"It's great to realise that you bring some value to the world and help people improve their living conditions"

As part of our ongoing series of team member interviews here at Lucky Hunter, we're excited to continue the conversation with Valeria Soboleva, our Lead IT Recruiter and a standout star on our team.
  • Valeria Soboleva
    Lead IT Recruiter

— Valeria, Hi! How are you doing? Ready to start?

— Hello, Sasha! Everything is good, and of course, let’s begin!

— Could you tell me a bit about yourself? What's your role at Lucky Hunter, and how long have you been working there? What initially drew you to the company?

— I’ve been working in the company for five years now; I am a Lead IT recruiter, and I manage a mini-team, which includes an IT Recruiter I've nurtured from a junior level to a skilled mid-level professional and a researcher.

Before I joined Lucky Hunter, I worked in a non-IT company with approximately 300 employees: the work environment was quite formal and structured, with a significant amount of bureaucracy, a strict dress code, and a rigid hierarchy. After spending a year and a half there, I understood it wasn't the right place for me.

If I have to be honest, at the beginning, working at an agency didn’t appeal to me: at the time, I wanted to work in in-house recruitment. However, everything changed after meeting Tatiana: she charmed me with her character, energy and style. I really appreciated that I could have informal communication with the boss: it felt very modern and contemporary.

I was also interested in improving my financial situation: Tanya showed me the salaries of the team members at the agency and talked about their collaborations with major companies and the bonuses they received. I decided to take a leap of faith – fortune favours the bold. ;)

I came to the company as a junior: I had little experience in IT recruitment. However, at Lucky Hunter, I started working with various profiles and vacancies, which led to fast and productive growth. Over three years, I grew to a lead position and continue to develop my skills and team up to this day.

— What sets Lucky Hunter apart from other companies you worked for?

First of all, we have little to no bureaucracy, secondly, it’s our recruitment team, next, I would say it’s the professionalism and uniqueness of each member of our team
— I would highlight three key aspects. First of all, we have little to no bureaucracy: no useless reports, Zoom meetings, or pointless calls and discussions.

Secondly, it’s our recruitment team: I have never encountered a squad like this. Typically, there’s a lot of competition and rivalry for candidates in agencies – we have a completely different approach. We support each other: you can always rely on your colleagues when it comes to candidates.

Next, I would say it’s the professionalism and uniqueness of each member of our team. We don't have people who are here by chance or luck; every recruiter is skilled in their role and excels in their interactions with both candidates and clients. At the same time, each girl is unique: everyone has their own style, communication traits and strengths. Together, we fit like a jigsaw puzzle, complementing each other.

— Could you share a memorable moment from your career at the company?

— Frankly speaking, I've had numerous memorable moments over the past five years, and I'd like to share a couple of them.

One of the most unforgettable moments was my first major placement, which occurred during my first year of work, around the fourth or fifth month. It was for a Senior Ruby developer position, valued at approximately $4,500 at the time - a significant amount five years ago. We eagerly waited for the candidate to start the job for a couple of months, and it was both thrilling and nerve-wracking. I distinctly remember reaching out to him every month, checking if everything was proceeding as planned and confirming his commitment to joining the team. :)

Another memorable moment was when I started to train a junior, just like Tanya had mentored me in the past. It was quite an experience, and I understood all the leadership challenges. Tanya was initially sceptical of a setup ‘recruiter + researcher’ because we had an unsuccessful experience with it. In the beginning, Karina was struggling to close any vacancies despite arriving at the offer stage several times. But after a while, she overcame this challenge, and together, we filled many positions. Now, Karina is my shining star, and I can always count on her. Moreover, I’m no longer worried about letting her take the lead.

— What motivates you at work?

It's great to realise that you bring some value to the world, do something good, and help people improve their living and working conditions.
— ‘Money makes the world go around’, ha-ha.  But it’s true: money motivates me to work, and I like to earn well. 

At our agency, we've identified a common profile among those who join and work with us for an extended period: they are typically individuals seeking financial freedom, the ability to afford the things they desire, the freedom to travel and enjoy life, and value their independence. I was personally looking for these aspects, and I found them within our agency.
Another motivating factor is the absence of constant control. We aren't required to provide reports or have our every task monitored. I prefer to work independently without oversight or reminders: I am a multitasker and enjoy managing my workload, and setting my priorities effectively.

Having a remote job is also vital for me as it allows me to work from anywhere I want and travel. I would like to experience living in different parts of the world and discover where my home truly is.

If I have to mention something more sublime, I would say I am also driven by the fact that I am always at the forefront of industry trends, I see what’s going on in the market, and I have an opportunity to work with the most exciting jobs. The IT world changes quickly, and you can’t afford to fall behind if you want to be a demanded specialist.

I also like knowing that I give people the opportunity to change their lives. However, in recent years, this feeling hasn't been as acute as it was at the beginning of my career. I remember a case when I helped relocate a guy with a child from a small town to St. Petersburg. It was a challenging situation, but in the end, everything worked out, and he was able to significantly improve his financial situation.

