Sii Poland Power Women do not hesitate to use the development opportunities the company gives them. One of them is Barbara Piekarska, Regional Manager of the youngest Sii branch located in Bialystok, who, having spent years in recruitment and HR, took on the huge challenge of managing a completely new part of Sii business.
You started your adventure with Sii in the Gdańsk, the branch you joined in 2012 as a Junior Recruitment and HR Specialist. How do you remember this period of time?
Barbara Piekarska, Regional Manager at Sii Poland: Not everyone knows that, but my adventure with Sii began in the Warsaw branch of the company. I applied for a position in the HR and Communication department, which eventually did not open. After talking with Asia Kucharska, Sii Poland CHRO, I received the information that, unfortunately, the company could not offer me the position for which the recruitment was taking place, but that there are vacancies in other cities, including Gdańsk. And because my fiancée then studied in the Tricity, I decided to move. I really wanted to work at Sii, an IT company that has such good opinions on the market, this is why I decided to take this step. It was a crazy time – I had my first recruitment interview in Gdańsk the week before my wedding, the second stage was carried out remotely on Friday, and I was getting married on Saturday. During this second conversation I received the job offer. I accepted it and at the wedding we already informed the family that we are moving.
I remember the first months in Sii as a very intense time, I learned a lot about profiles in the IT industry, the industry itself, the IT market in the Tricity and in Poland, and our company. But we know that there’s more to life than work alone. The second week of working in Sii I had a pleasure to participate in the integration weekend, later I took part in many events organized by the company and in time I began to organize them myself. My development during this period would not have been possible without the support of more experienced colleagues from the Recruitment team in Gdańsk – most of them have been working in our company to this day.
After almost 5 years of work in recruitment, you joined the sales team. Why?
B.P.: To be honest – Michael Desmurs, Regional Director of Sii Gdańsk branch, came to me with this proposal. I remember thinking about it for a long time, and decided to take a chance. I came to the conclusion that I already know a lot in the area of recruitment and the time has come for development in other areas. I was very interested in employee management – I felt good with those duties and as for for sales – well, it never was my dream, but I decided to try. I do not regret this decision, I learned a lot in this position. I also had great mentors from sales department, they were very supportive. I could always count on their help.
In October 2019, you took on the next challenge – managing a new Sii branch in Białystok. What was your decision based on?
B.P.: Yes, that was my goal from the beginning of my work at Sii (laughs). I told everyone that if a branch was opened in Bialystok, I would be the first person in this branch. Why? Because I come from this area, I grew up there. I moved to Warsaw and later to Gdansk, because at that time there were no prospects for development, but I always wanted to come back. Interestingly enough, it were my colleagues who informed me that the branch in Bialystok is opening. I immediately wrote to Artur, Regional Director, that I would gladly help him develop this branch. At that time, I meant recruitment itself, I didn’t even think about becoming a Regional Manager. When the job description was published, I was wondering whether to apply, there were a lot of tasks listed, and in some areas I had very little experience. In addition, I have two daughters – Zosia, who was 3 years old at the time, and Ala, who was not yet a year old. I was afraid that taking this position would cause me to fail as a mother. My loved ones convinced me to try – my husband, parents and siblings, who believe in me very much. So I did – I applied through internal recruitment, at the same time we were looking for candidates outside the company. I went through three stages of recruitment, the last one was a conversation with Greg, Founder and CEO of Sii Poland, which lasted over 3 hours. Eventually Greg accepted my candidacy and now I am where I am, for which I am extremely grateful.
How have your responsibilities changed compared to your previous positions?
B.P.: Now I take care of everything (laughs) – lately with the remote support of Bartek, IT Support Specialist, I even connected sockets to the Sii network, but fortunately such situations happen really rarely. Every day I conduct recruitment processes, sign contracts with employees, organize events, I am responsible for participation in industry meetings, I deal with office space, budgeting, documentation and most importantly, looking for projects inside the company that employees from Sii Białystok could carry out. Some of these responsibilities are new to me, but I’m happy to be able to do them, because thanks to that I’m growing.
You have already won the Best Recruiter award, you manage a completely new branch. Has being a woman ever been an obstacle on the road to these successes?
B.P.: I don’t think gender matters here. Competences, hard work and the ability to take risks count. At work, I could always count on the support of both women and men. Privately, I am supported by my husband and daughters who believe in me very much and that motivates me. In addition, I have a personal mission – I want to show my girls that a woman can do anything and that nothing and nobody can limit them. I have never felt that I was treated worse or better just because of my gender. Sometimes, there are discrete questions as to whether I really am the boss in this branch, but this is due to my young appearance.
As for the promotion – I received both shortly after maternity leave. I think as a mother I learned many things that are also useful in business. I certainly became more confident. I always wanted to have children and a husband and that was my main goal in life. Professional successes are also important to me, but not the most important and I think it helps me too. The fact that I have something outside of work, thanks to that I can gain some distance to various situations at work, it allows me to maintain a healthy balance.
Interested in development in Sii Białystok? Check our job offers!