In the contemporary business landscape, prioritizing employee development, refining their expertise, and fostering diverse and inclusive environments are critical for achieving organizational success. Boku emerges as a standout organization, excelling not only in cultivating talent growth but also in championing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Positioned as a global tech enterprise, Boku collaborates with industry giants such as Microsoft, Sony, Meta, Tencent, and more, underscoring its commitment to nurturing talent on a global scale.
We sat down with Marisa Cardenas, a Technical Program Manager and talked about how Boku has managed to create a culture that is supporting talent growth.
🔵 Can you tell us a little about what attracted you to Boku in the first place?
I had heard about Boku and Fortumo way back in 2016 when I was working for a Malaysian mobile content provider working with different mobile operators in Asia. Boku and Fortumo were known in the region for being some of the best in direct carrier billing. These companies worked with renowned digital brands and published market reports that I found very useful even back then.
When I moved to Tallinn, I had two friends working in Boku and they happened to share the amazing work culture of the company – how fun and interesting it was to work there. Combining this feedback with the previous knowledge about the reputation of these companies – it was an easy decision to come work here!
🔵 Can you share your journey with Boku and your current role within the company?
I am very happy that I have gotten the opportunity to grow so fast within Boku. When I started my journey with Boku last year in April, I was initially appointed as a Technical Project Manager. This year I was offered the position of Technical Program Manager for one of our partners in one of products called bundling. You may ask, what is the difference between a Technical Project Manager and Technical Program Manager.
As a Technical Project Manager, I was in charge of leading and executing different projects: collecting requirements, building solution designs, attending meetings with partners and making sure the projects are executed in the timeline and with the requirements expected.
As a Technical Program Manager, I have a much more of a strategic role as I oversee the delivery of all projects and post-launch operations, making sure they run successfully from all angles: process, product, etc. I now work much more closely with Technical Project Managers, Operations team, Product Managers and Account Managers.
🔵 How would you explain Boku’s product to someone who doesn’t know anything about it?
At Boku we provide the possibility for partners like Netflix, Tencent or Meta to reach out to more customers by connecting these to merchants who provide other payment alternatives, different from debit and credit cards. (We do this through our APIs). Think for example of the opportunity to pay your Netflix account with your GoogleWallet, AliPay or as a part of your preferred mobile provider’s services. This enlarges our partner’s capability to acquire users and at the same it democratizes digital services to users worldwide, specially in countries where credit cards or debit cards are not common.
🔵 How would you describe Boku’s company culture in your own words?
Boku’s culture is a real treat! We work with inspiring and open colleagues, our work involves dealing with renown digital merchants such as Netflix, Tencent, Amazon, Spotify, etc. We have a wide range of different events, such as cultural evenings, summer and winter days, sports challenges, parties and much more.
In a nutshell, we work in a fun, inspiring and engaging environment! And the cherries on top, we also enjoy flexibility in schedule and location, making it easy to have better work-life balance, have a transparent and positive culture and have cool offices with the typical start-up treats (ping-pong tables, play stations, etc). You can see I have a lot of positive things to say about Boku’s culture!
🔵 How do you perceive the importance of diversity in the tech industry, specifically in a company like Boku?
I want to specify that the key is not only to be diverse, but to have equity and inclusion. Diversity can be achieved fairly easily, you add someone from a different background to a homogenous group and you obtain it. But without equity, the fostering of equal opportunities, and inclusion, the involvement of those different to us, you cannot foster an environment for diversity to be an asset.
In a tech company, diversity is very important for many different aspects. First, it fosters innovation and creativity. When you have a diverse team, you bring individuals with different perspectives which then can think of multiple ways to approach a situation and problem as opposed to when you just have one angle to the problem. It really helps to reduce groupthink.
Second, it improves marketing competitiveness. For example, in Boku we work with a vast number of countries where cultures and languages can be vastly different. When you have employees from across the world, you are able to cover for such differences. The needs of a diverse and global customer base, making the company more resilient for growth.
Finally, for a Public Company Like Boku, investors want transparency from companies on the diversity of their workforces. Investors, passive and active alike, have integrated Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into their investment decisions. Doing DEI well correlates with better change power, which in turn is linked not only to company performance but also leadership and employee engagement.
🔵 Could you share any ongoing diversity initiatives that Boku is particularly proud of?
There are two things that our DEI committee is currently really focused on. First of all we want to understand what the needs of the different minorities in our company are, so that we can give recommendations on how to support them better and enable them for opportunities.
