Digging Deeper: Being an HR in an IT company

Author Dorian Derežić
Category Company
Date Nov 16, 2018
8 min read

In this edition of Digging Deeper, we sat down with our Human Resources Assistant, Ivana, to find out what’s it really like to be a part of the HR team in an IT company like Bornfight.

OK, let’s get straight to the point. What do you do as an HR Assistant?

At Bornfight, I mostly work on projects that involve selections, new employee onboardings and the overall employer branding. I’d say those are some of my main responsibilities, but I also like to work on organizing internal events like teambuildings, company birthdays and various student competitions.

Employer branding is one of the larger aspects of the job as I believe it’s a crucial element that ensures success of every future recruitment and selection process we do. It includes attracting talent that would fit in our company by positioning Bornfight as one of the most desirable employers on the market. It’s a mix of planning both internal and external activities and events.

Could you name a few?

For example visiting career weeks, staying in contact with universities and student associations, organizing educations, talks and presentations for students, keeping track of meetups or organizing student competitions like the Sponge Student Dev Quest that we organized like a couple of weeks ago. As I said, it’s things like that that really give us an edge when we’re attracting talent.

When you talk about employer branding, you mostly focus on students. How so?

Our employer branding activities are broad, and we focus on all potential job candidates, from students to seniors, but we nurture our connections with students because of our company culture. Our CEO started his first company when he was a student, a lot of our employees started their careers in Bornfight when they were students, and they are now seniors and team leaders. I, myself, started as a student intern, and now I’m an HR Assistant.

I’d say it’s in our core to develop people from their beginnings. To bring them aboard when they’re still at college and teach them all the skills they need to get better and improve every day. Seeing that progress is something that really drives us further.

But that’s only a part of the things our Human Resources team does.

Yeah, besides employer branding, selections and events, our team makes sure that all our employees have an opportunity to constantly improve, both on a personal and a professional level.

That’s why we organize a lot of internal and external educations that cover topics that are specific to different teams within Bornfight, to some broader educations like how to give feedback, how to plan and organize your time, communication and presentation. We also created “Time In”, personalized counseling sessions with our team psychologist where our employees and interns can come and talk about some challenges they’re facing or the things they’d like to improve.

In addition to that, we also work on the onboarding process. You see, when we hire the right people, we want to make sure they get all the information they need. We do that by working closely with team leaders from different departments within Bornfight to create structured onboarding plans that are a mix of educations and shadowing. They usually last from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, and our new employees really get to experience what Bornfight is all about – from the atmosphere, the people and the culture to the projects and all the work aspects.

OK, let’s go through your typical day and some day-to-day activities.

Well, I really don’t know what to say. It may sound cheesy, but there are no typical days in HR, every day is different. And that‘s the thing that really excites me about this job. You get to learn, see and experience something new every day.
Here’s an example, I’m currently working on a couple of job selections. I work on promotion, psychological testings and I’m interviewing candidates. If you asked me this question a couple of weeks ago, I would have told you that I’m working on a company teambuilding, that Sponge Student Dev Quest we had and career week that was happening at FOI. See, completely different every day!

That’s quite a variety. What would you single out as the most interesting part of your job?

I think job selections are my favorite part, that’s just something I fell in love with from the start. I love psychological testings and interviews because I really get to know our candidates. And then I get to assess how they would fit into our company and specific departments.

When I can tell the person I followed from the moment they sent their application, through the testing phase and the final interview that they got the job, I don’t know, it just makes me really happy that I’m doing this.

Can you tell us a little bit more about employer branding activities?

Employer branding is all about creating activities that will show people what Bornfight is all about and incite them to join us. In our team, it revolves mostly around building relationships with student organizations and universities, as well as building a community around our company by organizing educations, meetups and other activities that will show what’s it like to work at Bornfight. We want to show others how fast their careers might launch off if they join our team, and how much they would learn.

This educational aspect is really important for building relationships with others, especially universities that really started to work hard on connecting their students with employers.

As I see it, employee selections are a defined step-by-step process, while employer branding is more flexible, one might even say more creative.

