How We Hire- Samora Jurna on: Samora Jurna on: Why hiring the right Executive Assistant for your business is mission critical

Samora Jurna on: Why hiring the right Executive Assistant for your business is mission critical

  • 40 minutes
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Ep 30

Executive Assistants (EA) are the eyes and ears of your company. They are your gatekeepers, helping keep your business operations running smoothly. But hiring an EA isn't just about whether this person fits your checklist in the present. It's about whether they have the attributes, potential, and skills to learn, adapt as your business shifts gears and ultimately grows. In other words, hiring the right EA is mission-critical if you are serious about running your company. And that starts with opening up the definition of what makes a great Executive Assistant.

On this episode of How We Hire, we speak to Samora Jurna, International Talent Acquisition Manager at Headroom, a recruitment platform offering remote Executive Assistance as a service to entrepreneurs and C-Suites in Europe and the USA. Having worked in recruitment consultancy for over 15 years, Samora knows what it takes to find the right EA. She shares her learnings, wisdom, and knowledge on how to find and hire the best Executive Assistant for your business- virtually.

Key takeaways

  • - The secret recipe to hiring great Executive Assistants
  • -The power of looking beyond resumes and applying a personable approach to the recruitment process
  • -Why you should consider onboarding new hires before their first day at work
  • -The importance of setting clear candidate expectations and being transparent throughout the hiring process

On the show

Samora Jurna-min
Samura Jurna International Talent Acquisition Manager & Corporate Recruiter, Headroom Assistance
Linnea Bywall
Linnea Bywall Head of People & Operations at Alva Labs

Samura Jurna

Samura Jurna is an experienced recruitment consultant with 15 years of experience in job placement. For the past ten years, she's specialised in recruiting assistance for all levels. Samura is currently working for Headroom Assistance as a corporate recruiter. Headroom offers remote executive assistance as a service to entrepreneurs and C-Suites in Europe and the US. 

Linnea Bywall

Linnea Bywall is a former NCAA athlete turned licensed psychologist – and Head of People at Alva Labs. Linnea was recently listed as one of the most inspiring women in tech by TechRound and was featured as one of the 22 Innovative HR Leaders to follow in 2022 by AIHR Academy to Innovate HR. 

From attracting and hiring to onboarding and growing Alva's employees, Linnea's main mission is to change the world of hiring every day by challenging biases in recruitment.


Show notes 

  • Introduction- 1:07

  • The virtual executive assistant hiring boom post-Covid.-3:17

  • Challenges and advantages of remote hiring-5:36

  • Tools every recruiter needs for remote hiring-9:40

  • What you might miss when hiring virtually Vs. in person-12:17

  • How to ensure your hiring process remains fair and transparent 16:41

  • What makes a great executive assistant-20:37

  • How to effectively assess candidates for executive Assistant roles-23:23

  • Why onboarding new hires before their first day is key-25:09

  • The power of looking beyond resumes and at the person in front of you-28:47

  • How can you set the right expectations, especially with a remote hiring process-31:08

  • Using AI in hiring-34:34

  • Common misconceptions of remote hiring-36:49

How We Hire Podcast Episode 30 Transcript

Samora (00:00):

C an recruiters be replaced by ai? But I do think that it's still a personal skill that you really have to have by hiring people because you will be hiring for all kinds of different hiring managers, different kinds of departments, and I think it really has the need for a personal skillset to really make a decision based off of that. So I don't think, but I do think it's the AI in recruitment will be a major help.

Linnea (00:39):

Welcome to How We Hire a podcast by Alva Labs with me, Lanaya, licensed psychologist and head of People. This show is for all of you who hire or just find recruitment interesting. In every episode, I will speak with thought leaders from across the globe to learn from their experiences and best practices within hiring, building teams and growing organizations. Our guest on today's episode is Samura Janna Samura is an experienced recruitment consultant with 15 years of experience in job placement. For the past 10 years, she's specialized in recruiting assistance for all levels. Samara is currently working for headroom assistance as a corporate recruiter. Headroom offers remote executive assistance as a service to entrepreneurs and C-Suites in Europe and the us. Welcome to How We Hire Samara.

