EMEA Recruitment Podcast podcast

EMEA Recruitment Podcast #147 - A Human-Centered Approach to Recruitment – Nina Grosse

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We were happy to welcome Nina Grosse, Chief People Officer at iDeals, onto the EMEA Recruitment podcast. 

“HR is on a journey to create an exceptional employee experience; we want to use more of the human-centered design approach and methodology, as well as use new platforms, to deliver this experience.” 

Speaking to Paul Toms from just outside Zurich, Switzerland, Nina shares the enjoyment of being present in the exciting stages of her children’s lives and the sights of her morning walk. 

As iDeals is a remote-first company, the value in such actives has been enhanced since COVID. Nina shares insights into one of the core values of the company and how this is put into practice. 

We learn about Nina’s experience in becoming Chief People Officer. She shares some impressive statistics – 30-40% year-on-year growth at iDeals, which offers its product to 700,000 professionals in 120,000 companies. This allows iDeals to stand out amongst competition and attract new talent to the organization every week, which Nina says is refreshing. 

She adds the company is still small enough that the CEO can personally welcome newcomers. The team is also dedicated, learns fast and is aligned with the company’s mission. 

Paul asks Nina about the methods that iDeals uses to attract and retain people and customers. The company uses both a human centered and a systematic approach; it starts with understanding the customer needs, pain-points and the challenges that need to be solved. Using best practice and a cross-functional team to test protypes differentiates iDeals from traditional approaches. 

In Human Resources, iDeals has redesigned the onboarding experience by adopting techniques that map its onboarding journey. This includes identifying pain-points, again, finding out their goals and ambitions, and mapping the feelings felt on a timeframe – all allowing better outcomes and experiences. 

Although some may assume building a culture of this nature is harder to deliver in a remote-first organization, Nina explains culture is muti-dimensional, and core values are deeply rooted and embraced in the organization – care being among them. Nina gives some examples of how this is endorsed in the company, including an unlimited learning development budget. She adds that an evaluation of how someone can complement this culture is considered during the recruitment process.

Nina explains that an effective and efficient recruitment process starts with a detailed job profile, then multiple stages of screening; competency-based assessments, test tasks, case studies and simulations are all used. Through a combination of work from people, as well as business intelligence (BI) and data, feedback can be passed through the different stages to the onboarding phase - eventually used as an input to create an effective development plan.

BI and data is also discussed in terms of how it can assist in HR operations and the impact it has on remote working. 

We learn about Nina’s 24 years of experience living in three different continents and how this has shaped her as a person: growing up in Asia, further education in America and now working in Switzerland. Nina encourages her daughter to explore and travel the world, too. Although now comfortably based in Switzerland, she still has the urge to explore new places. 

The episode ends with the two things that Nina believes would make iDeals more exciting from both a business and people perspective. 


If you’re interested in a specific part of the episode, please use the timestamps below:

02:25: The last thing that made Nina smile
04:20: Activities after COVID-19
06:05: Being the CPO at iDeals
08:30: How iDeals attracts & retains people
12:00: Hiring people remotely
19:40: Creating an efficient & effective recruitment process
25:00: How BI & data is used in the recruitment process
27:30: BI, data & remote working
31:00: How 3 continents have shaped Nina
39:25: Is Switzerland home for Nina?
40:20: Making the business more exciting and enjoyable 

If you’d like to connect with Nina, you can find her on LinkedIn.


EMEA Recruitment is proud to partner with Operation Smile, an international medical charity that provides free surgery to children born with cleft lip and palate. We’re on a mission to create 100 new smiles through this partnership – if you can help raise awareness or donate to this cause, please visit: https://www.operationsmile.org.uk/donate-to-operation-smile/donate-to-operation-smile-emea-recruitment/


The EMEA Recruitment podcast is hosted by Paul Toms and Rose Jinks.

If you’d like to find out more about our specialist recruitment services, including HR recruitment, please visit our website: https://www.emearecruitment.com/ 

We also regularly keep you up to date with what’s happening in the recruitment industry via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/emea-recruitment-limited/ 

To contact Paul, please connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paultoms/ 

Or follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_toms 


Do you have any feedback for us? Please get in touch with Rose: [email protected] 


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