Kristina’s Role Change @ecx.io
Kristina Zender from the Düsseldorf office talks about her switch from Talent Scout to Scrum Master.
Hi Kristina, you have changed jobs at ecx.io. What were your responsibilities before your career change and how long were you in your previous job?
Hi Franziska, that’s right – since June last year I have been working 100% as a Scrum Master. Before that I was a talent scout in the People Team at ecx.io for 2 years. I did everything to do with applicant management, from receiving the initial application to carrying out the first check and an initial interview with the candidate right through to drawing up and sending out the contract. At the beginning I did this for all sites, i.e. the UK, Croatia, Austria and Germany. But after six months I got support from another colleague so that I could then focus on Croatia, the UK and Germany. I also took on tasks like putting job advertisements on our platforms and handling our recruitment agencies
That sounds very extensive! You are now working as a Scrum Master – a completely different area to recruitment. What was it about the job that fascinated you so much that you decided to retrain?
I actually said during the interview for the talent scout position that, despite my background in recruitment, I would like to move into a different role. During the second interview I was introduced to the Scrum Master role and told that there would be an option to move into this role later. Before the interview at ecx.io I had honestly never heard of ‘Scrum’ but it definitely sounded like an exciting opportunity. A year later I was approached proactively by Petra, my advocate. She asked about my plans for the future and whether I still wanted to make a change.
I had already partly seen what was behind the role of Scrum Master by then, however I was then able to take part in a sprint. I sat in on the meetings and saw in detail which tasks are part of the Scrum Master role.
I found the diverse scope of duties the most exciting thing about the role. What fascinated me about the job were the organisational and empathetic components as well as the facilitation of meetings. After this insight, I decided I would like to tackle the change of role.
And how did the retraining go? In your case, the onboarding was still carried out in the office, right?
Exactly. The retraining took place in Düsseldorf – step-by-step. In 2019 I had the opportunity for the first time to give 10% support to a project alongside my work as a talent scout. I took on tasks such as facilitating the morning dailies and also the retros every 14 days. The project was a great start. In this first project I had a buddy right by my side, so I always had someone to talk to. After that, I switched to a 50:50 arrangement: I worked 50% as a talent scout and 50% on a customer project. At this point I got a new advocate from the Scrum area. I have been working entirely as a Scrum Master since June last year.
So that’s a general outline of the transition. From a professional point of view, I went through our onboarding plan for Scrum Masters as set out for our new colleagues. You work through specific subject areas and discuss them with various people. I simply skipped the general ecx.io modules.
Throughout the entire transition process I was always supervised by our Head of Scrum Master, firstly Nadja and then Manuel. Both always asked how things were going and whether I was enjoying the new tasks. They also made sure that I could work on projects which are suitable for getting started. They always supported me and made the final transition possible.
How would you describe your job in three words?
Even though it isn’t an adjective, I think the word Team is particularly important. Of course, in my previous department we also worked as a team, however on the projects it works differently. I include the element of empathy in this. As a Scrum Master, you are also responsible for ensuring that everyone in the team feels comfortable and can work productively and that there is a basis of trust in the Scrum Master.
After that, I would definitely describe my job with the words varied and organisation. For me, these are the main components that make up the role.
You have been working in your new role for a good eight months now. Are there any symmetries to your previous job or would you describe your new work environment as completely different?
The keywords empathy and organisation can be found in both roles. The organisation in applicant management sometimes presents an organisational challenge that I now face as a Scrum Master, for example in terms of having to arrange and facilitate meetings. A second team is now being set up in my current project. The planning of a new set-up and a new meeting structure have something in common with working as a talent scout.
How were you accommodated into the team and how was the start?
After my first official project as Scrum Master was completed in May last year, the greatest change came with the current customer project. The team only got to know each other then, so I was never the only person joining an existing team. I also like to have discussions with the various team members in advance about what they expect from each other and what suggestions there are for implementation. For example, when I talk to experienced developers who have already worked with different Scrum Masters, they often have ideas and valuable input on how to proceed in certain situations.
What approach would you recommend to colleagues who are thinking about changing jobs within ecx.io?
I would advise open communication about this with your own advocate or line manager. I have always had a good relationship with both of them. You can always turn to your advocate in such circumstances and also get tips on how to proceed. There is of course always the option to contact the People Team as well. In my experience it is very much appreciated when people want to find a new direction and
you also can get appropriate support from ecx.io. And it’s not a problem if you realise that the new role doesn’t fit when you try it out. During my transition, I was often asked by my advocate how I liked it. She assured me that I could happily switch back to the talent scout role and that there were also various opportunities for further development in the recruitment team.