Samora (01:32):

Thank you so much. Yes,

Linnea (01:35):

So excited to have you here. I'm really excited to dive into the actually really fascinating jungle of executive assistants and how to hire them. I think one of the, I know most interesting process was when we hired for Alba was when we hired our fantastic executive assistant Braxton. To me it was, we learned so much about our company, it says so much like what is the need? How do we work as a team,

Samora (02:05):


Linnea (02:05):

Then what are the needs based on that? So I'm really excited to hear everything you have to share around that topic. Before we jump in, do you want to start with telling us a little bit about Headroom assistance and your role there?

Samora (02:18):

Yes. Well actually you covered it very well. We are a remote first company and our company offers virtual assistance as a service to mostly C L F O and entrepreneurs of all kinds of companies, which we actually call them our members and myself, for the past two years, I'm responsible for all the hires within our company. Most part of my time I'm busy with hiring our executive assistants and then on the other hand, other staff members. So yeah, I've been doing that now for two years as a corporate recruiter, which like you said, I have more experience throughout the years, mostly on the agency side and headroom as more on the corporate side.

Linnea (03:03):

Super interesting. And just out of curiosity, how much of a boom must the virtual executive assistant have been after Covid? That must have been a massive change to the industry.

Samora (03:17):

Yeah, absolutely. It's the core business of headroom offering virtual assistants. We've been doing that prior even to the pandemic because everybody almost knows how it is working, virtually working remote, we know that now. So as far as companies like Panicking, like Oh my God, we have to offer them laptops and people have to work at home. Headroom was like, we got this. We've been doing this for several years now. So when I first started at Headroom, the pandemic was still going on. So the fact that we offer virtual assistance to our members, all the interviews we did were virtual as well. And prior to that, in my previous job, I did all the interviews. So that was something new. And actually doing interviews face-to-face based on that, even that first handshake, I could tell this is a fit or not, I really want to have that firm handshake.


So doing interviews virtual, you don't give each other a handshake. So the first impression, it's different. So somebody really has to perform on the other side of the screen. So yeah, based on a video call, the person really has to perform. And I am judging based on how comfortable is someone during the interview on screen, because that is basically what your job will be as an EA within Headroom, you will be connecting with our members via video calls, but also with other colleagues, et cetera. Mind you, it is my job as well as a headroom ambassador. Yes, we do have to like a candidate and I think that they are the right fit for a job, of course, but it's also my responsibility to let the candidate know how great of a company we are. And that means also by telling them my personal journey as how I started as a candidate within Headroom and now SA Headroom employee. So it goes both ways.

Linnea (05:12):

I mean, during the pandemic, everyone had to learn how to do remote hires and learn how to do the full hiring process over video calls and over the digital arena, so to say.

Samora (05:25):

Exactly, yes, yes.

Linnea (05:27):

I'm super interested in hearing. What have you learned, what works well, what doesn't work well when you do the full process remotely?

Samora (05:36):

Yeah, luckily I'm used now to doing this way of hiring. I think a few advantages of hiring remotely, it's time saving, super sustainable, no traveling time on both parts. I don't have to go to the office, the candidate doesn't have to come to our office. And especially if there are more interview routes, you don't have to invite a candidate back two or three times when it comes to hiring in person. I think there are also several advantages for some companies also, when I look back at prior from working remote, one of the most significant ones is the ability to meet the candidates face-to-face, which can make it easier to maybe assess a candidate's personality on communication skills and overall fit with the company culture. Additionally, working in person can foster a strong sense of teamwork and collaboration among other employees, which can be vital to productivity and job satisfaction.


