Ringside: Insider Interview with Amy Curbelo

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Welcome to Ringside. For new readers, this series asks inspiring people from all sorts of roles about their experiences in business. Beyond this, we like to hear all about what’s going on in business communications. Amy Curbelo from our talent acquisition team has a lot to say about the way recruiting in the tech sector has changed. Keep reading for some solid advice on how to get the most out of hybrid work as a talent partner.

Can you tell us a bit about your career?

Sure, I first got into recruitment in 2009, not long after leaving school. I decided not to go to university and instead got straight into work to build my career. Soon after, I started a job in recruitment, and I knew that this was 100% what I wanted to do. 

Speaking with people, building relationships and knowing the hires I make add to an organisation’s success is something I still get huge satisfaction from. Over the years, I have covered different industries, including legal, financial services, and technology (of course!).

I partner with our hiring community across all business areas in EMEA. My main role is to understand what the business needs, and what profile/experience a hiring manager is looking for in an ideal candidate. We are in hyper-growth mode, which is super exciting for people joining us, but it also means it is really important that we are bringing the right people into the business. 

 

How has your world changed over the past two or so years? Have you found more flexibility at work?

Like most people, my world has changed drastically over the last two years. I have gone from working in central London full time to setting up a home office and doing everything remotely. 

While I’ve missed seeing people in person, there are so many benefits from working in the comfort of my own home. Without that three-hour commute each day, I have more flexibility and time to do things for me. Whether that’s getting things done around the house, spending more time with family or taking the puppy out. Before, I couldn’t even have a dog because I was sat in an office for so many hours a day, doing what I could have been doing at home! 

I think it’s a shame that it took the pandemic for not all but many employers to see the benefits of remote working, both for them and their employees. This has now been widely recognised, and things are heading in the right direction. I’m fortunate that RingCentral is one of those savvy organisations that promote flexible working and encourages not just working from home but working from anywhere. Our technology really does allow us to do that. 

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How has technology helped you succeed in your role? 

It’s hard to imagine doing my role without technology, but of course, there was once a time when recruiters sat there with a Rolodex on their desk full of candidate names and business contact information. All I can say is hats off to them! 

Technology plays a huge part in our success in this role. Firstly, there’s the sourcing and advertising element. Having access to candidates all over the world using platforms such as LinkedIn is key, along with being able to advertise across various sites and attract the right people. 

Gone are the days of relying on newspaper ads and CVs arriving by post. On the point of advertising, there are online tools available to ensure that job adverts are inclusive and likely to attract diverse candidates and encourage them to apply. Applicant Tracking Systems help us manage the applications coming in so everything is in one place. We can navigate candidates through the process, log interview feedback and generate offer letters and contracts.

Many recruiters (at least from my experience) used to run interviews face to face or by phone, and both have their downsides. Candidates would have to make excuses to leave the office or even book half days off to attend these in-person interviews, losing out on annual leave and travel costs. Phone interviews make it more difficult to build that connection with people, mainly because you can’t observe behaviour and body language. 

This is where using our technology to do video interviews has a huge advantage. It allows us to do face-to-face interviews without candidates having to physically come into the office. This is essential when covering roles across EMEA. If a candidate gets to the presentation stage of an interview process, we can jump on a video call with them, have them share their screen with us, and do a dry run-through.

We also encourage candidates to download the free version of our app on their phones to chat with us easily throughout and receive speedy updates on their application and the process. 

What advice would you pass onto other talent acquisition teams facing a new world of hybrid work? 

It’s safe to say that everyone has been affected by COVID-19 in some way, and that’s why it’s so important to be flexible and understanding. This could mean being more open when querying gaps on CVs over the last couple of years. Of course, there have been redundancies, but there’s also been a higher number of people burning out as they try to juggle full-time remote working with homeschooling children and dealing with the stress a global pandemic brings. 

Some people are still very concerned about the virus and feel unsafe using public transport to get into an office daily or even weekly. So I think using emotional intelligence and showing some compassion after everything everyone has been through is of utmost importance. 

With the market the way it is and most candidates having several opportunities, you need to have a defined recruitment process in place. Speedy feedback and updates are vital to moving successful candidates to the next round as soon as possible. There’s nothing more frustrating than missing out on a Rock Star candidate because you were just too slow. 

Finally, I think being yourself and being authentic goes a long way. The culture at RingCentral is all about that. We like candidates to feel they can do the same from the offset and our initial engagement with them. So, it’s about very transparent conversations from both sides and making people feel comfortable throughout the process. The talent acquisition partners here really enjoy interviewing and building those relationships. Making sure people have a positive candidate experience regardless of the outcome is important. Just because a particular role wasn’t quite right for someone, doesn’t mean there won’t be something for them in future. We want to be able to get back in touch with that person when something more suitable comes up.

With the market the way it is and most candidates having several opportunities, you need to have a defined recruitment process in place. Speedy feedback and updates are vital to moving successful candidates to the next round. Click To Tweet

Learn more about recruitment and collaboration in a hybrid workplace

To get more expert insights on communication and collaboration in a hybrid workplace, look out for new episodes of Ringside.

Do what you love. Find out more about careers at RingCentral.

Author

Samantha is RingCentral’s Content Manager for EMEA Marketing. Before joining the business, she worked in content and public relations roles. She has worked with companies in ed tech, marketing and advertising, connected home, telecoms and publishing.

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