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The Leadership Paradoxes of the post-pandemic era

Mastering new skills and successfully meeting recently developed challenges is what kept most businesses going during the pandemic. Leaders, of course, played a key role in these processes. They are the ones who need to develop and communicate the vision their team is trying to follow, at all times. Being a successful leader has never been an easy task, but now it can appear like they’re fighting too many changes that keep them from achieving their highest potential.

Yes, the post-pandemic era is challenging leaders worldwide, again. Many offices are reopening and long-term work from home strategies are being formed, and leaders are being presented with new opportunities that are asking for new skills.

Sometimes, these skills seem not that simple to master. For example, decisions need to be made quickly, but also carefully thought through. Just like this pandemic decision-making process, post-pandemic leadership skills appear to be paradoxical, too. Leaders are the ones who need to adapt to this and become leaders who are challenged to “think big”, but also “do it carefully”.

Research done by the Harvard Business Review shows that leaders recently seek to be proficient across a wide set of characteristics rather than relying solely on their areas of strengths. They learned how to work together with others who have different backgrounds and different ways of thinking. Tech leaders, for example, are, surely, working on tech strategies, but need to understand employee engagement and HR strategies as well if they want to maximize their potential. Uncertainty calls for reskilling and upskilling or hiring people with the skills you miss.

Here are a few leadership skill paradoxes leaders need to master today.

Stay a strategist, but own the day-to-day execution.

It’s important to be able to step back and look at the complete global situation and understand in which direction you want to take the company. The skill of leading your company to the right place and making sure you are providing the highest level of value to all stakeholders is highly appreciated in times of market change.

However, bringing the vision of your company to life asks for a deep understanding of the day-to-day operations. Transforming the strategy into specific execution steps and tactics is key, especially when strategic decisions need to be made and implemented in operational processes quickly.

Stay humble, but just as a hero would do it.

The digital age needs leaders who are making difficult and bold decisions that are enabling their company to adapt to market changes and reduce future risks. This, when uncertainty hits, means creating new positions, or engaging in outplacement programs with their employees.

In this situation, a leader needs to stay humble and start cooperating with people who may have the skills that they’re missing, or just have more insight into a specific topic than they do. Uncertainty asks for different approaches, new technologies, new processes a leader may not be familiar with before. The most humble and prosperous act is to be aware of one’s capabilities and consult those who could help make difficult, but right, decisions.

Stay tech-savvy, but people-oriented.

The most dynamic of all sectors is the IT sector. New technologies are appearing every day and some are fastly replaced by others as they become more beneficial and efficient to use. This was something CIOs have been familiar with even before the pandemic, but others may lack a deep understanding of what technology can help the company achieve. That lack is something that a leader can’t allow himself at this point. Being tech-savvy is crucial for every aspect of the company, from product management to sales and customer care.

As the importance of technology is rising and leaders need to get on board if they haven’t already, they must not forget about those who are using these technologies every day. The challenge is to stay empathetic and support team members while they’re adapting to changes.

Stay global, but act locally.

Technology almost doesn’t know of geographical boundaries, nor distance. Starting cooperation with someone from across the world was enabled with the start of digital times and is now enhanced since most businesses have been, at least virtually, reaching new markets. If not for customers and partners, then for new global business trends and insights.

At the same time, while many leaders are following the global market situation and try to become more competitive, having a locally conscious mindset is as important. There is no need to emphasize the importance of a personalized approach as many have done this before, but understanding and being aware of the local situations of your stakeholders and adapting your approach to each customer and their local needs may offer opportunities you couldn’t imagine before.

Stay innovative, but keep the company tradition.

Around 70% of Talentarium LinkedIn research participants noted that keeping company culture strong is one of the biggest challenges we can encounter now as the need for long-term work from home strategies and new HR approaches arises. Company culture and values have been great associates as the market abruptly changed last year and many leaders feared the consequences of the pandemic. The most successful companies were the ones that stayed true to their values.

While it’s important to guard the tradition, a leader needs to have the skill of acknowledging new market opportunities and times when the company needs changes within it. Being innovative is one of the leader’s personality traits that keeps the company going and helps fighting uncertainty by adapting approaches, products, sales & distribution channels, and business strategies. Talentarium’s entrepreneurial expectations research showed that being creative, innovative, and motivated is key to pivoting quickly on the market.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed at first and not knowing how to find the balance between “thinking big” and “staying careful and realistic”. Finding the right combination of tactics and working on leadership skills means that there will be situations in which a leader will fail from time to time. This right there takes courage. Allow yourself to fail and experiment, but also make sure to surround yourself with the right team who will help you stay true to the companies purpose (or innovate if needed).

Need support to create or achieve a people-oriented vision? Look up our HR crisis survival kit and take the first step to becoming a leader who owns the skills of the post-pandemic era.


6 Leadership Paradoxes for the Post-Pandemic Era, HBR

According to IT’s people, this is what the tech future is going to look like, Talentarium blog

When leaders switch industries and become a beginner again:
Adapting your mindset to the tech sector

The IT industry has gained a lot of attention in the last two or three decades and it has become ubiquitous. Unlike other industries, such as the medical or manufacturing industry, the IT sector is growing rapidly and is constantly creating new job opportunities, some of which have never existed before. New chances require new skills, which means that we are faced with adapting to unknown approaches and new ways of working, daily. Therefore, to keep up with the market, a growth mindset is needed.

Because of IT’s new opportunities, more and more people are trying to redirect their sales or product management careers to the tech sector. Many of them are wondering where to start, or are feeling less motivated to accept a new chance within the IT field because of their fear of the unknown. Being a beginner again, as an experienced leader? It’s not everyone’s favourite cup of tea.

Those who aren’t discouraged and do feel that it’s time to switch to IT, often ask themselves questions like:
“What matters more in technological fields: technical knowledge or a technological mindset?”
“How will I manage a team in a new industry without knowing the matter?”.

For all of you who worry about starting out in a new industry again, we bring positive news. It’s not impossible, and you don’t have to try to find opportunities in the unknown by yourself. When starting to explore the tech field for your further career steps, try entering a specialized career consulting program like Career FFWD.

What do you need to become a leader in the IT industry?

First, you need to think about which of the skills you have built so far are portable and potentially useful to the IT sector and which are not. Leading people means that you have to possess soft skills like communication, emotional intelligence, collaboration...

If you have mastered the above, you will be able to devote more time to acquire other skills and knowledge needed to work in the IT industry. For example, knowledge of specific project management frameworks and procedures that relate to the IT sector. If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet and use the agile approach to leading projects, now is the right time to master it and get used to new terms like this.

But, there is one thing more important than getting to know new terms or workflows when entering the IT industry. The most important is to acquire a tech mindset. Whether we’re talking about an agile or waterfall approach to leadership, the tech mindset is always characterized by these traits: agility, flexibility, openness to new experiences and continuous learning and working on yourself.

What does this exactly mean in your everyday business environment?

Building a tech mindset means:

  1. You are able to continuously find what methods work best, and replicate that to other processes.

    In other words, being creative with organizing your workflow and addressing challenges within your team.
  2. You are moving away from the “wait-and-see” attitude.

    And becoming more of a “try-and-learn” person.
  3. You are willing to upskill yourself in a continuous manner.

    IT develops very fast. If you do not follow its rhythm, your approach will become outdated quickly
  4. You are willing to do the same for your employees and help them evolve.

    The goal is to create and enable a workforce augmented by technology. Remember, you are as strong as your weakest employee!
  5. You know when it’s the right time to share and empower agility and flexibility in work.

    But you also know what is too flexible and not efficient.
  6. You are okay with often leaving your comfort zone.

    Because you know that real development starts when you step out of it!
  7. You love seeing opportunities in challenges and know how to receive feedback.

    The IT industry provides many directions for individuals who want to develop their skills and puts great emphasis on feedback as a tool for upgrading.
  8. You are ready to network, network and network.

    Attend technical educations, meetings and summits - always. Yes, for networking, but also learning about industry news.

Find new methods to work on these points! When doing so, you should have an established tech mindset that helps you navigate your team and your future career in the tech field. If you are interested in knowing more about how to avoid the mindset of an unsuccessful tech leader, read our article about it here.

Don’t worry, the knowledge and skills will come to you through experience and learning. However, the first step to a successful transition to the tech sector is making sure your mindset is adapted to the dynamic of the IT industry! And what’s the second step? We propose talking to a specialized Career Consultant and looking up Career FFWD for a structured way of switching career paths.

Leadership lesson: Signs your tech team is experiencing work from home burnout

It has been a year since most of the companies switched to remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic. You have probably overcome the first challenges of transitioning to a new working environment and accepted the fact that you are coding or managing projects from the dining room or bedroom instead of from the office. So what could be wrong, you might ask? Didn’t we all got used to the new circumstances and have no trouble to have lunch at our homes with our partner, kids or the rest of the family instead of sitting next to our best coworker?

The answer lies in your colleagues’ and team members’ reactions and coping strategies with the psychological strain they have been experiencing for a prolonged period of time. Although we have overcome the challenges of work-family conflicts and adapted to a new physical environment (e.g. missing full working equipment, different workspace, noises from the neighbour’s apartment), it’s still difficult to operate normally while being under pressure for longer periods of time.

Prolonged exposure to such job stressors that exceed your team members coping resources come at the forefront at about now. A recent survey that we conducted via LinkedIn confirmed experiencing symptoms of burnout among tech experts that have been following us. When asked about how they combat their feelings of burnout, our participants revealed that the least chosen coping strategy was the possibility to talk to the team leader.

The fact that team members often don’t feel like opening up could be a problem for tech leaders. When working remotely it’s harder to detect signs of burnout among team members, so you have to rely on them being open enough when talking about their mental health.

Only when a leader is aware of the fact that the team feels like being on the edge of burnout, he or she can react timely.

While it is good to know that many respondents stated that they rely on personal resources and techniques such as reprioritizing, creating boundaries and taking breaks, it is upsetting to find out that relying on support from their team leads is the least popular answer. Especially because social support plays an important role in mitigating the adverse impact of stressors and a person’s perception of stressful situations.

So how are you able to detect that your silent team members are possibly going through burnout? Maybe we should remind ourselves what the core of leadership actually is. The main principles are the same and apply both to leading virtual and non-virtual teams - leading others puts people in focus.

Core leadership skills include: communication skills, having a vision and knowing how to motivate others, staying positive, being trustworthy, and knowing how to give and receive feedback.

When combining these skills and staying positive along the way, you are building a great foundation for preventing feelings of burnout among your team members. Show them that you care, even when there might be no obvious reason to make an intervention. Take time to ask how they are really doing, even now when it seems like we all know how to cope with the pandemic.

Another tactic is seeking out symptoms that might allude to you that a team member is experiencing burnout. Here are a few of them that you could try to detect:

Emotional exhaustion

Emotional exhaustion occurs when individuals feel emotionally drained by work. It can be noticed when a person’s mood is different and lower than usual. He or she could be feeling sad, low, experience apathy, anxiety or another absence of positive emotions.


