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Antonija Kapović, HR Director at Span: „Span is an attractive employer to those who want to leave a certain digital footprint on the society in which we live“

Antonija Kapović, HR Director at Span: „Span is an attractive employer to those who want to leave a certain digital footprint on the society in which we live“

04. February 2021.

Span is a company that employs top professionals who provide business customers with professional and reliable IT services and solutions. Today, Span is recognized as a technology leader and trusted expert in the areas of IT support, cyber security and cloud technologies. Span headquarters are in Croatia and the company is the largest Croatian exporter of computer services. They have overseas offices in Great Britain, US, Slovenia, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Span currently employs over 420 people, while Span group has over 530 employees. Their services and solutions are used by small and large domestic and international companies. Span's list of clients includes some of the strongest global brands such as McDonald's, Starbucks, Nandos Tate & Lyle, among others.

Antonija Kapović started her career in Span in 2010 as an HR Manager. At the time, when Span had about 70 employees, she was the only person in charge of setting up HR processes and establishing the HR department. Today, the environment in which she works is different in many ways, Span has over 500 employees and the company is recording rapid growth in both business revenues and in the number of locations where it operates. Antonija leads the HR team that has 7 other employees. In 2019, she was appointed a member of the Management Board of Span with a focus on human resources.

We talked to her about some HR topics that are in their focus right now.

Can you describe what a regular selection process looks like when hiring new employees in Span? What changes have you made to the selection process since the coronavirus pandemic began?

From the moment candidates come across our job ad via our webpage or social media to the moment of becoming a Span employee, there are a few steps:

  • Applying for an ad or sending an open application - although we may not have a specific position open that would attract a candidate a a given time, we are always happy to accept open applications as well! Span values ​​the freedom of the individual and encourages personal development, and will sometimes find a place for those we may not be actively seeking at the moment.
  • An interview with the team leader and HR - this is an opportunity to meet in person, find out what the candidate motivation to work at a particular job in Span is and what his or hers previous work experiences are. Of course, it is also an opportunity for them to meet their future team leader and HR employee who will accompany them in the further course of their careers.
  • Psychological (and professional) testing - we may have "clicked" right away, but the best indicator of performance of a potential employee is psychological testing. In addition to logical reasoning, concentration, spatial factor and personality characteristics, sometimes, through practical tasks and questions, we want to check the knowledge of certain technologies of the candidate.
  • Coffee with a psychologist is the last step. :) So far, more than 500 Span employees have been "assessed", whose range of personalities ranged from withdrawn introverts to playful extroverts. There is no wrong personality in Span, the only thing that does not pass is insincerity.

Even before the start of the pandemic, Span started conducting online psychological testing, while, currently, the interview phase, even "coffee with a psychologist", is conducted virtually as we want to ensure maximum security and protection against the virus.

What do you consider to be the main motivating factors for employees in your industry and why is Span attractive to experts in this field?

In the IT industry, employees are motivated by challenges, working with the latest technologies and participating in large projects. They want a work environment where they can learn and have the opportunity to advance; they want a positive work atmosphere and good team relations. It is important for them to have a competitive salary and good work equipment.

That is why Span is attractive to those IT professionals who still believe in the good old quality, who do not follow modern trends that promote the startup culture of beer and table football at work and who expect instant success.

We are attractive to those who want to work in an orderly and stable system that takes care of its people; to those who want to patiently grow, develop, work with a quality mentor, get certified for free, work with top technologies and for large global users, work on projects like Neostar that leave a certain digital footprint on the society in which we live.

As a company, you are also focused on the health of employees in the workplace and ensuring a balance between private and business life. Can you tell us more about the initiatives you are implementing? What additional initiatives have you introduced over the past year, marked by the coronavirus pandemic?

Span has always nurtured a culture in which it is important to have a balance between private and business life and where quantity and overtime work are not promoted, but where the emphasis is on the quality and efficiency of the work done. No one will look at you wrong if you rush to pick up your children at kindergarten at 4.30 pm.

But since the beginning of the pandemic, our HR team has been further engaged in providing support to employees in maintaining mental and physical health. Their engagement was recognized not only by Span employees but also by the consulting company SELECTIO, which awarded us the Excellence During Challenges recognition.

In short:

  • disinfectants, gloves and masks are provided for those coming to the office,
  • individual and group support for Span employees was organized with external experts,
  • through the Span TV platform, we hosted external mental health experts (coach, clinical psychologist) that employees could have asked or discussed anything they were interested in,
  • on our internal social network Yammer, we launched the Crisis Survival Kit group, which serves to communicate and share proven quality content on the topic of dealing with crises. Materials for parents, materials on how to organize online team gatherings and materials for maintaining mental health are distributed.

Every year you invest a lot in educating all your employees. Which educations do you invest the most in and why?

Span employees spend an average of over 100 hours a year on training or education. This mostly refers to internal technical education and preparation for taking exams and obtaining technical certificates. The average Span employee holds at least 4 such certificates, and our internal testing center is a great advantage for them, as they can take their exams there comfortably. This way, Span maintains top expertise and recognition, primarily in Microsoft but also in other IT technologies. We have top experts for the execution of complex infrastructure and development projects with large business users who are constantly looking for additional solutions to improve customer internal challenges and business needs. Given the constant development of technology, our experts must constantly develop and upgrade their knowledge.

In addition to technical development, we invest a lot in various soft skill education (communication skills, change management, coping with stress…) as well as the development of leadership skills.

Providing superior service with expertise requires excellent organization and defined internal processes. Therefore, it is important to us that all our employees regularly undergo mandatory annual training in the field of business process quality, safety standards and compliance.

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility have become an indispensable aspect of business in the 21st century. Which of Span’s projects in this area would you highlight?

Although Span is active in almost all areas, I would say our focus is mostly on children. Most of our sponsorships and donations are aimed at supporting non-mainstream children's sports as well as helping a number of STEM associations that work with children and achieve great results. After the devastating earthquakes in Petrinja, our activities also turned in that direction, through scholarships for children and youth in the system of education and donation of computer equipment.

Which HR projects will be in focus for you in 2021?

Given the constant shortage of IT staff in the labor market, our focus will continue to be the development of our employer branding and attracting candidates who want to enter the IT world through our Span Academy. We continue with the Span TV project, which has shown enormous value in the context of internal communication, crisis communication and remote working. We also plan to launch some new projects in the field of rewarding employees as well as in the field of talent development.

Contact us!

SELECTIO Group is the leading group specialized in executive search and strategic human resources consulting in Croatia. Proven results, excellent understanding of Croatian labour market, presence in all segments and industries, capacity to deliver and business ethics are the main qualities of our approach to business. We operate as one-stop-shop for our clients.

Our competitive advantages are:

  • our consultants’ professional experience – experience gained in diverse business surroundings and on different positions is crucial for understanding our clients’ needs and assessing the candidates
  • our consultants’ expert knowledge – different education backgrounds gained both in Croatia and abroad are an additional value of our team
  • quality network of contacts in various industries and regions
  • systematic and targeted job market research – introducing the specific phenomena of Croatian labour market to the client and advising on the most appropriate positioning on it. We are an experienced partner for companies that start conducting their business in Croatian market.
  • creative application of various new technologies and recent specialized tools in everyday work.

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