Babet is very passionate about her job. Sure, many people claim to be, but she walks the walk. With 6+ years in the tech recruiting space, this is her second go-around with WeAreKeen, after several successful ventures as both an in-house and embedded tech recruiter and talent partner on the international stage. She’s an Amsterdammer by birth, but has been a driving force behind the growth and development of the Berlin office for WeAreKeen since it’s beginning. Babet has made a concerted effort to gain as much experience as she can working abroad, but still finds the time to commute home to see her friends and family on weekends, and pop in to the WeAreKeen office in Amsterdam to stay connected with her peers.
Let’s learn more about Babet. Enjoy the interview!
WeAreKeen: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Babet: I’ve worked in tech recruitment for 6 years. I started in the IoT industry in Amsterdam, but after a couple years wanted to move abroad for international working experience. It was then that I came in contact with WeAreKeen, and was offered a role in Berlin. Truth be told, I had my eyes set on Paris, but it worked out!
I commute on a regular basis between Amsterdam and Berlin and find value in both places, as far as friends and family and work are concerned. It’s a long train ride, but I feel like it’s better for the environment than flying constantly, so it’s a positive trade-off.
Why did you decide to join WeAreKeen?
I was in touch with Annemarie Sterk (co-founder of Keen) on LinkedIn and we had some good talks. Actually, thanks to a random meeting with someone in Bali who had great things to say about Berlin, I decided it could be a good fit!
Tell us about your growth so far at WeAreKeen.
I’ve been here for 7 months so far and in that short period of time: I have worked with a big company from the USA helping to scale (Box), and I am now with a fintech scale-up from South Africa (Yoco), which has a great, rich, company culture. I also recently got promoted to Talent Lead, which allows me to continue building the Berlin office location (WeAreKeen) but from a management and team leadership perspective.
What does being an Embedded Recruiter mean to you?
Someone who can, in a very short period of time, understand the needs of a company, and who can help set a realistic plan for the company at the time. This is essential, particularly in the phase of recruitment. It’s also about exploring the role inside the company and figuring out how to hire in a way that the employees are a great culture-match; so they are more apt to stay with company and be an ambassador for the company. It’s great to go in with a plan, but you have to really understand and experience the needs of the company and modify your plan when necessary.
Do you see a difference between an embedded recruiter and an in-house recruiter?
Yes, and I personally worked as an in-house recruiter (N26 and Clay) before being an embedded recruiter. From an embedded recruiter standpoint, you can see a lot of companies in a short amount of time and see all the successes and failures, and take that education to the next project, which would work well if you became an in-house recruiter. There’s some good learning experience that comes not only from the company culture, but also from working the different markets.
What is it like to be one of the first Berlin office satellite employees?
I love changes, so I really feed off the energy of growing this office, recruiting new co-workers, and developing the vibe and culture in the office. I also enjoy the travel from client to office to the WeAreKeen homebase in Amsterdam, which helps keep the connection with my peers. Being on-the-go and experiencing change is an environment that I thrive in!
Being on-the-go and experiencing change is an environment that I thrive in!
Tell us about the company you're working at and your role there.
Yoco is a fintech scale-up based in South Africa with 500 employees. They’ve had tremendous growth. They allow small companies--entrepeneurs who hadn’t worked with card payments, previously--to receive card payments.
Tell us what your first month looked like at WeAreKeen.
I missed the workation! Haha, that was too bad. But I was in Berlin looking for an office, getting to know Alicja and understanding each other’s working habits. We also met our new client, Box, and got to work right away.
Tell us about your day-to-day work experience.
Most of the day goes into working on whatever assignment we have agreed upon with the company. Another big part of it is accumulating and sharing the knowledge of the markets we’ve worked in with our WeAreKeen colleagues. For example, spotting trends in benefits, hybrid/remote working models, etc. My day-to-day is not relegated to just recruiting, but I am involved in advising as well as the operational aspects. Since I’ve taken on more responsibility it has evolved, and continues to do so, so I don’t have a specific regimen or routine.
What do you enjoy most about being an embedded recruiter?
What I really like is learning how businesses work, particularly the organizing structure. And of course the exposure to different markets and different companies in a short amount of time. This career has provided a multitude of learning experiences, both professionally and personally.
What’s the best advice you would give your fellow embedded recruiter to succeed on a project?
You have to identify the problem before you can begin working on the solution. It’s okay to have a plan going in, but really listen to what they’re struggling with and get a good grasp on what the points of need are. Take in all the information, and understand that what you are doing is a joint operation with the internal team. If you do that, you are putting both yourself and the company in a position to succeed.