Depersonalization manifests when individuals become hardened by their job and tend to treat clients or customers like objects. In such cases, a person has a distant or indifferent attitude towards work that manifests as negative and callous behaviours or interacting with colleagues in an impersonal manner, e.g. gives unprofessional comments directed toward co-workers, blames them for code bugs, deployment difficulties or other project-related problems, or has the inability to express empathy or grief when a colleague is experiencing personal difficulties and would use support.


Having an attitude characterized by a general distrust related to work endeavours. A cynical person finds that something is vain, unobtainable, or ultimately meaningless and therefore deserving of ridicule or admonishment. Cynicism could be seen in negative comments on one’s tasks or other people’s goals and ventures.

A sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment

Low personal accomplishment is present when individuals feel like they cannot deal with problems effectively and understand or identify the problems of others. A person has the tendency to negatively evaluate the worth of one’s work, feeling insufficient in regard to the ability to perform one’s job, and a generalized poor professional self-esteem.

It is important to detect these symptoms because even though they probably will not affect one’s performance, they surely will impact their bond to the team and the company, and consequently their motivation to stay at the company. And the last thing you need when working in the IT industry is losing top talent with great technical knowledge that fits within your team, right?

So - back to the basics! Talk to your people, provide them support proactively, let them know you are aware that they are having hard times, find the best solution together or consider offering counselling services. We have prepared a survival kit for any kind of challenges that may occur when leading a team in a pandemic. Check out our Crisis survival kit and let us know if there is a challenge you are facing that’s causing you burnout. Receiving additional support from HR professionals is always a good idea in times like this.

Battling the lack of motivation: What to do when you don’t feel motivated to grow your career?

Maintaining motivation is becoming an increasing challenge for many people nowadays. Many employers have decided that their employees will work remotely during the pandemic, for health and safety reasons, or because of government restrictions. Since Covid-19 has locked us up in our houses again for the second time this year, our homes became a place where most life activities take place. It is inevitable that the overlap of different areas of our life will make us face new challenges like battling the feelings of loneliness or staying productive with children or pets in the room.

While there are people who like remote work or who were working from their homes even before this situation occurred, studies that have been conducted in recent months indicate a lack of motivation for work in a large number of people that work that way. Why

The reason is simple: our brain tells us we are at home and not at the office, and so we act accordingly, finding reasons not to work or to work on other activities that also need to be done, but are not related to our work responsibilities.

A big consequence of losing motivation for work is that we hardly maintain motivation for our own professional development and learning, too.

What can we do for ourselves to stay motivated both for work and our personal development?

Firstly, in order to answer this question, it is necessary to understand the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation refers to acts done to receive an external reward like money or social recognition, or in some cases to avoid punishment. Intrinsic motivation involves behaviours we show because they are pleasing us, personally. This may include a feeling of success, purpose, problem-solving, etc.

If you can find intrinsically satisfying reasons in yourself, you will find it easier to get motivated. If not, that's not a problem either. There is always another way, like finding an outside motivator and adding more extrinsic motivation to your motivation bag.

Now that we have established the distinction between the two types of motivation, let’s start with ways to encourage intrinsic motivation:

  1. Figure out your personal motivators.
  2. First, you need to understand what drives you. Is it maybe the chance to learn, or a sense of achievement? Is it curiosity, or desire to solve a problem in this world? Internal motivators may depend on the task, but you can for sure find some that motivate you to master the task you are struggling with right now.

  3. Be patient with yourself.
  4. The adoption of any complex skill does not progress linearly. According to psychological studies, we adopt complex information relatively slowly in the beginning, and after that period the learning is significantly accelerated and followed by rapid progress. When you see your first results, they will become your intrinsic motivators; you only need to have patience. As Simon Sinek says, we are all grown up in the world of instant gratification and everything we want we can get relatively quickly, but a sense of job satisfaction is something which is built gradually.

  5. Find a sense of purpose in your work.
  6. Focus on your strengths and ways you are making an impact at your workplace by doing your job or leading your team right. Once you feel the sense of purpose, you’ll connect your daily tasks with the bigger picture and you’ll know exactly that your job is meaningful.

If it is hard for you to find internal motivators, here are some external ones that may help you:

  1. Connect with people focused on their professional development.
  2. When you start to meet people who invest a lot of time in their personal development, they will inspire you to do the same. Once you feel the desire to learn, you are already halfway there. If you cannot meet them physically, there are many virtual platforms you can use for meeting new people who will inspire you.

  3. Set yourself deadlines or small daily goals.
  4. Setting deadlines or small daily goals can help you to see the results of your work very quickly, which may help you feel as productive as possible.

  5. Establish a routine.
  6. Routines create a framework for action and may help your brain to know when it’s time for work. Discipline yourself and later on when those small activities become your routine, you won’t question them again. You will do them regardless of feeling motivated.

  7. Ask for feedback.
  8. Praise or social recognition may serve as an excellent external motivator; when you know you're appreciated for the work you're doing, you may feel the joy and find the purpose that you maybe did not recognize earlier. You can ask your peers, your mentor or a Career Consultant.

Finally, don’t feel guilty because you are struggling with a lack of motivation. It is a normal occurrence nowadays, but it is not an excuse for being lazy.

No matter how unmotivated you may be to work or change your career perspectives, it is important to keep dealing with your personal development because not working on yourself means regression, not stagnation.

There are many in the job market who use this global situation for their own professional development. Be one of them! If you are not sure how you could upgrade your career and your motivation is just like a roller coaster right now, then try connecting with one of our Career Consultants within the Career FFWD program. Having regular one-to-one sessions with a Consultant could become a great external motivator. This can help you plan and execute your 2021 career plan.

Not sure if this applies to you? Give it a read here and ping us.

The Mindset of Unsuccessful Tech Leaders

Don’t let these personality traits show up in your professional environment

When stressful times occur and daily routines get disrupted, many individuals struggle with staying the best version of themselves.

Leaders are the ones who are hit with the change of their professional environment the most, and because of that, it’s easy to start showing personality traits that could negatively affect one’s business.

Psychologist Robert Hogan describes these personality traits as the “dark side” of your personality. In a nutshell, those are counterproductive behavioural tendencies that emerge during times of high stress and are essentially coping mechanisms people use to manage these situations.

Why is it important to understand this theory? The company Hogan Assessments* is a market leader in providing personality tests that examine the personality of talents from every angle, the bright and the dark side so that work performance can be predicted at all times. With continuous research, they’ve helped identify risk factors and behaviours that affect work performance and that individuals often show when put under pressure. It’s essential to get an understanding of these personality traits and to recognize their occurrence so that their impact on someone’s professional life is minimized.

The tech leader and the thoughts he needs to avoid

Working on your thoughts is the first step when working on your mindset. What you think, you become. Below we are going to present you a few typical thoughts that stem from the mindset of unsuccessful tech leaders who give too much room to their dark personality traits in times of distress.

I am the only one capable of solving this problem.

This thought is dangerous for many reasons. Firstly, the ideas of others get discounted which can show arrogance and a lack of respect for your team. Secondly, why put this kind of pressure on yourself? It is not possible for you to be an omniscient individual. Also, try determining the difference between “being confident” and “being arrogant”. An easy way to do that is seeing how your thoughts impact others around you: your confidence is inspiring your team, your arrogance is turning them down and can easily lead you to be ignorant.

I can do this all by myself.

Really? Again, why put this pressure on yourself and generate even more stress which could lead to more dark thoughts that will impact your mindset negatively? Maybe you are very competent and a hard-working individual, but having unrealistic expectations will beat you down eventually - latest when you start failing at your attempts. Save yourself from these thoughts, consult your peers for advice and seek support. That aren’t signs of weaknesses, that’s what a team is for.

If they did their part, I would have done mine.

Of course, in most cases, you don’t think this because you have “bad character” and enjoy blaming others. We blame others because this way we want to explain how and why some setbacks occurred, or we use that as a method to avoid reflecting our own behaviour. However, try to take responsibility and start with yourself and what you could have done better and what you still can do to get the task done. Delegate differently, or prioritize and structure your goals another way. There are many techniques you can use to execute your ideas efficiently.

My way of doing things is the right way.

Just think about all the lost opportunities and ideas that you don’t hear because you are not ready to really listen to your team. Your team, or your community in general, is made of competent and smart individuals who can help you achieve higher levels of success. Sharing knowledge and organising brainstorming sessions can help your performance grow, both in the short and in the long term. Give others a chance to speak up and sparkle.

When talking about these specific thoughts, it is possible to connect them with individuals from the technology sector because research has shown that CEO’s within the tech industry often show the same personality traits and score high scores on the Bold and Imaginative scales, which could, in times of stress, lead to the mindset we’ve described above.

Like we’ve said, don’t let these thoughts occur and define your mindset because they can easily lead to negative outcomes in your professional world. Being aware of your potential personality derailers is a big help in staying your best self, both at work and in your personal life.

Now, don’t get this wrong - implementing some of these practices won’t just let you “stay good”, but will provide you so much space to upgrade and “become even better”. Being open for a change and having the mindset of a successful entrepreneur we’ve described in our latest market research about Croatian tech entrepreneurs and their expectations in the pandemic is going to help you manage all these challenges you are facing right now.

What is the fastest way to upgrade your career and defeat these thoughts?

A lot of self-reflection needs to be done to get to the core of your mindset and to upgrade your skills, competencies and career dreams. You can always choose to dive into this challenge alone, but we would advise you to consider a professional Consultant to follow you on this path. Talentarium is providing tech leaders with a career consulting program called Career FFWD that helps them identify their personality traits, interests, values ​​and abilities. Through coached sessions and materials organised by experienced psychologists, leaders are able to enhance their competencies and manage their careers and their professional environment more effectively. Career FFWD is intended not only for individuals who are experiencing difficulties in their careers but also for everyone who is aware of the constant need for agile adaptation and the continuous personal development in a dynamic and changing job market that is keeping the stress level high and is presenting them new challenges all the time.

The pandemic is a great opportunity to invest in yourself and seek support while battling the new normal and its challenges. Think about your current mindset and career, maybe it’s time to upgrade your thoughts, standards and wishes, just to be able to achieve so much more from all of this what’s happening today.

* Interested in purchasing Hogan Assessments and getting new personality insights? Leave us a ping, too. We can help you out. As Talentarium is an official distributor for Hogan Assessments on the CEE market, Talentarium Consultants are available to consult HR Managers or tech companies about implementing Hogan in their talent acquisition or performance evaluation processes.

According to IT’s people, this is what the tech future is going to look like

Do you remember the last time you’ve used the phrase “new normal?” Maybe you woke up one day and understood that all these market changes that we are undergoing are not that new anymore and that the “old normal” probably won’t return anyway.

When it had all started, we couldn’t imagine how the rest of the year would look like. Some of us have not given it a second thought, and some of us were preparing plans B and C, just to make sure to be ready for any scenario and to have answers to any possible “What if?” question.