For example, we have started running interviews with parents returning from Parental Leave to understand how to make their return to work much smoother so that they do feel engaged in their return.
Secondly we have launched a series of trainings regarding DEI. The importance of understanding unconscious bias and how to work with a diverse workforce. For example, slightly over a month ago, we shared with our colleagues outside of Estonia, what characterizes the Estonian culture and how to work best with Estonians.
🔵 Reflecting on your time with the company, what has been your most fulfilling moment at Boku?
Looking back on my journey with Boku, there have been several moments that have truly filled me with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Among these, two stand out prominently. Firstly, being acknowledged and appreciated for my contributions was a pivotal moment for me. Within just a year of joining Boku, my dedication and efforts were recognized, resulting in a significant career advancement. Moving from a marketing-sales-business development background to a technical role at Boku initially brought about a sense of uncertainty – that classic ‘imposter syndrome.’ I was constantly questioning my performance, wondering if I was meeting expectations.
However, during my first performance review, the feedback I received was incredibly validating. It affirmed that not only was I managing projects effectively, but I was also excelling at it. This feedback not only surprised me but also fueled a sense of achievement. It signified a positive shift in my career trajectory and validated my potential. Soon after, the opportunity to transition into a Technical Program Manager role presented itself, reinforcing the confidence in my abilities and the direction I wanted to take my career.
Secondly, witnessing the evolution of one of our team’s key products has been immensely rewarding. From its experimental stages to becoming an integral driver in Boku’s growth strategy, seeing the impact of our collective efforts has been deeply satisfying. Knowing that the work we put in has contributed significantly to the company’s success has been a source of immense pride and fulfillment.
🔵 Is this a common practice for Boku – recognizing the talent early on and moving them along the career path?
I would say it is and I’ve seen it happen to other colleagues multiple times! It definitely depends on the teams, as some of them are more dynamic and different positions open up a lot faster than in other teams. We do try to recognize and have these different levels of growth so people can jump into these different roles. We also have a constant and active feedback culture with platforms making it comfy. And addition to that we have a quite a strong 1-1 tradition, where the manager sits down with their team member once every week or two to discuss their wellbeing, problems, goals, dreams etc.
🔵 Talking about Boku as a workplace. What are the main reasons you would recommend Boku?
Firstly, the pace at which Boku is growing is remarkable. This rapid growth prompts constant innovation and adaptation, making it an ideal environment for those eager to contribute ideas that can make a tangible impact. Boku’s focus on continuous improvement encourages professional growth and fosters a culture that values innovative thinking and pushing boundaries. If you’re seeking a place that encourages you to expand your professional horizons and think creatively, Boku is an excellent fit.
Secondly, if you have a passion for IT and aspire to delve into the realm of paytech while collaborating with leading brands, Boku offers an exceptional platform. It provides an opportunity to validate your skills, face industry challenges, and align with the high standards set by these prominent companies.
Lastly, Boku’s culture is a standout feature. Working alongside a diverse range of individuals and engaging with different countries and markets offers a unique and valuable experience. This exposure fosters a global mindset—a critical asset in today’s IT landscape, where being a global citizen holds immense importance.
🔵 How does Boku ensure welcoming and supportive onboarding members? Are there any special initiatives or programmes for new joiners?
At Boku, ensuring a welcoming and supportive onboarding experience for new members is a priority, backed by various initiatives and programs.
For example in Estonia, we appoint a designated mentor, complementing the manager’s role, to guide newcomers into the company culture. This dedicated individual ensures support and integration within the team, fostering engagement right from the start.
Moreover, we have a well-structured onboarding plan, initially outlined by weeks and later extended by months. This plan offers clear expectations during the probationary period and charts a path for growth thereafter. Regular 1:1 sessions with managers and consistent check-ins with HR further facilitate a smooth transition into the organization.
And also one of our strengths lies in information transparency. We provide access to tools and resources, including data-sharing platforms and informative materials upon joining. These resources are designed to facilitate early engagement and equip new joiners with essential knowledge about the company.
🔵 What does the future bring for Boku? What are some exciting upcoming endeavors?
Considering Boku’s future endeavors, there’s a vibrant landscape of ongoing developments across various fronts within the company. Our products continue to experience rapid growth, fostering a culture of relentless innovation. Every department is geared towards improvement, perpetually exploring new possibilities to enhance our offerings. Notably, we’re actively shaping strategies around account-to-account and instant banking payments, paving new directions for our services.
