TWO BIRDS WITH ONE COURSE: JELENA’S STORY
The ability and willingness to learn allow one to adapt to the realities of the constantly changing modern world, keep one’s mind sharp and one’s thinking agile, as well as help one stay competitive in the job market. Jelena Poleschuk became living proof of how this works.
For starters, Jelena perfectly mastered the aspects of recruitment that working in an international recruitment agency offered her. Later, however, she began to feel that it was time to leave her comfort zone, and attended her first IT Talent course, developed a taste for learning, and the rest is history... This was the start of her new and exciting adventure that Jelena continues as a member of the IT Talent professional recruitment team.
Lena, what were you doing before attending IT Talent courses? What pushed you to attend one?
I worked at Manpower, an international recruitment agency. I decided to attend the courses because I was already familiar with all of the aspects of usual recruitment and I wanted to broaden my horizons and try my hand at IT recruitment.
To be perfectly honest, I had long kept an eye on Julia Jolkin, read her interviews, and watched all of her talks online. I loved her open and practical approach: when giving a talk to IT specialists she spoke thoroughly and honestly about the things that are not included in books or discussed at recruiter conferences, openly talked about her mistakes and how she fixed them, which technologies and methods she tested herself and what issues she encountered, as not everything works as well as claimed.
What were your criteria for choosing this course and what were your expectations?
For me, it was very important to study from the best specialist in the field, a practicing specialist, not a theoretician. For some reason, textbook theories don’t prove themselves in practice.
I had collected a number of questions about IT recruitment and the topics of the course matched these well. My expectations regarding the first course were limited to getting the answers to those questions, but in reality, I benefitted so much more. I was amazed at how well it was all thought out: the methodology, homework, Kahoots, communication with the participants, etc.
After the initial course, I felt a boost, I wanted to explore the world of IT recruitment further soon. Every subsequent course not only answered my questions but also fed my fervor, and motivated me. Before the technical competence course, I did not know what was behind all of the terminologies, so when speaking to candidates I felt uncertain and avoided what seemed to me uncomfortable questions. Thanks to a thorough course, metaphorical explanations, Instagram lives, and communication with “real” IT people :) and leaving my comfort zone I have begun to feel much more confident.
What were the most difficult, interesting, useful, and unexpected parts of the courses?
All the courses were exciting, and, at first glance, difficult. However, we picked apart every minute detail of every topic and then studied it thoroughly by completing homework assignments, so in the end, it did not really feel as scary or difficult. I’ll say this though: that only applies if you actively participate in the classes. Don’t hope to be able to skip one topic and simply read the slides later. It is not that easy to make sense of a topic on your own.
Difficult: The course material (especially the technical competence part) is very concentrated and the course itself very intense. There wasn’t much time between the lessons to study everything and complete homework assignments. Balancing work, family, and studies is hard in itself, and these courses are clearly not for lazy students, as you need to work hard.
For me, the most difficult and simultaneously incredibly interesting part was the technical competence course. I have no close friends who work in IT but needed a sociable IT specialist willing to answer many questions for completing my homework. At that, it was a plus if the person was in a managerial position and saw the bigger picture. It was a challenge! And I was very glad to overcome it :)
Practical: All the courses are structured so that you can immediately apply the knowledge you get. I still browse my notes and homework assignments and use them as “cheat sheets”. The courses were not chock-full of dry theory, everything was practical and appropriate, and the materials are perfectly suited for actual work from day one.
Unexpected: Studying is easy! Difficult topics were explained in such an accessible and clear manner that I wanted to immediately apply the knowledge, which we, essentially, did, as we were actually searching for IT specialists.
Eye-opening: The drive you feel when exact algorithms help you find a really awesome candidate, regardless of their location.
In addition, robots and the opportunities that present themselves when you use them in recruitment, not only at home in the kitchen.
If you had to sum up each course in a single sentence, along the lines of “This is a course for those...”, what would you say?
...who want to keep up with modern methodologies, tools, and selection tactics.
As well as those who wish to recruit people properly and intelligently, maintaining a system in all processes, not leaving out any important details.
...who want to enliven their working processes or put them in order.
…who have doubts as to whether they can master IT recruitment.
After completing the courses you became a member of the IT Talent team; what are you doing now?
At IT Talent, I put everything I learned in the courses to practical use—I recruit IT candidates and contribute to marketing.
What are the qualities necessary for becoming a good recruiter?
Diplomacy, perseverance, meticulousness in the best sense of the word, empathy, and stress tolerance.
It is of great importance that a recruiter is hungry for new knowledge and decisions. Also, you cannot be afraid of leaving your comfort zone often.
What would you recommend to those starting out on (or changing) their career path and considering working as a recruiter?
The work of a recruiter is very energy-consuming, dynamic, and extremely interesting! If you are ready for action and give the job your all, then go for it! Before commencing your studies, do some research about your instructors—it is important that lecturers inspire you by example, just like Julia does!
Julia Jolkin, the head of IT Talent and author of the courses
Lena completed all three courses that make up our Learning Path for IT recruiters. Moreover, she became our muse, always pushing us to create a new course. She was so excited to move forward that she inspired us. I am very glad that we had so much in common and now our IT Talent team has one more amazing person and a great professional.