“What if Covid-19 is going to be around next year, too?”
“What if I lose my most important clients?”
“What if I will need to lay off employees?”
“What if I won’t find a new chance to get sustainable income?”

Many of us have been faced with these or similar questions, and many of us have faced them alone which can easily make us feel anxious and unsure about future steps and business plans.

How can you prepare new business plans if you don’t know the current market situation? Easy answer: you can’t. There is too much uncertainty and you will mostlikely end up changing the plan anyway. This, of course, doesn’t mean you shouldn’thave one. You should know where your starting point is and in which direction your business plans go, but remember to add some more whitespace to it to be able to pivot the plan throughout the year and leave the door open for unexpected opportunities.


According to that, the goal of this article is to present what’s the current tech market situation in Croatia and what the future will look like.

Did the entrepreneurial mood change? What are the expectations of tech entrepreneurs regarding the Croatian IT sector during the pandemic?

Read on, we’ve got some findings

To be able to give you an answer to these questions and to help tech companies adjust to future market changes by giving them an accurate prediction of the situation of the IT sector we have conducted a research project called “Entrepreneurial expectations” among Croatian IT entrepreneurs. Over the past quarter, we collected information about the current experiences and future expectations regarding the economic aftermath of the pandemic.

The challenges tech entrepreneurs felt they needed to overcome during the first few months of the pandemic and the challenges they face now are a bit different. Of course, the feeling of uncertainty and sudden change was much stronger in the beginning.

To be clearer, when the lockdown started, the biggest challenges for our respondents were reallocating their resources and changing business strategies along with handling remote work because lots of teams have not been working from home before. It was the first time for many of them, which led to the fact that 24% of entrepreneurs struggled with remote organisation.

When they were asked about what their biggest current struggles are, the entrepreneurs answered that it was finding new business opportunities and nurturing their company values.

As we can see, many have quickly adapted and found a remote work model that worked for them, which made the worries shift to the perseverance of the company culture and the future of their teams.

Of course, the company culture can be harmed in moments of uncertainty. As an entrepreneur, you need to know how to communicate the situation to your team and sustain a healthy climate. In fact, communication is the most important helper while preserving a company’s culture, along with the method of showing appreciation to your employees.

These methods, however, change in market-changing times. Performing established processes that haven’t been problematic before are now becoming new challenges to our respondents. They shared with us that especially monitoring their teams’ performance, finding needed talent or onboarding new employees has become difficult to perform in the digital environment.

If an entrepreneur is not sure how to accommodate business processes, searching for external help is the best solution. For these circumstances and as a quick-fix to any people and culture stability questions, Talentarium has implemented a “survival kit” of services you can learn more about here.

To stay on top, seize the day, ask away, get to know your options. The fact that every individual controls his/her own (re)actions to the pandemic, brings peace of mind to a lot of entrepreneurs.

Still, there are effects of the pandemic that they can’t control. When asked about their biggest fear, the respondents stated that the things they were mostly worried about while listening about the coronavirus are the inevitable economic aftermath and developing health issues.


When we asked our tech entrepreneurs about how concerned they were feeling about the future of their company in the past few months and if they feared losing most of their income, 50% of tech entrepreneurs agreed and noted that they have felt this way, while others said they haven’t worried at all or that their worries were irrational since they still do fine.

When asked about their current feeling of distress, the average of the entrepreneurs’ responses was showing a slight fear of the future and possible income losses.

How do they combat that fear?

Like it usually is with entrepreneurs in the IT industry - they took some kind of action and didn’t take too long to react to the new situation. Around 70% of our respondents have changed their business model. One-third of the entrepreneurs adapted their existing products and services or added new ones to the portfolio. Others pivoted their strategy by changing pricing and promotion plans or finding new sales and distribution channels. Some interesting add-ons to their strategies were b2b matching platforms, targeting new specific customers, more cold calling activities in their sales plan, extending due dates on invoices, increasing the quickness of the internal information exchange, expanding to new areas like blockchain technology, etc. How do they combat that fear? As can be seen, tech entrepreneurs don’t leave their business to chance but are actively adapting to the market or even creating new possibilities.

According to psychologists and the Hogan Assessments research “What makes up the personality of a successful entrepreneur” , the individuals’ personality trait named “adjustment” plays a big role in entrepreneurs’ success.

Being a market leader in providing personality tests, Hogan examines the personality of talents from every angle, the bright and the dark side, so workplace performance can be predicted at all times. As Talentarium is an official distributor for Hogan Assessments on the CEE market, Talentarium Consultants are available to consult HR Managers or tech companies about implementing Hogan in their talent acquisition or performance evaluation processes.

When talking about leadership assessments and the Hogan research mentioned above, the goal of its conduction was to identify key characteristics of the “Successful Entrepreneur Personality”. So, what personality traits do most entrepreneurs that became (and stayed) successful have?

To quote the Hogan researchers: “the highly successful entrepreneurial leader is a risk-taker, they think outside the box, they push the envelope, they pivot quickly, and when innovating, the sky is the limit.”


Let’s connect the dots. Of course, creativity, innovation and motivation are the fundamentals of successfully overcoming challenges the year 2020 presented to us. Being creative, innovative and motivated is key to being able to pivot quickly on the market. We’ve investigated if these predispositions for success are present among Croatian tech entrepreneurs.

Firstly, how did they feel towards innovation during the past months? Our findings show that tech companies with over 50 employees felt very productive during the whole time period of the pandemic, but they don’t think that they were innovative. On the other side, businesses with less than 50 employees felt very innovative, but have struggled a bit with the feelings of productivity.

The general motivation among entrepreneurs was very high, only one-man bands and small businesses with less than 5 employees have struggled with staying motivated during the pandemic.

Even when asked if they had applied for any financial support provided by the government, the less motivated smaller tech businesses mostly answered with a no. As reasons, they’ve stated time shortage and difficult paperwork. The medium-sized businesses were the ones who benefited the most from government initiatives, but many of them also decided to not use financial support and show empathy to other companies who struggle more with their liquidity at the moment.

Interesting is that one of the key findings of the above mentioned Hogan research was that “empathy” as a personality trait is also one of the indicators of entrepreneurial success. Do you see a pattern here?

All these discoveries described the challenges tech entrepreneurs were facing and the actions they took during the past few months of the pandemic. Let’s end the first part of our research that was focused on the “now” and see how our respondents feel about “tomorrow”.

The future of the tech industry in the pandemic aftermath

Tech entrepreneurs are pretty united in their opinions about further pandemic development. Around two-thirds of our respondents believe that the pandemic is going to increase and that the number of daily infected will rise. Since the last few weeks of October showed a record growth of active coronavirus cases in Croatia and the region, our respondents were right.

When asked about the expected economic situation caused by the pandemic, opinions seem more diverse. Around 50% of the entrepreneurs believe that the market will fight the economic aftermath for the next 5 years and that economic growth can be expected after that time period.

However, both very optimistic and pessimistic views are present in the responses, so some entrepreneurs believe that even 2021 could be a prosperous year, while a smaller percentage of them believes that we will have to fight COVID-19 consequences for more than 5 years.


Only a few entrepreneurs stated that the tech industry is going to be very affected by coronavirus restrictions. Almost everyone agrees that the most affected industries will be tourism and food services industry, followed by the arts, entertainment & recreation industry, and transportation & storage. They also believe that the primary sector will be the least affected in the economy.

While the ICT sector may not have been directly impacted by COVID-19 measures like others, it is a fact that many IT companies that are serving the most affected industries could get influenced by their clients’ losses. Many tech firms could therefore face further project cancellation or employee layoffs.

If we remember the beginning of COVID-19, the Croatian IT job market reacted with fewer employments than previous months. If you are interested in the full article on how the Croatian IT job market reacted in the first lockdown, read our blog post from June here.

If you ask our respondents about their fear of facing unemployment, either as losing a job or dismissing employees, about two-thirds of them stated that they aren’t in the position to lay off and that they don’t think they will lose their job position. Only 10% believe that they could face unemployment, and another 10% have already laid off their employees. So, just like in other industries, layoffs caused by coronavirus consequences are happening in the ICT sector, too.

However, the fear of getting into a bigger unemployment loop is not common among tech entrepreneurs. Some of them have even shown tendencies to grow their teams further.

Half of our respondents answered that they are actively looking for new employees at the moment. The other half isn’t considering new employees at all, or are just not actively looking because they either don’t have the need to grow or because remote onboarding processes are too much of a burden right now.

If online onboarding is the one holding you back, try booking a consultation hour with HR Consultants and get guidelines on how to overcome that challenge here.


Many processes have been changed, business plans audited, new strategies implemented. How will this impact income and new investments?

Well, the Croatian tech sector is (mostly) optimistic again. When asked about their income expectations in 2020 compared to 2019, around 60% of respondents don’t expect their income to decrease while the rest do expect that. This result aligns with other research within the industry that has shown that many entrepreneurs from the IT sector expect their income to not just stay the same, but to increase. In that same research, one-third of tech companies expect an income decrease.

When asked about their plans and investment expectations, about two-thirds of respondents plan to grow their business or invest by the end of this or next year. This shows a positive investment climate and a relatively promising future, although one-third of entrepreneurs play it safe and don’t have investment expectations. This, however, doesn’t mean they won’t decide to do so in upcoming periods. Maybe they will be inspired by those who were ready to invest further.

Those who had future investment plans were asked to list the industry in which they would like to invest in. The winner is the ICT sector.

Tech entrepreneurs are investing in their internal R&D, digital marketing campaigns and into building B2B partnerships, which can quickly provide them with missing resources to adapt to market changes.

If you didn’t consider a B2B partnership as a solution to finding and developing new opportunities, maybe this is the time to do so and invest in it. Since the biggest challenge here are time-consuming activities like monitoring the market and finding the right contacts, entrepreneurs who decide to start this process can reach out to Talentarium Consultants, who have the experience and know-how to find a valuable business connection on the market depending on a companies’ wishes and needs.

Many have not thought about this option because the possibilities and willingness to pair up with another tech company can, of course, be influenced by income changes and the processes of client gain or client loss.

How will the client portfolio of tech entrepreneurs look like by the end of 2020?


The client portfolio of many tech entrepreneurs’ businesses is constantly changing. How will the COVID-19 situation affect that client portfolio? The opinions of our respondents are divided, again. About half of them believe they will gain more foreign customers in the future of the pandemic and that their export will rise, while only one-sixth believe they will find more domestic customers and that their export will fall. The rest don’t export their services or are just starting to do so.

This expectation shows that tech companies are pivoting their marketing and business development strategies to gain foreign clients.

Many are reaching out to new markets and seeking out new chances globally.

Summing up, what is the general feeling about the economic growth that has been announced?

Our tech entrepreneurs who took part in the survey are being cautious and gave it a slightly negative mark. Although they know that many segments of success and mastering this challenging time depends on them and their actions, they are also aware of the fact that the government is responsible for supporting and providing them with the right circumstances to perform their daily business activities.

