How can the Talent Place’s Community help IT recruiters in their transition from full-time to freelancing? We spoke with Emilia Gromulska, IT recruiter and Client Success Manager at Talent Place, about working with Community, choosing a career path and opportunities for freelance recruiters in Talent Place with flexible working hours.
What was your career path before you came to Talent Place?
I graduated with a degree in a field unrelated to recruitment – it was Aviation – while there I had a lot of subjects related to personnel management. That’s why after graduation I looked for jobs not only in aviation but also in HR-related fields. It worked out so that I found a job faster in the latter area – I got an internship at an IT recruitment agency, and I really liked it there. After the internship ended, I continued to work as an IT recruiter, also for the same company, and after a few years of working as a full-time recruiter in a small agency, I thought about freelancing to go more in that direction. Then I started looking around for assignments on the market, and this was also the moment when I first heard about Talent Place. Before I left my full-time job for good, I worked for another company for a short period of time, and then I had already started working with Talent Place, and that’s when I matured to the decision that I wanted to work as a freelancer with flexible working hours. Working remotely was a big motivation for me – at the time, this model wasn’t that popular, and Talent Place offered it. At the time, it was difficult to find a company that would make this possible. I only encountered a home office option for up to 2 days a week. I was looking for jobs with flexibility to work from home. In addition, I wanted to switch from full-time to freelancing.
What concerns did you have about joining the recruiting community?
Rather, I can say that I joined the Community because of my fears about freelancing – because the very prospect of joining the Community calmed me down. Maybe it will be easier, maybe there will be more recruiters and people like me? It was the same with customers. I was worried that as a beginner freelancer I would not be able to find clients and would not be able to compete with companies. I was afraid of that. At the time, I spoke with another freelance recruiter and she recommended Talent Place to me. I learned that at Talent Place you don’t have to worry about acquiring clients, that it’s the company that provides the projects and you can focus on them. Then I became interested in cooperation.
At the very beginning, when I wasn’t yet familiar with Talent Place, I was concerned about whether I would actually get paid real money for the work we had agreed on. That these will be projects mainly on success fees. However, it quickly became clear that there was nothing to be afraid of, as Talent Place already pays for candidate recommendations, which was a very big advantage for me.
What was your path in the Talent Place community like? What has changed since you’ve been working here?
Since I’ve been here, which is less than two years, my career path and availability have changed a lot. I joined with the idea that I would do individual projects and focus more strongly on developing my freelance business. Talent Place was supposed to be more in addition, but this gradually changed. I took on more and more individual projects, and additional activities began to appear, such as writing articles for the blog and collaborating on events. I liked it. Now I’m already working full time and even beyond (laughs). I also participate in subscription projects, support the sales department and have taken on the role of Client Success Manager, so in addition I still manage processes. Also in terms of activities, a lot has changed, now I fully dedicate my time to Talent Place, and activities have become an additional occupation.
Talent Place has something about it that can draw you into cooperation from the very beginning. He does this through various activities. In less than 2 years, I went from single projects to full operation thanks to this. And at each stage it was me who made the decision that I wanted to enter the next areas of activity. I am happy with the cooperation because I have got interesting and diverse projects.
So, is it important for you to be able to choose your projects and development path?
Yes. When I left my previous job, where I was a 360-degree consultant in charge of everything, to come to Talent Place, I wanted to deal exclusively with recruitment. And at first I did the actual only thing, but after a while, such severely limited duties began to bore me. Hence the decision to expand activities to include sales, because I like doing it. And what’s cool about Talent Place is that you can get involved in sales activities differently – you don’t have to be strictly a salesperson, but can, for example, expand your bases, help with mailing campaigns to customers, etc. You can find a lot of interesting tasks in which you want to develop. Diversity – yes – this is a very big asset.
What projects and tasks are you currently involved in on a daily basis?
I am currently involved in two subscription projects. One is IT recruitment, which means I’m looking for programmers, UX designers and other candidates in this area. The second is Getting IT recruiters into the community, that is, looking for people like me. One that is at the point in life that I once was – looking for new challenges and projects. I also tried recruiting in other areas before, but this one turned out to be the best for me. I like it because it’s IT and non-IT scope at the same time. They are recruiters, but they specialize in a very specific industry. At the moment, I am just dealing with these two projects and preparing a feasibility study for the Sales Department.
