Valeria began her career in corporate recruitment fresh out of college and eventually joined WeAreKeen as an internal talent partner where she’s been focused on end-to-end recruitment, as well as on various internal projects. 

Today she shares with us her experience working as a corporate recruiter. She lays out the hiring processes at WeAreKeen, bringing to focus the candidate experience, and highlighting the importance of the human aspect in recruitment.

She also offers tips and tricks for fellow recruiters to succeed in their job, while facing challenges brought on by the rapidly changing recruitment industry.


WeAreKeen: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Valeria:  I was born and raised in a small town in Bulgaria, but early on I realised that I wanted to broaden my horizons, which prompted me to leave my hometown to pursue studies abroad. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in International Psychology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, I followed my passion for people and communication and began my career in recruitment. After my entry into the field at a startup, I’ve joined WeAreKeen as an internal talent partner.


Why did you decide to join WeAreKeen? 

I was drawn in by the culture - of how WeAreKeen cares about candidates and employees. I was very impressed with how human the hiring process was: they were quick and efficient, yet very candidate-minded. As someone who is early in their career with a passion for learning, growth, and development - which I share with many teammates - the Keen Academy was also a huge draw. The Academy with its masterclasses offers keenies the possibility to share knowledge and insights, and develop hands-on skills.


The Keen Academy with its masterclasses offers keenies the possibility to share knowledge and insights, and develop hands-on skills.


What did your first month look like at WeAreKeen?

Thanks to the team, the onboarding was smooth. I thought it was too good to be true! I was soaking up all the processes of the internal team while already thinking about how we could optimise our recruitment cycle, and do even better.


So tell us, what does a corporate recruiter do?

I am focused on the expansion of our team in Amsterdam, which includes end-to-end recruitment, and I'm also optimising current hiring processes and systems to make sure WeAreKeen has a top-notch organisational structure.


What do you love most about your job?

I love bringing new talent to WeAreKeen and seeing new faces in the office. I get the chance to work with everyone on the team, which is great about corporate recruitment. The environment is very collaborative and I’m surrounded by so much knowledge and insight about the industry, so I'm constantly growing professionally. I also get the opportunity to work on different strategic projects with other departments.


Can you describe the hiring process at WeAreKeen?

Our hiring process consists of four stages. It begins with a conversation between a corporate recruiter and the candidate to see if there’s a match when it comes to the skill set, experience, and cultural fit. If so, we proceed to the next stage in the process, where the candidate gets the chance to meet one of our Team or Client Talent Leads and discuss the role in further detail. The third stage is a recruitment challenge where we assess the candidate’s skills in action. And the fourth and final stage is to meet with one of our co-founders and the members of the team.

The process is quick, and it generally takes about 10-14 days, but we always tailor it to candidates' timelines.


Do you think that the hiring process at WeAreKeen is different from other companies?

Definitely, in the sense that the candidate is our priority. WeAreKeen cares - and they know it. It's really about bringing the human aspect into recruiting and creating human experiences at every stage of the talent lifecycle.


The candidate is our priority. WeAreKeen cares - and they know it. It's really about creating human experiences at every stage of the talent lifecycle.


On the one hand, this means that we give our candidates the opportunity to be heard. We are open to listening and receiving feedback. We then use this feedback to optimise our recruitment processes and our approach.

On the other hand, it's about going that extra mile for our candidates. This means we also go beyond “the work” and support our candidates outside our hiring process. This might be a help with relocation or help with settling down in the Netherlands,  providing them with useful information about opening bank accounts or getting legal and admin matters in order.

We also continue supporting them once hired at WeAreKeen. We check how they are doing and offer the support they might need with anything outside work.


What are the main challenges you face as a corporate recruiter?

I believe that the main challenge of every recruiter is to be mindful of the industry and the market. It's about staying up to date with new trends, current events, and changes and shifts in the market. And then being flexible to switch focus and priorities quickly, adapting processes and approaches to identify and hire top talent.

I also strive to always consider the human aspect of recruitment. I am a trusting partner to my candidates, nurturing long-term relationships, while still “getting the job done” by hiring high-quality talent.


How do you manage these challenges?

I am open to listen, learn and grow. I have the privilege to work with so many recruiters and pick their brains, which helps. The best resource, actually, is the information I get from my own candidates who are plugged into everything that is going on in the industry.