Behind the Scenes: Interview With Our Talent Acquisition Team

Vanity joined Aurai as a Talent Acquisition Specialist almost five years ago. A couple of years later, Devi joined the team and together hire and select the best talent for Aurai. Read all about Vanity’s and Devi’s journey to and in Talent Acquisition at Aurai and their aspirations for in the future.

Introduce yourselves!

V: I am Vanity and I have a background in Entrepreneurship and Retail Management. During my studies I came to believe that a company’s success depends on several factors: from finding the right people to grow to getting the best out of themselves professionally and personally by providing good employership. My internships in recruitment and HR confirmed this. I wanted to help job seekers to find the right challenge for them because I saw that it is not always easy. So eventually I got a message from Lars (Founder of Aurai) that my profile appealed to him and if I was interested in a Talent Acquisition Specialist position. Let me say I was not familiar with the data industry, but Aurai immediately caught my attention. The job is completely linked to my ambition of helping people get the best out of them and helping the organization find the right talent. I can say I never left an interview so excited, so when I got the offer it was a no-brainer for me.

D: I am Devi and my background is in Sociology and Culture, Organization and Management. I pursued this path because of my  deep interest in what motivates people; what drives them to behave in certain ways and different contexts. Like Vanity, I knew early on that I wanted to develop professionally within a role that helps people by connecting them. So, I started my journey at Aurai a year and half ago with no experience in and little knowledge about Talent Acquisition. I had lost some confidence in my capabilities after I was rejected by several companies for lack of experience in specific roles, and joined Aurai without any awareness of trends around data/technology..  I met Vanity, and she showed me that there is much more to a person than a resumé. She trusted my capabilities and that helped me trust them too. my. That’s why I joined Aurai: they  hire the best talent for their organization,  and bring the best out of their intrinsic motivation, goals and ambitions.

Introducing Aurai’s Talent Acquisition Specialists Vanity (left) and Devi (right)

What do Talent Acquisition Specialists do, and how do you collaborate?

V: As Lead Talent Acquisition Specialist I take care of and oversee the entire recruitment and selection process and everything that goes with it. You can think of determining job profiles, managing and taking care of events, managing collaborations, working on strategy and the vision of the talent acquisition team, ensuring that the goals are achieved in the team and of course conducting job interviews and guiding candidates through the application process. What I like the most about working as a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Aurai is speaking and thinking along with candidates for different roles. I am happy if I can help someone a step further towards his or her new challenge, even if this is not within Aurai. Last but not least, is having Devi in my team and making sure that she is given the space and confidence to see what makes her happy within this role and what her strengths and weaknesses are and contribute to her growth. What I like least is writing vacancies and keeping track of my administration. I think I can manage just fine and I understand that it is part of the job, but it is certainly not my favorite activity.

D: Vanity focuses on professionals from different seniority levels, while I select and hire the best talent for our advanced data traineeships. Furthermore, I am also focusing on a solid Diversity/Equality/Inclusion policy for Aurai (you can read more about it in my article published on Medium!). Socializing with others gives me a lot of energy; I like learning about their backgrounds and passions. These conversations are very inspiring and help me reflect on my own life. It’s so satisfying to watch the people you hire genuinely happy at Aurai and to stay a part of keeping them happy. This makes me all the more motivated to recruit new hires for new challenges in the data field. Searching for potential talent can become monotonous, but it’s a good challenge to make it fun and always rewarding to bring in someone new!

Devi: “It is so motivating that the people that you selected and hired are genuinely happy at Aurai and that you have to keep it that way”

What are some of your proudest achievements and your future goals?

V: I’ve had many proud moments at Aurai. I recruited not one but two groups in my first year, and our data engineering group during Covid. I organized an open house evening, and three visitors recently joined the traineeships. I’m so happy we found Devi and that she joined my team. The move to Weteringschans and our rebranding has been very exciting. I hope to increase my presence at events outside of Aurai and host more open houses. With Devi at my back,  I have more time and space to plan ahead and to develop these events. I also hope to be more active with my LinkedIn network and further disseminate Aurai’s developments.

D: Like I said, I began with no experience or knowledge about data technology and had to select and hire trainees for our Data Engineering Traineeship just a few weeks into the job. I was intimidated but also motivated to show strong results. By hard work, dedication and learning a lot from Vanity, I managed to hire two amazing people in a short time. I am still critical of myself, learning through new challenges and hoping to contribute more to Aurai. This role helps me grow my communication skills, like interviewing or actively listening. I’m looking forward to expanding our intern team with the best of the best and working further on DEI in the company.

How have you transformed, or wish to transform, the role of a (Lead) Talent Acquisition Specialist at Aurai?

V: I wish to further expand our team by subdividing recruitment aimed at traineeships, interim data experts and commercial talent for the internal team. We should also deploy different disciplines like marketing, office management and people and cultures. These two ambitions are very interconnected.  I want the quality of my work to show that you should follow your passion even if the sector is traditionally male-dominated. There is only one way to change that. The name Aurai comes from mythology: The Aurai were demigoddesses who brought the winds of change, so I want to encourage anyone who identifies as a woman to make that change with us.

D: I think DEI can play a big role in the work of a Talent Acquisition Specialist. As a Talent Acquisition Specialist you are responsible for the people who are going to work at Aurai, and so recent developments surrounding diversity and inclusion should inform the functioning of the organization as a whole. I can imagine that, as a woman, it can be intimidating joining a sector that is very male-dominated. It is therefore our job, as Talent Acquisition Specialists, to encourage women by giving transparency about the data industry and supporting them to break the mold. For example, we recently posted facts about the lives of women scientists for International Women’s Day in Science. We recognize these scientists so that women will know they have always been integral to the business of science.

What advice would you give Aurai’s future trainees/employees?

V: Knock on our (digital) door for more information, because information is we’re here for right?  Our chats are completely non-binding and we can always help you find what you need to get to where you are meant to be.

D: I completely agree with Vanity and would like to add to take initiative and speak your mind. We are open to any suggestions that could make Aurai a better place to work!

Are you looking to chat with Vanity or Devi about the next step in your career? Take a look here!