We at Teamdash have long felt that the recruitment and talent specialist community could use more opportunities to share experiences and learn from each other. That’s why we’ve decided to put together a new series – “Meet the Expert” – where we interview recruiters and talent managers globally to gather tips, tools and learnings and share them with our community.
And we’re kicking off our “Meet the Expert” series with a real treat – an interview with Nick Krekis, The Global Recruitment Operations Manager of Miro, a visual workspace for innovation that enables distributed teams of any size to create together seamlessly, regardless of location.
- Founded in 2011, Miro has grown into a truly global, distributed team of 1,800+ people in 12 regional hubs across eight time zones.
- Miro is featured in Fast Company’s “The 10 Most Innovative Companies in the Workplace 2022” and is a certified “Great place to work.”
Big thanks to Nick for taking the time and giving us a chance to glance into his world.
How did you get started in recruitment/talent management, Nick?
Like most people in recruitment, it wasn’t something I ever knew was a job. I studied Creative Writing and Media Comms with a major in feminism at Uni, and once I finished, I had no experience in the corporate world. I was messaged by a Rec2Rec recruiter (there’s probably one too many recruiters in that title), and before I knew it, I was lined up with 12 different recruitment agencies over a two-week period.
Having no idea what recruiting was, I bought “The Professional Recruiters Handbook” by Jane Newell Brown and Ann Swain and learned as much as possible before the onslaught of interviews.
From that point on, I’ve not really looked back.
What would you say is a common misconception about the work of a recruiter/TA manager?
It’s a profession with a really diverse mix of people. London agency recruitment is worlds apart from working in-house, and working as a tech start-up recruiter is completely different from working in a large manufacturing organisation.
Recruiters come from all walks of life, and people can have preconceived ideas about who recruiters are based on their own experience rather than taking things at face value.
The misconception is different across countries, but in the UK, I’d say it’s that all recruiters are just in it for commission, and the people element doesn’t matter to them. This couldn’t be further from the truth for most in-house recruiters.
What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve managed to overcome during your career so far?
After my first 2.5 years of London agency recruitment, I moved to Melbourne, Australia and worked in an executive search firm that specialised in tech start-ups; series A to C funding was the typical sweet spot. This was a completely new way of doing recruitment than I was used to. I was working directly with Founders to help them scope, find, and hire their senior leadership teams. For example, it could be a technical Founder looking to hire a CMO or Head of Sales.
The biggest challenge was the first year; the Melbourne tech scene was like a small village where business was done over coffee, and you had to know all the main players, how different business models were monetising, and then how to sell a start-up story and the problem they were solving.
The only way I got through it was by being a sponge and with time. There were no shortcuts.
What are some of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had in your recruiting career so far?
For me, it was hiring Miro’s extended Sales Leadership team across EMEA. I was given 18 Sales Leader roles that needed to be hired in three quarters, but we were in land-grab mode post-pandemic, and it was all about hiring quality at speed. We had no structure in place, no interview process, a limited amount of experienced Revenue Leaders that could interview, and a highly competitive market.
In three months, I designed a scalable interview process with rubrics and competency frameworks built in, and it allowed for candidates to be considered for multiple roles and then funnelled into the most ideal one. Adjacent to this, I spearheaded an Emerging Leaders program for high-performing ICs to get exposure to leadership alongside our Head of RevOps and Sales Enablement.
The result was being able to hire 12 Leaders in the first quarter (200% of target) while also allowing for professional development and internal promotions for the more junior Sales Leader positions.
What recruitment and talent management trends are you most excited and/or worried about? Why?
In the last month, my team have taken on ownership of how AI can be used and applied to our recruitment process. I’ve always been sceptical, but having spent the last year in operations, I’m starting to see some areas where it could really impact and solve some of the biggest problems organisations typically face. We’re still a few good years away from AI being completely embedded into processes with ease. Still, I believe spending the time now to do the groundwork will be invaluable to understanding the future state of how we go about hiring roles.
What do you feel is special about your current place of work? Why should people apply to Miro?
For me, it’s all about the complexity of the problems we get to solve.
Being able to look under the hood at what happens to a recruitment function after 2.5 years of blitzscaling under no constraints has been fascinating.
That, tied in with the freedom from leadership to solve the problems we find, has led to a pretty epic year of discovery.
What tools that you use in your day-to-day work are the most valuable to you? What do you use them for?
- Completely biased but Miro has changed the game for the way I work. I never realised how much of a visual learner I am, but Miro has supercharged the way I go about solving problems; it almost feels like seeing my mind on a screen.
- Google Sheets has been a great playground to visualise and track data along with Talentwall (CrossCHQ).
In your opinion, what are the most critical skills and qualities a recruiter should possess to be successful in this field?
Resilience and empathy. From there, I think you’re able to teach key skills like the ability to manage change and having a solution mindset.
How do you approach diversity and inclusion in the hiring process and ensure fair and unbiased recruitment?
I think this is something that AI will really be able to influence, solve, and ensure best practice consistency.
We’ve implemented diverse interviewing panels, joint panels, loop interviews, and bias training to ensure a fair recruitment process, as well as only asking evidence-based interviewing questions.
Do you track any metrics/KPIs in your day-to-day work?
Our core metrics are:
- Time to Hire
- Conversion for Offer Acceptance Rate and Hiring Manager Interview to Offer
- NPS (both candidate and HM)
- Efficiency – average hire for recruiters a month
How would you define a good candidate experience? What strategies do you use to offer one?
This really depends on the type of recruiting that you’re doing, but for me, a gold standard would be a high-touch approach with automation on mediums that are personalised to the candidate’s preference.
Recommend 3 books/TV shows/podcasts that you love:
- Diary of a CEO podcast is an all-time favourite. His interviewing technique is incredible, and he has a diverse range of speakers as guests.
- Leadershift by John Maxwell. This is a book I was given by my manager when I stepped into my first leadership role, and it gave some good beginning inspiration on how to shift your mindset from an individual contributor to leading teams to deliver.
- Measure What Matters by John Doerr. This was my first deep dive into OKRs and learning from the stories of how some of the most successful companies in the world turned visions into reality.
How do you know when it’s time to take some time off to avoid burnout? How do you recharge?
I think everyone experiences pressure and life at different paces. The first part of being successful at this is being self-aware and in tune with how you’re feeling.
Like most tech companies, Miro runs on a quarter-by-quarter basis through a financial year. The big shift I made was to align my year in a similar way. I now look at things from season to season and break those up into a month each.
Compartmentalising in this way and breaking things down really helped. I now make sure that each season, I take at least a week off, and every month, I set myself an exercise goal to achieve.
Last month was the Three Peaks Challenge, this month is to cycle 500 miles over 30 days for charity, and next month will be to cycle my first century marathon (100 miles in one go).
These goals help me recharge but also give me a much-needed break from work and another avenue for self-achievement. It’s more about being disciplined than being motivated.
And final question: what motivates you?
Personal growth: Whether that be at work and unearthing a new problem to solve, reaching new heights that I didn’t know my body could achieve, or learning more about myself through therapy.
Thank you to Nick from Teamdash’s team, and make sure to check out Miro – the visual workspace for innovation.
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