Milena, 35, HR Generalist in the Belgrade office, has many tasks: administration, employee development, training. She puts a special focus on recruiting and employer branding. This effort paid off: In 2017 Zuhlke Engineering Serbia won an award for best recruiting process in the preceding year.
Which award did you win?
The Serbian title is “Oceni put do posla“. The English translation is: Evaluate the journey towards your new job. We made rank No. 1 out of all Serbian companies that were participating.
Who are the members of the jury?
The jury are the candidates that applied to us. Everyone who applied can give feedback. These results go into the ranking system. Therefore the results are true, reliable and meaningful. Not made out of a hypothetical concept. Besides this prize, we also get excellent feedbacks on similar local sites for the employer rankings.
What do the candidates evaluate?
Candidates evaluate the process regarding four contact points between them and the companies. First, the companies approach of scheduling the interviews. Here the communication is assessed. Second, whether the candidate got all the relevant information on the job regarding job description, duties, skill set and knowledge that are required. Third, the efficiency is rated. How fast was the process? How fast did one get feedback? The fourth and last part rates the feedback about the outcome of the interview itself. Whether and how candidates are informed properly of it.
“What candidates appreciate most with us, is our transparency.”
What did you do after you won the prize?
First, we thanked all employees for doing their best in the interview processes and for their enormous support. We also framed the winner’s certificate in our office because we are very proud of it.
Who facilitates the interviews?
We hire mainly software engineers. Therefore we try to involve as many engineers as possible in the process, not only managers. The advantage is that the candidates talk directly to peers and their potential future colleagues. The candidates see with whom they might work in the future.
Do engineers like interviewing?
I would say they do. They welcome it as a nice diversion from coding.
How does the recruiting process look like?
We have three rounds. The first one is a standard phone interview. We ask basic questions regarding education and experience, the motivation and career goals. The second round is a technical interview, face to face in our office. The technical knowledge is tested here. In the third and last round, there are more technical questions and a small case study. In this round, we have at least one person from another Zuhlke location getting to know the candidate and vice versa. This is very important to us, that we have a cultural team fit on group level. We work on so many distributed projects with our international colleagues. Therefore, a cultural group fit is mandatory.
“Candidates talk directly to peers and their potential future colleagues.”
All interviews are conducted in English?
Yes, it is our common company language. Candidates must have a good knowledge of it.
Many contact points of the candidate journey have to be kept in focus. Which is your strongest part?
What candidates appreciate most with us, is our transparency. We give a feedback to all applicants, regardless if they were invited to the interview or not. Even in hectic times and when crazy amounts of applications reach us.
This transparency prolongs through the whole process?
After every interview right on the spot, every candidate gets a thorough and detailed feedback of our findings. For example, where we see their strengths or in which technical field they should improve their knowledge. In addition, they even get advice on their performance in the interview – whether the process is continued or not.
Do candidates appreciate their personal feedback?
Yes, very much. We even see candidates applying again after some time. Some finished meanwhile a training or course, or read some technical book we recommended to them. Or they extended their knowledge in a field, they were not firm experienced in at the time of their interview.
“A cultural group fit is mandatory.”
Zuhlke Serbia was founded just four years ago. Are you popular in the Serbian talent market?
A lot of companies and start-ups are searching for IT graduates and professionals. We put a lot of effort in participating in the IT scene events, such as career fairs and conferences. Now I think we are very well established. All our employees and also candidates are ambassadors for us. We are now known for great engineers, challenging projects, a serious recruiting process, demanding and thorough job interviews.
How many people work at Zuhlke Engineering Serbia today?
We are now 80 employees. In 2018 we want to hire at least 30 more. Mainly software engineers, embedded engineers, some projects managers, and also Quality Assurance and DevOps profiles. It is essential that we move in our new office space this November. We are growing at a fast pace.