Maryana Lukynyuk

Technical Sourcer, Google Cloud, Looking for next challenge

1. Do you remember a time when you were happiest as a child? Where were you, who were you with and what were you doing?

I have a very bright memory from my childhood when we traveled to the salt lake with my 2 sisters, 2 cousins and our mothers. We spent a week in a tent and after a couple of days it started raining a lot and we were so bored to stay in a tent the whole day. There was always a guy walking around a camp site offering to buy some sunflower seeds. We always refused because we didn’t want them. He stopped coming when it started raining. After a few days of rain and being trapped in a tent we were so eager to have some sunflower seeds to occupy us with something but the guy was nowhere to be seen. Can you imagine our happiness when we heard a familiar voice “Any sunflower seeds?” The guy was probably startled with our happy cheer:) Happiness lays in small things, for sure

2. When did you first stand up to your parents…what was the issue and...were you right?

I was not a troubled child and didn’t have many quarrels with my parents (I hope they agree:). But when I was in my forth year of higher education, I decided to take a summer job as a cashier at a local kind of Burger King cafe. It was not an easy job, not a very good payment and a lot of late hours shifts. My mother was against this job, she even told me that she will pay me the same amount every months but I need to quit that job. But it wasn’t about the money for me, it was about independence. That was the first time I did something that my mother didn’t approve. But I still believe I was right. And she was right in her desire to protect me from a bad job but I was grown up enough to make my own decisions, which I’m glad I did.

3. What habit or behaviour or belief have you recently acquired? Why is it now in your life?

Do a few years count as recent enough?:) I have a habit of listening to audiobooks while doing some routine things – commuting, cooking, cleaning. It didn’t go so easy for me when I first tried to listen to the audiobook. I got distracted easily and sometimes it was even boring (pro tip – choose the right playback speed for you, it is 2,0 for me in my native language and 1,5 in English). And now I’m finishing around 50-55 books every year and I wouldn’t have managed that by only reading them. I recon it is a great habit that I’ve developed over time and I totally recommend it to book lovers.

4. What are the three books that you would unhesitatingly recommend to others? Why?

As you probably quessed from my previous answer, I’m a real bookworm. I read a great variety of books and genres and have so many favourites! If I’m to be picking only 3, here is my top at this point of time:

Educated by Tara Westover.

It is an autobiography and the story is so exciting! It is about achieving what you desire most even if your family is against and even if you seem not to have enough starting points to become who you want to be. And it is about family as well, challenges it brings if your values do not match your parents. And it is so well-written.

The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew

This is a story by Singapore’s first prime-minister, the person who managed to build such a strong country only in 50 years. Lee Kuan is probably one of the best leaders of recent times and Singapore is one of the must-visit destinations in my point of view.

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Hinton.

This is also a memoir by a man who was convicted for a crime he didn’t commit and spent 30 years on a death row. This is such a strong story of hope and perserverance, injustice towards black people in America in 80s, devotion of people fighting for justice and not for money but for the right cause. This story definitely worth reading

5. If you wrote a ‘user manual’ for how people should interact with you, what would be the most important point in the manual?

Please be honest with me. I try to be honest with others, give honest feedback (sometimes unsolicited, cannot help with that) and I expect the same from other people towards me. It takes one lie to brake trust and so much more good deeds to build it. Whatever reasons people have for lying they are definitely not worth doing, as any lie will come to light sooner or later.

6. What is the number one thing you would recommend every person in the world to practice from now on in order to increase their happiness and wellbeing?

Be kind to yourself and give yourself a regular break. We all live in a constant rush of being a better person, erning more, getting more from life. But at some point everything might be pointless if we are so exhausted that we cannot appreciate what we already have. We are all human beings, we are not ideal and make mistakes. Accept yourself as you are and don’t push yourself too much to be another person. You are already enough

7. In current industry conversation, what is an example of ‘making a mountain out of a molehill’?

When people say that soon AI will replace hundreds of jobs, including recruiter’s. It can definitely help in doing a lot of manual and routine work but I do not believe that it can completely replace a person and human touch. Or am I a dreamer?:)

8) What is that thing which is OK to ask you about, but which other people are wary to do so?

My age. It is a common bias that you shouldn’t ask women about their age and I honestly do not understand that. It is not how old are you that defines you, it is what person you are. I’m 32, if anyone wonders:)

9) What app or tech product have you most recently fallen in love with?

