Win the Talent War: Alina Basina Global Head of Talent and Human Resources at Jobbatical
As Global Head of Talent and Human Resources at Jobbatical, Alina Basina is a busy woman. She and her team work to create a platform that helps talent work in a new environment, country, or culture and find the job of their dreams. Jobbatical’s dynamic and innovative concepts put it in a league of its own. Now Basina shares her experience of working internationally, and why providing that opportunity for others has become her passion.
Time-Stamped Show Notes
[00:00] Introduction of Alina Basina.
[03:05] Why companies are looking internationally for top talent.
[04:57] How companies, large and small, can attract international top talent.
[06:46] Where most of Jobbatical’s 80,000+ users come from.
[09:07] The types of jobs most seen at Jobbatical.
[09:55] Removing unconscious bias and focusing on skills.
[11:06] Vetting candidates.
[12:29] The Jobbatical community helps its members settle abroad.
[13:21] Basina’s motivation.
[14:00] Basina’s advice to her younger self.
[14:36] Contact Info.
Introduction and Background
Alina Basina is Global Head of Talent and Human Resources at Jobbatical.com, a dynamic and innovative company. She and her team help talent to work in a new environment, country, or culture.
Basina has worked in San Francisco and the Bay area in the tech industry for over ten years. Though she started out as an attorney, Basina graduated during the recession, and career opportunities in law were sparse. It was by luck that she fell into tech recruiting and human resources, and though she enjoyed it, what she really wanted to do was work abroad.
When an opportunity arose to take a sabbatical for a year, she jumped at it. In 2015 when she returned from her sabbatical, she committed herself to looking for a temporary job abroad. CEO and founder of Jobbatical, Karoli Hindriks, came up with the idea of a job and a sabbatical rolled into one, hence Jobbatical. “What that means,” Basina explains, “is that whether you are on a career break, or looking for a new job, or maybe you want to shift gears too, it’s an opportunity to go and work abroad somewhere for maybe a year, maybe longer, whatever the employer and employee agree on.” She reached out to Jobbatical through the support channel, and the company was willing to sponsor her residency in the European Union. “Within a day, I heard from Karoli. She interviewed me, along with two other people, and next thing I knew, I was on a flight to Estonia for a year,” says Basina.
The International Approach to Finding Top Talent
Basina explains why companies are willing to take an international approach to looking for top talent. Diversity is now a big issue with a lot of companies in the U.S., and there’s always a shortage of talent, whether in San Francisco, or across the globe in Asia, or Europe. “Basically, what Jobbatical does,” Basina says, “is give a company that opportunity, be it a tiny company that just really needs to scale and is struggling to find talent in their market, or a huge company that really just needs to diversify their talent. We cater to all of those.”
At Jobbatical, they practice what they preach. On a team of 24, they have people from over ten different countries. “It has been such an inspirational experience to sit at the table with somebody for example, from Egypt, or India, or Brazil, or Ukraine. Just so much diversity and talent.”
Attracting Talent from Other Countries
“We work with a company to design a creative, very attractive job opening, something that people actually want to read and engage with,” explains Basina. “Our copywriters do that, and then we brand the company. We write a story about them, and really put them out there, with beautiful images.” Once it’s posted on their platform, some of their eighty-thousand-plus users who are willing and ready to relocate will be checking out the listing. “As long as the company says, ‘we’re open to this international talent concept, and we will try to work either with Jobbatical on the immigration processes, or we ourselves will do the immigration process’, then that’s all it takes. It’s literally something that can be done within 24 hours.”
Although the company is called Jobbatical, working abroad is not just for those on a working sabbatical. It can be either short or long-term employment, depending on the individual, and the arrangement they work out with their employer. There is a lot of flexibility, which makes it all the more attractive to employees and employers alike.
“Our mission is for companies and people to really think globally,” Basina says, “to think beyond the borders. And give people an opportunity, despite their passport, despite their borders, despite their age, gender, race, etc. It’s really about this borderless world that we are trying to create.”
Jobbatical’s Most Frequent Jobs
“The focus at this time is definitely software development,” advises Basina. “It’s huge anywhere, and they are some of the toughest roles to fill, like full-site developers and such.” They also do products and product design, such as UX, UI, product management, and concentrate on marketing, business development, and sales. Since they do work with all kinds and sizes of companies, there is always something new. It could be a small start-up tech company in Europe or Asia, or huge corporations, international banks, and telecommunication companies.
What a Good Hire Looks Like
As Head of Talent Acquisition at Jobbatical, Basina can spot a good hire. “Because our mission is to hire beyond borders,” she says, “I do whatever it takes to never form any kind of unconscious bias. It’s really about looking at skills. If my job description requires X, then that is what I’m looking for.” She also says their educational background doesn’t matter either, unless there are specifics that the job requires. Her focus has to be on the skill set only.
To ensure they are providing the top-quality candidate, “on the back-end, we have created a tool with our data science team, which basically matches talent to the job description as perfectly as possible,” Basina says. “We also pre-moderate all the candidates that are coming through. That way our customers are seeing some of the best talent possible, and they’re not getting any spam. With many job-board-type platforms out there, I think recruiters see a lot of spam. We are definitely protecting our clients from that,” she says.
“What motivates me the most are human relations, knowing that I have helped somebody get a job, or helped them settle in a new country.,” says Basina. “I like knowing that somebody is in a much better place, maybe because they’re coming from a country that is potentially war-torn, and we could help them, those are the things that motivate me professionally.”
Basina’s Advice to Her College-Aged Self
“Take more risks. Don’t question yourself, just go for it. For example, going to Estonia was huge for me, and doing so in my mid-thirties was an even bigger deal.” She doesn’t regret for a second that she did it. “Just go for it, go with your gut.”
You can check out Jobbatical at their website.