Inside Qonto

"Our goal is to recruit the best talents as quickly as Qonto evolves."

July 15, 2020 by Emma Zamia

1. What is your background before you started at Qonto? (Studies, professional experiences etc)

I joined a business school because it offered a specialization in luxury, a sector that interested me because of my taste for what is "beautiful", for the quality, the constant search for perfection and know-how.

After graduating, I first worked at Louis Vuitton and then at Robert Clergerie as Product Manager (leather goods and footwear). 

Page Personnel, a recruitment agency contacted me to offer me a position as a recruitment consultant, which meant I had to start from scratch... But the position and company caught my attention and I accepted the offer! I was able to keep one foot in fashion, as my clients were mainly ready-to-wear retailers.

Pretty quickly, I started missing the world of luxury, and when I got headhunted by a recruitment firm specializing in fashion and luxury, I said yes to their job offer.
However, I realized after a few months in this new company that the most important thing for me was not so much the sector of the company I was working in, but its environment, which I needed to be both demanding and caring, with its people at the centre. 

And that's when I crossed the road to Qonto...

2. Why did you join Qonto?

I was looking for a company with a modern vision of recruitment using innovative tools. A company where people are at the heart of the management's concerns.

In an article that I had read prior to my interviews at Qonto, Alexandre Prot, CEO and co-founder of Qonto, explained how important recruitment was to him and Qonto, especially the recruitment of accessible and caring managers. 

Also, when I met Sarah Ben Allel, Head of People at Qonto, I really "recognized" myself in her background and approach to recruitment. I immediately felt that I would have the opportunity to learn not only on my own, but also from mentors in this company. And when I saw the impressive background of the founders, Sarah and the other people I met, I was quickly seduced.

3. What aspect from your recruitment process impacted you the most?

To be honest, it wasn't that easy...

First of all, I was very impressed by the background and professional experiences of the people I met during my interviews.
Secondly, I never had to do a practical case study - which is a prerequisite for all candidates at Qonto. Coming from a non-tech and startup background, I had to prove that I had the skills and resources to learn quickly and be at the level that was expected from me. 

However, I greatly appreciated Sarah's responsiveness during the whole recruitment process, which lasted a total of two weeks from the moment I applied for the position to the moment I started at Qonto. I had never experienced that before! 

4. What moment stood out from your onboarding at Qonto?

I really liked the fact that people took the time to introduce me to the different teams, so that I could have a global vision of the company. Actually, I am really impressed by how people at Qonto take the time to do things properly. I thought that people working in startups did everything quickly, with doing first and thinking second, whereas people at Qonto showed me the total opposite! I think that's one of the reasons for the company’s success.

Also, I started my missions rapidly and I could already see that Sarah trusted me. She needed someone to rely on, so I took the opportunity to come up to her with new ideas. It was very stimulating, I felt useful right away!

5. Can you define your role of Talent Acquisition Lead at Qonto ?

I am in charge of recruiting the people who will help us to make Qonto the #1 bank in Europe for SMEs and freelancers. No less!

I started as a Talent Acquisition Manager (TAM), then got promoted to Lead of the recruitment team that I helped grow.

Our goal is to recruit the best talents as quickly as Qonto evolves. We do this by directly recruiting candidates and by using external tools (recruiting platforms, headhunter firms etc).

6. What qualities does a Talent Acquisition Manager need to have?

A TAM must be passionate.  It is a demanding and key role for the company, so you have to be passionate about your job in order to keep up with the pace, and bring the necessary energy to the candidates but also to the managers of the different teams, a bit like a coach. 

Next, a TAM must be rigorous. It is essential to have a well-maintained database to track candidates and enable effective teamwork. To do this, you have to measure your efficiency on a daily basis so you can anticipate your tasks. A good recruiter is a recruiter who controls her pipeline and has control over her time. I've heard before that recruiting is a matter of luck, when it's quite the opposite! To recruit well, you have to know how to control each step of the recruiting process.

Finally, a good TAM must be able to question herself. You must show humility in order to continue to learn and grow, because it is a job constantly evolving. 

7. If you had to sum up your daily life in 2 sentences at Qonto in the People team?

My day-to-day job is to be at the service of my team to guide them and above all to make them succeed! To do this, I am in constant contact with managers to understand their needs, facilitate communication with the team and ensure a unique candidate experience.

My role is also to build the best possible framework to achieve this goal by optimizing our processes.

What is your biggest challenge and/or success as a Talent Acquisition Lead?

My biggest challenge and success (both at the same time) has been to work on our recruitment process to become more efficient. And it's not over yet! We have to constantly question our methods in order to meet the needs of our fast-growing company. Sarah and Steve Anavi, President and co-founder of Qonto, are very involved in this thinking process, and our team is learning a lot from their constructive feedback.

The recruitment that has impacted me the most is without a doubt the one of our Chief Marketing Officer, which is a key position for Qonto. Few candidates matched our criteria. I had to be patient, methodical and creative to be able to approach the right candidates. I was coached by Alexandre Prot (CEO and co-founder of Qonto) on this recruitment, which allowed me to discover more about his vision of Qonto.

9. Among the 4 Qonto core values (Ambition, Mastery, Teamwork, Integrity) which one speaks to you the most and why?

The value that speaks to me the most at Qonto is Mastery as all Qontoers are very demanding with themselves and are committed to continuous improvement. 

This means:

  • Think before we act 
  • Understand the reasons for our successes so that we can replicate them
  • Analyze in detail the problems we encounter in order to define sustainable solutions 

I find that Steve and Alex embody that value particularly well. They know how to question themselves and take nothing for granted.

10. If you had to give a message to future Qonto candidates?

Be yourself and to do not try to "play a role".

Start by writing a short list about what you want to share about yourself (studies, professional experiences but also your passions and interests) and think about how to present it to the recruiter. At the end of the interview, the recruiter must be able to have a clear vision of your personality and above all, to know if you are a right fit for them. But don't forget that you too need to know if the role and the company are a right fit for you! So do not hesitate to ask a few questions to the recruiter.

At Qonto, we expect our Qontoers to give 100% of themselves, and for that to happen they need to be certain that Qonto is right for them. 

11. Do you have a quirky or fun story to share with us since you joined Qonto?

As recruiters, we get to meet a lot of people, with very different and colourful personalities!

For the record, during my last video interview, the candidate stopped our conversation in the middle of the interview to go and "save" his neighbour's cat which had been missing for months, it seems. I experienced the rescue live! My candidate lured the cat with food and then put it in his room. A few minutes later, there was another interruption with the arrival of the neighbour who came to pick it up. Unfortunately, no happy ending there, because the cat was actually not the right one! 

As we didn't go any further with this candidate, I never knew if this poor cat has been safely returned to its right owner...

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