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Katharina Heldt is an HR Business Partner at company headquarters in Maintal. In this interview, she talks about the recruiting process at NORMA Group and shares some helpful tips for applicants.
Katharina, what are your responsibilities in the HR team?
As an HR Business Partner, I am responsible for the roughly 300 employees in global functions here in Maintal, but also at our worldwide locations, including those who work in Group Purchasing and IT, for example. This means that I am the first point of contact for my colleagues in Maintal for all HR issues relating to leave, training and development as well as international assignments. I also look after colleagues at other locations and am responsible for recruiting for global functions.
Can you describe the recruiting process at NORMA Group?
All applications are handled through our Jobportal. I review the applications and coordinate closely with the Hiring Manager responsible for the position in question. We invite a number of applicants to an initial interview, which is conducted digitally via video teleconference. The most promising applicants are then invited to a second face-to-face interview.
How has the Corona pandemic changed the recruiting process?
The process has become more digital and faster. We used to conduct all of our interviews in person at the site. It always took a great deal of time to coordinate and plan such an interview – time that we and the applicant can now use more efficiently. It has become clear to us that it is also possible to get a very good first impression of the applicants in video teleconferences, and they can get a good impression of us as well.
How do you think recruiting will develop in the future?
The traditional paper application file will disappear completely in the commercial sector. All application documents will gradually evolve in line with the digitalization process. The classic cover letter will become less important. After all, most recruiters don’t have the time to sift through pages and pages of cover letters. In the future, we will most likely continue to conduct first interviews digitally.
What tips do you have for applicants?
I would highly recommend testing the technology before each video call. Is my Internet connection stable? How can I dial in to the relevant video platform? How is the sound? Do I need to block out background noise? Applicants should also think carefully about what they wear in the interview. Clothing should not be too colorful or heavily patterned. And they should also be really careful about selecting the video background. It is fully okay to reveal something of yourself and your home, but very private items are best removed in advance. Obviously, it’s essential to do some research on the company beforehand.
In general, it is always nice when we notice that the applicants are looking forward to the interview. Being nervous is certainly not a bad thing, but we don’t “bite”, we just want to get to know the person. Technical knowledge is of course important, but you should not hesitate to send an application if you do not yet meet all the requirements. Personality and motivation are much more important to us along with whether the person is a good fit for the team.
What are you particularly happy about in applications and interviews?
My work is extremely rewarding because I get to know so many different personalities. I can really get a feel for the person and find out what they’re passionate about and what their interests are. I really enjoy being able to find personalities that enrich our teams and help us get better as a company every day.