The end of a successful recruitment process and
the beginning of a new era

We are happy to announce that our selection process has finally come to an end! We would like to thank everybody who sent us a CV, especially those of you who also came to meet us for an interview. We received a record number of 106 applications, and although exhausted by the time we finally came to a decision about our new colleagues, we were really pleased to meet a lot of interesting people and to learn some truly amazing life and career stories.

It is partly because of this highly positive experience that we decided to try to give back a little and share our experiences with you. We have collected the highlights of the recruitment process in the list below, and we also provide individual feedback to every applicant who requests it. Some of you have already contacted us and received our comments, but if you have not, and you would like to know how we felt about your application, please send us an email to careers[at]arboreus[dot]eu and one of us will be in touch very soon.

So the big Arbo recruitment facts:

We received 106 applications (actually, it was only 105 as someone sent his resume twice)

From 7 countries across 2 continents

We were glad to learn that many applicants were also long time users of the
EU Training platform

23 applicants completed our own psychometric tests through Talentsift and were invited for a personal (or skype) interview

Finally, instead of only one person as we had planned originally, we hired 2 people.

Bea and Áron will join us from September and will be introduced here in the coming weeks. We have been planning for a long time to diversify the team, and with Bea we will be also welcoming aboard our first female colleague and our new tech guru, while Áron will be the first independent film maker in the team and our content expert.

With the new, expanded team we are looking forward to seeing even more creative energies flowing, and will do our best to bring some amazing new features to our platforms which we hope all our users will enjoy having.

Thank you all once again for applying!

 

EU Training new team members

No matter the new team some things never change – Still no coffee for Laci

Online EU Training is looking for a Project Manager

Key Information

- Position: Project Manager of www.eutraining.eu
- Location: Budapest
- Application: Submit your resume and motivation letter to careers@arboreus.eu
- Deadline: 30 June 2014
- Process: selected candidates will go through psychometric testing in July, interviews in July and August, paid trial week for finalists in August (optional), start of employment in September

Who are we?

Arboreus is the operator of Online EU Training (www.eutraining.eu), Europe’s market-leading training platform for candidates in European Union civil service recruitment competitions.

In 2012, Arboreus was awarded the Deloitte Rising Star award for being the 4th fastest growing startup in Central-Eastern Europe.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for a project manager to help drive various product and content development activities for the EU Training platform. If you are highly organised, have a knack for technology and web-based services in particular, are able to work independently with minimal supervision, possess excellent English language skills and like to write as well, we’d like to talk to you.

What competencies are required?

The following competencies are crucial to the role:

- action-orientedness
- developing skills and knowledge
- interpreting and analysing
- planning and organising
- commercial mindset
- quality focus
- drive and determination

Some typical projects you will be working on

Below are some sample projects you might have to manage as Online EU Training’s project manager.

Product Management: Introduction of a new feature on the training platform based on customer requests

This task would include brainstorming how the feature could appear on the site (including drawing a mockup), describing how the feature will work in a way that software developers will understand, testing the new feature when it is ready and then writing a Facebook post introducing it to the users.

Content Development: Introduction of practice materials on the training platform for a new test type used by the EU in the recruitment process

This task would include discussing with experts the recommended format and rationale behind the new test type, creating (in cooperation with field experts) a ‘writer’s guide’ that summarises how such tests are to be written, recruiting and managing potential practice test authors, managing the deliveries of the new tests and uploading them into the platform.

General Project Management

There are countless regular activities involved in running a website, it would be your job to ensure that all of these happen on time:

- regular updates to the blog
- new posts on the Facebook page
- updates to FAQ items, product descriptions and help sections
- newsletter sending
- and many other things

You would have help doing all of the above, but taking ownership of the projects and ensuring their timely delivery are essential.

What do we offer?

This is what we can offer in exchange:

- competitive salary
- flexible working hours and casual working conditions
- office in the coolest part of Budapest (right next to Gozsdu Udvar)
- laptop and All You Can Move card

What is the recruitment process going to be like?

1. Please submit your resume and motivation letter to careers@arboreus.eu by 30 June 2014.

2. Selected candidates will be invited to sit a personality and psychometric test in July.

3. Based on the results of the tests, you will be invited for an interview in July.

4. 3-4 finalists will be offered an optional trial week opportunity with us in August, where you can try yourself in your new role. You will receive a weekly salary
for the trial week.

5. You will start in your new role as of September.

How to become an entrepreneur… in EU affairs

The full transcript and free podcast of the presentation András had given at the European Commission’s DG Enterprise and European Young Entrepreneurs (EYEs) conference entitled “From stagiaire to enterpreneurship” on 18 July 2013. Practical tips, business ideas and EU affairs covered in 29 minutes!

Appeared originally here: http://www.baneth.eu/2013/07/23/how-to-become-an-entrepreneur-in-eu-affairs/

Continue reading

Our ‘Scotland Office’

Arboreus Scotland Field Office

Arboreus Scotland Field Office

I am on a personal visit in Aberdeen, Scotland this week, but life doesn’t stop at Arboreus just because I left ‘the continent’, so right after I arrived, I set up what I call the Arboreus Scotland Field Office (left). A coffee house on the main thoroughfare of Aberdeen serves as the venue for this makeshift office. It is a convenient location: next door is a butcher’s where in a few hours I am going to buy two 15 oz. Aberdeen Angus steak fillets.

