Mariya Oliynyk: How to Develop Yourself in HR?

01 Aug, 2017

Mariya Oliynyk works as an HR manager at V.I.Tech and as a program manager and teacher at LITS. Three years ago Mariya together with her friend founded the IT HR Club Lviv, a community aimed at the professional growth of Lviv HR managers. Let’s learn about the HR Club, its events and what HR managers usually lack.

In every company HR specialist has different responsibilities, that’s why HR profession needs to be clarified. IT HR Club has begun from the idea “we want to do something in this direction”. I started this project together with my friend Larysa Oliynyk (Project Manager at Lohika). In the beginning, HR Club participants used to meet once per month. We’d announce the topic of the meeting on our Facebook page and invited HRs and recruiters. Since we’re working in this sphere, it was easy for us to gather people, we know a lot of them personally. Later our meetings turned into a large community.

IT HR Club’s goals include improving the profession of HR manager and allow people who already work in this sphere to grow professionally. We want to establish the dialogue between people who work in HR and give a correct understanding of what it means to be an HR. HR manager has very concrete tasks, so it’s our goal to make those tasks clearer for HR specialists and employers.

From theory to practice

We organize different formats of events: lectures, discussions, workshops, conferences. The first meetings of HR Club took place in the offices of IT companies, then in co-workings and hubs. Now we decided to focus more on workshops. Every Saturday we organize workshops on different up-to-date topics which last 4-5 hours. Such meetings are more expensive for participants but in the same time more useful. Usually, 30-40 people visit our events, sometimes 50-60, depending on the event. The most popular topics are recruitment, HR processes, soft skills topics, emotional intellect etc.

One of the most popular events we organized was soft skills party. All 150 tickets were sold out long before the event. Also, a lot of participants attended our panel discussion about post-apocalyptic predictions for the future of HRs.  At that event, the CEOs of IT companies talked about their vision of HRs. The place was crowded. The workshops by Ira Povkh about recruitment and searching for the right candidates are always very popular and gather many participants.

People are interested in our events because there is a lack of such events. We already have our own audience – people who work in HR, visit our events and look forward to the next ones. These are people who want to develop professionally and are willing to share their experience. However, a big number of our visitors are newcomers, people who have just started working in HR. The newcomers are more interested in general events where they can meet new people, and those who already have some experience in HR are more interested in more specialized events where they can learn new tricks.

Last year HR Club joined LITS – together we launched HR School. We created the program and invited our friends to be teachers. Now we offer two courses: “IT Recruitment” and “HR in IT: Essentials”.

Currently, there are 10 people working at HR Club, they do everything starting with design, logistics, social media etc. These are people who share our values and do this like a hobby.

HR manager isn’t an office fairy

HR managers need to understand business, what the IT people are interested in, and, finally, how companies earn money. Also, an HR manager needs to know the basic HR processes, how they influence the business and how to implement them in the working process. Mostly, people don’t really understand why an HR is needed in the company. Unfortunately, there is still an opinion that HR is a pretty girl who organizes corporate events. In reality, it’s much more serious. Often, HR managers themselves don’t understand the general strategy of the business and where is the part of their job in this strategy.

HR specialists work with people, which is much more complicated. There is no algorithm you can use in every situation. Every HR needs to work with information and analyze it. You can’t use your experience from the previous company at the new one since the processes from one company might not work in another.

I’m constantly reading and watching TEDx videos. Self-education for me – is an opportunity to learn more not only about my sphere of work but also in adjacent spheres. For example, finance and marketing. I also often read some articles on psychology.

We started a project called BookRing at HR Club: at our events, people can borrow books on management and working in HR, and return them after reading. This is how we promote self-education