HR Leader Spotlight

  • Please tell us your name, job title and place of work?

Kasia Ptak Talent Acquisition Specialist at Royal Mencap Society

  • How would you describe your career?

Immediate word that comes to my mind is ‘’Bumpy’’ as an unexperienced, young and foreign woman in UK, I found it really challenging to secure any sort of employment after moving to UK back in 2012.  I was extremely grateful when finally after of months of completing numerous applications and never hearing anything back I was given a chance of the interview and secured a role as a care assistant.

This is where I first learnt what person centred approach is and developed hunger for more, I have completed additional qualifications, started to get involved and supporting with recruitment of new colleagues. By the time I realised I ended up in management role. But as much as I enjoyed it I missed the interaction with candidates, attending job fairs, delivering webinars and genuinely missing meeting new people on a day to day basis.

I started applying for recruitment roles and I was offered a recruiter role in an agency. I really enjoyed it but it didn’t feel much of helping people and making an actual change. After a year an opportunity come up at Mencap and to my surprise I got it! Here we are 4 years later, I know I have found my home! By placing talent I am making a positive difference to people with learning disabilities lives and give an opportunity to the candidate to join amazing charity and future career. I couldn’t ask for more…

  • What would you say are the 3 key strategies organisation should focus on in 2021 to attract the right candidates for a job role?

Education and self- awareness that everyone has a bias and we are all genetically predisposed to like people like us, as we naturally feel that we ‘get’ them and that we can trust them. Once you realise it you can work towards removing bias from your recruitment process.

Identifying and removing barriers for diverse talent- using diverse job boards like the black women in HR it’s a start but potentially not enough, start with design of the job. Make both adverting text and job description as inclusive as possible for everyone free of jargon, acronyms, gender coded language, and review the person spec. Do they really need to be so complex and extensive?

Introduce accountability- get your recruitment data metric right and use it to challenge unwanted behaviour.

  • What would you say are the key skills required to be a true recruitment leader?
  1. Ability to identify talent in your candidates, seeing what candidates can bring to the organisation and looking beyond working experience.
  2. Build emotional intelligence and equitable approach after all we all had to start somewhere.
  3. Person centred recruitment- treat everyone as an individual and do not define people by their characteristic or backgrounds, we all bring something unique and beautiful to this world.
  • What are you most proud of in your career to date?

I am not interested in awards and recognitions this is not why I am doing this job. For me it is about candidate journey and finding that dream opportunity for them, it is about unleashing your passion.

Passion is the most powerful selling tool. There is no better feeling in the world for me than hearing a candidate happy reaction when I offer someone a job post after their interview. Matching talented individual to the role, makes me feel proud and accomplished as I know it hugely benefits not only candidate but also the organisation they will working at.

  • What would you like to see organisations do more in recruitment?

Learn how to be compassionate and understand your candidates, try to understand individual journey. Make equity your top priority of the end to end recruitment process also provide your people with tools and support to identify and understand talent barriers better so they can work in person centred way and remove these for everyone.

  • How do you relax in your free time?

I am a proud owner of Siberian Husky, he is my best friend and companion. He keeps my mental and physical health in check. We enjoy long walks, runs and hiking together or simply just cuddles on the settee and binge watching Netflix.

  • What advice would you give to a young professional starting a career in Recruitment and HR?

No matter how challenging it can get, never give up and believe in yourself. Recruitment and HR is all about People, if you are truly passionate about people the rewards and benefits of this career are endless.

  • What are your wise words in business?

Just because ‘’ we always did it that way’’ doesn’t mean it is a right way of recruiting. Seek out feedback, be transparent about your findings and work towards continuously improving your recruitment process. The world is changing, we should be adapting to it.

  • How can our members connect with you?

Just drop me a message on LinkedIn I would be delighted to hear from you and support in any way I can.