Our Customer Success Manager, Aina, manages the Ops Team - putting out fires left and right and ensuring the smooth running of all shifts for clients and Syfters alike. In this interview, we find out more about Aina and what makes her tick!
Hi Aina! So, tell me a little about yourself and where you grew up.
I’m from a little island in Norway called Stord (Pop. 18.400), so I guess you can call me a ‘small town girl’. I went on to live in Bergen, Norway where I studied Pedagogy and Work Psychology. After uni, I worked for one of the country's biggest newspapers (Bergens Tidende) before making the move to London. I like having fun and exploring new things. When I’m not working, I like to spend my time running, dancing, singing (although I also sing at work, along with Alexa) and meeting up with friends.
We love it when you sing along to Alexa (most of the time!). What made you decide to make the big move from Norway to London?
It was a very spontaneous decision. Norway is a lovely place, it is truly one of the best countries in the world to live in, and I do miss it alot at times. But I wanted to live ‘the big city life’. So I moved over by myself, not knowing anybody, and started applying for jobs. I consider myself very lucky to have met the people I have, and to have found the opportunities I have, which has made it possible for me to stay here for the last 4 years. I’m not going to say it’s been easy. But with good friends and support I’ve made it work.
Wow! That was very brave of you and we’re so glad you decided to make the move! How many years have you been in the recruitment industry?
My career in the recruitment industry started when I came to London 4 years ago, when I joined a traditional hospitality recruitment agency. In my previous job in Norway, recruiting was also a part of my role.
What was your first ever job?
My first job was working at a road side cafe in my parents hometown back home in Norway. I was 13-14 years old and worked there during holidays. My first job that was more than just a holiday thing was working at a fastfood restaurant making and serving burgers and chips.
What was your previous job before Syft?
Before Syft, I worked for a traditional recruitment agency. I started off as a Bookings Coordinator, then client managing and gained more and more ‘London experience’. After a year, I went on to manage the business on a day-to-day basis.
How was the transition between that job and Syft?
If I’m honest, when leaving my old job I was determined to never set foot in the hospitality recruitment business again. There was a lot about the industry I did not like. But when a friend of mine told me that his friend was setting up a new business called Syft, I was intrigued. A platform where workers decide how much they want to get paid, where they can decide when to work and where to work. They book themselves onto jobs and communicate with clients directly. No timesheets! This was too good to be true. I asked my friend a million questions about how this can possibly work. He didn’t have all of the answers himself, and suggested I’d meet with Jack, Syft's Co Founder & CEO.
For a few months I was working freelance for a few different companies in different sectors. Syft became one of these. In the end, I was asked to come onboard full time. I accepted! It was a refreshing transition to be going into a company that was solving all of the problems I didn’t like about traditional hospitality recruitment.
What does your current job at Syft entail on a day-to-day basis?
Communicating with both clients and workers via phone and email. Going out to see our clients (mostly new clients) to help them get set up, and comfortable using the app. This is, after all, a brand new way for them to book staff, and it is important that clients feel comfortable using the platform and also that they know they have someone to call if they need support.
Of course, there is always a bit of admin to do and the occasional on site visit to events to see our Syfters in action.
What's your favourite part about the job?
I love my colleagues. I think it is great to be a part of such a fun team. It is also very exciting to see how the company is growing and taking shape. What we are doing at the end of the day is helping people, and that is always a great feeling.
What would your advice be to people who want to work in hospitality?
The most important thing is that you want to learn. You are always learning new skills, which you can also do at our Syft training sessions. More specifically, be presentable. always know what the uniform and grooming requirements are, be on time, be pro-active, helpful, listen and learn. A smile goes a long way :) If you nail these you’re bound to go far in the industry.
And finally - what is your go-to karaoke song?
Haha… I have a few… Can I make a list?
- Ironic - Alanis Morrisette
- Just a Girl - No Doubt
.....I would also obviously do the Spice Girls (any song!) but need to find a Ginger, Posh, Baby and Scary to join me.