In just two years, our team member, Maria, made her way from a support consultant to a hiring specialist. What was her story with SupportYourApp, and what are the perks of being a recruiter? How the public opinion on customer support needs to be changed. Find out from her story.
In this article, we'll cover:
Start of a Journey
The beginning of my story with SupportYourApp is kind of classic. About two years ago, I was browsing job offers on Facebook. I was working as a teacher at the time, but I knew that I didn’t want it to be my career for good. Before graduating, I worked in our family business for many years. My mother used to own a healthy food shop, so since I was a teenager, I worked there, assisting customers and helping them with their issues. With this experience in mind, I started searching for positions where I could apply some of my skills at helping customers. So I started applying to every single customer support position I found online, and that’s how I got an invitation to an interview from SupportYourApp.
Being in Argentina and hearing from a Ukrainian company sounded super crazy at first, so I did some research beforehand. During my research and interviews, I found a lot of exciting information about SupportYourApp. Not only about a company itself, but about its social responsibility, eco friendliness, projects like the Support Your Horse initiative, and so on. After I summed everything up, I knew for sure that this was the company I wanted to join.
What Makes SupportYourApp Special?
I know pretty much every employer on the market promises a warm and friendly environment in their ads. But at SupportYourApp I feel that a family-like atmosphere and a great team we talk about are so much more than just words. People here are truly kind, everyone treats each other with respect, everyone is super supportive. I know for sure we don’t have random people here, everyone who joins us shares our values and ethics.
And I can’t help mention the work-life balance as one more company’s advantage, of course. No one is going to expect you to reply to a message or an email if your shift is over. I remember once, as I was not feeling well, I still joined a video call with my supervisor. She immediately told me to take a day off, and it felt so unusual and nice. At the time, it was still surprising for me that I could actually take a day off without anyone getting angry at that. I think we all have a fair share of experience with toxic environments at some point in our careers, so it is a true relief to see how different SupportYourApp is.
By the way, joining a foreign company was a brand-new experience for me, and it was fascinating. I can say I was kind of looking for that. I’ve always liked traveling and meeting new people from different places, different cultures. So it always feels so enriching, having colleagues all over the world and learning about their lifestyle, their traditions.
General Idea of Customer Service Needs to Be Changed
Unfortunately, people often have stereotypes about customer service, seeing it as a temporary job. I grew up helping my mother in the store, and I assumed that managing it could be my future career. But my mother did not appreciate that. She didn’t want me assisting customers, she expected me to follow my university degree and get a “serious” job. Still, I strongly believe that customer care is a great field for growing and building your career. Starting as a consultant, you can become a Product Expert, a Team Leader, a Service Delivery Manager, or continue your development and be a perfect consultant, as this is what’s always needed. The number of paths open for you is huge.
Working as a support consultant, I really enjoyed dealing with chats, replying emails, and had no issues with handling 150 tickets per day. It was quite comfortable for me, and such a nice working environment as ours really makes everything easier. So if anyone tries to convince you this job is somehow worse than being a lawyer, a doctor, or a teacher — don’t listen to them. Just follow whatever appeals to you.
As I conduct interviews, I see that a lot of candidates come to customer support to polish their skills or gain new ones, and it is actually a great way to do it. You can improve your English, your knowledge in tech, and learn more about some cool products. For example, as I first started, my project had to do with design, something I knew nothing about at the moment. And I’ve learned so many things about color combinations, font types, website creation, making business cards, and so much more. And the amount of ways for self-development is pretty much endless.
People who start their career in customer support and want to grow, should always try their best. Hard work actually pays off. It may sound like a cliché, but it still works. I came to SupportYourApp knowing nothing about ticketing systems, CRM’s, or the product itself. I just tried my best. I was never late or absent without a really serious reason, worked hard to show good performance, and believe it or not, people do take it into account.
First Steps in Recruiting
My transition to the HR department was kind of spontaneous, as a lot of great things are. As soon as I graduated university, I also got an HR training, as I thought it may be interesting to combine my English skills with human resources. I really liked a support consultant’s position, my project was really cool, but one day I just saw an internal opening for a Service Delivery Manager’s position. I decided to apply and just trust my luck with it. During the interview I mentioned my knowledge in Human Resources, and my interviewer told me about one more opening, in the HR department, and offered me to apply for it, so I could use my skills the best way. And that’s how I started as a Hiring Specialist.
I believe the best part of my job is receiving an email about candidates I interviewed, saying they were approved. It always gives me a fantastic feeling of relief and accomplishment. It is also really nice to get positive feedback from candidates, hear their positive impressions, and just getting a little thank-you for making the interview process smooth for them. Sometimes I also get Slack messages, right after a candidate is hired, when they are just saying hi and thanking me. That is always so sweet and heartwarming.
As any other position, mine has its drawbacks. For example, not being able to close a position within the expected time frame is one of the most disappointing aspects of my job. There can be other unpleasant surprises too. For example, when I think I found a perfect candidate, but then they just don’t show up. Or we can find out that a candidate has lied about their experience, skills, or availability on their resume or during their interview. Being ghosted by a candidate was especially stressful at first, but it happens so often that by now I just learned to laugh at it.
The most important skill for the Hiring Specialist, in my opinion, is the ability to remain calm and serious no matter what. People behave so differently during interviews, and not everyone is taking it seriously. Sometimes, as I contact candidates via a video call, I can see people not fully dressed, or drinking beer right during our conversation. But I still need to remain professional and keep a “poker face”, even if I need to wrap up the conversation quickly. Another crucial skill is, of course, being attentive to details and paying attention not only to a candidate’s words, but also to the body language, to the way a candidate speaks, and so on.
Sometimes I like rewatching the first interviews that I conducted when I just started. It is a fun thing to see, because I was so stiff and had a scared face. But this is a great way to track my growth. Now I know that with time, it gets better, and I feel more comfortable.
Who Is a Perfect Supporter and How Do You Find One
Finding a perfect candidate is a little challenging because we are mostly looking for qualities that can’t be taught. There are some crucial skills, like self-control, patience, profound communication skills, politeness, and the ability to handle any conversation. Having the abilities of multitasking and summarizing ideas are very important as well. And of course, the most common skills that we always look for are empathy and being a good listener. Technical details, like how to use a CRM or how to work on Excel, can be taught, but the other skills come with you as a person. It is sometimes hard to find a candidate who meets all the criteria.
A previous background in customer support is useful, but it really depends on the project. Sometimes we are just looking for a person who is a quick thinker, who seems to be diligent, or has a specific background, for example in hospitality or banking. Support experience itself is good, but mostly it’s not a dealbreaker.
If I, as a recruiter, could only recommend one thing to people looking for a job — that would be to prepare a clear CV in English, specifying all of their abilities. The responsibilities in previous positions, hard and soft skills, any specific interests concerning IT. The main idea is to make a resume as detailed and organized as possible. If you cope with that before applying for the opening — you are already ahead of many people.
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Anastasiia is a professional writer with a diverse background. She used to write about IT, logistics, business, but now her main interest is customer support and communication. Anastasiia’s biggest passion is reading — she prefers books over anything. She believes that the greatest thing a keen reader can do is to write themselves.Posted on