On an organizational level, our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) remains a continuous journey, open for everyone to engage in. Additionally, our ‘Building Better Boku’ task force is a platform for sharing and nurturing ideas, ensuring a collaborative environment where innovations thrive.
Moreover, our culture is dynamic and diverse, marked by engaging events. Recently, colleagues proposed activities like a ping pong competition and meditation sessions to promote work-life balance. Boku fosters an open culture, actively embracing and encouraging novel ideas, providing numerous opportunities for collaboration and contribution.
The role of Human Resources (HR) has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. As businesses seek to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing market, one of the biggest challenges facing HR professionals is determining optimal salary offers. This complex process often involves trawling through outdated salary surveys and making educated guesses, a stressful and opaque task that can feel like shooting in the dark. But what if there was a way to turn the lights on? Enter Compensation.app. 💡
Compensation.app is a groundbreaking tool that shines a spotlight on the often murky world of compensation data, providing accurate, real-time information to guide your decisions. No longer do you need to rely on guesswork or old data. Whether you’re working with recruitment agencies, sourcing candidates directly, or using job boards, Compensation.app equips you with the information you need to set competitive yet realistic salary offers.
⏰ Real-Time Statistics: We’ve partnered with 20+ HRIS providers, ensuring we provide up-to-the-minute accurate data.
💰 Absolutely Free: Share your company’s data and gain access to vital statistics for free. It’s a win-win situation.
🔒 Complete Anonymity: Share your data securely. We ensure that all data cannot be traced back to your company.
📊 Standardization: We ensure uniform compensation levels across organizations, making comparisons easy and accurate.
In an environment where employment trends can change almost overnight, relying on survey-based models for salary information can quickly lead you astray. Manually handling this outdated data is not only time-consuming but can also lead to inaccuracies. However, Compensation.app solves this issue by integrating directly into your company’s HR systems and generating anonymized, real-time statistics.
🇪🇺 This efficient tool not only saves you time and money but also helps your company adhere to salary reporting obligations set by the European Union Council for companies with 100+ employees.
🚀 Compensation.app’s real strength lies in its ability to provide comprehensive, real-time compensation data for a wide array of roles and seniority levels. Let’s take a practical example to illustrate this. Consider the role of a Software Engineer. When you open Compensation.app, you can easily select this specific role from an intuitive drop-down menu. Instantly, you’re presented with an array of real-time salary data for that role, including the average salary, percentile distribution, and market rate comparisons.
📈 But that’s not where the power of Compensation.app ends. Recognizing that different roles and seniority levels within an organization require specific compensation considerations, Compensation.app offers data categorized into five distinct seniority levels: Entry (IC0), Junior (IC1), Mid-Level (IC2), Senior (IC3), and Expert (IC4). This allows you to make confident, informed compensation decisions that account for the unique requirements and market conditions of each role.
This granular approach to compensation data extends across more than 120 different roles in various industries, ensuring that your compensation decisions are not just informed, but also tailored to the specifics of each role and level. Whether you’re setting the compensation for an entry-level analyst or an expert consultant, Compensation.app provides the insights you need.
To further simplify the process of data analysis, Compensation.app introduces a potent tool – percentiles. This statistical approach allows you to benchmark effectively, spot outliers, ensure fair analysis, enhance talent acquisition and retention, and plan budgets intelligently.
To gain access to these benefits, all you need to do is share data with Compensation.app, and you’ll receive comprehensive, real-time statistics free of charge – all while ensuring complete anonymity. It’s time to leave behind the era of static, outdated PDFs and embrace the dynamic, real-time information offered by Compensation.app.
👉 In today’s data-driven world, Compensation.app is your key to unlocking fair and informed compensation decisions. Empower yourself to stay competitive, make informed decisions, and ensure equitable practices with Compensation.app. Experience the transformative power of its comprehensive position and seniority coverage today by booking a demo call with our team.
This year we bring you a diverse mix of insightful interviews and articles. These articles will explore the realm of market dynamics, delve into data interpretation, and dispense useful insights.
We’ve been privileged to have conversations with numerous distinguished individuals and companies, each contributing a unique narrative. Our discussion topics cover a wide spectrum, from remote recruitment strategies to fostering exceptional organizational culture and offering attractive employee benefits among many other intriguing themes.
Presented below are the 10 most engaging articles from our blog, ranked based on reader count.
