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"Always stay flexible and open to change" - Interview with Gorana Ferizovic (Popcorn Recruiters)

2024-02-22

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What should recruiters focus on in 2024?

Considering the overall instability of the market and the predictions that we can expect some form of recovery end of Q2, I would say that recruiters should be ready to adopt the “do more with less” mindset. This means being ready to get out of the traditional recruiter job scope and do things like developing (online) personal brand and/or getting specialized for certain niches within the industry they are working in. This way they can be more recognized on the market (which is beneficial both for the recruiters themselves but also for the company they are recruiting for) and they can add more value to their work, thus making them a greater asset.

What is your opinion on AI? Is it taking away from recruiters' jobs?

According to Market Research Future, the AI recruitment market, valued at $590.5 million in 2023, is projected to rise to $942.3 million by the end of 2030. This tells me that AI is here to stay, and we better make it work for us rather than against us. AI will not take away our jobs in any foreseeable future, but recruiters will have to accept it as a new reality – those who don’t will simply be left behind. This is why we have designated one person in the team to be the AI go-to person and his job is to basically follow the trends and suggest the ways they can be useful for our team and the company in general. If your company still hasn’t appointed someone for this purpose, I strongly advise you do because I believe that currently, the biggest obstacle to fully utilizing AI in everyday work is a simple lack of habit to do so, on the side of humans.

Where can you add value in recruitment selection?

In my company we mostly use it for (market) research, writing candidate reports, automatization (for example interview scheduling), sourcing ideas (for example if we are stuck with strings, we ask for out of the box string solution and play with the results), generating useful interview questions for specific roles. We don’t use it for writing engagement messages as we have seen that the online space and LinkedIn is flooded with ChatGPT messages so much so that it is starting to annoy candidates.

If you could give one piece of advice to the industry, what would it be?

I would advise all recruitment departments, regardless of the company size, industry, location, agency or in-house, to always stay flexible and open to change. I believe that inhouse recruiters feel this struggle the most, as it is more difficult to change processes and test new things, but considering the talent market, the onset of AI and the mere size of the competition, it is crucial to be experimenting with recruitment strategies all time. Easier said than done, but paramount, nevertheless.

What are some recruitment challenges you would highlight specifically in your country/region?

Western Balkans region has been affected by the layoffs and the overall market instability, just like the rest of the world. But additional challenges in IT recruitment in the region are disproportionate sizes of certain roles – for example, there are more QAs out there than there are opportunities for them but on the other hand, the market for ML, security and crypto profiles is very limited while the demand is getting increasingly higher.

What advice would you give to young people at the beginning of their career?

I would advise all aspiring recruiters to not enter the profession if they are only in it for the “easy ticket” into HR. I still see lots of people who aren’t really interested in recruitment but are doing it just to be able to switch to some more HR-oriented role down the line. Recruitment is a thing and if you already know you will not find joy in it, don’t start it as the lack of true drive and motive will affect your overall job performance but also candidate experience in a negative way. And for those who really want to set off on the recruitment journey – be ready to learn continuously and to experiment. A lot.

What is the value system you follow in your daily work?

The underlying value I bring to my work every day is the fact that I am genuinely interested in meeting new people and just understanding what it is that they do and how I can help them achieve their goals. Whether that be a client or a candidate, my philosophy is the same – I am always curious about every new person I meet in my work and the authenticity always pays off. As cheesy as it sounds, Maya Angelou was probably right when she said that “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Thank you for the anwers Gorana Ferizovic, the Talent Acquisition Lead of Popcorn Recruiters!