46: Hiring in Support with Ulrike Pitzschke

46: Hiring in Support with Ulrike Pitzschke

Ulrike Pitzschke is trying to find new hires with exactly the right skill set, which is important to her team structure, but also makes growth difficult. 


I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!

Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to the customer support leaders podcast. This is Episode 46. And I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is hiring that stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I would like to welcome to the podcast today Ulrike Pitzschke. Would you like to introduce yourself?

Ulrike Pitschke 0:39
Yes, of course. Thank you very much. My name is Ulrike and I’m the customer care manager of YAZIO, which is a nutrition app and the Health app and we help people to live a healthier life basically

Charlotte Ward 0:51
Ulrike, The topic for this week is hiring in support. Now I know that you lead a small team at YAZIO but I’d be interested to know what your experience is so far have been and if you’ve got advice for any other people out there in a similar situation who are just stepping into making their first one or two hires

Ulrike Pitschke 1:08
Okay, yeah, great. So I found it really hard to find the right people for support. And that’s why I did like for 10 months on my own because we weren’t able to find proper people. I don’t know what happened. It’s really hard at the moment. The first girl we hired actually for our support team was a student role. And I think the most important thing is to test out what you really need very early. So we had one candidate that was doing okay on the trial work we gave him but we had a trial day and at the trial day, we found out that his technical like, knowledge is not good at all. So now we figured out that it would be better to have like some trial work that is related to technical knowledge, which basically in our case means working with an app, knowing about features on iOS and Android, mobile stuff like that. So it’s not like really technical, but being like, okay with dealing with an iPhone.

Charlotte Ward 1:10
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ulrike Pitschke 2:22
Yeah. So that’s one thing we really learned from it to like, put the things we really need and really want to know upfront in the process, and then like going through the whole process and then realising Okay, actually, it doesn’t work out. We also found that our first like intuition was most right in like 80% of cases. So when we read like a CV or some cover letter, and we had the feeling, okay, that’s not gonna match very well, in 80% of times. It’s really true.

Charlotte Ward 2:58
Okay, okay.

Ulrike Pitschke 3:00
And the other topic we face is the languages, which is really tough for us because we need people that speak more than one language. Especially, we are looking for Italian, French, and Spanish. And it’s very hard to find people that speak all of those languages,

Charlotte Ward 3:19
…and have all the other skills that you look at for

Ulrike Pitschke 3:23
Exactly. So we find quite a few people speaking the languages, but they’re mostly like translators. And they are not really keen on support tasks or like, yeah, technical mobile stuff. Yeah, so we don’t have an answer for that yet. We’re still looking for two people for our customer support team. And that’s like, ongoing since I don’t know last year, August or something like that.

Charlotte Ward 3:48
Right. Right. And that’s, that’s a common story, at early stage isn’t it? That you need people who can do a lot that they have to be quite good generalists and unwilling capable to take on a lot of aspects of our own that wouldn’t necessarily be exactly the same story in a very large organisation where you can have technology specialists and people who are providing front line in a particular language or any of those other considerations. You can really compartmentalise in a big organisation.

Ulrike Pitschke 4:19
Exactly. And for us, it’s like we don’t have that much requests in each language that we can hire one person for each language. But I found one very good fit with Italian, Spanish, English and German. So it is possible, but it takes some time.

Charlotte Ward 4:36
Yeah, yeah. And is that something that you’re just at this point resigned to that you just have to wait for the right person to come along?

Ulrike Pitschke 4:43
Yeah, it’s difficult because we sometimes had people that were like, we would say like 70% fitting for the position, but not like 100% and we are usually aiming for 100% We need people that can work from day one and don’t like have too many issues. And so we are quite perfectionists with hiring.

Charlotte Ward 5:11
Who in your organisation currently takes responsibility for figuring out what that list of requirements looks like? Is it entirely on your shoulders for the support team? Or do you work with other parts of the business to do that?

Ulrike Pitschke 5:26
We do have an HR manager. She does like the initial sourcing of applicants, she like hands over that one, she thinks that might be a good fit to me. And I think about it and have a look. So and then we decided together if you send out the trial work we got and if we invite them for trial work day

Charlotte Ward 5:51
In terms of how you build the list of skills that you’re looking for. Is that something that you as somebody who’s been in that role and who’s stepped up to lead this, this startup team. Does that list of skills and requirements for that individual come entirely from you because you’ve been there and done it

Ulrike Pitschke 6:10
We have a really small team, we’re about 30 people, so everything is like really small and direct. And I worked on it together with one of them to like, just make sure it’s not only my interests, but always the bigger business interests. I would say

Charlotte Ward 6:26
Well, you can have such a big impact in that smaller team, can’t you so every hire really counts? Yeah, definitely. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/46 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


A little disclaimer about the podcast, blog interviews and articles on this site: the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text and podcast belong solely to the author or interviewee, and not necessarily to any employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.

No comments yet. Be the first one to leave a thought.
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.