#10 – Interview: Nikolai Kabatsikov, Head of Talent at Bolt
One of the interviews that has consistently garnered significant readership over the past few years is once again asserting its popularity by securing a spot in this year’s Top 10. 🔝
Besides shedding light on the company, Nikolai Kabatsikov, the Talent Head at Bolt, also shares evergreen tips on crafting a compelling LinkedIn profile and securing a job in a rapidly expanding tech firm.
#9 – Interview with Mara Steinberga from SmartLynx Airlines
Most-read interview from last year’s top also makes it this year. It hails from the world of aviation, a domain characterized by pace, stressful circumstances, joy, and an ever-evolving day-to-day life that is a norm for all those at SmartLynx Airlines. ✈️
Our conversation with SmartLynx Airlines’ Chief of People & Culture, Mara Steinberga, provided insights into the aviation industry’s distinctive work culture. She shared her perspectives on the unique aspects of working in this sector and gave a glimpse into a typical day at SmartLynx (spoiler alert: there’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ day here).
#8 – Data-driven Hiring: TOP 10 Factors of Employee Motivation
A mere 13% of the tech employers surveyed admitted to successfully hiring and retaining the talent they require. To amplify the appeal of your job offers for superior talent, it’s critical to address the typical motivational factors. 📊
In this article we take an in-depth view, based on survey results of 163 386 users, of what precisely drives individuals.
The IT sector is seeing a trend where talent has the negotiation advantage due to a surplus of jobs and scarcity of talent. Companies like Oxylabs, a tech firm providing web-scraping solutions, are tackling this by nurturing internal talent and initiating development plans. Over three years, Oxylabs has launched new products, caught Fortune 500 companies’ interest, and doubled its staff size.
In our discussion, Web Product Owner Monika Gerybaite shared insights into overcoming these challenges while maintaining rapid growth. 🚀
#6 – Äripäev Salary TOP 2023: Vacancies at the Highest Paying Companies
The Estonian financial newspaper, Äripäev, annually compiles the Salary TOP list, spotlighting the highest-paying companies. MeetFrank presents you with the latest job openings at a range of these top-paying firms. 💰
#5 – Inside the diverse culture driving the success of Entain Baltics and Nordics
We talked to Oleg Karpušenko, the head of the HR department at Entain Baltics & Nordics, about how to build a great company culture that values diversity and inclusiveness and what are the essential elements for creating a friendly and down-to-earth company culture. 🌟
#4 – 10 Ways to Get More Job Applicants when Hiring
Hiring an exceptional team player can be a challenging task. 😖 Posting a job vacancy on a job board might garner about 5-10 applicants. But for the ideal hire, you’d need a pool of over 30 candidates to select from.
So, how can you attract more high-quality job seekers? Regardless of whether you have an extensive HR & Recruitment department supporting you, as a hiring manager, there’s a plethora of strategies you can employ.
#3 – Enabling employee growth through learning at Oxylabs
Fostering employee development and enhancing their expertise, skills, and abilities has become increasingly pivotal in propelling business performance. Oxylabs, a technology firm and a leader in innovative web-scraping infrastructure solutions, stands out in its commitment to Learning & Development (L&D) activities.
We had a conversation with Frederika Dovgal, the Learning and Development Manager at Oxylabs, discussing the company’s strategies in cultivating its in-house talent and fostering growth.
#2 – You’re Recruiting All Wrong — Say Goodbye to Job Boards
Traditional hiring strategies, like advertising job vacancies and awaiting applications, are becoming obsolete and less effective. Recruitment is evolving into a selling process, deviating from the earlier purchasing concept — companies failing to adapt can’t attract or hire top-notch talent. 🔝
In this article we take a look at what the recruiters need to change in order to fix the problem and more importantly, how it can be achieved.
#1 – What Is Employer Branding and How Do Companies Do it?
The most popular article of the past year is about employer branding. Employer branding might feel like an elusive concept that’s often talked about, but rarely fully grasped, much like a mythical unicorn. 🦄
Yet, certain companies seem to have mastered it, magnetizing the best talent. So, what exactly is employer branding? How is it effectively implemented? And who within your organization should shoulder this responsibility?
MeetFrank’s Virtual Recruiter: Your Key to Efficient Hiring
In our ever-evolving digital age, companies are constantly seeking to streamline their processes, and one area ripe for transformation is recruitment. Traditional hiring methods often struggle to source the best talent efficiently and effectively. That’s where MeetFrank’s Virtual Recruiter comes into play – a forward-thinking service designed to redefine the way businesses approach hiring.
