We asked questions about work and life to a person whose profession is to ask and evaluate others. Let us introduce Sofia Oleksiuk, Recruiter of the Fund - a girl who knows what she wants and is moving confidently towards her goal.

Why did you choose this career?

Even in my school years, my leadership skills were clearly visible. I was a class starter for six consecutive years and captain of the volleyball team for three. While never being an excellent student, I had great communication skills and could express my thoughts well. By taking part in contests, competitions and various events, I always made new acquaintances easily.

But there was a "but": I didn't really have a clear idea of what profession these qualities could be sufficient for. However, one day my older brother, who was studying computer science and participated in various IT conferences, told me about the profession of a recruiter. Starting to search for information about this profession, I was pleasantly surprised by how much the tasks and responsibilities were similar to what I wanted to do.

I was so confident that I could apply to study a profession that I liked, that I only applied to two departments at just two universities. So, in 2019, I enrolled in the first year of KNEU, majoring in Personnel Management.

How did your career path develop?

I think it started in my first year of study when I worked as a part-time nanny for a married couple of IT professionals. Every time playing with their child, I could hear the morning meetings taking place in the background. It really encouraged me and I assured myself that soon I would be just like them.

I couldn't wait five whole years to graduate as I knew I wanted to gain experience and practical knowledge as quickly as possible.

During my first two courses, I volunteered many times at various business conferences such as BigMoney Forum, Blockchain Hackathon, Business Constructor, Psy Forum, and Robotica. Being inspired by examples of successful people and gaining new knowledge, I gradually began to understand the structure of companies and business needs.

I bought an online course "IT Recruiting Basics", and later attended a three-day school for young people from KyivCampus, with speakers who were American specialists with great work experience in companies like Procter & Gamble. They shared tips on how to make a CV and how to pass an interview for students who have no work experience. Due to their advice, I got a huge boost in my self-esteem and I realized that I could be of great help to a future employer.

So, I started looking for a job and after a few interviews, I got an offer as Talent Sourcer from a Ukrainian out-staff company. Thanks to that job, I've gained invaluable experience and skills in IT sourcing as I had to look for developers almost all over the world - I managed to work with 20+ different positions and stacks.

Although it was an exciting experience, it was still my dream to work as a recruiter rather than Talent Sourcer. I was seriously demotivated by the routine of searching for candidates and corresponding with them instead of talking to them live, so I decided to change the company and my profession.

How would you describe the Fund using just three words?

Integrity, openness and opportunities.

What is your role at the Fund?

I am responsible for the whole recruitment cycle: from the job application to the offer and the person's entry into the company.

What do you enjoy most about your job and specifically about the Fund?

I enjoy interacting with talented people and I love the Fund because of the people who work there.

I decided to look for this job during a very difficult and unstable time: the session, the war. However, it was not a problem as I really wanted to grow and develop.

I talked to representatives of many companies applying for different positions. However, after meeting the Fund, I knew right away that I wanted to join this team and this company.

And it was exactly the perfect match for what I was looking for: interesting projects, and a start-up atmosphere with the opportunity to grow and develop rapidly. Most importantly, I was pleasantly impressed by the team leader, who is always willing to teach and support.

What goals do you set for yourself in your work? What inspires you?

My goal is not just to fill a vacancy, but to make the right hire as possible. I am inspired by the happy faces of the managers who are grateful for having new talent.

Why do you believe in Ukrainian start-ups?

Because everything that is born in Ukraine has mad strength and a steely character.

What are the challenges of your job and how do you deal with them?

Every new job opening is a challenge as I need to know exactly what I am talking about and be able to answer questions posed by candidates clearly.

To feel more confident during phone calls, I try to get as much information as possible from hiring managers and ask for specific details straight away while handling the vacancy.

What do you do to keep yourself focused on your work assignments?

To focus, I need complete silence around me, music on my headphones and scented candles.

What advice would you give to those who want to get into the IT recruiting profession?

I have some advice for candidates:

  • Learn English and improve your level to Upper Intermediate+.
  • Expand your circle of acquaintances in the IT industry.
  • Attend as many useful seminars and training sessions as possible.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile and keep track of other IT recruiters.
  • Set a clear goal, giving yourself answers to why you want to work in this field and what you want to achieve in the next 5 years.

As a professional, what advice would you give to a start-up founder?

Never skimp on hiring talent. Take people with more powerful skills than yours into your team, because they are the ones who will develop your business.

Are there any films or books that have influenced your personality?

The one who has influenced me the most is my brother. He never stopped believing in me and supported me every step of the way. I could not have been so strong and confident without my brother.

I get the impression that you have a life credo. What is it?

Going from where you feel bad - and being strong enough to do it - is the only way to do well for yourself.

Do you have a personal recipe for joy? What are your hobbies?

To improve my mood, I start every morning by listening to Ukrainian folk music. Here are the top 3 songs for me: "Oh, Marichko, chicheri", "Oh na gori dva dubky" and "Tsey son" performed by Stepan Giga. Besides, I really like walking in the fresh air during which I take a lot of photos. Also, I like yoga and fitness because these things give me strength and energy.

What is your biggest dream?

I want Ukraine to become the number one country in the world in terms of living standards, security and career opportunities.

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