BICA People | Slavka Andonova and her transformational path towards success
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Work hard in silence, let success be your noise.” Well, this couldn’t be more true in Slavka Andonova’s case. Her exponential growth is evident as much in her professional career, as it is in her personal life. How did she do it? Keep reading and find out.
1. How do you describe your journey in BICA so far?
My journey has been pretty dynamic. A year and a half ago I stepped into the recruitment world with fairly little experience — the HR industry overall was new to me. I had a rough start, it took me a while to do my first placement but BICA put faith in me and I was given a pretty big project with one of our main clients. The best way to learn is on the go. My team is very inspiring and I was lucky to have a great mentor by my side. I was closely observing each member of the team — how they talk with candidates, how they approach new clients, how they deal with issues. I wanted to catch up to them. I am usually shy but now I find myself being more extroverted than ever. It’s very important to develop good relationships in our field of work, the consistent communication with different parties, the dynamic environment and team ended up changing me for the better.
2. Are there any misconceptions people outside of your field have about your job title?
There is a difference between consultants and recruiters. Some would consider us as an unnecessary middle step between a candidate and a new job. Our goal is not only to make sure we find a great match between a person and a business but to further assist in bringing out the best qualities of each candidate. Our consulting takes into account their skill set, expectations, long term career aspirations, current market condition, job requirements and many more. We want to add value to the whole experience beyond just finding a new job. Happy to say that I still keep in touch with most of the people I helped find a new career, who often reach out for advice.
When it comes to our clients, we help them develop their HR processes. Startups often lack structured interview steps or they need guidance on approaching candidates, sometimes we even find that a particular IT profile is not a fit for them. We help them build their employer branding strategies with consistent feedback, advice from what is currently working on the market and what now. Our goal is to smoothen the process and make both the candidate and the client happy with their choice.
3. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
Stay focused on your goals. No matter that being closing a certain position, standing up for a candidate or an initiative that you believe is valuable to take part in. I used to be self-conscious but now I don’t necessarily take ‘no’ for an answer. If you really believe in something, you go after it.
4. What does a good work environment look like to you?
Every day is a fun day around here. I love our team buildings, the monthly CSR initiatives that we participate in, casual movie nights and get-togethers. Diversity is very important to me and not only in the activities that we take part in but within each person of the team. We all come from very different backgrounds, each one with their unique hobby or skill. You can learn something from each person around you here and I love that about us.
5. What are the things you’ve done at this company that you’re the proudest about?
We had an RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) project with a client of ours, where an external consultant (me) joins an HR team to support the recruitment processes. I was part of the company for 5 months. I had my doubts in the beginning but with good mentorship, preparation, hard work and perseverance I achieved a lot more than expected.
This experience made me confident in my abilities and taught me how to be flexible and apply everything I know in a different setting.
Another thing is a CSR initiative that I was passionate about. Bee preservation is crucial to the survival of our planet, so I shared the idea with the team and a couple of months later we are proud owners of a beehive. The thing that I like the most about BICA is that you are always welcome to share new ideas and chances are you can make it happen.
6. What motivates you?
The team motivates me. I want to be good at what I’m doing, when you work with inspiring people they push you towards success.