With more than ten years of recruitment experience, Alicja has utilized every resource available (legally, of course) to find the right talent for the job. From London to Budapest to Dublin to Berlin and beyond, Alicja has excelled in sourcing talent for hard-to-fill and niche-sector positions and is just as comfortable at an upstart boutique agency as she is in the office of a Fortune 500 company. While technology and these skilled positions in the tech sector evolve side by side - and speedily! - so too does Alicja. She’s on a quest to learn, she keeps herself well-versed in the latest recruiting tools and sourcing methods, and she’s just getting started. 


Let’s learn more about Alicja and her path to becoming a Tech Recruiter and Client Lead.


WeAreKeen: So Alicja, tell us a bit about yourself.

Alicja: I am from Poland, but I left 15 years ago and have lived in 5 different countries since. I really think long-term, Berlin is the place for me. Culturally, sociologically, and as far as work-life balance goes, I like to call this city home. I’m still working on my German, which is a persistent exercise in patience and concentration.

I am really interested in psychology and true crime (docs, TV series, YouTube, etc) and curious as to how some people end up becoming criminals or killers and why others don’t. I find the psychology behind that truly fascinating. I like to keep active through pilates, and to access and activate my creative side, I am currently learning 3D video graphics!

Professionally, I have 10 years of experience in recruitment. I started at a small agency in London before moving on as a Technical Sourcer for Google (based in Dublin), followed by 6 years at Zalando as a Talent and Recruitment Lead. Currently, I am a Recruiter for Box - a cloud content management company based in Silicon Valley - helping to scale their newly opened Amsterdam location, Box Sign. I am contracted through WeAreKeen.


Why did you decide to join WeAreKeen? 

It was a combination of being referred here by old managers, and feeling it was time to move on from Zalando, as I wanted to go in-house again and become a recruitment lead. I think the culture at WeAreKeen is a great fit, and it allows me to get out of my comfort zone and improve my recruitment lead skills in a smaller agency, which I’ve always felt suits me. 


What does being an Embedded Recruiter mean to you? 

It is someone who helps a company (startup or scale-up) scale their team while becoming part of their internal recruitment team. It's a 360-recruitment position. Practically speaking, there’s not too much difference between an embedded vs an in-house recruiter. 

In short, your contract is with WeAreKeen, but you work at a client. As an Embedded Recruiter, your access to documents and the types of clients you support and partner with can differ. Usually, Embedded Recruiters will be treated the same way as an in-house recruiter. At WeAreKeen we have the same access to learning tools and other resources to make our job easier and more efficient.

WeAreKeen is a great fit, and it allows me to get out of my comfort zone and improve my recruitment lead skills


And how would you describe the position of Client Lead? 

It’s very close to being an account manager/project manager. Three months down the line, you lead a project with the clients and then you're managing the account. As a Client Lead, you’re very close to the client and hands-on with soliciting what kind of help they need, then providing support. It’s more strategic and client-facing.

I am a Client Lead and Talent Lead in my current role, so I’m responsible for having one-on-ones with recruiters, mentoring, and supporting. Honestly, I am more comfortable as a Talent Lead, but one of the reasons I joined WeAreKeen is so that I can learn more about being a Client Lead and develop this skill set!


What has been your Berlin satellite office experience thus far?

Up to this point I have always worked at company HQ, so this is quite new and exciting. Me and Babet joined when the office opened, and it was just the two of us; so this was something new, but I was aware of the situation going into it. We are a team of 3 right now in a co-working space in a nice office, so it’s nice to have a local connection. Most of the team is based in Amsterdam which is a small challenge, but the goal is to be able to come 1x month to Amsterdam in the future. Even with the distance, the communication has been very good so far. 


Tell us about the company you're working at, Box, and your role there?  

Box is a cloud content management company, based in Silicon Valley. They acquired a small startup called Box Sign, and we are helping them scale their Amsterdam office out of our Berlin office. So in short: I am working for a Dutch startup, in Berlin, hiring Dutch people. Ha! Of course, it’s not limited to Dutch locals, as we are looking for great talent from all over the globe, with remote working possible. 

I am doing hands-on recruitment: interviewing, hiring and sourcing, etc. because we need to scale our team at the same time! 


What did your first month look like at WeAreKeen/BOX? 

It was the best onboarding experience because I was on a Workation when I started, having fun in a Villa! I was able to go meet everybody face-to-face and establish a connection, all in the lovely setting of a villa in Malaga. Had we not been in that setting, I’m not sure I’d have been able to meet everyone in person at this point. 

I began onboarding with Box a week later. The first couple of weeks I was learning about their process and meeting the stakeholders and just getting a hang of things because they really have their onboarding process structured.