The biggest optimists are medium-sized tech businesses, and the least optimistic are, on the other hand, small businesses with less than 5 employees who could be struck by this situation the most.

To conclude, despite the situation, Croatian tech entrepreneurs are still showing proactive entrepreneurial behaviour and think optimistically of the upcoming years.

The ICT sector with all their competent people and knowledge-based business strategies is a front-runner in the economic development of Croatia. Seeing that tech entrepreneurs are actively looking for growth opportunities within a crisis can only help motivate the whole Croatian entrepreneurial scene and companies from all sectors in finding their ways to succeed.

Especially now, when the “new normal” became our default state of mind, breakthrough innovation can happen.

Dear entrepreneurs, stay optimistic and motivated. With the right mindset and entrepreneurial mood, the sky is the limit.

Career FFWD: Koje Vještine Usavršiti Za Uspješnu 2021.?

Rad na sebi u globalnoj pandemiji kojoj se ne nazire kraj

U prethodnim mjesecima, virus koji nam je svima već dobro poznat, ali je ujedno i velika nepoznanica, imao je svoje uspone i padove; pamtimo trenutke u kojima smo se radovali malim brojkama oboljelih, ali i one kada su u medijima odzvanjale (ili odzvanjaju) one rekordne. 

U cijeloj situaciji, fraza “biti pozitivan” dobila je novo značenje. 

Virus, također, nije jedini koji je imao svoje uspone i padove. Naprotiv, vjerojatno smo svi doživjeli oscilacije na osobnoj razini, bilo da je riječ o ostvarenim rezultatima, raspoloženju ili čak motivaciji za rad. 

Kad je pandemija tek započela te kada smo se po prvi puta zatvorili u svoje domove, mnogi su u toj situaciji prepoznali dobiveno vrijeme i priliku za razvoj svojih kompetencija. Brojne svjetski poznate edukativne platforme otvorile su svoja vrata široj populaciji, snižavajući cijene svojih usluga ili omogućujući nove dostupne online sadržaje. Mnoga poduzeća su se također odlučila na organizaciju webinara i online konferencija. 

U jednom trenutku, postojala je hrpa dodatnog edukativnog sadržaja u digitalnom svijetu.

Međutim, nakon početnog poleta online-edu industrije, mnogi su i odustali od rada na svom razvoju, kao i od želje za promjenom posla ili promjeni karijere - racionalizirajući odluku nepovoljnošću situacije s kojom se suočavamo na globalnoj razini. 

No, s obzirom da prognoze najavljuju kako će pandemija potrajati još barem dvije iduće godine, možda dolazi vrijeme da frazi “biti pozitivan” vratimo njeno značenje. Kako? Prije svega, stvarajući pozitivne promjene - ne u svijetu, već prvo na sebi. Na kraju krajeva, u slučaju da završimo u samoizolaciji, to je ujedno i najlakši prvi korak do postizanja uspješne karijere, a posljedično i boljeg svijeta oko sebe.

Pozitivnost može imati razne izvore, a neki od njih su svakako osobni uspjeh i postignuća, koji potiču naš osjećaj samo-ostvarenja. 

U profesionalnom kontekstu, taj se osjećaj pozitivnosti najčešće veže uz zadovoljstvo poslom kojeg radimo,uz nove karijerne korake i osobni razvoj. Upravo ti karijerni koraci i osobni rast često mogu biti “na čekanju” ove godine. 

Istražili smo što mislite.

Tjedan prije objave članka, proveli smo i istraživanje na LinkedIn-u s pitanjem o spremnosti promjene karijere uslijed ponovnog pogoršanja epidemiološke situacije. Rezultati su pokazali izraženu pozitivnu nastrojenost prema napretku karijere u doba koronavirusa s obzirom da je više od 50% ispitanika podijelilo kako bi bili spremni na novi karijerni korak unatoč pogoršanoj situaciji. S druge strane, vidljiv je i prostor za napredak i pojačan oprez prilikom donošenja karijernih odluka. Naime, njih 15% bi se voljelo obratiti karijernom savjetniku prije poduzimanja novog koraka, dok čak više od 20% izjavljuje kako bi ipak pričekali s promjenom u karijeri. 

Kako smanjiti taj postotak? 

Kako potaknuti i najoprezniju osobu na pozitivnost prema novim karijernim odlukama i tržištu rada?

Obraćanje karijernom savjetniku može nas potaknuti na pozitivnost i povećati motivaciju za rad na sebi, ali i posljedično olakšati donošenje karijerne odluke u svakom okruženju, pa i u doba COVID-19.

No, do odluke o tom koraku, važno je spoznati tko stoji u pozadini cijele priče. Tu stojimo mi i naš jedinstveni skill set, koji nas može dovesti do te željene razine pozitivnosti i karijernog zadovoljstva.

Promatrajte vlastiti skill set kao puzzle.

Vizija onoga što želimo postići u karijeri može nam biti vodilja, kao gotova slika koju želimo složiti, a naše vlastite kompetencije su puzzle koje slažemo. No, samo malo, zašto baš puzzle i zašto radije skill set nego usavršavanje samo jedne vještine? Zar ne kažu razni savjeti da moramo biti prvi i najbolji, u potpunosti specijalizirani u nekom području kako bi ostvarili viziju? Netočno.

Naime, teško da možemo biti najbolji u samo jednoj vještini, i to iz jednostavnog razloga - postoji još mnogo ljudi koji su također izvrsni i specijalizirani u istoj vještini. Međutim, onih čiji je skill set istovjetan našem je malo. Zar nije to ono što nas razlikuje od drugih? Skill set je ono što čini razliku kod prijava za posao; najbolji kandidat se nikad ne odabire na temelju samo jedne vještine, već niza osobnih karakteristika koji kreiraju završni dojam. Osim toga, što su odabrane kompetencije bolje iskombinirane i “složene”, to smo profesionalno definiraniji, ostvareniji i, na kraju krajeva, samim time i kompetentniji na tržištu rada. 

Budući da je 2020. donijela puno promjena u razne sfere naših života, netaknutom nije ostavila niti onu profesionalnu. Započeli smo godinu pozitivno nastrojeni prema radu na sebi, a potom je mnogo nedovršenih tečajeva kao i produžetak pandemije doprinijelo blagom negativnom osjećaju. No, rezilijentnost je polako izgrađena te se sve bolje nosimo s promjenama koje nas pogađaju. 

Spremni smo za 2021.! No, postavlja se jedno pitanje...

Koji su to skillovi (komadići puzzla) koje trebamo ukomponirati u svoju profesionalnu “sliku” i pomoću kojih možemo postati kompetentniji na IT tržištu?

Možda će Vam ova lista vještina pomoći da pronađete način na koji ćete se osjećati ostvarenima kada na kraju 2020. godine pogledate puzzle koje ste složili za buduće razdoblje koje nas čeka:

  1. Fokus
    Zašto je važan? U ovom nam vremenu pažnju odvlače razne stvari (kao npr. društvene mreže, pozivi, mailovi, zanimljivi LinkedIn članci…), a mi neprestano pokušavamo filtrirati i pohvatati sve potencijalno relevantne poruke koje nam stižu preko raznih kanala. Zbog toga je teško ostati fokusiran na zadatak duže vrijeme. Radom na vlastitom fokusu i vježbama koncentracije postat ćemo produktivniji, brži i efikasniji u onom što radimo te će se naši rezultati rada brže očitovati- kako interno, tako i na van.

  2. Time management
    Vještina koja se direktno nastavlja na sposobnost fokusiranja. Kako bismo “dozirali” fokus, moramo znati upravljati svojim vremenom. Ima li smisla cijeli dan sjetiti pred Udemy-ijem i upijati nove sadržaje? Ima, ali samo ako možemo svoju koncentraciju toliko dugo i održati. Ako ne, određivanje vremena za pojedine aktivnosti i držanje plana moglo bi nam biti itekako korisno. Isplanirajte dan unaprijed i probajte calendar-blocking aktivnost.

  3. Prioritizacija
    U moru ideja koje nam se javljaju za osobni razvoj, važno je prioritizirati komadiće puzzla koje će nas dovesti do željenog cilja. Tako npr. ova lista služi za postavljanje prioriteta pri odlučivanju o vještinama na kojima želite raditi. Odlično je htjeti ostvariti mnoge planove i poraditi na 10 vještina odjednom, ali nemojte previše očekivati od sebe i potom se osjećati loše ako ne uspijete završiti tri tečaja uz posao istovremeno. You can’t have it all and you don’t need it all. Stvarno.

  4. Sposobnost povezivanja s pravim ljudima
    Networking - ali pametan. Važno je okružiti se ljudima od kojih zaista možemo učiti, pri čemu naglasak nije na čistom umrežavanju, već na povezivanju i izgradnji autentičnih odnosa; ako ljudi dobiju dojam da se s njima povezujete samo zbog vlastite koristi, teško da će oni imati želju njegovati vaš novonastali odnos. Puno uspješniji način stvaranja odnosa s drugim profesionalcima je jednostavno pokazivanje interesa za njihov rad, kao i pružanje podrške. Pogotovo podrška koju pružate drugima može dovesti do potpunijeg odnosa. No, navedeno može biti autentično jedino ukoliko uistinu cijenite rad osobe. Stoga, okružite se ljudima za čiji ste rad zaista zainteresirani te od njih učite.

  5. Proaktivnost u traženju povratne informacije te sposobnost podnošenja i usvajanja (!) kritike
    Post-covid situacija traži prilagodbe u mnogim sferama koje kompanijama do sada nisu bile među bitnijim komponentama. To seže od pojačane brige za vlastito zdravlje i zdravlje kolega, do potrebe za usvajanjem potpuno novih vještina kao što su vještine održavanja dobrih timskih odnosa i u radu od kuće. Promatrajući prirodu remote rada u odnosu na rad iz ureda, uočljive su velike razlike, posebice kada je riječ o komunikaciji, u kojoj razmjena povratnih informacija igra važnu ulogu kada je riječ o pospješivanju kompetitivnosti na tržištu. Iako postoje brojne platforme koje pospješuju udaljenu komunikaciju i davanje povratne informacije, važno je znati ih koristiti - i to ne samo na osnovnoj, tehničkoj razini, već i onoj interpersonalnoj. Kako biste dobili povratnu informaciju na svoj rad, nemojte ju čekati - pitajte! Nekada će ona biti i negativna; u tim je situacijama važno znati prihvatiti kritiku te ju iskoristiti kao temelj za vlastiti razvoj. Kritika nam otvara vrata na putu postajanja kompetentnije i profesionalnije verzije sebe.

