Life as a Productboard talent scout
Being a talent scout is full of challenges. In a world of high employment rates, ultra-competitive recruitment markets, and constant change, sourcing top talent is no easy feat. So, what’s life like as a talent scout here at Productboard? I asked Cecilie Machatová, Barbora Ciencialová, and Eliška Frost, together with Anna Cutino – colleagues on our recently formed Talent Scouts team. Here’s what they had to say.
What are the top three reasons why you enjoy being a Talent Scout at Productboard?
Cecilie: For me, one of the perks of working at Productboard is that you get all the support you’ll ever need in your life. Whether it’s in a professional or personal manner, your managers listen to you, and they try to help you to figure out solutions that will enhance your overall satisfaction.
I also like how everyone tries to stay on the same page all the time. No matter how trivial or important the matter may seem to you, people want to meet and discuss it. People want to understand, and they’ll even synchronize their workflow to it, so that we enhance our productivity.
Barbora: For me, it’s freedom and flexibility, trust, and my amazing colleagues. I’m trusted and given the freedom to set up my schedule the way I want. I can experiment with messaging. I can come up with ways to improve our processes, and all of this is welcomed.
I also greatly appreciate the way we help each other, educate each other, and share our experiences and best practices.
Eliška: One big reason for me is the team and the company culture, which is something truly unique. It’s so family-like that I look forward to going to work every day.
I also love the variety of my role. I enjoy being involved in all different parts of the process and speaking to different people in different parts of the world. And last but not least is the flexibility. As a mum of two kids, the flexibility and work-life balance at Productboard are amazing.
Anna: The friendly-yet-professional spirit at the company is hands down the number one reason I enjoy working here. I also love how we support each other to grow and use our individual strengths.
Secondly, I thrive in an environment of rapid growth, because it gives me the opportunity to learn something new every day.
And last but not least, I appreciate the option of working remotely. I live one hundred kilometers from Prague, so joining the team remotely gives me the opportunity to be a part of this fantastic group of people without needing to commute daily.
Is there something that surprised you after you joined Productboard?
Cecilie: I was definitely taken aback by the inclusivity here at Prodtboard. From day one, no one ever showed any indication of the superiority of their roles. No matter what your position in the workplace hierarchy is, people will treat you with respect and show interest in your thoughts and opinions.
Even our CEO, Hubert Palán, said specifically that he doesn’t want us to be intimidated, and that we should reach out to him if we feel like we want to talk.
Barbora: The Productboard culture would be No. 1 for me. I remember myself being in absolute awe the first few weeks from everytyhnig I’d witnessed. People are friendly, welcoming, accepting, and caring. I felt immediately included.
Eliška: I don’t know if something really surprised me per se. I had been following Productboard as a company for a while before I joined, and it happened to be exactly as I dreamed it would be – startup-like, cool environment, informal, and super friendly. What surprised me in a good way was how things are done, especially the tech tools, which really make the work so much easier!
Anna: For me, a very pleasant surprise was how quickly new ideas and solutions are executed. Any innovations we come up with at our team meetings get the green light to be implemented right away, and I love that. I feel there’s a great sense of empowerment and trust.
What was your journey like before joining Productboard? What is your background?
Cecilie: I moved to the UK after high school, where I completed my degree in psychology. I always knew I wanted to work in a field where I could learn more about people and their behaviors, and I wanted to explore people’s wants and motivations more. So I figured that recruitment was a good path to take in order to learn more and to contribute by applying my knowledge in the field. This is my first recruitment experience.
Barbora: For two years before Productboard, I was working as a junior recruiter at Alza, which was also my first professional work experience (I started there as an HR trainee). I thought it would be really useful to have a proper sourcing background since I had experience with recruitment. To my surprise, I enjoy what I do now more than actual recruitment. I am also studying management and psychology.
