With the beginning of March, it is now official – Magdalena Błaszczak became our new COO. Working at Applover for almost 2 years she accomplished a lot in the HR department, from recruiting and enlarging a bigger HR Team, to scaling the whole company by 100%! She introduced various new processes that helped us, as a company to grow wisely and do not lose our values, like our unique atmosphere. What are her plans for the company and what are her goals as a COO now? Let’s find out!
Magda, congratulations on your new role, how did it happen and how are you feeling in these new shoes?
Thank you, I feel fantastic! I was very lucky because I worked in organizations that realized the importance of HR in the company. I have never been just a person from administration or advising managers. As an HR Manager or previously an HR Business Partner, I have always had an impact on the organization and business decisions. However, I felt that my strategic and leadership skills went beyond the usual area of HR. I am glad that my actions have been appreciated and I can develop in other operations areas.
Being a female COO in a male-dominated industry such as IT may be challenging. What is your approach towards creating a more inclusive work environment and how are you handling it?
I have never felt discriminated against because of my gender. In my career, I have met managers encouraging me to hire more women in IT. Unfortunately, seeing women in managing positions is still rare. I am glad that the founders of Applover (4 men!), when hiring new managers, didn’t pay attention to gender, but to competencies and way of thinking. In our IT development firm, all heads are women, and we also have two female leaders of technical teams. I am glad that this is not imposed by, for example, parity, but simply by doing a job well. I would never like to introduce such a policy of parities in the company, but I strive to create an inclusive work environment adapted to the needs of both women and men. There is no need to pretend that they will be the same.
What are your main priorities as a COO?
At the moment, my top priority is to arrange the processes so that the organization can grow freely. We have ambitious plans for business development – further growth of the company, going to the market. There is a lot of work to be done. At the same time, we don’t want to become a corporation that has a paper for everything – quite the opposite. Maintaining the company culture and atmosphere that is so important and appreciated by employees is also one of my priorities. I want employees to look for solutions, test, make mistakes and develop themselves.
How will your experience in HR help you in your new role at Applover?
I am quite convinced that apart from being business-oriented or strategic thinking, one of the main tasks for a COO is simply being a leader. As an HR specialist, I was exploring the understanding of people’s needs and motivations. They are one of the core business values and taking care of their needs is still important to me. Over the years of my work, I have thought of business decisions through people’s needs. It is not very common that a person from HR to be advanced in this position in a technology company. At Applover, however, we want to remain a people-oriented organization.
People-oriented company – what does it mean for you?
For me, this means, on the one hand, supporting employees and taking care of their needs, and investing in their development. Perception of employees as partners in creating the organization. In practice, for example, it reveals in consulting larger business decisions. At the same time, it is important to treat them not only as “employees”, but simply as people who have a life outside the company.
Would you like to share with us your key takeaways or some tips from your experience, maybe at Applover or in the HR department so far?
Find your strengths and develop them. There is no sense to focus on your weaknesses. If it’s necessary for the job, that’s fine. However, it is better to focus on what you can do best and only improve these skills.
Be patient. We live in a world where everything is “instant”, and young people expect that they will get a high position or salary at the start. After two years in the IT industry, they add the name “senior” to their CVs, which actually means nothing anymore. It’s best to do your job as well as you can and the reward (whatever that is to you) will come by itself.
Be yourself. This can be difficult at times because if you disagree with your boss or the way the organization works, it can mean getting a new job, which is always stressful. However, there is nothing more satisfying than being able to discuss, argue, express yourself, and be heard. I haven’t met anyone who would not appreciate and admire people who are assertive and not afraid to express themselves in every aspect of their lives.
Do you want to find out more about our processes?Talk to us!
What can we wish you in your new role?
To have happy employees who are working in Applover because they feel they have an impact on the organization and their performance is appreciated.