  6. Vještina privlačenja pažnje prave publike
    Ako želite biti kompetitivni na današnjem IT tržištu, osim pravih kompetencija, potrebno je imati i znanje osnova marketinga. Pitate se zašto? Razlog je jednostavan - IT tržište se širi velikom brzinom i sve je veći broj tvrtki koje se svrstavaju pod njega te se one moraju razlikovati međusobno i komunicirati različite konkurentske prednosti. Kako biste bili poželjni na tržištu, važno je prvo znati kome želite biti poželjni, a potom privući pažnju ciljnog tržišta prilagođavanjem sadržaja pomoću kojeg im se predstavljate. Primjerice, kandidat ste koji se želi zaposliti. Je li riječ o produktno ili projektno orijentiranoj kompaniji? Uspjeh u jednoj i drugoj nije definiran istim kompetencijama. Važno je targetirati cilj i njemu prilagoditi poruku koju šaljemo, bilo da je šaljemo kroz CV, motivacijsko pismo ili objave na profesionalnim mrežama, putem kojih također možemo biti zamijećeni.

  7. Vještina mjerenja vlastitih rezultata
    Vještina mjerenja vlastitih rezultata Kako znate da ste dostigli cilj? Određivanje objektivnih pokazatelja koji o tome govore pomaže u praćenju vlastitog napretka, a bez navedene vještine lako bi se moglo dogoditi da odlutate. Postavite KPI-eve i vremenski okvir, ili se poslužite SMART ciljevima.

  8. Kritičko razmišljanje
    Finalno, sposobnost kritičkog razmišljanja potrebna je u svemu čega se dotaknemo - od izbora knjiga koje ćemo čitati i platformi na kojima ćemo se educirati do izbora informacija kojima ćemo vjerovati i kojima ćemo voditi svoje ponašanje i stavove. Stoga je važno često si postaviti pitanje: je li ovo relevantna, provjerena, točna informacija te mogu li na temelju nje donijeti odluku o svom ponašanju te postoji li još izvora i činjenica koje joj govore u prilog (ili joj se suprotstavljaju)? Pronađite više alternativnih mišljenja.

Iako od 2020. godine nije preostalo još mnogo, ona nam ipak ostavlja dovoljno vremena za uvježbavanje bar jednog od gore spomenutih područja i pripremu za 2021. godinu. Navedene vještine mogu biti dio Career FFWD programa karijernog savjetovanja i osobnog napretka za pojedinca.

Ako ste zainteresirani za više informacija, ispunite ovu jednostavnu kontakt formu i popričajte s nama o planovima koje ste poželjeli ispuniti, no osjećate nesigurnost situacije u kojoj se nalazimo. Ne dopustite da oscilacije epidemiološke situacije utječu na želju za osobnim napretkom - ostanite pozitivni!

Marina Šetka
HR Consultant

Persuasion: your secret weapon to win the career game.

Is your game character ready to use it?

Dungeons and Dragons (and a mountain of other RPG’s liberally “borrowing” from their systems) would have you convinced that the best way to ensure success at persuasion is for your character to just be born (or created) with a high charisma stat that makes them just naturally eloquent. Just like the game, society will have you convinced of the same: you are either born an extrovert with a hawk-like, noble, leadership nose that’s just naturally good at getting other people to do what one would like, or you’re… not that. To this, modern psychology proudly says: bollocks!

Persuasion is not a character trait, persuasion is a skill. Like with most skills, persuasion can come more naturally to some people than to others, but ultimately what matters far more than any natural talent is the time and effort you invest in developing the skill. 

So, today we will talk about which activities you can grind to level-up your persuasion skills fast, which will then help you take your next career step more easily.

Before that, let’s just first set-up two simple rules to follow if you want to be generally successful at persuasion and win the career game : 

  1. Context is king.
    It is not always the right time or place for people to be persuaded. Generally, what you are looking for is for a time and place when people will be able to give you their focus and their interest. It’s not a great time to start convincing your boss and colleagues that you should implement something while a project is going up in flames around you and everyone is flying around trying to put out the fire.

  2. Don’t lie.
    Persuasion is not manipulating people. So: no lying, no “tactically withholding information”, no making promises you know you cannot keep, no presenting a “might be” as a “definitely”, no shenanigans of this kind, whatsoever. You stand behind your idea based on the merit of what it is, with its pros and cons, or not at all.

Now that you know the rules of the career upgrade game, here are specific tips and actions that you need to consider if you want to be better at persuasion - the skill that will help you win it:  

  1. Be prepared

    If you want to convince people that your idea is good (be it using React or buying PS 5 for the office gaming room),  you have to know what you are talking about. You have to take a good look at what you are proposing and be confident about the pros and aware of the cons. It is generally easier for people to follow someone if they get a sense that they put time and effort into thinking things through and are confident about them.

  2. Offer what you have to give.

     Assumptions are tricky because they can often be wrong and can easily get you tangled in an argument you didn’t need to be in. So, don’t assume what others might want to hear. You should be presenting the value of your idea as you see it. This doesn’t mean you should present your idea to your PM with the same tech lingo you would use with your Tech Lead, but you should, in essence, be presenting the same benefits for the project to both of them and not just telling each of them only what you think they want to hear.

  3. Be clear and concise.

    Don’t beat around the bush, don’t speak too broadly, don’t try to leave yourself space to backtrack and change what you said if people don’t react positively. It is of the utmost importance that people know exactly what you are advocating for and why. If you tell your idea to your 8-year-old nephew/85-year-old grandma and they can’t produce a list of bullet points for what are the advantages of implementing MongoDB in your stack, try again.

  4. Show, don’t tell.

    If it’s possible,  show people a concrete example of what you’re talking about. Build a mini demo that will roughly demonstrate the functionality, have a chart (or at least numbers off of one) with your performance numbers. Sketch how you think architecture should look like, give practical examples. Help people to visualize it. Humans love visuals, they help us understand an idea more easily and make it feel more tangible. So, if you can, have something to show to your audience.   

  5. Listen to your audience.

    Persuasion is not about steamrolling others into submission by plugging your ears and just repeating what you want like a mantra until others give up. If you want to be any good at this, you have to listen to your audience. People generally don’t feel comfortable following someone who is blindly in love with their ideas and unaware of their risks, admitting and addressing risks and concerns people bring up head-on makes you more trustworthy.

  6. Persuasion favours the persistent.

    It’s important to be adamant and consistent about what you want. Persuasion is usually not achieved by a single meeting, but with a series of conversations. If you believe in your idea, you keep pushing for it every time you see some new use case, you keep expanding your argument and people will usually come around. However, you must be consistent about what you’re arguing for.  You can’t switch from wanting 2 days of remote work a week to wanting full-remote and act like you are still asking for the same thing.

  7. You are arguing, not fighting.

    Be prepared that people might disagree with you, perhaps even very passionately. Go through such scenarios in your head beforehand and have a counterargument ready. However, always keep in mind, your ultimate goal here is for these people to cooperate with you. So play it cool, be prepared to stand your ground on your arguments and never stoop to antagonizing others or going off-subject to get back at your nay-sayers.

If you follow these rules and practice these behaviours, you will never have to pray for a critical roll on persuasion again! You’ll be persuading people left and right with ease in no time on the merit of your skill! 

Disclaimer: By “no time” I mean years because this is not an easy thing to master and requires a lot of experience and hard work. What we have given you here is a good foundation to build a quality persuasion skill set upon, but you have to build that house yourself. So, get out there and start arguing for things that matter to you! If you struggle with this topic and would like your skill stack to be upgraded with great persuasion abilities, feel free to contact us. Our Career FFWD program can help you in a big way as you are talking to experienced psychologists and consultants who are aces in your sleeve while trying to win at the career game. Don’t let the trolls stop you from crossing this bridge. Here I  mean the trolls in your head, especially. 

Domagoj Blažević
HR Consultant

Pitanje koje se kandidati boje postaviti na razgovoru za posao
A poslodavci moraju imati spreman odgovor na njega

Novi karijerni korak, poslovni pothvat ili zaposlenje novog radnika među najčešćim su procesima u području profesionalnog života svakog pojedinca i tvrtke. Kako bi se ostvario ispravan iskorak u karijeri, potrebno je da kandidati i tvrtke usporede prednosti i nedostatke ostvarivanja poslovne suradnje sa željenim ishodima i mogućnostima koje pojedina prilika nudi.

U kontekstu ostvarivanja radnih odnosa, među prvim susretima pojedinca i tvrtke su intervju ili razgovor za posao. Intervju pruža mogućnost da se kandidat i poslodavac upoznaju te međusobno izmijene važne informacije koje će odlučiti o njihovoj daljnjoj suradnji. Od tog kontakta, koji je samo jedan dio iskustva zapošljavanja potencijalnog zaposlenika, svaka strana stvara percepciju druge uključene strane. 

U ovom koraku, vrlo je važno da obje strane prepoznaju benefite koje ostvarenje odnosa može donijeti. Hoće li kandidat doprinijeti kulturi poduzeća? Hoće li poslodavac pružiti kandidatu dovoljno prostora i prilika za napredak? Kako bi se moglo odgovoriti na navedena pitanja, izuzetno je bitno da kandidat i poslodavac nastoje pružiti relevantne informacije o vlastitim postignućima te istaknuti svoje jake strane. 

No, iako je prepoznavanje međusobnog potencijala te sklad u pogledu željenog smjera razvoja važno za ostvarenje zaposlenja, temelj uspješnog radnog odnosa čini i puno više od toga. 

Osim postojanja poželjnih karakteristika, znanja, vještina, sposobnosti; postojanje odnosa povjerenja koji se od prvog trenutka počinje graditi pokazalo se kao ključan aspekt donošenja odluke o zapošljavanju koji je mnogo puta zanemaren, a uvelike može ojačati odnos dviju uključenih strana te imati utjecaj i na šire socijalne skupine. 

Kako izgraditi povjerenje?

Na izgradnju odnosa povjerenja, između ostalog, snažan utjecaj imaju iskrena i otvorena komunikacija te pokazivanje ranjivosti. Kako iskoristiti navedeno ako želimo izgraditi povjerenje na razgovoru za posao? Što znači otvoreno komunicirati s kandidatom/poslodavcem? To svakako uključuje ne bojati se postaviti pitanja na razgovoru - i to uključuje ona pitanja koja razmatraju potencijalne negativne ishode ili čak pitanja o raskidu suradnje. Razgovor o takvoj temi na intervjuu potaknut sa strane poslodavca pokazuje zrelost u profesionalnom razmišljanju, uzimanje u obzir dugoročnih ciljeva kandidata te znanje o upravljanju rizicima, a što posljedično odaje dojam pripremljenosti za različite poslovne scenarije te spremnost za što uspješnije nošenje s njima. S druge strane, kandidati na razgovoru su rjeđe u prilici postaviti pitanje o potencijalnim ishodima raskida suradnje. 

O kojem točno pitanju se radi?

Sredinom rujna provedena je anketa na našem Talentarium LinkedIn profilu u kojemu smo htjeli provjeriti otvorenost kandidata za postavljanje pitanja: Kako ćete me tretirati ako ovom poslu dođe kraj? 

