Today we invited Carolina Jacob. She was eager to share her experience working remotely in recruitment, so we welcome her today to add one more nice story to our community.
My name is Carolina Jacob, I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have been working in HR and in recruiting for over 10 years. I have a psychology degree and I am currently studying coaching. I enjoy helping others and supporting others in achieving their goals. This is why very early in my career, I found HR and recruiting as a way of nurturing my passion, by helping others nail that job they wanted or finding that talent for a specific manager and mostly, when it comes to HR, help solve motivation or engagement problems in teams.
I started working fully remotely in 2014. Until then, I had been in hybrid mode, half in the office and half remotely and I loved it from the very beginning!
I am a self-motivated professional and I enjoy getting things done, so I usually don’t see going to the office as a way of acquiring more productivity. I know many people see this differently and that is totally fine, each person has their own working style.
For me, working remotely opened the door to working with colleagues from many different countries, from whom I learned many things.
Given my role, in HR and Talent Acquisition, working remotely was never a blocker to do my job. Even more, these past few years there are many resources and helpful communities of professionals willing to collaborate and help each other. The virtual setup takes out the barriers among locations and the exchange of experiences, challenges and ideas end up enriching each one of those professionals involved.
During covid times, HR became a crucial role. We had to think about new ways of being there for our team members but from a distance. But I am a strong believer that if you have passion for what you do, you will find the way through any challenge and I was happy to see how many professionals were sharing new ideas each day on how they were helping and supporting their teams. Some of the things I did were: have 1 on 1s with team members and leaders; conduct short surveys on wellbeing; share resources that included meditation apps, how to set up healthy routines while being in quarantine; weekly optional team meetings in which we would discuss different topics and there was a section for shout-outs (this was the section that the team enjoyed the most). One of the challenges we had to face was also zoom burnout, as HR professionals, we had to think more strategically when scheduling meetings and make sure they had a meaningful purpose and they couldn’t be replaced for async communications. This meant, make sure that the time we spent together in a virtual room was useful for each one of us there. This also led to optional meetings, 1 day per week of no-meetings, mental health days, and many initiatives that were here to stay.
It became even more clear how social connection and employee support were so crucial in each employee’s wellbeing and as a consequence in the company’s success.
And the good thing was to find out that we didn’t need to be physically in the same place to build those relationships and spaces for social connection. By training our leaders in having meaningful conversations and in being good listeners we could make sure our team members were supported during these difficult times.
In some organizations, where remote work was just being implemented the challenges seemed greater at the beginning, given the fact that they had to adapt very fast to the new reality of working remotely. They had to re-design processes, ways of work, and assess team productivity, among many other challenges they faced. The good side was the number of resources being shared in HR global communities and also the learnings from many companies that were pioneers in remote work which made it something new to the team but not to the world.
I see 2020 as a year of profound growth for many professionals, especially those of us in HR and working in remote teams in which we could find that we can go through a pandemic and create stronger ties among our teams and also among us as a community, by sharing challenges and wins.
It seems 2021 will still be a year of remote work for many professionals around the globe. Who knows what challenges and lessons we will learn by the end of this year?