clear and to the point”, “It’s nice that you get feedback easily and in a timely manner” etc.

Since we are not a bureaucratic team, you do not have to go through an infinite number of stages. The maximum you pass is two interviews and you get either feedback or an offer.

Usually the first is an HR interview, where you get general information on the project, working conditions in the company. Duration is on average 30-40 minutes, sometimes less if almost all the questions have already been explained before.

And the second stage is a technical examination. Here you can find out more about the stack and get acquainted with the lead or the team in which to work later.

If someone from the managers or the team wants to join and clarify a few questions or even just get to know each other, they will just go to the rally.

That is, in about 2 hours you will have maximum information about us and you can go through all the stages in one day. Sometimes the candidate can receive an offer on the same day. Great isn’t it?

We also have a referral program and members of our team can recommend you.

How do you as an HR manager motivate and keep FreySoft employees engaged?

First, we strive to hire motivated guys who love their job and will feel comfortable working in our atmosphere, seeing the result of their work; those who like offering solutions to improve the product, feeling trust and comfortable taking responsibility. Thanks to this, further communication is favorable and, accordingly, the overall atmosphere is pleasant and people are open to further development and positive experiences. 

We have a flat structure. The guys of our team value freedom, the opportunity to see their contribution, and to influence the processes.

My prime HR task is manageable and very motivating: to pick up ideas, help to implement and maintain comfortable working conditions and inspire by the atmosphere created together.

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In the context of benefits, the candidate also can choose optionally. I mean what will be provided to you after the probationary period, payment for tuition, certification, insurance, sports compensation, English lessons, etc. And of course vacation, sick leave, bookkeeping. We are open to our team members and strive to give the best conditions the company can afford. 

In addition, there are planned one-on-one talks for providing feedback, performance review twice a year, where you can get comments on your work. We set tasks for improvement, discuss raising the grade and salary, the tasks on the project, prospects, etc.

Also, if you see that something goes wrong or there are questions and/or ideas, you can initiate one-on-one both formally and over coffee or by phone.

Not to mention, we have quite effective team buildings and corporate events. That really keeps us moving together and on the one way forward.

Your final statement.

I wish you to find yourself in IT and the company that matches your values as well as gives you the best possibility to grow.