However, there are also some disadvantages to hiring in person. Like I said, the time consuming part of course, but also it can be important for a candidate to also, how do you say that in English? In Dutch, the saying is sniffing culture, but it's like what is the vibe at the office who are going to be my colleagues? And prior to that, when people come to the office, you can check out the office, see the people over there, are they being nice? Are they waving to you? But on screen it's different. So as far as a candidate's perspective, it's difficult judging on screen only by talking to me only not seeing a receptionist or anything. So yeah, there are a few pros and cons on both sides

Linnea (07:21):

To be sure. And I think my take on it would be that when you do the remote version, it's a lot easier to stick to a process like what you decide that the steps that we're going to take, these are the questions that I'm going to ask. It's not easier to force yourself to be true to that process and remain your objective structure of things. I think that should improve your accuracy. To your point on that, it might be harder for the candidate to get the full company experience. I think a lot of organizations have gotten very creative with shooting videos of this is what it's like, and we have tried to be extra careful in how we write our copy and all the feedback emails and preparation emails and making sure that that really is a good representation. And I think we also add a lot more clickable links if you want to read about our culture, read about that here and if we want to read about our benefit, read about that here.


So I think we include more things that if you are curious, you can look things up, but one of the most appreciated aspects of our process, which we will do pretty much all of it virtually as well since we hire globally, but one of the most appreciated aspect is that you get to call a coworker. So you can book a 50 minute call just to your point of do they wave, what do they say, what do they actually think about this employers? I think that's a good way to create a more human touch to it, I guess.

Samora (09:00):

Yeah, yeah, I totally agree. I think there are so many ways to replace the face-to-face things by being creative and doing things virtually. We have all the technical tools to make that possible. So if a company really has that opportunity, they have to really take that opportunity to do it this way, especially when you have a large number of hires to do so. Yeah, absolutely. I agree.

Linnea (09:29):

What type of tools do you use in your hiring process or just in remote life in general to make things work and run smoothly?

Samora (09:40):

Yeah, so I think one of the biggest platforms we use amongst other companies I'm sure is LinkedIn as a platform. Also other social media platforms such as running campaigns on Instagram, telling them that we are looking for EAs or maybe other staff members for our company or Facebook even for that matter, TikTok for example. We don't use that yet, but maybe we will do that in the near future. I think it depends on what group you are targeting, but also make it possible. Make it an option for a candidate to apply by video, not just the regular motivational letter, but just sending a video. It only has to be like 60 to max, 90 seconds to introduce themselves. How authentic are they in comparison to the video and to the first interview we have, do I see the same person on the video for me to check if it's really authentic, if that is really the person on the video instead of maybe, because I can imagine if you are recording a video yourself, then okay, no, this is not good.


I'm going to start over. And no, it has to be perfect, but I actually like it when it's more authentic. There can be a few flaws, even if you have a interview on the spot, sometimes you just mumble a bit or starter a few words, which is fine. We are people, we are not robots. But I also want to make that an option for candidates. It's not mandatory, but just to see how technical are they themselves, how creative are they? So yeah, that's definitely an option. People really have to be comfortable with doing that because I can imagine it doesn't work for everyone. But yeah, you can also grow into that. I really don't want to reject someone if the video that they send in isn't good enough. Now we can talk during the interview and I can judge based on the interview.

Linnea (11:32):

I think it's so important to know what it is that is needed for the role stick to measuring those aspects. I think if there's candidates listening to this, I think it's also fair truth so that it doesn't have to be perfect. You will be assessed based on what's needed for the role and that's what matters. And it's okay to actually bring your full self to an interview or a recording or stuff like that. I like that a lot. I think it's pleasant. Okay, so you worked as an agency, now you're more in-house live and more face-to-face and a remote. What would you say, maybe we've already covered that, but can you add anything on advantages, disadvantages of hiring in person versus remote? Is there something that we've missed?

