The Best I Ever Worked With …by Katy Peichert

Head of Talent Acquisition, The Workshop

While I have worked with dozens of fantastic professionals at different times, I decided to choose these 5 for my personal retrospective, possibly those I have worked the most intensely and whose impact was so far the biggest. I would like to thank everyone with whom I have crossed paths and collaborated with, you have been amazing and I can only hope that you always meet twice!

Daniel Cantos

I got to know him as a Recruiting Manager in my first agency work in Barcelona back in 2013. Dani applied for an International Recruiter’s role in my team. I always think that the greatest recruiters are made – out of the mix of variety of experiences, EQ, interesting education and curiosity. And this is what I got out of our interview. He got the job and started working in my team, quickly demonstrating that he’s not only smart, but gets the things done and with a good sense of humour along the way. TL;DR we met twice: when I joined SoundCloud in Berlin in 2016 and my manager (mentioned later) shared I will need a sparring partner, I didn’t have any doubt that I want to work with Dani once again. I referred him and from there, we built up a fantastic team in a hyper mode way, and we were praised as a dream recruiting team by our Engineering Leaders, making sure our D&I is not left while we’re scaling as crazy. I learned from him the true meaning of the partnership in crime. Hypergrowth, creativity expected from you every day despite the hours of sleep you get – it would be difficult if I was alone, with Dani it was a pure flow. Now we’re in completely different places too: myself in Spain and he’s far away in Hong Kong and I only hope our paths will cross at least once again.

Dr. Anne Seebach

I met Anne at my interview for Wooga in 2014 and I have to say her interviewing style and amazing personality made me want this role and to move to Berlin like never before. Apart from being the most Human People Person I ever met, she is a scientist holding a PhD in geology and a rebel for the right cause (like Bikeygees, among other TRUE D&I initiatives), among other qualities I got to see when we used to work together. She ended up in Recruitment & People topics quite coincidentally (again: great quality for the recruitment pro!) and she revolutionized how tech recruitment can look like and spoke about candidate experience way before it was a must. What I learned from her is how to care about what you do and for whom you work (people!), while keeping your daily job fun. We parted ways about the same time in 2016 when she went on a series of new ventures before landing her roles as Head of People & Culture and myself, specialising in TA at SoundCloud. We still kept in touch and often kept each other in check or did not hesitate to reach out if needed a second, wise opinion. Or go out to an Open Air party or to our favourite Indian restaurant, depending on our mood and energy.

Tim Khoo-Jones

Tim hired me for SoundCloud in 2016 and was my manager for over a year. He for the first time in my accidental-turned-professional career as a recruiter showed me that I can expect a lot from my manager. Tim was a person I once wanted to be when I eventually grow up (and I’ve been on a good trajectory for that prior to COVID-19): well travelled, with vast multicultural and international experience, showing me the meaning of how cultural differences and cognitive diversity may show in practice. I still remember his quote about having built one of the most high performing, diverse teams at SoundCloud, while not being able to share the same jokes and sense of humour in a team where everyone is from a different country, race, age group and of different interests. I still miss the drive, professionalism and the momentum that this team had. Tim also read a lot and often shared his thoughts and findings, leaving almost every 1:1 with a provoking intellectual question to think of, instead of a TO-DO on the operational / tactical side. He was probably the least micromanaging manager I’ve ever met, trusting me to do the right thing and showed how it is to hire great people in practice. Tim helped me avoid burnout and get over imposter syndrome focusing on my strengths first and improvements second, working with me to get my name out to some of the most impactful events and initiatives in D&I and recruitment, which elevated my career to a completely different level than before.

Aleksandra Gavrilovska

Aleks is a Director of Women Who Code and a fantastic engineer I admire for having built some of the products I am using until today. I met her first during Women Who Code events and was impressed by her wisdom, elegance and presence, regardless if she was discussing tech or non-tech topics. Then, I got to know her as a colleague at SoundCloud where we became closer friends and collaborators on the Diversity Resource Groups for Mental Health and Women in Tech. Possibly the most powerful moment during our working relationship was when Aleks shared her personal story about burnout at an internal unconference retreat and from there, created a Mental Health Group movement inside SoundCloud together with some other colleagues. I have always been impressed in her clear thinking, ability to dissect the essence and her approach to life. I am honoured to have spent a few interesting years collaborating with Aleks in my life, both at work and outside of it.

Jocelyn Afful

I think I got to know Jocelyn at the exact same event of Women Who Code as I met Aleks. What an event! And it was in my future office, at Native Instruments. I remember we exchanged just a few comments and back then I was amazed at Jocelyn’s passion and energy for TA (Talent Advocacy – her trademark) as science and HR (Honest Recruiting – another great trademark). I remember taking a mental note back then that I would love to work with Jocelyn once and boom – not in 2 years of time, she referred me to join her own team at NI. She has been amazing from day one: from accommodating me as a first non-fluently-German speaking team member, to sharing foodie guidelines around Europe. Jocelyn taught me how to hire despite all the odds, do a lot with a little and how to negotiate with very senior stakeholders at the same eye level, always using the best data and automating solutions possible. I always valued our sparring partnership at work, her intelligence and fantastic sense of humour. Jocelyn cares about the people she works with and the people she hires like not many. Again, I wish our latest chapter lasted longer if it wasn’t for my personal decision to leave Germany at the time.

Thank you to Katy Peichert for sharing The Best I Ever Worked With with the Brainfood Tribune.

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