Yeah, I’d say it is. I mean, it has to be flexible because the market is changing rapidly, and something that worked just a year ago is no longer relevant. There are less and less potential employees and more and more companies looking for them, so you really have to be creative in order to get noticed.

Let’s now take a step back. You started out as an HR Intern. What was that like?

Yeah, I started my career in Bornfight as an HR intern, and I had some really basic knowledge about the selection process and employer branding. But when I got here, all that just skyrocketed. I learned so much in practically a couple of weeks and had a chance to try out and work on a large number of different projects – from teambuildings, selections, onboardings…

It’s amazing because you have a chance to try the things you want to try, and to grow in the area you feel most comfortable in. I tried a bit of this and that, and then I figured I really want to work on a selection process. That’s the thing I was most comfortable in, that was my perfect fit in Bornfight.

What changed when you were promoted to the Assistant?

Well, the biggest difference is the scope of work. You start learning new things even faster, you start handling bigger projects, you get more responsibilities. What I liked the most was that I had a chance to really learn the ins and outs of every process I worked on. And since I started working full-time, I also got to know all the people a whole lot better.

And what about the mentorship aspect between those two positions? Did it change?

The mentorship aspect is always present. Yeah, I can now handle projects on my own, but you always have that support network from your colleagues. Whatever you need, you just have to ask. I’m still at the beginning of my career and there’s so much more to learn, but everything is really simple when you have the full support from more experience people that are always by your side.

Tell me more about the onboarding process you went through at Bornfight?

My onboarding process was five weeks long and it was very well structured. I knew in advance everything I’ll get to go through and work on, as well as the educations I’ll listen to. There were lots of things about the company itself, the culture and all of the different teams that make Bornfight.

What’s even better is that the onboarding process consists of both educations and shadowing. You know, when you sit by a person that’s working and observing and asking question about anything you want to know or don’t understand. That really helped me to get to know the people and the way the IT industry works. And now I use that knowledge when I’m working on the selection process, an it made it much easier.

What made you choose Bornfight? Is it the gym or the ping-pong table?

Haha, it’s not the ping-pong because I can’t see the ball when I’m not wearing my glasses. And I really don’t like wearing glasses because they bother me. 🙂

No, for real, I chose Bornfight because I wanted to work in IT. I find that area extremely interesting, and I wanted to know what designers and developers do, and what skills do you need in order to work in that industry. What sealed the deal was the information I got about the company – everybody I knew raved about the awesome work atmosphere, great projects and the people that are always ready to help you out, share their knowledge or just hang out. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a part of all this!

You mention Bornfight’s people and company culture. How would you describe it?

Electrifying. Yeah, that’s the word, electrifying. Everyone’s so focused and so ambitious, they know so much about their area of work, but they’re also constantly learning new things and sharing that with each other. It really is something else when you see them all working together and helping each other out.

What’s the thing that drives you to pursue a career in HR?

The thing that drives me is being a part of all this, and a part of the process that makes sure that people find their perfect job position. I mean, we spend a large part of our life working, and I believe finding that perfect match is extremely important – when you’re happy with your job and when the company thrives. That’s what makes me really happy. Happy people, they’re my drive.

Bornfight is growing rapidly. What do you do to stay on top of everything?

You gotta be motivated to work on yourself and to learn. Ask whatever you want to know, and don’t be shy if you don’t know something – just ask your colleagues. I always go around the office asking people what they’re doing, how they’re doing, and why they’re doing something. That keeps me in the loop, but it also helps me when it comes to employee selections because I know exactly what I have to ask the candidates.

In addition to that, the company invests heavily in education, so we can attend conferences and listen to talks. We also have free access to online learning platforms. I learned so much about HR, technology, projects and the entire IT business, it’s ridiculous.

Last question. What advice would you give to someone who’d like to work in our HR team?

Well, you have to be interested in human resources and the IT industry. I advise you to check out our company and see what we do. As employer branding, building relationships with different organizations and attracting potential employees is a big part of our job, it’s really important to see that as an area you want to develop yourself in. It’s really one of the most important aspects because that will help you really tell our story, and present our culture to others. That’s the thing that will help you find those perfect matches between potential employees and Bornfight.

That’s been all for this edition of Digging Deeper. If you’d like to become a part of our Human Resources team, send us your application!