Samora (12:17):

Yeah, except for that it's time consuming. I also think that by hiring remote, you can tap into a much larger pool of potential candidates. Again, geographic location remote workers and hiring this way can be also more productive. Maybe they are more comfortable if there are in their own home or other environment where they feel safe because during interviews or along an application process, of course candidates get nervous, especially if they really want the job and just to prevent that maybe they perform even better when they are in another environment, who knows? And additionally, also, it's more cost effective as you don't need to provide office space or equipment for your employees. However, remote work and the hiring part, it can also be challenging. I think it's more, maybe not so much the interviews, but the remote work itself, but different for everyone.

Linnea (13:16):

But can you elaborate on that? What challenges do you see with remote work in itself?

Samora (13:22):

Well, I think it's not new for a lot of people now, but I think in the beginning it can be lonely. We do have, for example, headroom has an office in Amsterdam. So we offer for our employees to also work at the office if they feel like it. It's not mandatory, but we still like to connect face-to-face amongst each other. But we also have a few colleagues who live outside of the Netherlands. In Spain, for example, it can be lonely during the day. You don't get to lunch with your colleagues or you miss out on the Friday afternoon drinks at the office. In Amsterdam, even last Friday, we went all on a boat on Friday afternoon with drinks, pictures being taken. We posted on our social media accounts. And I can imagine for people who are not able to come to the office, they're like, I'm bummed out.


I really would like to connect with them in person as well. And also I think it's important that if you feel lonely, try and connect with your colleagues by doing a virtual coffee or maybe a walk and talk with a colleague. It doesn't have to be about work all the time. You can chit-chat about other stuff. And even by doing some events online, we did a virtual escape room with the whole company, even our colleagues in the US as well, which was funny because in the Netherlands it was around six o'clock and in the US it is still morning and we were already drinking and they were like, okay, I think you really have to take the initiative. But it's also night if a colleague is like this person, she lives in Spain, she isn't around the office, so let me give her a slack call and we can do some virtual coffee just to stay connected. I really think that helps. And also next to that, of course, you need a comfortable home office setup for yourself so that you have a nice workspace, but maybe just for a change of scenery, go to your favorite coffee spot, which are up. If you don't have any meetings left, but only some admin work to do, go sit at your favorite coffee shop, go sit in the park near the beach just to close off your day over there and have a change of scenery. I think that really helps as well. Yeah,

Linnea (15:40):

For sure. And I think echo everything you said, and also adding that to make a remote work, and I mean remote hiring process that we're discussing as well, efficient. It's also about documentation so that you make sure to spread the information that everyone needs to have because it doesn't work in the same way people hearing stuff in the lunchroom or by the water cooler or by the coffee machine. So you need to make sure to be really, really good at documenting stuff.

Samora (16:11):

Yes, yes. Really, really good points. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and we try to take that in consideration all the time.

Linnea (16:17):

Okay. So I mean obviously from Ava's point of view, having a fair and objective hiring process for the sake of finding the right person for the role is really, really important. What's your effective strategies and recommendations to ensure that you can ensure that fair and objective evaluation of candidates? When it's remote,

Samora (16:41):

I'm the first person they meet. I am responsible for the hiring process. So the first interviews are always with me, but in this case, we hire executive assistants. I'm not an executive assistant, so I can tell you everything about our company, the culture, et cetera, our values. But I really think it's important to have a team who can also connect with candidates. So first interview is with me, and then the second interview is with one of our EA experts, because they can answer more of the practical questions. I really want to have the candidates that they have the opportunity to ask more questions about the job specifically or the pros and the cons. And an EA expert, she or he is really doing the job so they can tell a candidate more about that. So I think it's important to definitely have a team so that it's not only based on my perception, but we can discuss at the end of the process, how was your experience with that candidate?