Skoro 70% ispitanika navelo je temu kao neugodnu te se ne bi usudili postaviti to pitanje poslodavcu, iako ih odgovor zanima i smatraju ga bitnom informacijom za zapošljavanje. Postaviti pitanje usudilo bi se oko 20% ispitanika, dok je samo 10% ispitanika smatralo informaciju nebitnom te ne bi započinjali razgovor o tome.  Zaključujemo kako mnoge kandidate zanima odnos poslodavca prema zaposlenicima s kojima raskinu poslovnu suradnju, ali se na razgovoru za posao neće usuditi probati ostvariti iskrenu i otvorenu komunikaciju te pitati ih za informaciju, iako ju smatraju bitnom. 

Što kad poslodavac ima spreman odgovor?

Postojanje odgovora na pitanje od strane poslodavca o tretmanu prema zaposleniku nakon raskida poslovne suradnje govori mnogo toga o načinu njegova poslovanja te pokazuje spremnost na postojanje alternativnih scenarija, kao i brigu o zaposleniku. S druge strane, ako odgovor na pitanje ne postoji, evidentno je da poslodavac nema plan B. Zašto je bitno imati i moći predstaviti plan B? Time što poslodavac kandidata tj. potencijalnog budućeg zaposlenika upozna s “negativnim” ishodom, no usput mu pokaže da ima spremno rješenje, poslodavac gradi sliku o sebi kod tog pojedinog kandidata, ali posljedično i na tržištu rada te time jača poziciju među konkurencijom i svoj brend.

Koji je odgovor zadovoljavajuć?

Iako je moguće da se odgovor grana u više smjerova i zaposleniku se ponude različite opcije i postupci nakon raskida ugovora, posebno bi se osvrnuli na osiguranje cjelovitog programa zbrinjavanja radnika, tj. outplacement program. On komunicira: možda ćeš prestati raditi za nas, ali pobrinut ćemo se za nastavak tvoje karijere.

Zašto je baš postojanje outplacement programa izvrstan odgovor na pitanje kandidata o prekidu radnog odnosa? Outplacement omogućuje zaposleniku tranziciju u novu radnu okolinu te nastavak karijere onih koji su pred odlaskom iz tvrtke. Ono im također omogućuje da se i u “negativnim” tržišnim okolnostima osjećaju zaštićeno od strane poslodavca. Pozitivan efekt outplacement programa ne uključuje samo zaposlenike koji napuštaju tvrtku, već se preslikava i na one koji ostaju na svojim radnim mjestima. Odnos povjerenja između poslodavca i zaposlenika se produbljuje, ali i otvara vrata i facilitira nastavak suradnje ili nova zapošljavanja u budućim okolnostima koje će to dopustiti. 

Zašto ne pretvoriti naizgled rizično pitanje u svoju konkurentsku prednost i mogućnost za izgradnju dubljih profesionalnih odnosa?! 

Dobro pitanje. Poslodavci, potaknite temu i pokažite koliko cijenite svoje zaposlenike. Kandidati, ne izbjegavajte provjeriti postoji li plan B. 

Za savjete kako uključiti outplacement program, odnosno program zbrinjavanja radnika u svoju poslovnu strategiju, kontaktirajte nas ovdje. 

Martina Pučak
People and Process Specialist

Tips and tricks on how to win the job market race

The labour market may be metaphorically presented as an athletic track where many run their race. in the labour market, just like in the real race, there are always those who are running toward the same goals and career paths. Especially in the IT sector, competitiveness is not unknown, since there are many desirable and well-known tech companies in which IT experts or novices really want to work, and there are also many job positions people from other fields who want to enter the IT industry can compete for.

The question is - how to make yourself a visible and desirable potential employee to a target company? And, in the end, how to stay competitive in the job market in order to make the desired transitions between positions, companies (or even industries) as easy as possible?

Here are some useful tips & tricks that could help you in running your own race:

1) Make them want to read your CV!

In many cases, your CV is the first point of contact with your potential employer. It is not important for your CV to be a long and detailed document (too much is, in fact, counterproductive), but to be filled with vital information about your skills and work experience that are relevant to the position you are applying to. This information can be, and often is, different for different employers, as every one of them requires a specific skill set. So, keep in mind that your CV must be adjusted to a specific employer or position. Also, the difference between organizations is most often made up of values they promote in their work, which is why it's crucial to tailor your cover letter to them and explain why those values are important for you, but only if they really characterize you. If not, it's probably not the organization for you. Values and cultural fit are always crucial when choosing an employee because knowledge matters little if a person is not going to fit into the team.

2) Build an online persona you would like to employ!

Social media, like LinkedIn and GitHub, is often a tool that employers use to source candidates. However, except for making your LinkedIn profile informative, updated and connected to other reputable profiles, be careful and mindful of the information you share online and what your other social media profiles look like. It is not unusual for employers to seek information on potential employees on less formal networks, before deciding to invite them to an interview. Make sure that the person you build on online platforms is presenting you in the best light.

3) Prepare for the interview!

Learn about the company as much as possible. Also, make a little research about the position you are applying for and the way it fits into the organizational structure of the company. Know which benefits you bring and be prepared for tricky or situational questions. Think about practising and try out an interview role-play with others! Of course, that is the most effective with real HR Consultants. Interview role-playing is a part of Talentarium’s Career FFWD program. Why not master the interview before it has even happened in real life? :)

4) Know the industry trends and stay up to date!

This is especially important if you want to enter the IT industry, characterized by rapid change. Depending on the position you are using to enter the tech industry if you aren’t active in it, identify the relevant dynamic trends and get to know them, even on a conceptual basis, before going to the interview. Tech employees would like to hear your thoughts on current topics.

5) Reevaluate your professional goals and values and stick to them.

Don’t lose yourself in searching for the right job or trying to enter some position or industry. Always keep your goals and values in mind, because they determine your job satisfaction. Also, it is important to realize that our personality changes across time, so our values and goals will most probably change also. That's why we evolve - when we reach our goal and set ourselves a new one, we have made a step forward. Thus, our goals are important. If you are struggling with defining them, don’t hesitate to reach out the professional advice on making career decisions. They are vital, we know! :)

6) Come there to network, network, and network!

Attending relevant events or joining professional associations within an industry will certainly make you connected with relevant people and make you look more respectable when applying for jobs. When it comes to having an “in”, it’s important not only what, but also who you know. In addition, being a member of a relevant association may be useful because some of them conduct or sponsor training for their members. This is where we come to another tip.

7) Always level up your skills - in gaming, and in real life.

Constant education is a key factor that makes you a winner of the race, game or life. You can always be more competent than you are now. Acquire a new skill or improve the existing one - take classes, master unfamiliar software, upgrade your time management, leadership, presentation or other skills. Don’t settle for only satisfying a job’s requirements. Instead, level up and try to acquire the extra knowledge or skill. We know that education is sometimes difficult to reconcile with work or private responsibilities, but it is worth the effort because - in the end - the winner takes it all! :)

8) Talk to a career professional, they are there to help you out.

If you see the difficulties in making any of these steps or you already made them all but did not achieve the wanted results, know that there are always career experts who can help you out. Entering such career programs can be really useful if you want to get into the position or the industry for which you still do not have all the necessary skills or knowledge. Yes, still (!), because these programs are aimed to prepare and equip you with all the needed competencies. And, not just that, people have sometimes idealized or distorted images of some positions or industries, so they can be confused or wrong about the skills needed for them. Secure yourself from the gaps and misconceptions and ask for professional advice. In the end, if it kinda scares you and brings you out of the comfort zone - that could be a sign of the right path for you and your personal evolvement.

If you have any questions about staying or becoming competitive in a job market or seek career advice, feel free to reach out to us at any time. If you are looking for professional guidance and think about entering a career program adjusted to your needs, click here. Get more information about how Talentarium Career FFWD consultants can help you in winning the labour market race. The gold is yours! :)

HR Consultant

KORONA KRIZA: Koliki udarac je primilo hrvatsko IT tržište?

Petar Preradović, koronavirus i IT u jednom tekstu?

Stalna na tom svijetu samo mijena jest. - riječi Petra Preradovića koje održavaju bit Heraklitove filozofije, tako jednostavne da zaboravimo kako prožima svaki dio našeg života. Trenutna situacija s korona virusom podsjetila nas je kako se promjene zbivaju čak i onda kada ih sami ne iniciramo, a ipak potrebno je nositi se s njima. I događaju se svima, u svakom kutku ove zemlje, svakoj rasi, vjeri i naciji, svakoj industriji i tvrtki.


Globalno usporavanje kretanja nepovoljno je utjecalo na većinu poslovanja, mnoge suočilo s izazovima održavanja poslova, likvidnosti, pokrivanja troškova, zadržavanja radne snage. Statistički podaci ukazuju na nemogućnost nošenja s ovakvim neočekivanim promjenama za značajan broj tvrtki te suočavanje s otpuštanjem radnika u konačnici. Tako i Hrvatska na razini opće radne populacije, nakon dotadašnjeg višemjesečnog trenda pada stope nezaposlenosti, u ožujku bilježi porast stope nezaposlenosti sa 6,2% u veljači na 6,8% u ožujku (podaci za travanj još uvijek su nedostupni).

Koliko je crno?

Izvještaji HZZ-a pokazuju da ni IT industrija nije imuna na ovakve događaje. Već u ožujku ove godine zamjetan je značajan pad broja zapošljavanja unutar djelatnosti računalnog programiranja i informacijskih uslužnih djelatnosti (34) u odnosu na prethodna dva mjeseca 2020. godine koji su pribrojili svaki više od 100 novozaposlenih. Podaci su jednako nepovoljni i u usporedbi s ožujkom 2019. godine koji je imao čak 5 puta veći broj zapošljavanja (173). Jednak trend zadržava i travanj (49) s prepolovljenim brojem zapošljavanja u odnosu na isti mjesec 2019. godine (103).

Osvrnemo li se na broj novoprijavljenih na Zavod, jasno je kako su trenutne gospodarske okolnosti zaista abrazivne. Ožujak ove godine pokazuje povećanje broja novonezaposlenih izravno iz radnog odnosa (112) nakon trenda pada prva dva mjeseca te u odnosu na stanje u istom mjesecu prošle godine (107). Travanj 2020. demonstrira značajan raskid suradnji u sektoru (170) udvostručivši broj nezaposlenih izravno iz radnog odnosa iz istog mjeseca prošle godine (85) te premašujući vrijednosti ovog pokazatelja iz prethodnih mjeseci ove godine.

Utješniji su brojevi koji pokazuju da su pozitivna kretanja na IT tržištu i dalje prisutna te da postoji potražnja za određenim profilom stručnjaka, iako u znatno manjem opsegu nego ranije.

Jednako loše vijesti vidljive su i po broju zapošljavanja - nakon povećanja trenda zapošljavanja s početka godine i 119 zaposlenih u veljači, ožujak bilježi tek 34 novozaposlena te time nadmašuje vrijednosti ovog pokazatelja iz istog mjeseca prošle godine (173). Ipak, ponovno povećanje broja zapošljavanja u travnju (49) u odnosu na ožujak nešto su optimističniji i pokazuju da su pozitivna kretanja na IT tržištu i dalje prisutna.

