Daniel Michalewicz has been Multilingual & Customer Service Division Manager at Eden Recruitment since 2007.
So how did you end up here in the Green Chair?
Well, when I came to Ireland 16 years ago, I started off in hospitality. While studying in DIT, I moved to eBay where I worked in CS and later, account management. I think these experiences led me to where I am today. Hospitality is a people business and so is recruitment, and I love that. At the same time, working for eBay gave me an invaluable insight into a multinational call centre environment. That stands to me now, as many of my clients fit that profile.
How is the demand for multilingual staff and what’s fuelling it?
Demand is strong generally, as Ireland’s position as an international hub remains healthy. What we’re noticing is that German and Nordic speakers are much sought after, especially for entry level customer service and tech support roles. Because their domestic economies are so stable, there are fewer of them out there on the market!
What skills are you looking for in multi-lingual candidates?
Linguistic fluency is an obvious one, but so is a personality that will fit the multinational working environment. Also, I’m always reminding candidates to be passionate about the company they are looking to work for. It is very common for an employer – especially the larger ones – to report that while a candidate ticked all the boxes of the job spec, “we didn’t get the feeling they really fell for us as a company”. That’s enough to exclude them.
What advice would you give to employers looking to attract the best staff?
The recruitment process itself is key. Candidates get really frustrated at being kept hanging or not being informed about the status of their application, so much so that many of them opt out and go for something else. If your recruitment process is a lengthy one, make sure your candidates are aware of this and that your communication with them is frequent and timely. Remember, word gets round, and people always talk to their peers about their experiences.
Also, it sometimes strikes me that the huge investment which firms make in creating an exceptional working environment for staff isn’t always conveyed to job candidates. It’s often only late on in the process that they get to see the really cool office for themselves. I know it takes up resources, but showing candidates around at an early stage can be a point of differentiation in a tight talent market.
How do you get them to stay?
Often, the feedback from many of our candidates registering for new vacancies is that their roles are too repetitive and not challenging enough. Even if the core task is not very varied, it is important to involve staff in different projects, maybe CSR activities, and to let them represent the firm at seminars etc. – it makes them feel appreciated, boosts their confidence and keeps them motivated.
What do you find most satisfying about your job?
I love dealing with people from various parts of the world, of different cultures and backgrounds. Helping them in something as important as their career path is very rewarding.
Finally, tell us something your clients may not know about you!
Mmm… I’m taking part in a fundraising marathon for the Irish Cancer Society in June, for one. Last year I completed Bunchúrsa 1 basic Irish language course. Back in school I was a bit of a rascal. Along with friends, I got detention once for sticking a note on our priest teacher’s back saying “looking for wife”! (Thank God he had a sense of humour ;). How’s that?
Daniel Michalewicz is Multilingual & Customer Service Division Manager with Eden Recruitment