Let's talk about… recruiting trends & PIABO benefits

In our "5 questions with…" section, we introduce you to our PIABO colleagues and share their expertise in communication and PR strategies. Today: Julia Pierce, Talent Engagement Lead at PIABO. We talk to Julia about modern recruiting, the perfect job description and which benefits are really worthwhile (spoiler: the fruit basket is not).


1. Julia, you are our recruiter at PIABO and have already convinced many talented people to become part of the team. How do you go about it? What does your daily work look like (if there is such a thing for you)?

Most days are colorful and quite varied. With the first coffee in hand, I answer the first emails and LinkedIn feedback in the morning. From 10:00 a.m. onwards, I usually have phone calls with interesting PR and social media talents. The day then continues with coordination of get-to-know-you meetings and days for the various units, feedback phone calls with applicants, contacting potential candidates via LinkedIn, placing job ads and, of course, internal meetings to constantly improve our recruiting. But the best part of the job is to be able to tell someone at the end of the process that they will soon be part of the PIABO team. 


2. How has recruiting evolved over the last few years? Are there any no-go's in interviews and during the hiring process nowadays?

Accompanying potential new colleagues on a more personal level throughout the entire process has become much more important: Whether it's addressing people directly on a first-name basis, the fact that a LinkedIn profile is actually enough for us nowadays and we no longer need a resume or cover letter, or that interviews are more of a conversation and exchange and less questions and answers. Really, the only relevant questions are: What strengths do you bring to the table, what tech topics excite you in PR work, and how can you use your personality to enrich our PR teams? That's it.

For most people, a change of job is not only an important career decision, but often also one that has a significant impact on their private life. Candidates therefore choose very carefully where they want to work up to 40 hours a week and put their energy into. That's why it's important to us to always communicate openly, promptly and transparently, and to paint a clear picture of the tasks and expectations, the team spirit and general working conditions right from the start. Our goal is to answer all pending questions before a decision is made – whether on the part of the company or the person applying. 


3. How important are corporate values and a strong corporate culture for recruiting new talents?

Almost all of the talents I speak to every day have looked at our homepage and/or our social media channels in advance and thus gained a first impression of our culture. My personal and professional assessment: What's the point of having the best job if you can't identify with the company’s topics or the values? Candidates have a good sense for when corporate values are either not clearly defined or only used as a marketing tool. A well-maintained website, authentic social media channels and lived corporate values are therefore an absolute must-have for recruiting success.


4. PIABO also offers a whole range of benefits for its employees. From your experience, which benefits work best, and which ones should companies stop offering?

Even though many things like free drinks, regular feedback sessions, and professional and personal development opportunities should be a matter of course at this point and therefore no longer worth mentioning, you still often read about them as benefits. That's fine, but in my opinion it's no longer enough.

The last two years have of course also presented us as an employer with special challenges and we also had to learn and adapt a lot to be able to continue exciting our employees about PIABO as an employer brand. Many of our benefits have been introduced because the needs and circumstances of our employees have changed since the beginning of the pandemic. In particular, the desire for flexibility in terms of location and working time models has become stronger among many in recent years. At the same time, employees naturally want a secure job and a safe, stable working environment. We offer every person the opportunity to work at their favorite location – whether from home, in our hubs, at our Berlin headquarter or for up to three months from other European countries as a workation arrangement. Of course, for that we provide the appropriate equipment, from laptops to office chairs. 

At PIABO, we love character and personality and are convinced that every biography is an enrichment for our team. Which is why we want to give each person the appropriate personal and professional development options and therefore offer the option to advance as either a manager in a leadership position or as an expert in a particular field. For that, regular meetings are held to design individual training and coaching plans. In addition to a separate annual budget for external development, regular internal academies on PR and social media topics are also offered. There is now at least one per week, and usually two or three. Our Head of People Development & Employer Branding, Juliane Seack, has made a really great impact there in recent weeks and months.

Long story short: When speaking with candidates, I always notice that PIABO does a few things quite differently than other agencies, and that goes down well with most of them. And of course we are always happy to hear that!


5. Last question: What do you love most about your job?

​​What I like most about my job is getting to know so many different characters, because each and every one of them brings their own personal biography with them. I talk to so many different people every day, so every process is different – that's what makes recruiting special for me. And I'm actually still happy, even after more than eight years as a recruiter, about every single hire and every new starter on the PIABO team. 


If you would also like to have a chat with Julia about your career opportunities at PIABO, feel free to contact her via e-mail or write to her on LinkedIn. She is looking forward to hearing from you!

Let‘s drive your success story.