The Corona crisis poses a challenge for all divisions and our internal recruiting at SThree has also had to adapt to the current situation. In the following interview, our Head of Talent Acquisition, Andrea Hofler tells us what our application process currently looks like, whether we are still looking for sales talent and what opportunities are currently available.
Andrea, thank you for taking the time to speak to us. Please introduce yourself briefly.
My name is Andrea Hofler and I have been at SThee for ten years. I lead the Talent Aqcuistion and Internal Communications departments for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
How is the Talent Aquistion team positioned?
We have a team of 6 people who take care of the initial contact, pre-selection and process support of our internal candidates. We also have a colleague who represents us at the university and shares our expert knowledge there and another colleague who maintains our online and social media channels. Even though she is not officially part of my department, she continues to contribute to the bigger picture, of course.
Due to Corona, the internal recruitment proces has certainly changed. How does it work at the moment?
I don't think any expert could have predicted exactly what is happening right now. I for one, couldn't have imagined eight weeks ago that we would all be continually working from home. So, we have had to change our internal recruitment process accordingly. Our number one goal at the moment is to source the best candidates, we want to be in the best position post Corona. As we are not able to carry out the classic processes in our local offices, we are now relying on virtual interviews. We hope that soon we will be able to safely return to our offices, complete our trial work days and the entire application process. Until then, we stay in close contact with the candidates, speaking regularly and honestly. I think the most important thing right now is not to be paralysed by the crisis but to think about the future. There will be a time after Corona and we want to ensure we are in the best position with the best talents.
How do you stay in contact with candidates that cannot start working at the moment due to closed offices?
We often stay in touch via telephone. Both my talent acquisition team and my hiring managers, call these candidates regularly and update them on the current status of SThree. We also send our candidates a newsletter every fortnight, this includes a status update about where we are, SThree insights and employee sucess stories.
Unfortunately as all career fairs and university lectures are cancelled at the moment, have you found an alternative way of working?
Here, too, we had to change completely. Personal contact with students is very important to us - not only to advise but to live our purpose of "bringing skilled people together to build the future". We want to prepare students for the working world and our university expert has found a brilliant way of still being present at universities given the current situation. She currently holds her lectures and workshops via online webinars and they have proved to be really popular by the students. A recent lecture was attended by over 600 participants and I definitely see a chance to use this online option in the future.
In your personal opinion, do you see the current situation as an opportunity? If so, why?
I'd be lying if I said I didn't have moments where I have too, felt queasy. Sometimes it feels like a bad movie. I am basically of the opinion that a positive attitude in such situations is key. During this week I haven't felt a huge difference, as I continue to work as I normally would, just from home instead. On the weekends I have started baking and cooking, which for anyone that knows me, was not something I used to do! I have also enjoyed the weather, and taking the time to sunbathe on the balcony. I also see the current situation as opportunities for the future. It helps us focus on new paths in the field of digitalisation. I'm happy to live in Germany, and the global comparison to other countries shows that we are really lucky. I am also proud to work for SThree, in this crisis you can see the values of the company clearly. I also have to say a big thank you to our Managing Director Timo Lehne. He is leading the company through these uncertain times with such confidence. He has been 100% transparent, honest and it is clear that his focus is well and truly, his employees. This gives me the absolute confidence to say that I am right here, with SThree.
Thank you very much for taking the time to interview me!