Eliška: I have been in sourcing for a while now — nearly seven years (with two breaks for maternity leave). I moved to the UK about seven years ago and got my first sourcing job at one recruitment solutions company, supporting the recruitment of one of the biggest banks in the world — a very corporate environment and a very different world from what it is like at Productboard. But I learned a lot and never would take it back. After moving back to the Czech Republic I was lucky to join Productboard’s Talent Scouts team. As a working mum, I am currently working on a part-time basis.
Anna: Having majored in English, German, and Pedagogy, my background was originally in education. However, during my final year at university, I took an assistant job at a recruitment agency, and I have been working in the field of HR ever since. I later switched to talent sourcing, which I felt was a better fit for my strengths and personality.
Could you describe what your typical day looks like?
Cecilie: I usually start my day by reading on the train on the way to the office. I read the information that answers the questions I have about the roles I am working on, and I learn about what our colleagues in those positions actually do on an everyday basis.
When I arrive at the office, I sync with the recruiter I am working with, check my email and LinkedIn, and plan my day. Next, I usually focus on one role and start sourcing. I always try to stay in touch with the hiring managers, so we’re on the same page.
I also work on my side projects. Right now I’m working on a series of interviews with Productboard’s designers to understand what they like about Productboard, so we can improve our approaching strategies.
Barbora: For me, every day is slightly different. However, all of them include sourcing to some degree. The beginning of the week is dedicated to setting up priorities, updating each other on current stats, and approaching potential candidates. The rest of the week includes a lot of focused work for different projects and sourcing.
Eliška: I usually start my day by reading all the messages and responses from candidates. I check my calendar for the day and plan my sourcing priorities. Some days, I spend a lot of time on Zoom meetings and brainstorming meetings. Other days, I have more time to focus, and that’s the best time for diving into sourcing itself.
It really varies, and that’s what I enjoy. Sometimes I also play recruiter and interview some candidates. I also enjoy working on some small projects here and there when I have time.
Anna: My day typically consists of sourcing, reaching out to candidates, team meetings, and working on our internal projects, but the order of these activities differs from day to day. There’s also some learning time every week to stay ahead in topics related to engineering.
What are some of the roles that you’re currently working on?
Cecilie: I’m currently looking into three design roles and two leading product roles. In product, you invest a lot of quality time into fewer people. It may take a great deal of precision, but it gives me chills when I bring in the right people into the pipeline.
Barbora: My current focus is on the engineering classics — React, Kotlin, and Ruby engineers. I was also happy to start working on an engineering manager role, as it’s a different kind of challenge and it’s interesting to see how this role varies in many ways from those previously mentioned.
Eliška: I am supporting the Go-To-Market team, so I am working, for example, on sales account executives in different locations like Dublin and London as well as account managers and various customer success roles. There is a lot of variety.
Anna: As I’ve recently joined the Engineering hiring team, one of the first roles I’ve been working on is a Permissions Expert. It is a brand new and rather unique position, and I like analyzing all the various professional backgrounds this person might come from.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Cecilie: I like to focus on things that help me to understand myself as well as other people. I have been attending a couple of psychology courses over the past couple of months.
In terms of activities, I really enjoy outdoorsy sports such as cycling, skiing, and roller skating. And when I want to chill, I just spend time with my family, friends, or my dog. Sometimes, I craft or draw while watching a series.
Barbora: I like spending time outside in nature in both active and passive ways. I’m not that into sports, but cycling or hiking sounds like the perfect plan for a sunny afternoon. In the winter months, I reduce my suffering caused by a lack of sunlight by watching TV series and enjoying hot baths. Oh, and I love coffee and food, so I will never say no to engaging in one or the other.
Eliška: I love spending time with my family outdoors, exploring new places, and going for nice walks in nature. I love specialty coffee, and I tend to plan our trips to end in some nice coffee shops. I also love horse riding! And to relax I do yoga or binge-watch Netflix while doing some handcrafting. Currently, I am trying to learn knitting.
Anna: I’m really keen on painting and reading, and I pretty much divide my free time between those two activities. Last year, I started recording watercolor tutorials and publishing them on an e-learning platform, and I truly take joy in that. It is yet another way to grow and have fun at the same time.