Ključno je pitanje stoga tko u ovom trenutku zapošljava, za kojim profilom te u kojem području postoji dodatna potražnja stručnjaka?! A još je važniji odgovor kako to postići ili barem održati postojeći broj radnika i pružiti im mogućnost rada. Iako HZZ-ovi podaci o kretanjima na tržištu nisu dovoljno segmentirani kako bismo imali precizan odgovor na postavljeno pitanje, pojedini podaci upućuju na ključne poteze koje je moguće učiniti te da je uspjehe moguće ostvariti i u ovakvim izazovnim vremenima.

Nije sve stalo

Nekolicina portala zabilježila je ovakva postignuća, a među njima je i uspješna priča Amoda. Naime, ovaj hrvatski startup ne samo da nastavlja poslovanje već i raste priskrbivši vrijednu investiciju od 3 milijuna eura. Otvorene oglase imaju i brojne druge tvrtke kao što su Trikoder, Undabot i ArsFutura. Moguće je izdvojiti dva čimbenika koja se nalaze u pozadini ovih priča i potpomogli su održanju u trenutnim okolnostima, a to su dugoročni projekti i ugovori te poticaj za širenjem slijedom povećane potrebe za digitalizacijom. Primjere pronalazimo i od usmjeravanja na podršku i operativne poslove u slučaju Spana, do novih razvoja i nadogradnji sustava kao što je slučaj s poreznom upravom i online platformama za školstvo. Preusmjeravanje uobičajenih dnevnih aktivnosti na online kanale potaknulo je razvoj i povećanu upotrebu brojnih alata nevezanih za pojedinu industriju koji čine ili podržavaju e-usluge poput sustava za beskontaktno poslovanje i e-račune. Tako je Vizibit postao ključni partner gradu Supetru u transformaciji u Smart City, a ogledni primjerak stiže i iz povećanog fokusa na platforme online tržnica koje su, primjerice, Agriviju pored razvoja jedne od vodećih platformi za upravljanje poljoprivredom donijele novi vrijedni projekt.

Svjetlo na kraju tunela

Osim toga, nove mogućnosti zasigurno su otvorene i pružaju se tvrtkama koje mogu odgovoriti na potrebe Hrvatske pošte koja se odlučila na nabavu antivirusne zaštite u vrijednosti od 2 milijuna kuna, Hrvatskih šuma koje investiraju u ERP sustav s 19 milijuna kuna te HZZ provodi digitalizaciju vrijednu 93,5 milijuna kuna.

S druge strane, postoje i tvrtke unutar industrije koje su se zbog svoje specijalizacije našle pred ogromnim izazovima vezanima uz opstanak uslijed promijenjenih gospodarskih uvjeti. Među njima su zasigurno one čije je poslovanje zaustavljeno, ali i one koje su pronašle izlaz. Rješenje koje su primijenile ponovno nas vraća na Heraklita i značenje promjene. U promjenjivim uvjetima, upravo je promjena ključ koja je pojedinim tvrtkama omogućila nastavak rada. Tako je Galiot Aero napravio zaokret u poslovanju te se od zrakoplovne okrenuo novim mogućnostima u pomorskoj industriji. Dobre vijesti dolaze i svima startupima koji se okreću rješenjima vezanima za koronavirus. Naime, povoljni uvjeti u trenutnim su okolnostima omogućeni kroz besplatno testiranje IoT rješenja na 0G mreži.

Što dalje?!

U Talentariumu smo svjesni da ovakve promjene, bilo pozitivne bilo negativne, prožimaju svaku poru jedne hrvatske IT tvrtke te utječu na odnose među njenim zaposlenicima kao i međusobne odnose kolega, odnose s klijentima i suradnicima. Stoga smo se odlučili u ovakvim okolnostima usmjeriti upravo ondje gdje je to najpotrebnije te biti vjetar u leđa drugima. Zbog toga podršku pružamo tvrtkama koje u ovim trenutcima donose odluke i potreban im je savjet, kao i onima koje se suočavaju s viškom radne snage, pojedincima koji su suočeni s novim karijernim putevima, ali i timovima koji se nalaze u drugačijem okruženju i alate koje koriste prilagođavaju novonastalim uvjetima kako bi i dalje bili konkurentni te osigurali uspješan nastavak profesionalnog puta. Za sva dodatna pitanja, nedoumice i brige, možete nas kontaktirati ovdje, a svim tvrtkama i pojedincima koji su krenuli u nove pobjede želimo uspješan nastavak puta!

HR Consultant

Handling too little work and too many employees [article]

Due to specific circumstances that Covid-19 pandemic has brought to us, most companies are faced with the next economic downturn. Many HR departments are faced with unprecedented challenges and the need to appropriately answer them applying adequate solutions in order to keep the company afloat.

When utilizing available short-term fixes does not deliver positive financial performance for the company, no matter how hard we try, we face difficult decisions such as reducing the labour force. The entire process hinders the professional and personal lives of laid-off individuals. Not only do they change their relationship to the employer and may develop a negative attitude towards it, but this whole situation also affects the company's public image in general. Consequently, it may have an impact on those who stay as well as the company's ability to attract talents once the hiring process will be enabled again.

Even though this step can be rather difficult for the companies and their employees, the implementation of certain practices may alleviate the situation in the interest of both parties.

In order to make sure the company keeps a positive image on the market as well as it’s remaining staff motivated and without fear, employers may invest in an outplacement program. This service provides care for laid-off employees in the process of entering the labour market. Its implementation has several advantages that make it crucial during the change of the company's structure and reduction of its number of employees. It gives former employees the opportunity to start a new professional journey while having the wind at the back from external associates. Participants are guided through discovering new possibilities and prepared for the realization of their best potential in a new environment. Engaging such a program shows that the company truly cares about the person as a human being and preserves a good relationship even during the hard times. It also gives the existing HR department more room for coping with internal changes in procedures and adapting its goals. More importantly, outplacement supports its work by providing a clear framework for the rest of the employees. By sending the message that the company is actively seeking and impacting harsh circumstances, it is reducing their feelings of uncertainty, insecurity and anxiety. Finally, it keeps a company's negative perception on the market low and opens the door for future rehiring or talent acquisition.

The best results come to the fore when a program offers an individual approach with particular directions and activities depending on the interests of the individual. In order to check out tailor-made approach aimed not only at IT companies and their employees but at employees in firms in any other industry giving them the opportunity to discover new possibilities inside and outside the IT world, feel free to contact us here. We will be glad to provide you with more details on the possibilities of using the program according to your needs and circumstances.

HR Consultant

The first step to solving most of your teams’ problems [article]

When discussing the most important features of someone's work, feedback tends to be one of the highest needs regardless of tasks or organizational level for employees worldwide. Firstly, feedback serves employees to achieve their goals and increase their self-efficacy in immediate tasks, but it also has self-esteem-related and social purposes i.e. it helps employees bolster their confidence, ascertain their image of themselves as well as the impression they leave on others (Ashford, Blatt, and VandeWalle, 2003; Wu, Parker, and De Jong, 2014). If the right feedback is given to the right person by the right person, it can lead to greater satisfaction, performance, and greater overall organization success.

Since there is great importance of feedback on the wellbeing of individuals, teams, managers, and organizations in total, it can be seen that a lot of circumstances can go terribly wrong if the process of giving feedback is not appropriate or if the feedback is not total, transparent and relevant . While standard, result-oriented performance appraisals are important so that everyone is on the same page regarding the overall, measurable success, there is more to assessing work performance than checking up on numbers, and there is more to check up on your employees than simply “talking to them”. In this text, we want to address one of the well known but sometimes misunderstood technique called 360-degree feedback survey.

Collecting feedback is not an easy task, and collecting accurate feedback is even more dire one. Although managers are generally adept at discerning the levels of competence of their employees, they still have troubles with differentiating between them, especially if their employees are modest about expressing their knowledge or skills, or if the manager is not that familiar with their work. On the other hand, the employees can more easily compare their work to the work of their peers but sometimes tend to overestimate poorer performance either due to social constraints or different evaluation standards. 360-degree feedback, also known as multi-rater feedback, multi-source feedback, or full-circle appraisal, involves collecting perceptions about a person’s behaviour and the impact of that behaviour from the person’s superiors, direct reports, peers, fellow members of project teams, clients and/or outside associates. This technique, for starters, has a proven track of alleviating the above-mentioned biases (Atkins and Wood, 2003) and subsequently helps your organization in a number of different ways.

Whether or not the 360-degree feedback should be used for performance appraisal is still a burning topic (e.g. Maylett, 2009) where most agree that it is NOT a good way to measure employee performance objectives, nor a way to determine whether an employee is meeting basic job requirements, basic technical or job-specific skills. Instead, it should measure behaviours and competencies, grant feedback on how others perceive an individual employee, and focus more on how the employee affected the work of other employees then on whether the work was accomplished. In this way, it can help the person improve their competencies, and as a result, their job performance.

The proposed primary use of 360-degree feedback, therefore, is to raise awareness of individuals’ strengths and rooms for improvement and to use this data for employee development foremost. This technique proved to elicit tremendous results when paired with systemic coaching and continual training (Luthans and Peterson, 2003). This, of course, can be extended to overall team performance, and it greatly helps managers and/or HR personnel to ensure that critical job-related behaviours are being developed and evaluated. As a further extension, this technique is an excellent addition and could play a major role in achieving a specific business strategy and culture change by clarifying the behaviours that are required to support these initiatives. Once an organization has clarified its strategic direction and determined its business objectives, a 360-degree feedback process can be a key element in refocusing the workforce to attain changed organizational goals through changing their behaviour (Lepsinger and Lucia, 2009).

Based on this and additional scientific research, as well as applied best practises, we have developed our Total Feedback service on 360-degree feedback technique. Generally, once the basic tenets are adopted, the process is simple to imagine but very difficult to conduct, organize and coordinate if you do not have a specialized platform designed for this purpose. Our survey is conducted entirely via online questionnaires so geographical or other spacial restrictions are of no concern for us nor is the large quantity of data that needs to be collected, collated, analyzed and reported.

It is important to know exactly where everyone stands in a company, how others see them, and what you can do to advance the overall performance and harmonious working environment. Getting unambiguous and relevant feedback is a high goal for most employees and leaders alike, and it is especially so in a time of crisis, such as we are facing right now concerning COVID-19. In times when HR and social activities of companies are hindered, and when there is a risk that your employees start feeling insecure or lack feedback, we offer the possibility to assess exactly how your entire team feels about each of its members, what roles they take up in the eyes of others, and what their strengths and opportunities for advancement actually are.

We would be more than glad to share more information about this as our related services which can provide you with a comprehensive toolset not only to weather this crisis but to simultaneously improve your success and come on top. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact us.

