Meet OSI HR Manager

Tell us more about yourself? What are the three words that best describe you?

Funny, Helpful, Tough

What is your happiest day at the company?

There are a few days actually and they were days when the whole company came together to help. One of these days was when the pandemic hit and caused OSI to lose clients and instead of laying off people, OSI’s employees decided to take a pay cut for a period of time instead of employees losing their job in such a tough time. Another day that made me happy was when we all came together to help the survivors of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. These days made me realize that I work with amazing people and when tough times come, OSI’s employees will stand together and help.

What inspires you the most at work?

Helping people do extraordinary things at work and in life. People have the potential to do amazing things, but they need a little help, training, and motivation. One of the most critical functions of HR is to recognize where and how HR can help a particular employee shine by focusing on peoples’ strengths and helping them hone these skills. We had employees change roles because we saw that the employee’s skills can make him be more productive and happier by doing something totally different. We as HR try to create a culture where individual employees have the primary responsibility for their own career, the leader must be a supportive coach, and the organization must provide the necessary resources.

What's the most clichéd question you never ask in an HR interview?

How do you see yourself in 5 years? We are living in a very dynamic world and planning 5 years ahead to me is crazy. Think about the time right before the pandemic, we all had a one or two-year plan, right? Then the pandemic hit, and all those plans went to the trash. Having a 5-year plan in a world where there are devastating natural disasters, wars, and a potential financial crisis seems unrealistic.

What are the most important lessons you learned at the company? What helped you grow the most?

Not everyone will fit OSI. Our first employee is still our employee, so it is very hard for us when somebody doesn’t want to stay. We had amazing employees who just didn’t fit. It used to keep me up at night, trying to think of ways to keep these employees but in the end, it is best to let them go so they can be happy somewhere else.

Why did you choose to stay more than 6 years in the company?

I chose to stay every day at OSI for the last 6 years for the culture and the employees. At OSI we are like a family, we push each other to grow. We help each other not only with work things but family as well. If I need help, I am sure that if I ask, somebody will come to help. Another thing is that OSI we don’t believe in “work-life balance” but LIFE. Work is part of life, family is part of life, sickness, etc. are all part of life so we have created flexible working conditions so that everyone can work and live life comfortably. I remember the day when I came back from 1-year maternity leave and wrote an email to the whole company that I am back, I received an email from the inventor of OSI, Matt Landheim with “…Always put your family first. I understand that working is an important–even necessary–part of life. It has a place and may even be part of putting one’s family first since that’s how one provides for the material needs of his or her family. In the moments that matter the most, though, when you can’t do both, make work wait. Welcome back. I’m proud of you”.

What are your goals in the company and were you able to achieve them?

This is going to sound like a cliché, but I want OSI to be a good place for everyone. I don’t want people to dread coming to work. I want everyone to feel respected, safe, and motivated. I think we are very close to achieving this goal. At OSI we are big believers in giving and receiving feedback. The feedback helps us know where we are. Feedback tells us when we are on the right track and when we can improve. We have a few tools that help us collect feedback and one of them is the “Pulse Survey”. That survey is sent 3 times a year and it takes 5 minutes to fill in. It is an anonymous survey so everyone can feel safe giving their honest opinion. I want to remind you about my answer to the previous question “I choose to stay every day at OSI for the last 6 years for the culture”. The highest rated factor in the survey is “Culture & Values” with 5.3 out of 6 which tells you that almost everyone values OSI’s culture.

What are the interview steps in the company? Could you tell us more about the recruitment process?

We assess each candidate by the same core competencies that we use for our performance review which are client focus, teamwork, achievement focus, technical skills, growth, and leadership. In the different interview meetings, a candidate will be assessed on 1 or 2 of our competencies. Our interview process consists of; an HR interview, a Technical interview (an interview with a member of the team), a Team lead interview, and a Country Manager interview. Each interviewer writes notes about their interview, and we do a “team debrief” where all interview participants meet to discuss the candidate. At that meeting, we decide if we will hire the candidate or not, and based on how they did in all meetings, we decide what salary we would potentially offer them.

What advice would you give to people looking to join the company?

Ask questions. Ask as many questions as you might think of during each interview process. Ask about the culture, team, project, technologies, etc. Asking many questions can give you a better picture of the company and you can make an educated decision to join or not to. After all our goal is to hire the right candidate for our company, so we want you to really choose us and commit to growing with us.

This post was written by Lora Tihova