Avenga’s response to the war on Ukraine: Business Continuity and Humanitarian Aid
Daniza Weiss (HR Business Partner, Cologne Office)
written by Sonja Felix, Daniza Weiss
7 questions to our HR Business Partner, Daniza
Daniza joined our team only this year as our HR Business Partner and with her infectious laugh, positive mindset and her international experience in HR, we are happy to have her on board. She is up for any kind of action or sport activity which is probably why flying would be the superpower she would go for. Would you like to know what went through her mind when she arrived at our Cologne office for the first time? Read on – here are our 7 questions to Dani!
What does an HR Business Partner at Avenga do?
As an HR Business Partner I am an HR advisor to the managers and a contact person for the employees of our Projects and Engineering teams at the same time. My responsibility is to make sure that we foster a work environment in which our colleagues are able to thrive, enjoy what they are doing and feel appreciated. This involves anything from co-developing and executing Avenga’s HR strategy, to continuously improving our HR processes, coaching and increasing employee retention as well as employee satisfaction. In addition to that I am also managing the full cycle recruiting process for all of our engineering positions.
You lived in Canada before you started working at Avenga. What are some differences between the hiring process in Canada and the one in Germany?
One difference that I noticed in some of the companies – e.g. in Tech companies in Vancouver – is that the overall length of the hiring process was often much longer than what I was used to in Germany (at medium-sized companies). It would sometimes involve up to 4-5 steps (telephone interview, 1-2 personal interview with hiring manager, case study, meeting with the team). But there were also companies whose hiring processes were much shorter with a maximum of 3 conversations – like ours. Our intention behind a lean hiring process here at Avenga is to make it as uncomplicated and efficient as possible for both the candidates and us. And so far we have only made good experiences with that approach.
Another difference that I can think of is that Canadian companies use the eSignature tool. It enables new employees and the employer to sign their contracts online which makes the hiring process much faster and much more convenient than sending the paperwork via mail.
How did you settle in? What was the remote onboarding process like?
To be honest, my remote onboarding process went much smoother than I initially expected. Throughout the whole time everybody has been super supportive and spent many hours of their valuable time on helping me to settle in. On my first day at Avenga I met my manager Martin Frommhold in the office, received my onboarding package which included my hardware, a lovely welcome postcard, many gifts (felt a bit like Christmas in January ;)) and my onboarding plan for the upcoming two weeks. During the following two weeks I had quite a few video chats with new colleagues, was introduced to HR tools and processes, took part in our Welcome Day and learnt a lot about Avenga and its culture. What I am very thankful for – especially in times like these – is to have daily meetings with my HR team and to have my buddy Sonja by my side which made it super easy to become part of the team and to stay up to date on any HR related topics. So overall my remote onboarding process was well organized, fun and a new, insightful experience to me – thanks to everyone who was involved!
What was going through your mind when you first arrived at the office in Cologne?
When I arrived at the office in Cologne for my first interview, I was greeted by our Office Manager Moni and immediately thought: “What a warm and friendly welcome” – especially thanks to the more than likeable dialect (and just to be clear: the Berlin dialect also has its charm ;)) – “I hope that all of my colleagues are going to be like that”. And I must say that my first impression happens to be true, because I am in fact surrounded by open, supportive and fun team members whom I cannot wait to meet in person any time soon.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I actually do have pretty common hobbies I would say. I love doing sports (preferably any ball sports like volleyball, spike ball, but also enjoy cycling), travelling (cannot wait to explore new countries again), reading (both fiction and non-fiction), going to the movies (but only the small ones), playing board games and of course spending lots of time with my friends, family and boy-friend.
What superpower would you like to have?
That’s a no brainer: I once did a skydiving jump which was one of the best experiences I have made so far – so I would 100% love to be able to fly! That must simply be the ultimate feeling of freedom and peace at the same time. I would be able to enjoy amazing views over cities and countrysides, would be a super fast traveller, could go anywhere I wanted to without having to wait for boarding time or being stuck in traffic and most importantly: would have lots of fun all the time (only if it’s not raining).
Package vacation or road trip?
At the moment I feel like I would take anything just to be able to travel again, but if I had to choose, I would in 60% of the time prefer a road trip over a package trip.
What I mostly like about road trips is that I am able to explore many different places and experience wonderful surprises. I think it is exciting to have a destination, but you do not know what exactly is going to happen on your way there. Package vacation can be nice as well – it is more convenient and requires less organization. But what I do not like about package vacation is that I would have to stick to the hotel’s mealtimes and that I would be surrounded by lots of strangers all the time. I prefer to follow my own rhythm on my vacation and to have my own quiet space. But in the end vacation is about creating experiences and memories and I am sure that this is possible no matter if I went on a road trip or booked a package trip.