Return to a new company

After almost one and a half years of parental leave, Julia Tismer is now back in her old job. Not only does the HR department at virtual7 changed its name to Core Cluster Human Relations, but many other things have changed in the meantime as well. In the following interview, Julia describes the challenges and changes she had to face in her new old company and describes why she is proud to be part of virtual7.

HOW LONG DID YOU WORK AT VIRTUAL7 BEFORE YOU WENT ON PARENTAL LEAVE?

I started at virtual7 in July 2017 and was able to actively shape the future of our company for two and a half years until I went on parental leave in October 2019. However, after my focus was on the family for one and a half years, I am happy to be an active member of the Core Cluster HR and part of the virtual7 family again. Actually, the plan for me was to come back later, but since my daughter’s acclimation to daycare went great, I didn’t want to stay at home any longer.

AFTER 1.5 YEARS – WERE YOU AFRAID TO COME BACK? WERE THERE ANY CONCERNS?

The night before my first day of work, I was a little sad because I really enjoyed my parental leave. Everything went by so quickly. However, the next morning when I walked towards the office, all sadness was forgotten. It was just nice to be back at virtual7 and I was happy to be able to contribute to the company again. In December, I had a workshop in advance where we discussed how my re-entry will take place and which roles I will take on in the future. After all, a lot has changed at virtual7 in the last year and a half. So, it’s even nicer to be welcomed back with open arms. I had the feeling that I had never been away. For me, it’s like coming home and it’s nice to be able to focus on myself again and be able to contribute to virtual7.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST SKILL?

I think my best skill is that I can engage with people. I enjoy meeting new candidates and getting them excited about the company. I can pass on the joy I have at work to others and communicate it in a lively way. It’s a real shame that there are no trade fairs on site at the moment. Talking to people in person makes it easier to convey the spirit of virtual7 and get people excited about us.

I also have a creative streak and I’m happy to be involved in designing the social media platforms. Even before my parental leave, this was something I really wanted to do. In this area, I can share my ideas and accompany the entire process, from the basic idea to the final realization.

WHAT MAKES YOUR JOB AT VIRTUAL7 UNIQUE?

What makes the job at virtual7 unique is the team and the team spirit. Together we experience many things and can shape the future of the company. I really appreciate the trust that the Managing Directors have in us employees. Unlike a large company, where everything is set in stone, everyone has the opportunity to play an active role. Everyone has the opportunity to actively participate, to help, shape and contribute. That’s exactly what I missed in my previous job. I was one of many who did their work and then went home. At virtual7, it’s completely different. Working here is fun and you know that you are contributing to the progress of the virtual7 team.

THE NEW COMPANY ORGANIZATION - HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?

Slowly, things are clearing up in the tunnel. In the first week, I asked myself a lot of questions, such as: Where am I in all of this? What do I have to keep in mind? I had a lot of question marks in my head and a lot of respect for the topic – responsive corporate organization. The new meeting structures were not clear to me at first. What these ” tactical or governance meetings” were all about was a big mystery to me. I had to get used to the new terms and processes. But the added value quickly became obvious. You work more efficiently on a topic with a specific goal and afterwards you still can exchange ideas in a relaxed atmosphere. The mixture of both makes the difference and has convinced me!

Now I get along much better. It’s also much easier to contact the right people for specific issues. I take a quick look at our “holaspirit” system and know directly whom I can contact without annoying the wrong people. The switch has brought many changes. However, the basic features of virtual7 have remained the same. Before, there was already a lot of emphasis on transparency and the opinions of employees. Holding employees accountable is a very important step, in my opinion. The realignment also means that I have many more interfaces with colleagues from other Clusters, whom I might previously have only met briefly at the coffee machine, at a trade fair or, like our Romanian colleagues, virtually via Teams. It’s great that we don’t just have the team concept written on our foreheads but live it each day anew.

"It's nice to know that you can always come up with new approaches and that the Managing Directors will stand behind you when it comes to executing them."

HOW DO YOU LIKE THE ROLE CONCEPT?

It’s great that all the tasks are no longer carried on the backs of individuals. The distribution of responsibilities allows each role to advance its own project and to think outside the box. I think when our Heads function existed, they almost collapsed under all the tasks. The change to Responsiveness has taken a lot of pressure off them.

WHICH ROLES DO YOU HAVE?

On the one hand, I have the role of Candidate Management, which means I deal with applicant management. As soon as an application comes in, I am responsible for looking after the applicant and coordinating appointments. In this context, I also have the role of Research & Active Sourcing, in which I approach potential candidates on platforms like Xing to get them excited about virtual7. Another role of mine is Content Creation. This was the role I was a bit worried about at the beginning because no one from my Cluster wanted to take on the role yet. But it’s really a lot of fun and even has potential to become my new favorite role. In addition, I now have one of my former tasks as a role as well: HR Marketing. This is a little love-hate relationship of mine. There can be some real friction, but in the end both HR and Marketing are happy with the results and that’s what matters. Besides that, there’s the role of Recruiting Support. In this role, I support the team when a new position in the HR Core Cluster needs to be staffed. And finally, there is the role of Trendscout, which ensures that virtual7 is always one step ahead of the competition on the market.

ARE THEY SIMILAR TO YOUR PREVIOUS TASKS AT VIRTUAL7? OR COMPLETELY DIFFERENT?

I was very open in choosing my roles, but in the end, they are not very different from the tasks I had before parental leave. Of course, there have been some changes and responsibilities have partly slipped into other role definitions. However, I am very satisfied, and nothing is fixed for eternity – which brings us back to the benefits of Responsiveness. Perhaps I will take on one or two additional roles in the future or try out a different focus.

WHICH PEOPLE FIT VIRTUAL7?

At virtual7, the human component has to be right in addition to the expertise. When you’re part of the team, you should simply be able to feel comfortable. We all harmonize very well with each other, and a lot of emphasis is placed on this in the recruiting process. We’re not just colleagues or numbers – friendships are formed here and that makes working twice as much enjoyable.

IF ALL JOBS PAID THE SAME, WOULD YOU CHOOSE YOURS? WHY?

Yes, I would choose my job at virtual7 again. I simply enjoy working with people and I have arrived at my job. I have contact with a wide variety of characters, which means it never gets boring. Whether it’s an Office Management candidate or a developer, everyone has their own story and personality. It’s also nice to be able to support people who have lost their jobs, for example, and give them a new perspective through my work. To see candidates develop into employees, colleagues and friends who work together with you on something great and realize themselves in the process is something very special. Being able to tell all of these stories in combination with the Content Creation role is something that no other job could offer me. This job is worth getting up every day with a smile and full of energy to make new dreams come true. I am happy to be a part of the virtual7 family.