In general, I enjoy rediscovering specialists in the database whom I've worked with before. For instance, recently, I found a specialist whom I placed in a job three years ago, and now he's grown to become a team lead in one of the most technologically advanced Russian IT companies.

It's great to realise that you bring some value to the world, do something good, and help people improve their living and working conditions.

— How do you organise your workday?

— It all depends on the specific day and the job vacancy I'm working on. I don't have a strict structure, but I do set my priorities for the day: typically, I start my workday by going through Telegram, emails, and LinkedIn. After that, I might have calls with candidates or with the team.

In general, I base my activities on my energy levels. For example, if I feel full of energy and vitality, I make calls and communicate with candidates. But if I feel a drop in energy, I dedicate half a day to sourcing and manual work that doesn't require a high energy flow.

However, it's all very flexible. If I come across an excellent candidate who wants to have a call right away, I won't postpone it.

— What advice would you give to new employees?

— First and foremost, it's self-organisation, especially if a person works remotely. It's essential to manage your time effectively and stick to a planned schedule (for instance, at Lucky Hunter, we set weekly plans and review the results at the end of the week, analysing what worked out and what didn't). Sourcing is a significant part of the job, and it's crucial not to overlook additional channels and communication opportunities with candidates.
Persistence and determination are also important because we operate in a competitive market where everyone is looking for Senior specialists. You need to understand that we handle a large number of candidates, and sometimes, it's worth seeking new approaches and resources.

Additionally, developing communication skills and maintaining a human touch is very important. It's essential to decline candidates politely, not forget about them, and always provide detailed technical feedback if available. The IT market is quite narrow, and you may encounter the same person again in a month, a year, or two. However, you must know how to stand up for yourself. If a candidate behaves inappropriately or unprofessionally, it's crucial to respond gracefully and politely while still making it clear that they are not correct.

— Do you have any professional goals? Could you share them?

— I have two major goals: the first one, which I've been dedicated to for quite a few years, is improving my English language skills. I am eager to boost my proficiency to become a top-notch recruiter in the English-speaking market. It would really help me to communicate effortlessly with candidates and top companies.

The second goal is to step into a leadership role. I've worked as a manager for a considerable amount of time, and I've always felt that I excel in management. Tanya and I have long decided that in the future, leaders will have their own teams, consisting of 2-4 or even more members, and we will become managers in our mini-recruitment departments. On one hand, our work will involve both the managerial aspect, such as supporting and guiding our team through vacancies, and, on the other hand, we will work closely with clients to streamline processes. Of course, we will still have our own pool of challenging vacancies to work on. It's an ideal scenario, but I hope to realise it within 1.5-2 years.

— What are your hobbies and interests? What do you do in your free time?

— I have a bunch of hobbies: I'm a creative person, but I like to keep creative activities for leisure to avoid them becoming routine and to help me relax. Right now, I'm into acrylic painting, but I've also tried clay sculpting and mosaic art in the past.

I also have a deep love for nature and travelling. I am a fan of hiking, not the super tough kind, but more like camping. I love the type of travel that immerses me in nature, without the internet and phones, while still ensuring a certain level of comfort.

Moreover, I'm really passionate about esotericism, and I find occult practices pretty fascinating. I've been into different mythologies since I was a kid, starting with Greek and Egyptian, and about five years ago, I got into the Norse pantheon. It just clicked with me. I got deep into rune casting, learned how to work with runes, dug into the Norse pantheon, discovered natural power spots, and started working with karma. It's interesting how everything is interconnected. Even though various religions and practices may seem diverse, they often have a shared origin and tend to overlap. For instance, I practise yoga and work with my chakras, which might not seem directly related to Scandinavia –  but they're surprisingly connected, especially in terms of energy and the energies you work with.

I'm also really into celebrating ancient holidays and the Wheel of the Year. Right now, it's Mabon time, which falls between the end of summer and Halloween, also known as Samhain. It's a time for baking pies and visiting each other. I think these small rituals bring a sense of calm and set the right mood. So, my friends and I often get together and celebrate these holidays like one big family, doing traditional rituals or attending themed festivals.

— If you could describe working at the company using the title of a song/movie/TV series, what would it be?

I'm reminded of two Queen songs: 'The Show Must Go On' and 'We Are the Champions'
— I'm reminded of two Queen songs: 'The Show Must Go On' and 'We Are the Champions.'
In our company, it's a bit of a similar story - the show must always go on, no matter what challenges come our way. In the end, we emerge as champions, and it's all about having that unwavering belief and keeping that determination going.

When I think about our team, it's like those classic cartoons with girl teams, like Sailor Moon, Witches, or Totally Spies. Each member of our team brings her own unique talents and qualities to the mix, and together, we stand united in the fight against injustices in the world.

  • Valeriya Soboleva

    Lead IT Recruiter

    Specialization: Product Manager, Project Manager, Go, PHP, .NET, Ruby, Ruby on Rails.

  • Alexandra Godunova

    Content Manager at Lucky Hunter

    Focusing on a diverse range of topics including talent acquisition strategies, employer branding, workplace culture, leadership development, and industry trends. With her extensive knowledge, she delivers engaging content that helps businesses thrive in the competitive landscape of today's job market.

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