Introducing MeetFrank: Your Personalized Recruitment Solution
Central to this innovative service is MeetFrank, your committed, full-time sourcer who expertly manages all open roles within your organization. Far from a simple digital assistant, MeetFrank’s Virtual Recruiter is a complete recruitment solution that utilizes a well-trained human eye, smart algorithms and our vast talent pool to find your ideal candidates.
Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Customizing Your Brief
The journey towards successful recruitment begins with a deep understanding of your needs. MeetFrank partners with you to construct a detailed, precisely targeted job offer. This tailored strategy ensures the pre-selection of candidates who not just meet, but surpass your expectations. A well-designed brief plays a key role in attracting top-tier talent, and securing the perfect fit for your team.
Step 2: Leveraging MeetFrank’s Talent Pool
Once we’ve shaped your job offer, MeetFrank’s in-house recruiter taps into our extensive premium talent pool. This invaluable resource allows us to quickly identify the right individuals for your role. Our talent pool comprises high-caliber professionals from diverse sectors and backgrounds, ensuring we find the perfect match for your unique needs.
Step 3: Delivering Interview-Ready Candidates
After identifying potential fits, we deliver a shortlist of interview-ready candidates. These are individuals who not only meet your criteria but are also enthusiastic and prepared for the role at hand. We alleviate the stress of sifting through countless resumes and conducting preliminary interviews, leaving you with the simple task of choosing the perfect fit.
In essence, MeetFrank’s Virtual Recruiter Service revolutionizes your hiring process by placing the right candidates in your lap. It’s a tailored, efficient, and effective solution designed to take the headache out of recruitment and ensure you get the best talent for your team.
This innovative approach to recruitment is quickly winning over industry leaders. With the power of a dedicated recruitment team, smart algorithms, and a vast talent pool, MeetFrank’s Virtual Recruiter Service is a true game-changer in hiring. Join the new wave of recruitment today and experience the future of hiring.
Too busy to recruit? MeetFrank’s Virtual Recruiter saves you time. In the ever-evolving landscape of business, one thing remains constant: the importance of hiring top-tier talent. For many companies, however, the process of sourcing, vetting, and interviewing potential candidates is a time-consuming task that can drain valuable resources. This is where the Virtual Recruiter service by MeetFrank comes in, revolutionizing the traditional hiring process by seamlessly blending technology and human expertise.
Reimagine Recruitment with MeetFrank
MeetFrank’s Virtual Recruiter service is the perfect solution for businesses struggling with the recruitment process. It’s more efficient than a traditional job board and more cost-effective than a recruitment agency. Our unique blend of cutting-edge technology and deep human expertise allows us to find the right talent for your business, aligning perfectly with your custom requirements.
But, how exactly does our service work? Let’s delve a little deeper into the key steps involved in our recruitment process.
📝 Step 1: Crafting a Tailored Brief
Every recruitment journey with MeetFrank starts with a brief. We understand that every company is unique, and this uniqueness extends to their hiring needs. Hence, we collaborate with you to create a custom brief that reflects your specific requirements. This ensures a more accurate pre-selection process, setting the stage for finding your perfect candidate.
🔍 Step 2: Quality Sourcing
Sourcing is the crux of any recruitment process. MeetFrank’s Virtual Recruiter taps into our rich talent pool, which is continuously replenished with top-tier candidates. Our intelligent algorithms scan through the pool to find the best match for your requirements, ensuring you get nothing short of stellar candidates for your role.
⭐ Step 3: Delivering a Curated Shortlist
After the sourcing comes the shortlisting. We understand that your time is valuable, so we make sure that you only review candidates who are a perfect fit for your company. Our Virtual Recruiter delivers a curated list of high-caliber contenders for your selection, saving you hours that would have otherwise been spent sieving through an endless pool of candidates.
🤝 Step 4: Seal the Deal
With a ready pipeline of top-notch candidates, you can shift your focus from sourcing to actively engaging with potential hires. We help facilitate interviews, and when you find your perfect match, we’re there to help you seal the deal. And voilà, your recruitment process is complete, and your time and effort are saved!
With MeetFrank’s Virtual Recruiter service, businesses now have an efficient, cost-effective solution to the traditional recruitment process. We aim to save you time, effort, and resources by sourcing and shortlisting the best talent, allowing you to focus more on the essential aspects of your business. Your ideal candidate is just a few clicks away with MeetFrank. So why wait? Start your recruitment journey with us today and experience the difference.