HR Consultant

Sources of information:

Ashford, S. J., Blatt, R., & VandeWalle, D. (2003). Reflections on the Looking Glass: A Review of Research on Feedback-Seeking Behavior in Organizations. Journal of Management 29(6) 773–799. doi:10.1016/S0149-2063(03)00079-5

Atkins, P. W. B., & Wood, R. E. (2002). Self- Versus Others’ Ratings As Predictors Of Assessment Center Ratings: Validation Evidence For 360-degree Feedback Programs. Personnel Psychology, 55(4), 871–904. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2002.tb00133.x

Lepsinger, R., & Lucia, A. D. (2009). The art and science of 360-degree feedback. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Luthans, F., & Peterson S. J. (2003). 360-degree Feedback With Systematic Coaching: Empirical Analysis Suggests A Winning Combination. Human Resource Management, 42(3), 243–256. doi: 10.1002/hrm.10083

Maylett, T. (2009). 360-Degree Feedback Revisited: The Transition From Development to Appraisal. Compensation & Benefits Review, 41(5), 52–59. doi:10.1177/0886368709337922

Wu, C., Parker, S. K., & De Jong, J. P. J. (2014) Feedback seeking from peers: a positive strategy for insecurely attached team workers. Human Relations, 67(4). 441-464. doi: 10.1177/0018726713496124

Career FFWD: Should I Stay or Should I Go? [article]

We spend 8 hours a day working. If we count the travel time, we can conclude that we spend a lot of our available day-time at work. Thinking that way, job satisfaction can be viewed as a factor that affects not only our professional success but also our overall life satisfaction.

Furthermore, a time of crisis that we are now facing, challenges many of employees and particularly emphasizes career issues, such as how to remain competitive on the labour market and how to keep a job or find a new one. Those who think ahead may ask themselves questions such as: how to take advantage of this situation to be promoted to a higher position or enter another industry, e.g. the IT industry?

The important note is that all of us are faced with the need to take continued care for our own personal job satisfaction, which is not an immutable variable, but rather the variable that varies across various internal and external characteristics and contexts. How to stay satisfied even when the context changes rapidly and crises as Covid-19 occur?

First of all, it is shown that individuals with an internal locus of control (Hewston, Stroebe, 2003; Rotter, 1975), who believe that they can influence their own life, show higher levels of job satisfaction, greater work performance, and, also, greater work motivation than those with an external locus (Ng, Sorensen, Eby, 2006). So, instead of relying on an external locus of control and attributing reasons for (dis)satisfaction to external factors beyond our control, we need to take care of ourselves and use this situation to our advantage. How is that possible in these difficult times?

The key is in agile adaptation and active care for one's own development and career advancement. Taking things into your own hands will certainly reduce stress, increase satisfaction with your own performance and provide some kind of career advancement, whether it is improving skills for performing your current job or acquiring new ones important for finding another job.

Here we come to career consulting, a major “tool” that supports career advancement. Career consulting is one-on-one counselling and training that helps individuals to set professional goals, identify their own strengths, make the best use of them by integrating them strategically into their own work environment or the labour market. Additionally, such a program is intended to help individuals to develop skills needed for achieving certain career goals or solving any career problem. Furthermore, career consulting includes the acquisition of both theoretical and practical knowledge, which is why it usually consists of a series of interviews, sharing educational materials, training, workshops and exercises intended for career development . Above all, career consulting promotes an active role of a client in the whole process, especially in the goal-setting. Goal-setting represents a collaborative “negotiation” between client and counsellor that encourages the client to work actively on pursuing satisfactory outcomes (Zunker, 2012). The role of a psychologist - counsellor in that part of the process is to provide a client with more detailed insight into his/her own abilities and characteristics, help him to identify the best work environment for him/her and to support him/her in making the best professional decisions, but it is not up to him to make the decision instead of the client. Goal-setting is the fundamental part of a program, which is further upgraded with training depending on the client’s needs. Individual program adaptation means that there is no one-size-fits-all solution because of the fact that each person has his/her own predispositions and interests, which means that other variables are important for his/her satisfaction, motivation and, finally, performance.

If you would like to get your own career guidelines which can help you to improve yourself at your current position, be promoted to a higher one, find a better job for yourself in the IT industry or enter it, here you can find more information about how Talentarium can help you to become “the talented one” in a company. :)

HR Consultant

Sources of information:

Hewstone, M. i Stroebe, W. (2003). Socijalna psihologija. Jastrebarsko: Naklada Slap.

Ng, T. W., Sorensen, K. L. i Eby, L. T. (2006). Locus of control at work: a meta‐ analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior: The International Journal of Industrial, Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Behavior, 27(8), 1057-1087.

Rotter, J. B. (1975). Some problems and misconceptions related to the construct of internal versus external control of reinforcement. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 43(1), 56.

Zunker, V. G. (2012). Career Counseling: A Holistic Approach. Cengage Learning.

The Importance of Appreciation and Gratitude [article]

What can a little gratitude do for you when the whole world seems to be crashing down? A lot as it turns out.

Gratitude can be viewed as both a personality trait or as an emotional state, however, since the trait seems to be at least somewhat trainable (Emmons and McCullough, 2003) and both are good for you, we will be talking about general “gratitude levels”. More specifically, what raising those gratitude levels could do for you, your employees and your company.

The COVID-19 crisis has left many of us feeling lonely and isolated from society and our friends and colleagues. While digital channels of communication are great for keeping us in touch, many of us feel that our social relationships are suffering throughout the periods of social distancing. As with any crisis that unfolds on this scale, our anxiety levels are rising steadily, the world is starting to look a little bleaker and many of us are at increased risk of mental health issues.

Good news is that gratitude research has shown that gratitude can help all of us deal with many of these feelings. Gratitude is one of the greatest antidotes to feelings of loneliness and isolation (Caputo, 2015). It helps us establish new relationships, as well as improves existing ones by showing it (Algoe and Haidt, 2008; Algoe, Haidt and Gable, 2008). Gratitude is also a strong protective factor against feelings of depression (Lambert, Fincham and Stillman, 2011) and helps us not to lose sight of the positive in our life (Watkins,Uhder & Pichinevskiy 2014).

In terms of general organizational benefits, gratitude has been linked with higher employee efficiency, success, productivity, and loyalty (DiFabio, Palazzeschi and Bucci, 2017). More specifically, it has been shown to help your employees feel more comfortable with asking for help and information (Edmondson, 2002) which some might find hard in a fully remote setting, especially during onboarding. Grateful employees also see their colleagues in a more positive light, which helps in strengthening reciprocity, teamwork, and organizational altruism (Dik et al., 2014). One of the big things gratitude does is encouraging organizational citizenship behaviour (DiFabio, Palazzeschi and Bucci, 2017). Organizational citizenship behaviour is shorthand for all the behaviours that are not necessarily essential for getting the job done, but are beneficial to the organization as a whole - such us behaving in line with your company values. And values, by their nature of being a set of shared informal social rules, can be especially tricky to translate from a physical office to a digital one, especially if the change is sudden like it was now.

So, by now you must be thinking: ”Well, they did bother writing all the science journal references… and this does seem to have a lot of confirmed positive effects, how do I get me some of that goodness?”. Firstly, I would like to thank you for recognizing the effort that went into making sure these are science-backed claims and not some made-up self-help semi-philosophy. Secondly, one of the easiest and best-researched ways to raise your gratitude levels is through gratitude journaling (Allen, 2018).

The simple act of taking time to consider all the little things in your life and business that you are grateful for, for whatever reason, and noting them down regularly over a period of time can make you and your company more likely to experience all the goodies above. It really is that simple and it will work with just about any old piece of paper and a pen. However, if you would like to try and implement this as a habit in your company in a more structured way, we got you covered.

APPreciation is a simple web app that can help your team share what they are grateful for with each other. It allows them to give out e-rewards whenever they feel grateful for the way their teammates are behaving, like sharing knowledge, offering their support or just typing out some really great code that makes them feel proud to work alongside them. In this way it allows them to keep track of all the good stuff that is happening, while also making their colleagues feel appreciated.

Why not give it a try if you feel like your company and your employees might benefit from a bit more gratitude in their lives? For more information about getting started click here.

HR Consultant

Sources of information:

Algoe S.B. & Haidt J. (2009) Witnessing excellence in action: the ‘other-praising’ emotions of elevation, gratitude, and admiration, The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4:2, 105-127, DOI: 10.1080/17439760802650519

Algoe, S. B., Haidt, J., & Gable, S. L. (2008). Beyond reciprocity: gratitude and relationships in everyday life. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 8(3), 425–429. https://doi.org/10.1037/1528-3542.8.3.425

Allen, S. (2018). The Science of Gratitude. Conshohocken, PA: John Templeton Fundation.

Caputo, A. (2015). The Relationship Between Gratitude and Loneliness: The Potential Benefits of Gratitude for Promoting Social Bonds. Europe’s Journal of Psychology. 11. 323-334. 10.5964/ejop.v11i2.826.

Di Fabio A., Palazzeschi L. & Bucci O. (2017). Gratitude in Organizations: A Contribution for Healthy Organizational Contexts. Frontiers in Psychology 8, 2025. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02025

Dik, B. J., Duffy, R. D., Allan, B. A., O’Donnell, M. B., Shim, Y., and Steger, M. F. (2014). Purpose and meaning in career development applications. Counsel. Psychol. 43, 558–585. doi: 10.1177/0011000014546872

Edmondson, A. (2002). The local and variegated nature of learning in organizations: a group level perspective. Organ. Sci. 13, 128–146. doi: 10.1287/orsc.

Emmons, R. A., and McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 84, 377. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.84.2.377

Lambert N.M., Fincham F.D. & Stillman T.F. (2012) Gratitude and depressive symptoms: The role of positive reframing and positive emotion, Cognition and Emotion, 26:4, 615-633, DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2011.595393

Watkins, P., Uhder, J. & Pichinevskiy, S. (2014). Grateful recounting enhances subjective well-being: The importance of grateful processing. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 10. 91-98. 10.1080/17439760.2014.927909.

Webinar: Šok i kako se njime nose hrvatske IT tvrtke? [VIDEO]

Welcome to the first Talentarium webinar. We discussed the impact of the coronavirus on the tech market. 💻

We found out how Croatian tech companies are trying to overcome these new challenges and prepare for the crisis 📉

We want to thank our panellists for contributing:

  • Anja Rich, HR Consultant at Oracle
  • Hrvoje Kapetanovic, CEO at Undabot
  • Lovre Bošnjak, Founder at Encode Ltd
  • Matija Matijevac, CEO at MAIDEA
  • Tonči Damjanić, CTO at Bizzon

They have shared their point of view on this situation and how their everyday activities have changed by now. Everything shifted to the online world: customer relations, team support, and even the everyday chitchat that is happening in your community kitchen.

Since this is a global pandemic, you can be sure that everyone is going through the same processes and has similar worries. No one could be prepared, a lot of teams went remote for the first time and now have to learn how to communicate and stay productive.

Watch our webinar and find out how our panellists helped adapt their companies, what they think will happen to the IT sector and how the future of work will look like.