Taya Mliuzan: “When it comes to hiring high-profile specialists, soft skills reign supreme.”

Taya Mliuzan: “When it comes to hiring high-profile specialists, soft skills reign supreme.”

Taya started her career in IT recruitment in 2006. She was initially in charge of recruiting, and as HR Manager, she worked with freelance recruiters and employment agencies to fill open positions. What began as a part-time student job has evolved into a full-time position as an internal recruiter.

It was eye-opening for her to see how difficult it is to find a qualified partner to entrust the task of filling vacancies to. She had prior experience working in recruitment agencies and was eager to learn more about this business opportunity.

In 2014, CNA International IT began operations. Her ambition was to establish a white-box recruitment firm that excelled at both ends: as a recruitment partner identifying like-minded high-profile talent and as an employer providing a meaningful and fulfilling employee experience that fosters professional development.

We interviwed her to know about how CNA International IT works and operate, what their clients search in candidates and even how they handeled the war in Ukraine.

What does CNA IT do, and how does it do it?

CNA International IT is a global recruitment firm that specializes in hiring high-profile technical specialists and top executives. The agency’s goal is to raise the quality of recruitment services to a new level through well-defined workflows and innovative approaches.

Our strategy is straightforward:

  • Use innovative methods to find viable solutions for your company’s needs.
  • Conduct extensive research to uncover hidden opportunities, expose hidden threats, and determine available options.
  • Maintain cost-effectiveness and efficiency in all aspects of the operation.

CNA IT was founded in Ukraine eight years ago. Ukraine is going through one of its most difficult periods in history. How have you handled this new situation? 

Since 2014, the threat of a full-fledged war with Russia has loomed. As a result, we always had an emergency plan in place in case things got too hot. Due to growing border tensions, we updated the plan by January 2022. We’ve researched how to evacuate employees and relocate them to a safer location, both in Ukraine and elsewhere.  

This strategy assisted in softening the blow. We’ve gradually gotten into the groove of working on our projects after a period of adjusting to the new reality. Because the war disrupted everyone’s plans, there is a high demand for market research projects that highlight our company’s exciting opportunities.

We’re now considering the future, all possible outcomes, and how to prepare for any scenario. The family approach to business development helps us get through the tough times and perform to our full potential.

You have clients all over the world. Do they have something in common about what the candidates are looking for?

Our clients are looking for candidates who will take their projects to the next level. From a business standpoint, our clients value expertise and domain knowledge the most. However, this does not imply that domain or technical expertise is the only factor they consider when hiring tech talent. However, it is difficult to get around without it.

When it comes to hiring high-profile specialists, soft skills reign supreme. Soft skills and emotional intelligence help cross-cultural teams become more efficient and engaging.

Soft skills are even more important in C-level executive searches because the cost of a bad hire is significantly higher. As a result, our clients place a premium on assessing candidates’ soft skills from multiple perspectives.

Finding the right IT candidate can be difficult. There is a lot of demand and competition for certain profiles. How do you differ from the rest to attract and hire the best top talent?

We are innovative in three areas:

  • Customer experience – In this case, our goal is to establish a trustworthy and transparent business relationship that is mutually beneficial. How do we innovate in this area?

We keep meticulous records of every aspect of our work.

We have a detailed requirements elicitation process that covers every conceivable angle of information to keep everyone on the same page.

This method concentrates our efforts. When data is meticulously detailed, you can close a complex with a single candidate because you know exactly who you are looking for.

Furthermore, this reduces the risk of bottlenecks. There is less reliance on the specific person in the pipeline due to thorough documentation. If someone goes on vacation or sick leave, the replacement simply plugs into the system and continues the process with no productivity losses.

  • Candidate experience – in this case, we have two goals. On the one hand, we must move the candidate through the recruitment process. On the other hand, we want to find a job that is suitable for the candidate. How can we innovate to achieve these objectives?

We emphasize culture and values while working on open positions. If you want to hire a specialist for a long-term partnership, culture fit is critical. Hard skills are unquestionably important. However, the work can be much more than just a source of income.

As a result, we investigate those characteristics of the candidates during the screening and interviewing process. The findings are then compared to the culture and values of the company for which we are hiring. As a result, our candidates tend to stay with companies for a long time and are frequently promoted to top management positions.

Furthermore, we always keep in touch with the candidates we work with. We keep them informed. We collect feedback at each stage of the recruitment process. As a result, we’re keeping the client and candidate at odds so that the hiring process is as efficient and mutually beneficial as possible.

  • Employee experience – in this case, it goes back to why we founded CNA International IT in the first place – to provide a meaningful and fulfilling work experience. How can we innovate in this area?

Personal Development Plans – Providing growth opportunities is one aspect of a mutually beneficial relationship between employer and employee. We invest in our team members to help them improve their skills and broaden or deepen their knowledge.

Encourage proactivity and a can-do attitude – another important aspect is to allow space for initiative to bloom. It is critical to keep the workflow dynamic and flexible, as well as to experiment with new things and methods. Our team experiments extensively with sourcing techniques, recruiter-candidate interactions, and interview assessment methods – there are so many possibilities; why stick to the formula?

Are there any interesting projects in the works?

During the early stages of the pandemic, at CNA we discovered that there was a high demand for comprehensive market research. Many clients asked us to find 20 java developers in 1-2 months and had no idea about the nuances of the local market or cultural differences. We saw it as an opportunity to broaden our services.

It is now one of our top services, and it significantly contributes to making recruitment and consulting services more efficient and cost-effective.

We are convinced that solid analytics and a wealth of data on various aspects of the business segment, it’s niches, and the labor market are critical tools for businesses seeking to gain a competitive advantage.

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About Author

Albert Mercadé Laborda

Marketing Manager. Albert is fascinated by current labor trends, technology, and the humanities, as well as their interconnections. His main objective is to create a compelling communication experience that resonates with the audience.