Elena Topalova and Stefania Popova are two of our very talented recruiters who we are very happy to work with. They put heart and soul into their work and have achieved fascinating results in attracting great professionals to our big family. Currently, they are mainly focused on the exciting roles in the News UK team at Questers, and we have invited them to tell us more about their work, the roles they are working on and the News UK team itself. Read below.
Tell us a little more about yourselves. What are your educational and professional backgrounds?
Eli: I have studied Business Administration in Germany and Sweden, and I have always known I want to work with people, so HR/Recruitment came as a natural choice. I started at a large HR consultancy company as a headhunter working on diverse non-technical roles but, unexpectedly, I fell in love with the IT world several years ago, and this brought me to Questers.
Stefi: I have a BSc in Business Administration and 5 years of HR and Recruitment experience. My professional journey started with two internships – the first one at a not-for-profit organization and the second one in a big TV media, where I had great mentors and learned a lot. After that, I have worked in several corporate organizations and then as a freelancer. The freelancing gave me the opportunity to work with various technology companies and on a broader range of dev positions. This is actually how I came across Questers and started working on some of our positions.
You seem to be collaborating very well together. How do you organize your work? Do you divide the different types of tasks or the positions you are working on?
Eli: Yes, this is totally true! Stefi and I fit perfectly together because we have a very similar personal approach and work style.
Stefi: Yes, and I would say that Eli has an outstanding personality, so communicating and working with her is easy and fun.
Eli: How we organize our work depends on many factors – urgency, who of us has more experience with the profiles needed for the particular opening, workload, etc., so we approach every situation individually and flexibly. But as I said, we are like-minded and things always happen very naturally, so that in many cases we do not even need to specifically discuss something, before taking action. It is really nice to partner with a teammate dedicated to the same client and projects because working with people can be both inspiring, but also demanding and having someone I can share thoughts, emotions, knowledge and experience with is priceless.
Stefi: I agree with Eli, and I am very happy that we have perfect synchrony and we work together as a team.
Eli, you’ve been working with the News UK team for quite some time and have attracted great professionals for some of the key roles in Sofia. Tell us more about the people in the team, what are they working on, and what is the team culture?
Eli: News UK is the owner of some of the most powerful newspaper and digital media brands such as The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and many others. I truly believe it is a great place to work because for the past two years I’ve been dedicated to their team and I have been experiencing all the inspiration and encouragement of the work environment, the passion for knowledge, innovation and quality and the strong tech expertise. I’m sure, this can be easily confirmed by all 50+ engineers of News UK in Bulgaria we have now. These are not just technically excellent professionals, but also people with a special mindset and belief they are working for a big cause.
And Stefi, you’ve officially joined our team a few months ago, but before that, you were contributing to the growth of the News UK team as a freelancer. Tell us, how has your work changed and how do you see the team from the inside?
Stefi: Not much has changed. I am still focused on sourcing quality candidates; I continue to give detailed information about the teams, products and what makes News UK team at Questers such an amazing place to work. Maybe, the difference is that now I have the chance to communicate directly with the hiring managers and better understand their requirements.
Otherwise, I am excited to be part of this the same way I was from day one.
The News UK team is exactly the same from the inside as it seems from the outside. They are one of the best technical professionals you can work with.
What roles are you currently working on, and what challenges are you facing in your everyday work?
Eli: It has been two years now since we started building News UK’s team of super talents (they were awarded Dev Team of the Year in 2019 not by chance) and it is really important for us to keep up the pace, spirit and quality we started with. The engineers here work with a broad palette of technologies such as Typescript, React, Node, PHP, Go, Python, Elasticsearch, Big Data, AWS, Docker, Kubernetes etc., but currently we are focused on expanding the mobile expertise at the team looking for experienced iOS (Swift) and Android (Kotlin) Engineers. One of the major challenges here is the high demand for such talent and the negative impact of the pandemic. We are however optimistic because we fully rely on the support of News UK’s team here and in London.
We have the chance to talk with so many great professionals every day and we will be happy to give more insights to anyone interested.
Share some insights about the projects and the main skills the perfect applicant for the News UK team should have?
Eli: We, Questers and News UK, always strive for sustainability and this means we look for complexity of skills which do not necessarily limit to the technical knowledge. Technical excellence is definitely a priority, but it is as important as the right mindset and the personality of candidates. News UK is definitely the right place for all Engineers who are willing to go the extra mile and make each day count.
Stefi: In my opinion, the main skills a candidate should have are positive attitude, strong technical experience and desire to learn something new every day.
Are you on the look for new career opportunities? Check out the open vacancies at team News UK and make sure to apply here. Eli and Stefi would be glad to talk to you.