Ivanka Spasova: The art of building teams

The Senior HR Consultant of Skill Force comes from the real business and offers solutions that really work

Before taking the position of Senior HR Consultant at Skill Force, IVANKA SPASOVA was involved for many years in the management of large scale and activity IT and telecom business units. Part of her responsibilities included selection, recruitment and motivation of the people in both big and small teams. Ivanka holds an Ms.C. Eng. degree in Computer Systems from the Technical University of Sofia and is an EMBA graduate of the American University in Bulgaria.

What should an HR professional know and be able to do in order to find the right person for a particular team?
My career started outside of the field of human resources and for almost 15 years I used to manage teams that differed in size – from a handful of people to about 100. As a manager who comes from the business side and who has worked the whole time to satisfy clients’ needs, I think that a crucial skill is to understand what type of person would blend into the company and help it grow. The skill is to not only hear the manager’s requirements and blindly apply them, but to understand the real need and even guide the client or the applicant. I always take time to understand in detail the company’s business and activities, its competitors and the field where it operates. I do this to see for myself the foundation of knowledge and interests a person should possess in order to build on top of them.

What is easier to create – a big or a small team?
It depends on who is building the team and what people and competencies are needed for it. Some people easily build and manage large teams. They are visionaries and easily delegate tasks. Others love to go into the details, participate in the work process and not loose their “hands on” approach. They create and manage small teams more easily. If we discuss finding people for a small or a large team, it again depends on the required competencies and experience of the team members. For example, for one of our clients who needed specific scientific experience, we found a talent based abroad.

What are the challenges an HR business consultant faces in 2023?

The accumulated crises from the past three years made people uncertain. A change of job is associated with risk. When we try to attract candidates who are not actively seeking change, they are reluctant to even come for an initial conversation. This meeting becomes key for us, in order to win the person’s trust and to inspire interest.

Which of your female qualities, in your opinion, makes you a good HR consultant?
I cannot say whether this is an exclusively female quality, but I believe that my skill to listen and feel the person facing me helps me a lot to be flexible in talking to people with different experience. I am very positive and empathetic, and people feel that they can rely on me.

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