What are your thoughts? What is your feedback? And based on that, you can make a decision hiring someone or not. So I really think it's important to have a team and next to that, to assess sometimes on the spot, sometimes, especially for EAs, you have to have a certain amount of skillset as an ea, but we do not only hire experienced or senior EAs, we also hire starters. So I'm always adjusting the skillsets in that part because as a starter, you still have to learn a lot, but we are looking for some basics and we have somebody can really grow into that position as well. But I think it's important to have a more uniform way of certain questions that you want to add. And it doesn't really have to be a q and a where the QS come from the part of headroom and the A's only from the candidate, let's have a conversation, but you do have to have a few things that you really want to know of the candidate. So I think you really have to be uniform on that part.

Linnea (18:48):

So it sounds like having a clear roles in the hiring team, assigning different I guess steps or types of methods to different people. It sounds like knowing what to ask, what type of questions that would be relevant. Then it also sounds like adjusting what you're looking for and what you're assessing based on the job or based on the role requirements, that those three aspects can help you make a more informed and objective decision.

Samora (19:16):

Yes, absolutely. And we have a fun thing that we call, we are all head roomies, so we really want to know if someone had room worthy just on a personal level and all the other skills, maybe we can help somebody along the way to become that great executive assistant. I think it's important to use a preset list of certain questions during the interview. And I think it also helps to minimize any potential bias during the process and to ensure that everyone is evaluated based on the same criteria

Linnea (19:51):

To be sure. And I think before we continue to discuss

Samora (19:54):

The remote

Linnea (19:55):

Hiring process and the ins and outs of that, I think it's about time we dive in a little bit to, I guess at least in my mind, slightly mysterious role of an executive assistant. I think it can be everything. It can be so many different things. So if someone is going to hire for an executive assistant role, how would you help that person to describe what's important, how to assess what you need? Can you just let us into your brain a little bit?

Samora (20:23):

Yes. And by that you mean what are we looking for in a executive assistant

Linnea (20:29):

That is the first step, but also how do you match your members with the right executive assistant based on what they need? So I think two step rocket here.

Samora (20:37):

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. We have a various team of members at headroom, all kinds of different companies, a lot of techie startup skill in fashion brands, law offices. So that's super barriers. And I think based on the package they have as a to-do list for a executive assistant, we try to match it up with, for example, if we hire a junior executive assistant, well then maybe it's not that wise to connect them with a member who is super demanding, has a big package of all kinds of to-dos. So we try to connect them with some smaller companies to a more junior assistant. You always have a team of assistants to back you up. That's the main advantages of hiring an e a via headroom. Because for example, when an assistant gets sick or goes on vacation, maternity leave or whatever, there's always another assistant available and that's based on the software that we work with, which makes it possible.


So you really have to be tech savvy even as a base. And I do think that as an assistant, of course, you really have to be your authentic self, but you also have to be aware that you are assisting multiple members at the same time. One can be more up close and personal, how was your weekend? How was your holiday? And the other one is super business wise, like, okay, it's Monday, let's go. I have a meeting, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Don't take anything personal. You are working with all kinds of different personalities and it's your job as an EA to adjust maybe as a bit of a chameleon, you adjust, you mirror yourself with the person who you are assisting at that moment.

Linnea (22:29):

I remember when, as I said in the beginning when we did our executive assistant hire, I think the biggest two things that we took with us when we started that process is one aspect is this person needs to be the most structured person in the room. And we are a bunch of really structured people. So really high demands on structure. And then the second thing was we realized because at that point we were still a young company, we didn't know exactly what we needed and what great would look like. So for us it was also around we won't have the answers, we won't have a team full of experienced colleagues to back this person up. And we want it to be super explicit with that fact that we don't know, we will need you to help us figure it out. So having that drive, and I guess bias for action was also something that was really important when we did our hire.

