Proekspert is looking for a recruiter with the right instinct for talent

Known for its bossless culture, Proekspert is now looking for a new recruiter. We talked to Proekspert’s Chief Culture and HR Officer Tiina Sakkos and Technical Recruiter Roberto Orru.

People working at Proekspert

Established with Estonian capital 27 years ago, Proekspert is a global business helping companies create and deliver products and services in the digital age. Proekspert helps companies understand why, how, and what should be built to make their efforts and investments produce value. It offers its clients a complete product development cycle, from idea to completed- and maintained product. 

Proekspert’s primary services – the development of digital products and services, business data analytics, automation – have developed based on market challenges and client needs.

Proekspert helps companies discover and develop digital business solutions. Could you tell us a recent client story to give readers a better idea of what you do?

There are megatrends in the world that guide and influence people’s lives and business successes. The digital revolution is fundamentally changing the practices and principles of how we live our lives. Our habits and expectations regarding companies’ services and products are changing. 

One of our clients – a European company with a long history of manufacturing a range of air conditioning and heating equipment – was confronted with changing customer expectations for these products. For example, it is becoming increasingly self-evident that the heating system can be switched on, or the home’s internal temperature can be adjusted, remotely via your smart device. Proekspert is a strategic partner for clients, helping bring their existing products into the modern world – connecting devices to the cloud, which creates opportunities for new services and applications for both the end-user and maintenance technicians. 

You are looking for a recruiter today, which shows that you plan to grow in the near future. What are your current goals?

Proekspert aims to increase our organization’s capabilities to create modern digital products and services that have a significant positive impact on a large number of people. The coronavirus crisis that began last year highlighted the need to be flexible with your business, to adapt to the times, and, if necessary, to do business digitally. We could even say that the pandemic has changed the purpose of digitalization. Formerly that purpose might have been growth, and perhaps ambivalent innovation goals, digital business developments are now aimed at increasing a company’s resilience in the face of the unexpected. Our goal is to keep these businesses up to date for the next decade, not just the current year. And for that, we need new professionals on our team.

How do you find new employees? What are your recruitment channels?

We use a lot of sourcing, meaning that we spot passive candidates in the labor market through various social networks – as usual nowadays. The best known of these are LinkedIn and Github, and we also use Google X-Ray search technology. One of our recruiters’ essential tasks is to find and contact people who could fill our vacancies with as good a fit as possible. Of course, we will continue to post vacancy notices on our website and on Glassdoor, but sourcing is the primary method. Considering today’s teleworking environment and the company’s growth aspirations, potential new employees can be located both in Estonia and abroad. 

What skills are needed for all this?

We are always looking for specific competencies and skills in our new employees that they’ll need in their new roles. In addition to an excellent instinct for talent, modern recruitment definitely requires mastery of role-specific skills. How to source? How to communicate? What to say to a new potential employee? From what angle and how to introduce the company? How to make recruitment as smooth as possible for the new person? How to make recruitment as fast and smooth as possible for the team? Of course, it’s crucial to tell the truth and not exaggerate. 

General knowledge of IT and software development will be useful. We don’t expect the recruiter to be an engineer, but they should have the necessary product development knowledge. We also hope for a willingness to recruit people for roles that may be in the development stage. We follow the principle that you can learn what you don’t know. We guarantee that you can continue to learn about recruitment.

The recruiter must also have a wealth of options for communicating and interacting with employees in various fields. You have to know a variety of techniques and nuances when you speak to an IT person, an accountant, or a marketing person.

It’s also vital to understand how the company operates and what is essential for business. There is a lot of work to be done, which always requires prioritizing tasks. And a recruiter can only set the right priorities if they understand what is happening in our business and organization and why.

What kind of people do you expect at Proekspert in terms of their personal qualities? 

A potential employee’s personal qualities matter a lot to us – their values and beliefs and how they fit into our culture. In a bossless culture, maturity and independence are undoubtedly important. The person should want to grow professionally and as a person and understand the principles and values of teamwork. Without all this, it can be challenging to work and collaborate with others.

Your work culture is bossless. What is teamwork like when there are no managers or bosses at all?

Instead of the usual hierarchy with departments and different management levels, we have teams. However, having no bosses in the traditional sense doesn’t mean that we have no leaders. Each unit has a leader, and you can be a leader in one project or team and a fully contributing team member in another. 

Most people working in our company are in teams working for a client, and they communicate directly with the client without any intermediaries. The client is involved in planning, the team interacts with the client during development, and the team hands over the final result to the client. All this means that the team has a huge responsibility.

While in a typical company, an employee can turn to their boss or department head if they have problems, we, instead, offer a variety of support functions. To find a new employee, the team can contact the recruiters directly. For example, suppose there is a problem with the functioning of processes, work organization, or the human climate within a team. In that case, you can turn to an AP (agile people) coach, who will help organize the communication, responsibilities, and processes within the team. Of course, we also have teams responsible for accounting, marketing, client communication and sales, and leading the company. These teams are at the service of the teams working for clients and the organization.

A bossless culture is based on the principle of balance between freedom and responsibility. If you want freedom from bosses, you have to take responsibility. Often, additional responsibility means taking the initiative in situations that require changes and solutions, which you would otherwise hand over to the boss to resolve. When the balance starts to shift, we will immediately understand it because things just don’t run smoothly anymore.

Why should a great recruiter join Proekspert?

Tiina Sakkos

The recruiter’s role is highly strategic for Proekspert, since they are the gateway for the new people that join us. The recruiter is like a gatekeeper who has to find the people they can happily let through the gate. As mentioned before, a recruiter’s job has an immense responsibility in terms of the role-specific skills and the nuance of cultural suitability. If you welcome this type of commitment and work, Proekspert is definitely the right place for you.

Roberto Orru

As a recruiter, I would say that the HR team has a great atmosphere, the people are friendly and helpful. Not just from the recruiter’s position, I can say that we have some top-notch specialists at Proekspert. Be it software development or whatever else, professionals with different levels of experience can always learn from each other in our company, because our culture is very conducive to learning and teaching.

Interested in joining Proekspert? Check out our current vacancies here.

* This interview was first published in Estonian in the publication Geenius.

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