Maria Oskarsson is our new Recruitment Consultant, starting this week.
“In a company that grows in the pace that we do, attracting, selecting and retaining the right talent is the cornerstone of the HR Department’s contribution to this growth. You will notice changes during 2020 in the ways we attract and recruit people. Finding who the best talent is out there and getting them to apply for our roles is a key thing. So we have just hired Maria, an experienced recruiter to join the work the rest of us in HR are doing,” Solomon Mordochai, Chief HR and Communications Officer, told me recently.
So I got the chance to interview Maria.
Tell us about yourself.
– Oh, that’s actually the most difficult question in interviews.
I like to start with that.
– Good to know. I’m a business-oriented, passionate recruitment consultant. That’s it, that’s who I am.
That’s the whole story.
– No, not really but it is one way of describing me.
So what else, are you Swedish?
– I’m Swedish, I’ve lived in Sweden for most of my life but I’ve lived two times abroad. I have changed jobs regularly in the past so I’ve lived in many places in Sweden. I’ve also lived in Indonesia and in Lebanon.
Why and how long did you live in Lebanon and Indonesia?
– I lived in Indonesia for six years. Both of my visits was because of my father’s job so it’s quite some time ago. I lived in Indonesia until I turned sixteen. Many years ago, I know. My father worked there, for a Swedish company establishing electricity in rural areas. And so you might wonder how has that affected who I am as a person? Well, I’m inspired by different cultures. I have the utmost respect for people from different nationalities coming together and meeting towards a common goal. I’m interested in people. I’ve had to be that since I was a very young person.
What about Lebanon?
– I can’t remember that much. We lived there when the war broke out and that was also because of my father’s job. So we returned home. It’s many years ago.
Why did you choose Etraveli Group?
– I’ve been following Etraveli Group for quite some years actually, like many people who live in Uppsala. It’s one of the companies that I hear about when I interview people and ask the question “Tell me a company you would like to work for…” Etraveli Group is one of the companies that people mention because it’s a company that’s growing rapidly, which is very interesting, and is represented in many countries. And that fascinates me too. I’m joining Etraveli after quite some years looking at the company.
What are you looking forward to the most?
– Getting to know the Etraveli culture, seeing how we live the values and getting to know the people who work here. Then, with that as my platform, finding an answer to the question—how do we recruit and find the right talent for the future? That’s what I’m looking forward to the most. Recruitment for me is a lot more than just the process. It’s getting to know the culture and establishing relationships and trust within the company, allowing me to be successful in my role. And that’s up to me but also to the company so I’m looking forward to the challenge. I like challenges.
What do you think is going to be your biggest one?
– I’m interested in employer branding. Recruitment is about finding the right talent and those people could be many and they could be pretty much anywhere. How do you attract our future employees and how do you get them to find us as well as we find them? That will be a challenge, and I’m very much looking forward to it. And I realize that some days will be more challenging than others.
What’s first on the agenda?
– There are two ways to answer that question. Since I’m new to the company I need to get to know the organization and there are a lot of documents I want to read before I start. Besides that, getting people to know me, and getting to know the organization, the culture, the values, what our challenges are. And then just start working. When starting a new job you don’t really know what to do first. I am a kind of person that when I don’t know what to do, I do something. Trying to take steps in the right direction. Will I make mistakes? Most definitely. Will I learn and pick up the pace? Yes.
What do you look for in an ideal candidate?
– There is no such thing because it depends on the role.
Are there no general things that you look for?
– Yes. I look for motivators. What is your passion, what drives you, what is important for you? And based on that, are we the perfect match for you or not? So the ideal candidate for Etraveli will be the person who wants to live our values and our culture, but when it comes to character traits and experiences, we need to have a broad vision.
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
– I would really like to eat dinner with Oprah Winfrey. Because she has so many different sides, there are so many different roles on her CV. And I would like to ask her those things that you and I have talked about: does she have the same passion for all her different roles; as an entrepreneur, as a TV producer, as the host of TV shows, what is the common ground for her? Oprah has met a lot of people like the Dalai Lama, Ellen and Deepak Chopra and I would like to ask her about them. I have a lot of questions for her. So, a seven-course dinner and perhaps a ten-hour interview.
Maybe she’ll come by here. If we keep growing at this pace.
– We’ll invite her. She can be the host of an award show or something.
Not a bad idea. All right, so I just have one more—what do you have for breakfast?
– That’s interesting. I was prepared to just skip it. I hate breakfast. I always start with coffee. I´ve had cereal which is quite boring.
You know we have free breakfast here.
– I know, that’s a good thing for me.
You don’t have to eat it. We have coffee as well.
– But this could be the change I’m looking for.
I think so. Welcome to the team!
– Thank you so much.