Meet a Founder: Liene Ozola
Liene is from Latvia and a Founder in Frankfurt. She focus on Digital IT Recruitment and is quite awesome in sharing job search tips no other Hiring Manager does.
She is on a mission to change how job seekers approach job search by sharing expertise as a Recruiter and Hiring Manager in one person. One happy candidate at the time!
Liene, tell us a bit about yourself, your story, why are you in Frankfurt? What do you do?
I moved to Frankfurt back in 2013 after graduating with an MA in International Relations from University of Dundee in Scotland. Without a big plan about what I am going to do, I started my job search and now it has been 7 years since I have been working in Recruiting. I started out at a classic English recruitment company moving up and about to other recruitment companies and ending up as HR Manager at IT Consultancy company lastly. It gave me great insight about what I like / dislike and also about what works and what does not when it comes to selecting people for the company. Conclusion that I came to is, a lot of people are unhappy at work and I wanted to change that because we spend around ⅓ of our lives at work. To tackle this problem, at the beginning of this year I established Smartist.One. — first candidate driven recruitment company delivering happiness at work.
What is the big issue that you and your company are addressing and what value do you bring to your stakeholders?
A lot of people are not happy at work and stay there because of dependencies, like, closeness to home or because it is paying their bills. On a daily basis, I speak to so many people and it is sad to hear how many are in a job, which makes them unhappy and frustrated. In the long run, this is exactly what makes people sick. I want to help people land a job, where they find the culture they can celebrate, with the tools they need, in the workspace they want. And finally be happy at work. Might sound cliche & silly, but it is possible.
On the other hand I help companies that are struggling with finding the best fit to their teams when it comes to personality, work ethics and enthusiasm they bring into the new place. With the help of AI, personality tests and an agile approach we solve hiring problems that keep HR Managers awake at night and find the right IT employees that would stay with a company long term.
Can you highlight some, top mistakes or funny situations you come across in your experience working in Recruiting?
Every day something fun and unexpected happens and that is why I love my job so much. For example, top mistake is not personalizing your job application and forgetting to remove the first and last name of the previous person that the application was sent to. Another mistake internationals often make when applying for a new role is not sending a complete application, but just a few documents of it. Full application means CV, motivation letter, references from previous employers and degree diploma with grade transcript.
Highlights, hiring someone who has been looking for a new role for a long time and was close to giving up. That is often the case with international candidates that are trying to navigate the Wild West of German job market. Their gratitude is what makes me very happy and keeps me going.
One of the last fun moments was when a candidate suddenly cursed during a job interview. Afterwards admitting that they knew the right answer when told their reply was not right. Happens!
What should be kept in mind when looking for a new job in Germany — especially Frankfurt? Any tips or hacks?
Frankfurt is small, so I would suggest taking part in industry related meetups, webinars and other gatherings to build a network of like minded professionals. That will help to set foot in Frankfurt and find a new job quicker.
Xing is the German version of LinkedIn and still one of the biggest job seeker platforms in the DACH region. Register there & tune up your profile for the job search. In order to passively look for a new role, upload your CV on Monster, Stepstone and Indeed CV databases. Recruiters use them and will reach out to you with relevant job offers without you actively doing much.
Germans love their societies and have one for everything. Join the society & their organized events to meet people who could help to speed up your job search or scale the business.
On a different note, tell us a bit more about your role at RigaTech Girls, and by the way, How do you see the differences between ecosystems Riga X Frankfurt?
At RigaTech Girls I am mentoring women who want to start their career in the IT Industry. I guide them through the process of finding the right starting point and how to establish online presence in order to be found by companies.
Riga and Frankfurt, both, are very vibrant. In Riga a lot of companies have started to invest in free training of new, motivated people who want to start their career in IT because they have realized that if they do not do that, they will end up being short of specialized staff. Focus being put on women. From my perspective, Frankfurt is more about funding new ideas, quick start up expansion and direct motivation to become the world’s best at something.
I really enjoy following both to analyze for myself where I should be heading with my company.
Also, as a female founder, what is your opinion of the diversity in Startups but as well as corporates?
I do see this becoming a major topic backed up with data about how many women we want to see in Manager seats. Personally, I prefer natural processes where initiative comes from one self instead of companies new diversity policy.
Seeing female founders always makes me happy and I am for healthy helping each other to grow instead of competing. We should empower each other even more to reach highs. That is what I stand for!
Finally, personal goals for 2021?
To be healthy and able to expand the Smartist.One team with like-minded Recruiting enthusiasts. And establish Smartist.One Youtube channel to be able to help more people find happiness at work.
Follow Liene on Linkedin, here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lieneoz/