Meet the team: Irina
As HR Manager Irina contributes daily to making 360 Digital Starters an inclusive and enjoyable workplace for all. In her Meet the Team story, she explains which skills play a particularly important role in her job and how different experiences in both her professional and personal life have made her the people person she is today.
As a HR Manager, people must play a big role in your professional life. Is this what attracted you to the position originally?
Definitely! Talking with people and seeing their personalities, skills, and talents is what gives me my energy. I genuinely enjoy helping people, which, I guess, is what brought me into HR. Whether it’s onboarding someone into their new role, helping them to relocate, or simply ensuring they’re settling in, it’s a really great feeling supporting colleagues with big changes in their life. I love it.
You moved to Germany almost 9 years ago. What excites you about the Berlin location?
I had been to Berlin seven times before I finally moved here at the end of 2012. What excited me initially was Berlin’s electronic music scene and international crowd, with artists and creatives from all over the world. As an expat, you really feel at home here, and walking down the street you can hear five different languages at once. What I like about Berlin is that the city is very different - in Kreuzberg you feel like you’re in one city and then you head over to Prenzlauer Berg it’s a completely different one. It never feels like a big, overwhelming ‘big city’ kind of place – it’s very chill.
HR covers a broad field of responsibilities – what do you feel is the biggest challenge?
Finding and hiring the best talent has always been a challenge. In some fields - for example tech and performance marketing - there is a lot of competition from companies and great candidates can get a lot of offers, so you really have to act fast to secure them. Ensuring we as a company have an inviting culture is key to this process.
During the pandemic, keeping the team informed was also a big challenge, but one that led to some positive changes in the company. We managed to move to an off-site workflow quite smoothly and introduced new tools, such as Monday.com to manage and coordinate our work processes. Additionally, we launched the company newsletter, which allowed us to keep our colleagues up-to-date with product and team news. There has also been a lot to learn from this period of remote working and we have begun to look into new initiatives for the future that will help us to better connect the team, even at times when we cannot physically all be together in the office - including some virtual socials.
Diversity and inclusion is a huge part of our company culture. Where do you see the biggest benefits of recruiting talent from all around the world?
It’s hugely beneficial to have different perspectives in a team. It makes our work process, meetings, and even the coffee machine chats much more interesting and insightful.
Having a team that consists of people from all over the world also builds a better understanding for everyone in our company about cultures they may not have known about, and it can be really interesting to hear about these different experiences from others.
Creating a diverse and inclusive culture is something we’ve always strived for, and I truly believe it leads to better and bigger ideas. Getting to sample foods from different parts of the world is also pretty great.
What is on your To-Do-list for the next few months?
Lots of interviews, assisting newcomers with relocation, and organizing online and offline team events. We have also recently begun to look for a People Operations Manager to join the HR Team, which I’m very excited about.
What would you advise other people seeking a role in HR? What skills do you think are particularly important?
Be brave and go for it! If you feel that HR or recruiting is for you, but you’re not sure where to start, then start small and apply for an internship or ask your current managers if you can participate in interviews. This will give you the confidence and relevant experience to apply for a more permanent full-time position in HR. Relevant experience is in my opinion, more important than a qualification or education in the field – I, for example, studied Journalism and Public Relations.
As for skills, I believe that empathy, emotional intelligence, organization, and a willingness to help others, are key to the role.
And finally, looking back at your time at 360 DS, what was your best experience?
My best experience is looking at our wonderful team today and realizing that I helped to recruit this diverse and talented bunch. Our team events have also been really fun and I’m looking forward to starting those up again this year.