Samora (23:23):

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, especially as an ea, mostly you are the eyes and the ears of a company. You are like a gatekeeper, especially working for A C E O or somebody of that level. And that's also different because it's now virtual. They are not the office of the member. They all work at home or at our office in Amsterdam. So you really have to have the skillset to still be the eyes and the ears of the company. Absolutely, yes,

Linnea (23:54):

For sure. I think we often describe our amazing Braxton as our extra brain or maybe even the company's brain because she is often the one that sees and hears so many things and has the opportunity to create such a big difference. And that's so cool to see. I mean you described it with the younger person or the more junior profile. How do we match that? Maybe not with this type of organization, how can you find that team dynamics, that culture fit when it comes to hiring, but also matching? Because the reason why I'm asking is I think that's hard. And honestly, I don't think there's a lot of companies that have cracked that code. I think a lot of companies are talking about how to hire for a culture fit or culture add, but if you look at the research, it's really, really difficult to find that silver bullet to do that. But super keen on hearing how, I mean, especially for an executive assistant, it's so important that it's a good match. So how are you trying to solve this? Maybe I'm solvable problem, but tell me.

Samora (25:09):

Yeah, so yeah, because during the hiring process, first interview, second interview, maybe a third interview, I dunno, but let's say everyone is on the same page, we want to hire this person next to that. What follows is a intensive onboarding program for about three to almost four weeks prior to even assisting your first member. And during that onboarding process, you will get trainings. It's led by our l and d manager, an onboarding specialist, and that person really helps you get into the software that we work with. You will get buddy up with a buddy and experienced executive assistants. You can shadow them, they can shadow you. So you will be busy with practical stuff. And after those first three to four weeks, that is when we decide, okay, this person is on this level, we should connect them to this member. And still you have your learning advocate.


That's the word I was looking for. It's really like the experience is a learning advocate for the new headroom employee, the new ea, and that person will help you along the way. So we'll not throw you into Alliance Den or anything like that. We are grabbing your arm for example, and we help you along the way. And after that period of time, I think we can honestly evaluate how did the onboarding process went? Are there still things that you still have to work on along the way? And based on the onboarding period is when we decide, yeah, which EA goes with which member?

Linnea (26:48):

So does that mean that your culture fit or whatever you want to call it, evaluation happens when the person is hired?

Samora (26:55):

Not necessarily. That's more based on a certain level as far as somebody who's a good fit for headroom, who is a head roomie, that's mostly based on, especially like you said, like a starter because it's not necessary to have years and years of executive assistant experience. But what we do like to see is somebody who has worked in a fast paced environment, hospitality for example, or in aviation, that's a good base to be a great executive assistant. That is what we are really looking for in executive assistants. What have you been doing in your previous job? Maybe she was a front office receptionist, which can be a great start to get acquainted with the EA tasks.

Linnea (27:46):

I really like how you explain how it's not just about us liking you and that's why you're a good fit. It's more of evaluating what have you done in the past and having a broader scope for what can be relevant. And then I guess training for or fine tuning of being a true advocate for your company and working in the way that you want them to do and so forth. I think that wide definition of culture fit is probably, at least in my mind, going to be a lot more helpful to work with and a lot more, I guess honest in what we can actually achieve in culture fit. Because at the end of the day, I think a lot of organizations risk losing out on great talent because you see culture fit as something of if I like you, then that means that you're good for us and then we will end up hiring only a specific type of individual. So I like that wider definition.

Samora (28:46):

Yes, absolutely. I had many first interviews with candidates who didn't even send me their resume upfront. It's just like, okay, this person is interested. Of course I take a quick look on their LinkedIn page for example, if they have one, but let me get to know you as a person. Who are you as a person? Where do you want to grow from here? What are your future plans? And we don't have to look five years ahead, but what do you want to learn? What can we do for you as a company just to see if it's a fit?

Linnea (29:18):

And that's such a good approach. And I guess ensuring a good candidate experience as well. It's not just about us evaluating you, it's also about what can we do for you and how can we create value together, I guess.

