Since May 2018, Emil Pall is Skeleton's Head of Human Resources. He tells us more about the company's culture and gives advices to candidates applying for one of our positions.
You have been working for Skeleton for more than two years. What was your main motivation when you applied and what are the things you now enjoy the most?
- I wanted to be part of an international, fast-paced working environment and I can say I have found it at Skeleton. I was also at a stage of my career when I was looking for something really meaningful and work for a business with a purpose with which I can identify, e.g. fighting climate change. Discovering in addition the innovative profile of the company has been the cherry on the cake for me.
I like the fact Skeleton is changing and evolving, due to its growth. You can really create systems and processes from the scratch and this opportunity is not often offered elsewhere. In most of the functions here, you can leave your footprint and have an impact internally, as well as externally through the company. Another critical aspect that I enjoy is the fact Skeleton has a startup culture at its best: proactive, flexible, with a flat hierarchy. We are now bringing in more structure, processes and policies, but for us it is crucial to keep these positive traits.
How has your role evolved and developed?
- We were only two people in the HR team when I joined and there are four of us now. Our main topics remain recruitment with a strong focus on providing the best onboarding and training for our new hires. But now we are also paying more attention to and focus on the engagement of the employees and our employer branding. Skeleton is very well-known in Estonia but less in Germany, where we have to compete with giants such as Siemens or Bosch. Therefore we need to make sure our offer to the prospective employees is competitive and provides them with the right career perspectives.
The company is in a high growth phase with fast rising revenue. Does it translate into an increase in the number of job applications?
- Yes and it is very good to see this. We are going to hire at least 20 people by the end of the year, so we also advertise more actively. And we can see more applicants coming from big corporations. For a lot of people, working in major industrial groups or conglomerates used to be seen as a haven because it was safe and secure. However, nowadays, new generations are increasingly interested in finding a purpose in their jobs and they are looking for challenges in their professional environment. We attract many people thanks to the idea of fighting against climate change but also thanks to our culture. At Skeleton, you can really make a difference, add value and put your creativity to use, which is particularly appealing for many engineers, for instance. Besides this it is important to have an environment where employees can feel good and are visible, not a very small piece in a big mechanism – and we do provide such an environment.
What are the main pieces of advice you would give to someone looking to get hired by Skeleton?
- I would advise to really know what you are looking for. Experience, skills and competencies matter but they are not the only criteria that we are assessing. We want people with the right attitude and mindset and we always have this in mind, so we try to evaluate if someone will be the right fit to our agile, fast-paced and results-oriented company culture. This is why, for example, our founders find it important to invest from their valuable time and have a focused discussion as the last selection stage. So, my main advice would be to think about whether you share our spirit and ambition and that you also find our company culture as appealing to you.
What are the key qualities you are usually looking at when you receive a job application and during a job interview?
- I am always interested in getting to know the inner motivation of candidates. Everyone has their own triggers and drivers, and these are as important, if not more, as the experience, skills and competencies needed to be successful. So, I like to understand the inner values of a person and what makes someone get out of the bed in the morning. There is no right or wrong answers when I ask about this, but this is something important in a company with our culture.
Employees at Skeleton work from different offices in Germany and Estonia, some even work remotely. What are the main challenges when working in an international environment and from different locations?
- When you work with international colleagues and from different locations, communications become even more critical. It is very important to be able to listen to each other and communicate effectively. It is actually something we also evaluate during job interviews, how a candidate listens and is then able to summarize certain topics or extract key messages.
Of course, being in an international environment has lots of major benefits, too, including the fact that it brings along different perspectives and point of views. I find it very motivating to have a team which is culturally diverse because this diversity helps you challenge the status-quo you are used to, it is forces you to think out of the box and it also makes it easier to come up with novel and break-through solutions.