What does your workday look like?
First of all, I start at very strange hours, because I can get up as early as 3 am or 4 am (laughs). The good thing is that I have a work from home with flexible hours. At this hour I sit down at the computer. Of course, I don’t call candidates then (laughs), but I do other things – for example, sending mailings. And, interestingly, no one has ever told me that the hour of incoming messages is strange. I guess these days people are already used to receiving emails at non-standard times and people working different hours. It used to be that working on Sunday at 10 p.m. strongly surprised – now – not so much. I just so happen to have I am not tied to rigid working hours and days. Sometimes I want Monday off, so I work on Sunday. Fortunately, now it doesn’t surprise anyone and people don’t see it as a problem.
I start work between 4:00 and 7:00 a.m. and then work at the computer. Later on, between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m., I usually carry out tasks related to human interaction, so, for example, I have interviews with candidates, and videocalls with clients, and they last more or less until 12:00 – 13:00. Although afternoon calls also occur. After that, it’s more organizational work – answering messages, sending mailings, looking for candidates, and preparing recommendations. And I do it until the afternoon hours. And here it’s hard to determine to which ones specifically, because I don’t have that I finish work at 4 pm. I can interrupt and go out to the doctor, for example, and then work some more in the evening. In fact, I have very flexible working hours. It can be said that it is structured until 1:00 – 2:00 pm, and then the scenarios are varied.
So such a flexible work model is an advantage for you?
Yes. I, for one, am not a person who appreciates being able to close my laptop at 4 p.m. and forget about work. I’m much more interested in having the ability to stop work for a few hours and come back to it later. For me, it is a very big asset that in Talent Place you can do that. And at the same time, people who prefer rigid working hours can also realize themselves here in this way. If I changed my mind and wanted to work in this model, I could switch to the standard 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at any time and there would be no problem. Work from home with flexible hours is very convenient.
What does working at Talent Place give you? What kinds of things do you particularly appreciate?
I very much appreciate that at Talent Place, if you do a good job, first of all, you will not complain about the lack of work and interesting projects, and secondly, then you can get really interesting assignments. Often demanding, but these are the most interesting ones, and they are the ones that are entrusted to trusted people. You can see that Talent Place can appreciate when someone works well. I, last October, received an honourable mention in the Partnership category at the quarterly meeting, so good employees are praised on the forum as well. Often in other companies, stumbles are pointed out and praise is not necessarily given for a job well done. This is not the case here. If you do your job well, you are appreciated. If I had to point out what I would most recommend, it would be this and flexible working hours. My impression is that Talent Place just knows how to be a business partner and does it well. This is also important to me. The company does not close itself to anything, and is open to various collaborations, but also to suggestions from the Community. You can put forward your ideas, and if it’s good, they will undoubtedly start to be implemented. Good ideas are not lost in Talent Place.
What value do you see in a community like Talent Place?
One can learn from each other. For example, if it turns out that LinkedIn restricts the ability to send invitations or makes it difficult to search for candidates, people exchange various tips on how to continue to operate effectively despite these difficulties. And in general how to work better. We share various tips. I myself had not heard of some of the ways, and they turned out to be a cool tool. People are eager to share information, be active, recommend candidates, and create interesting articles. You can learn a lot here because the Talent Place Community is made up of people from very different industries. Being able to exchange knowledge with them is a great value and a great asset.
To whom would you recommend working at Talent Place?
Any person who wants to work in IT recruitment, remotely, flexibly in a nice atmosphere and have a nice job without sales push. Because here it is primarily goal-oriented, and this is also a difference. Talent Place can motivate you to achieve your goal, but without the stress and pressure. I would recommend this community to any friend, recruiter or people who are thinking about freelancing with flexible working hours, because you can work with other companies and do your projects at the same time, and it’s not mutually exclusive.
And I can also recommend Talent Place from the perspective of a mom-to-be. This is a friendly company that, if a pregnant woman wants to work, provides opportunities for this and supports her in her activities. Here, pregnant women do not have to fear that they will be separated, they can still count on interesting projects or even get a promotion, as it was in my case. That’s why Talent Place is also a cool place for people who would like to combine motherhood with work.
Do you like HR topics? Also read the post on crowdstaffing, an effective recruitment method.