Samora (29:31):

Exactly. Yeah. Like I said at first, at the beginning of this podcast, it's also my responsibility to tell them about headroom as a company, what is my personal experience? Because of course everything's on the web, there isn't on the website. We suck at this company and of course it's all great and things we post on social media, everything's great. But I really want to give the candidates and experience of my own. I work here for two years now, so I love to tell them about my experience as a candidate at that time, how everybody helped me during my first months at Headroom. And yeah, I think the candidates, a lot of them tell me, oh, it's so nice to hear your story about Pets Room because it's not only there on the spot, we are on the spot as well as a company, especially if you are super enthusiastic about a company and maybe they have more application processes going on, how can we stand out as a company?

Linnea (30:36):


Samora (30:36):

I think

Linnea (30:37):

It's also about setting the right expectations. And I would love to double click a little bit on that because we have just had long discussions internally at Elva around how do we set the right expectations for what kind of company this is and what we kind of company we want to be both for the people that we hire, but also for obviously the people that we have hired and our fantastic employees. What's your learnings around that? How can you set the right expectations, especially with a remote hiring process?

Samora (31:08):

I think honesty is super important. Also, tell them about how stressful the job can be at certain times. How do they handle their level of stress? How do they perform on their pressure? Because it can be really stressful. And I really want to be honest about that. And I'm hoping a candidate is always honest as well. And sometimes I'm not sure if candidates are always super honest about that part because I can imagine that if they say, well, I don't handle stress very well, or in my previous job this stressful situation happened, this is how I reacted. I'm hoping that they have experienced stress because that's the only way you learn how to cooperate with that. So definitely candidates, please be honest about that part because again, how can we help you as a company with the stress level because again, we are all human.


We are not robots, so of course everybody experiences stress. So definitely that part, being honest. And also at headroom, we work with a lot of women. I'm hoping to hire more male assistants as well just to keep it balanced out. But I don't know, it's a thing where a lot of women are the executive assistants, which is totally fine either way. But also, yeah, sometimes women can get catty, but it's like how assertive are you as a person yourself at headroom? Yes, we work with a lot of women, but we get along real well. Even if you have a discussion with a colleague the next Friday, we are toasting on a new week together. So yeah, you have to be an adult about certain situations. And I think, yeah, honesty during the interview, pros and cons, be honest about it for the candidates as well.

Linnea (33:03):

I guess painting a overly positive image will only come back and hurt you in the end because then you're selling a product that isn't really that good of a product, but only in this case the product is unemployment. So it's more fair to be honest. We're trying to, we're working a bit with how can we show on different dimensions what type of environment this is to make it even easier to dig into that information on your own if you're interested. Of course. I think it's a tough notch to crack and the more efficient our hiring processes will be now. I mean, you've already explained that how remote can be such a time saver. I'm thinking we're now standing in front of the whole AI change to how hiring will be. And I think the one thing that is so important that we clinging onto is obviously candidate experience, relationship building and taking the time to connect and set those expectations to let the tools work for us and not against us, but keeping that human touch to it.

Samora (34:07):

Yes, absolutely. This

Linnea (34:09):

Is a question that I haven't prepared you for, so let's see if you have an answer or not. It's up to you, but how are you either already using AI in hiring or looking to use AI in hiring?

Samora (34:22):

I did subscribe to a webinar later this week because I'm super curious to know about that part. And I think, oh, there's a big wasp over here.

Linnea (34:32):

I saw it. Don't wait,

Samora (34:34):

I'm sorry. And I had a discussion last weekend also with a pair also, I was working within recruitment and he was asking himself, can recruiters be replaced by ai? But I do think that it's still a personal skill that you really have to have by hiring people because you will be hiring for all kinds of different hiring managers, different kinds of departments, and I think it really has the need for a personal skillset to really make a decision based off of that. So I don't think, but I do think it's the AI in recruitment will be a major help. On the other hand, for example, when I hunting candidates on LinkedIn, for example, and I'm looking at a profile, I'm like, oh, this can be a good fit. I think it's important to keep it personal. Of course, I can set up an email which goes out to maybe 30, 50 people.