DownDog yoga app is the best app I’ve used recently. I practice yoga for a long time and that is the best way for me to stay fit and relax after a hard day. I do not have a lot of free time lately (I have a very active toddler who needs lots of attention), so I prefer to do a short practice, usually 15-30 minutes long. This app generates a practice according to my needs, including length and what area I need to boost today (low-back stretches is usually my number one choice). Really recommend it to yoga-lovers.

10) What would be the perfect gift that someone could buy you right now?

A good book or a certificate to some spa treatment or massage. Or both:)

11) Which fictional villain do you find yourself sympathising with most? Why?

Loki from Marvel movies about Thor. I guess he is depicted as not a villain at all, just a lost guy, who desperately wants to be great and does some bad stuff sometimes. Aren’t we all doing bad things sometimes? And probably I have a little crush on Tom Hiddlestone as well:)

12. If you could witness one moment in history which one would it be and why?

A fun fact about me – I almost always cry during live concerts:) It is so huge to be part of such a massive show, to hear people signing around you in a chorus, to feel connected to everyone there. So I’d be extremely glad to come to the concert of some of the well-known bands that are no longer with us. Like Queen and see brilliant Freddy Mercury performing on stage.

13. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it and when?

During my time at Google I got an advice from a co-worker to organize my calendar in blocks and reserve certain time blocks for calls with candidates and create a scheduling link for them to use to book in some time with me. It is such a game changer! It brings predictability to my schedule, I can have a limited amount of calls per day and not be caught in calls for the whole day and there is no back and forth with candidates around suitable times for a call. You can also use a Calendly tool for this and I’m sure that lots of recruiters definitely do that already. I still don’t understand how I have worked without it for the last 10 years of my career:)

14. What's a skill that isn’t on your resume, but your former bosses would recognize as one of the reasons you are successful?

I guess my previous bosses will agree that I’m successful as a recruiter because I care. When I start in a new company I get involved 100% in it. I’m not only closing requisitions but make sure that the process in smooth and clear, propose changes to it if not, and try to find the best ways of improving hiring in a company. So if you hire me as a recruiter – be prepared to have someone who is not afraid to change the status quo and to ask difficult questions.

15. What role do you find yourself playing when you join a newly formed team? Can you explain why this happens?

I love working in a team because of two reasons – I love sharing with others and I love learning from others. I also love to be involved in everything, know what is current hiring situation in a company, what can we do to improve it as a team, help others voice their concerns to the manager if they have some. I would describe my role as a mediator between a team and team lead or a manager, someone who helps others but not manages them:)

16. What is the optimal number of people in a team, with you in it? What roles are those people playing?

I have worked in a teams of various sizes and I think that the optimal number will be around 8-10 people in a recruitment team to keep close collaboration between us. It will include team lead/manager, recruiters, sourcers and recruitment coordinators ideally. That should also be quite a large company to have such a team of recruiters:)

17. What’s one industry challenge you don’t actually think will ever get solved?

If we are talking about recruitment in our industry (tech I mean) it always goes in cycles. Till recently we had a candidate’s market when companies hired massively and aggressively and candidates defined the rules. Now we can see a shift into company’s market with crisis, massive layoffs and hiring freezes. And it will change soon and will get back to the candidate’s market until next crisis. I guess there won’t be any balance between this and there will always be some shift into who definies the market rules.

18. Do you have a secret tip, tool or trick that’s contributed to your success?

I don’t think that it is too secret but what helped me a lot in my career and what I would definitely recommend other recruiters is to take some software engineering training or course to understand how it works:) Recruiters don’t need to be technical to hire software engineers but it sure does help to read their CVs, talk to them and actually understand what they mean;)

19. If you could add a question for the next person to answer, what would it be?

Have you ever felt burned out as a recruiter and what did you do to get back on track?

20. Who would you recommend to do the next 20 Questions With … ?

I would recommend my two mentors and the best recruiters and sourcers I personally know – Daria Miskevich and Vira Povkh. I’m sure they have a very interesting stories to tell that people will be glad to hear

Thank you to Maryana Lukynyuk for taking 20 Questions for The Brainfood Tribune. Make sure to follow Maryana on LinkedIn.

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