Claudia Hoffmann, Recruitment Manager at bancon is responsible for ensuring the organisation has a healthy pipeline of top talent stretching from Germany, where she is based, to the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, India, Singapore and beyond. 

Having worked for bancon for over 12-years, we sat down with Claudia to find out makes working here so special. 

Tell us about your background and what brought you to bancon.  

Wow, well my career at bancon began 12 years ago now. I’ve been in Human Resources since just after my diploma and my career to date has given me a broad range of skills from employment law and regulations, to headhunting and onboarding. I’ve done other roles outside of this, however HR has always been very close to my heart. I didn’t want to be a sales person or an accountant, I always wanted to work together with people to help make their careers more enjoyable so they can get the best out of it.   

What are some of the benefits working for bancon? 

For me, the one that stands out is the flexibility and autonomy. From the very beginning I had the choice to work from home, which was perfect for my situation. My children were young when I started, so it provided me with the flexibility I needed to manage a good work life balance and to be honest, that flexibility and mutual trust between colleagues is one of the things that makes this such a great place to work.  

What do you love most about your job?  

The thing I love most is having contact with people all over the world. Getting to use my language skills, I’m German and although I can speak fluent English, I’m always learning something new when I’m chatting to a native English speaker. It keeps things interesting.  Also, I started learning Spanish with my son just for fun a while back, and now I can communicate with our South American or Spanish candidates, which is great, as they really appreciate it.  

As you head up recruitment across the world for bancon, how do you manage all the different time zones?   

I just keep my working week flexible. One of the best things about bancon is the autonomy you have over your working day. Sure, we have standard hours of work, but as a global business you need to be flexible, so I might be talking to Asia the morning, Europe throughout the day and South America in the evening, but be able to have a later start the following day. We have the freedom to make it work however we need in order to get the job done.  

How has your role changed over the 12-years you’ve been at bancon? 

I’ve become more involved in the relocation and onboarding process, especially when our colleagues come here to Germany. I have huge respect for people who leave their home country and settle somewhere new, sometimes doing so when they don’t speak the language or have a partner and children to bring with them. So, it’s really important for me that those people feel looked after by the company they are relocating for.  

I obviously help with visas and Blue Cards required for work, but I also help with life admin. It can be daunting when you don’t know what you need to do for insurance or tax in a new country, or when they get an apartment, I help organise the utilities and communicate with landlords. In some cases, I’ve helped to find the right doctor and vet for the pets, schools for their children. Once, I went with a new starter and his wife to a school they wanted their daughter to join. They needed me to speak to the Director of the School because their German was not 100%. Whatever I can do to make people feel at home and welcome, I will. It’s that level of personal service that sets bancon apart from other consultancies. 

That’s lovely to hear. Naturally, over the pandemic, less people were relocating, how did that effect the business? 

It actually gave us the opportunity to hire people who wanted to work for bancon but for couldn’t relocate, either due to personal circumstances or budgets. For the first time ever, the working world was united by Teams and Zoom, so it didn’t matter if a client team who are normally together on-site, were spread out across the world.  

How do you manage to maintain morale with a team that is so vastly spread out? 

We’ve always been set up to be able to operate as a virtual team so unlike other organisations, when the pandemic hit, there wasn’t a huge shift in our internal culture or ways of working. We were already set up and have processes in place to make sure is always regular communication. However, now travel is starting to become a bit easier, a few of the team flew over from the UK to our HQ in Walldorf at the end of last year and it was amazing to be all together again after such a long time. I can’t explain how nice it was seeing Brad, Andrés and Pato (Financial Services Transformation team). It’s great for team spirit and so important to catch up and it not just be about work. We’re all looking forward to another one soon and I know that the teams in each country meet up on their own accord when they can.  

So, what can candidates expect from the hiring process at bancon? 

I like to keep things informal. It’ll usually be a video interview with me first, really just getting to know them, and them getting to know the business. We don’t go into detail about the role, it’s more a chance for us to find out what their current situation is, what their plans for the future are and whether we are a good match for each other. If after finding out more about bancon they are still happy to join, I pass them onto the hiring manager to talk about the technical or functional aspects of the role. I appreciate this personal and informal interview a lot. Interviews can be one of the most unnatural types of conversations, candidates are often nervous and you rarely get to know someone properly under these conditions, so I like to make sure it is friendly, we are approachable and they go into the next interview stage much more at ease and with a feeling of familiarity about the business and their future colleagues.    

And finally, what would you say to anyone who is thinking about joining bancon? 

Just come! We are an approachable team who always encourage each other to do their best work. You are trusted by your boss and that makes for a positive environment where people just love coming to work. 

If you are interested in joining bancon, check out our latest job openings here.