I don't know. I don't like recruiting that way. I really want to make it personal, let the person know that I'm being personal. And I think that way you can always expect an answer back, even if the answer is no, there are always like, thank you so much for your nice message, but unfortunately I'm not seeking a new job at the moment. But there you have your answer. And if I send somebody a message to let them know, we are super interested in you as a new employee, sometimes they read it, they don't respond. I can send them a friendly reminder a week later, later, but again, keep it personal. So I think that you can definitely replace that.

Linnea (36:20):

So I guess it's about using it to be more efficient and I guess saving you time to have time to be personal.

Samora (36:27):


Linnea (36:28):

And that's how you can get the most out of it. We're going to start to wrap up. I mean, we've mainly discussed remote hiring in that realm of executive assistants, but I would love to just hear from you some more, some of the, I guess, common misconceptions myth around remote hiring that you have encountered.

Samora (36:49):

Well, maybe not so much on the hiring part, but yeah, as a remote employee, yes. I know a funny myth or misconception, which I always think is funny, is that they have a super nice fit on the top and then maybe they are in their underwear at the bottom, which I always think it's a funny idea. Not that I imagine it all the time, but I think that's funny. Other than that, by the actual remote working, I think, yeah, a lot of employers maybe think that they are running a household on the background or maybe they are not as productive as they would like them to see. But for me personally, I'm more productive at home because when I go to the office, it's nice to see my colleagues again. You have longer coffee corner conversations or lunch or a walk and talk, which is also fine.


And I love that, absolutely. But sometimes working from home, which is not actually a great thing, but I forget to take breaks because you are so focused on doing the job, you don't get disturbed by anyone. And other than that, we discussed, maybe sometimes it's hard to stay connected with your other colleagues, but you really have to take the initiative to stay connected with your colleagues. And also if you are the one always connecting with other people and that somebody isn't that person to take the initiative, send your colleague a Slack messages or an email or call them up just to stay connected because I know it's possible to stay connected. If you're not connected, then you really don't want to be connected with other people at the job. And other than that, I think it's more you either love it or you hate it situation.


Because I also can imagine that after the pandemic, a lot of people were happy to be amongst other people. Again, because myself, when I reached out to a potential candidate, do you want to work for us? We are a remote company, et cetera. And no, I'm eager to go back to the office being among other people again. So yeah, I can't imagine that as well. But for us as a company, you also have the option to work hybrid as well. So yeah, I think misconceptions, I think there are a few, but I think that especially within our position for business companies, I think it's possible for both ways to do something remote or at the office.

Linnea (39:14):

I think the most common one that I'm hearing is that if you don't actually meet the person, then you won't get the full understanding of who they are. To me, that's a myth. If you use the right methods in the right way, you can totally find out the relevant information. And then I think remote hiring can even be of a benefit. So you don't fall into the trap of just, oh, I'm getting the sense that this person is like that. To me, that's almost, even if some people will say that, that's the backside to it, I would almost argue that no, it's the other way around. That's why it can be a golden standard.

Samora (39:52):

Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's funny that when you connect with somebody via video call or interviews, and after that, we hire that person, you have some meetings, and then after three months you're at the office, the other person is there as well, and you really don't even, oh my God, this is the first time we actually meet face-to-face. Because you're still connected on other ways that you even don't realize that you didn't connect with them. And if that's the case, that means that you really did a great job by connecting online and virtually.

Linnea (40:25):

Yeah, that's a good point. I think that's a good end point as well.

Samora (40:28):


Linnea (40:29):

Samura, it was lovely to have you on how we hire. So thankful that you shared your insights and all your learnings. For the listeners, I hope you enjoyed the episode, and I hope you wanted tune in two weeks to listen for another episode and learn more about hiring. But until then, have a lovely name.