Features of personnel selection in digital marketing and e-commerce – iHuman

The founder of the iHuman recruiting agency Alina Bystrova spoke about the work of the recruitment agency, the search for specialists in digital marketing and e-commerce niches in the US and European markets, and the difference between Ukrainian and foreign candidates.

Features of personnel selection in digital marketing and e-commerce – iHuman

Valentyn Ihnatiev

15.12.2022 | 03:00

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How long has iHuman been in the recruiting market?

I have been working with staff for 12 years. The recruiting agency was formed in May 2020 and was called GetTalent back then. After that, we went through a series of transformations, shared the business with a partner, and the iHuman agency appeared on September 3, 2021.

In which countries does iHuman search and select personnel?

On February 24, we terminated all connections with the aggressor country. Currently, we are working with Ukraine, Lithuania, Israel, Poland, Italy, Georgia, and the USA (Florida, New York, and Los Angeles).

The priority is on the employment of Ukrainian specialists.

What niches do you most often work in? For companies of which specialization do you prefer to choose specialists?

Our main niche is digital marketing, which covers all specialists: from targetologists to CMOs. We also work with e-commerce projects related to Amazon - we are as efficient as possible here, and we have experience in hiring all roles and building teams. Additionally, we hire all top and middle managers for any business.

The main criterion for us is the “ecology” of the company. We do not work with gray niches and treat employers very responsibly.

Besides, we do not engage in mass recruitment. It means that if an employer needs a sales department, we will be happy to find a good recruiter for this task, who will hire salespeople according to the template. But the technology which we work with allows us to qualitatively find any role. Therefore, we are happy to share and can teach personnel within a company how to look for such massive positions.

What difficulties do you face when looking for specialists in foreign markets in technology areas?

Most often, this is the customers’ desire to combine the incompatible in one role: a creative analyst, for example. Or a role in which a person must be both an SMM, a targetologist, and a web programmer, as well as to be an excellent project manager. This is a common mistake among startups, and sometimes big businesses that cut budgets. They desire to find universal "soldiers'' who will do everything. But you need to understand that this approach leads to poor-quality or superficial performance of work, the wrong result.

Another common problem is the lack of organizational structure in the enterprise. They are looking for a person to "close holes" in processes, but the process itself is not described. In other words, neither the management nor the employees have an understanding of how everything should work in the company as a whole. Unfortunately, even the most ingenious universal worker will not help here.

The biggest problem in the employment of Ukrainian specialists is English. People, learn English! We are now supported by the whole world, and employers are happy to hire Ukrainians, but the language becomes a barrier in most cases.

What positions in foreign markets are the most difficult to find candidates with experience and competencies? What specialists are missing?

The most frequent request is for people who think comprehensively, take responsibility for themselves, think about the result, and are ready to root for the employer's business as if they were their own. So, the emphasis is still not on hard skills. You can learn everything, this is my belief, but it is impossible to teach a person to be responsible, honest, and adequate.

What is the difference between the process of working with foreign candidates and candidates for certain positions from Ukraine?

Ukrainians are cheaper (in a good way), more responsible, more qualified, and more universal - that is why we employ Ukrainians in 95% of cases.

Foreign candidates are less ambitious, it is more difficult for them to adapt to new conditions, considering cultural and sociological factors. Of course, this is how the situation is in general, there are exceptions everywhere.

What is the first thing you pay attention to when considering a candidate's resume? What information in the resume may raise doubts about the advisability of further communication with the candidate?

The list is:

  • a follow-up letter;
  • photo quality, cleanliness, accuracy, and consistency in filling out a resume;
  • then we check all the specified companies: whether the links work, whether the companies exist;
  • facts and specific achievements, preferably in numbers;
  • cases;
  • social networks.

Doubts arise when experience does not match the job description. That is, a person responded without even reading the request in the vacancy - and we describe the requirements and values in detail.

Doubts are caused by a lot of “water” in a resume and processes without results. For example: “I organized a team” (what? why? how many people were involved? what was the result?) or “my metrics increased” (how much? what was done for this? where?). When there are few specifics, but a lot of superfluous. Also, descriptions on many pages are most often an indicator that there is no essence in the CV.

In many cases, the stopping factor is how a person presents themselves on social media.

What behavior of a candidate in an interview can turn off a recruiter, even if a candidate has relevant experience for the position?

I will describe it from largest to smallest:

  1. no preparation;
  2. neglectful behavior;
  3. impoliteness;
  4. technical problems;
  5. a person does not know what position they are interviewing for;
  6. being late;
  7. constant rescheduling of the meeting;
  8. untidy/inappropriate clothing.

In what cases can candidates’ soft skills prevail over hard skills and be decisive?

If this is a position that implies the management of any team (of two people, or 100), then it is always primarily about soft skills.

Do you have any advice for candidates who are in the process of looking for a new job and are interviewing with recruiters?

Get ready. I advise you to watch the recording of this event to prepare yourself. Probably everything about a successful search was told here.

You need to know your strengths and weaknesses, not be afraid to be persistent, clearly articulate what you want to get from a job, and not settle for less. I will answer with my favorite phrase: "Work should not be a feat."

In addition, we sincerely believe at iHuman that work is a place for realizing and revealing a person’s potential. A place where you can (and should) enjoy what you do - hundreds of candidates and dozens of companies we employ confirm this.

The greatest value is people.

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