The Archibald Simpson pub is also close by, named after the main architect of Aberdeen, designer of, amongst others, Marischal College, currently City Hall, the building that inspired one of Aberdeen’s nicknames: the granite city.

Aberdeen City Hall

Aberdeen City Hall

Aberdeen is also a thriving port and the ‘energy capital’ of the UK, being a major hub in the production of North Sea oil.

Wish to learn more about Aberdeen? I recommend checking out native son crime writer Stuart MacBride‘s Logan Rae detective series, which is set entirely in the granite city.

Aberdeen Beach

Aberdeen Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A typical Arbo presentation

This Thursday, we had the pleasure to give a presentation on EU positions (and the jazz surrounding that) at the Central European University. I believe we can call it a success as more than 60 students turned up – immediately winning us the “most attendees for an extracurricular presentation” and “that presentation for which more students turned up than for Google’s” awards.

We had a great time. Our hosts were very friendly, their planning and execution were topnotch. As usual, Gábor knocked the ball out of the park with his presentation – questions were flowing continuously (except for the gasps for air when we got to the slide on salary…).

András holding a presentation in Luxemburg

While Gabor was presenting at the CEU workshop, Andras shared 14 tips on pursuing a successful career in EU affairs in Luxembourg. He used his brand new favorite of presentation tools, Prezi to deliver his tips to 60+ EU institution trainees.

These events are very important to us – they provide tangible feedback – a commodity we rarely see in an online business. Let’s hope more of the same will follow!

Arboreus Wins Deloitte’s “Rising Star” Award: 4th Fastest Growing Tech Start-up in Central Europe

What started as an idea in 2007 is now a Budapest-based company with a fantastic team of 4 enthusiastic people, helped by some 20 freelancers all over the world (including the UK, USA, Germany, Philippines and beyond), powered by more than 60,000 clients from over 80 countries in the world: Arboreus has just been given Deloitte’s prestigious Rising Star Award as the 4th fastest growing tech start-up in Central Europe.

Arboreus as a Rising Star

Arboreus as a Rising Star

Truth be told: we are extremely proud and honored to have been given this award, based on our 295% growth rate over the past 3 years, purely based on hard work and organic growth without any state, government or EU funds involved. We remember the time when both founders had their full-time day jobs and started working on their online training, e-learning and test preparation idea as a “moonlighting” project. We spoke with each other on the phone probably more than with our spouses, and weekends were often spent on scoping, design reviews, copy writing and project coordination instead of enjoying some nice Belgian beers. Looking back, it was worth every second of our time.

Today, still with a super-efficient team of 4 and based in a single-room office, we stick to our business principles of being lean, keeping an extreme focus on customer satisfaction and user experience, and we always remember those who have inspired and helped us. We would not be here if not for all those who have helped us on the way, especially including Ben, Zoltán, Dávid, Chris and countless other contractors, friends and freelancers.

If you are interested in more details, please get in touch as we are always open to talk about our experience, ideas and projects.

Accepting the award

Is Arbo a rising star?

Tomorrow evening we are attending the award ceremony for the Deloitte Central European Technology Fast 50 contest.

We are competing with other young (established not earlier than 2007) technology companies from 17 Central European countries for a ‘Rising Star’ award. In each year, Deloitte awards the 10 fastest growing Central European startups on the basis of their revenue growth since the date of foundation.

The award process is very secretive and exciting. They only announce award winners on the event itself and there is no leaking of information. A bit like the Oscars, isn’t it? :)

In any event, we are excited about the award as it would be a nice reinforcement of what we have been doing in the past few years…But there is one thing we can guarantee, we will continue with same commitment to our customers and projects with or without an award!

Madrid, London, Budapest

Last Friday Arboreus spread across Europe.

Madrid – Andras even had some time for art.

András held another EPSO Assessment Centre Classroom Training, this time in Madrid. As always, he received great feedback, here is what one of the participants said: “Don’t be shy to say in your website that you have one more costumer that thinks that the classes are really, really great, and everyone should try one before going to the assessment centre. It’s a really helpful simulation.” Thank you for your kind words, Rui and well done, András!!

 

 

London

London – We have to admit, the locale was inspiring.

While András was helping our Spanish friends to fulfill their EPSO career dreams, Gábor and I were in London meeting a friend and business partner, discussing a new project. We came home excited and full of ideas aiming for not less than re-shaping the recruitment industry!

 

 

 

 

Budapest – Arboreus HQ must never be empty.

While we were planning the future, Márton stayed in Budapest to make sure that our customers get the full attention they deserve. There is a returning theme when Gábor is away on business or vacation. The unlucky pattern is that on the exact day when he leaves central Budapest something goes wrong with one of our sites. This time we were lucky though and survived without any major hickup! Knock-knock…

 

 

 

What a bench and a sandbox can teach you about features

New feature – not exactly what customers want

There is a playground close to where we live. We often go there, the kids love it. Couple of days ago, we found a new bench right at the sandbox. How convenient! You can read a book or newspaper and still keep an eye on your kids! Hm, except that it is facing away from the sandbox. No problem, let’s just turn it around. Well, you cannot move it, the legs are set in concrete and fixed to the ground.

I read somewhere that park architects in Sweden do not try to invent where people want to cross the lawn. They just lay the lawn and let people cross it wherever they want. User preference becomes apparent in a few weeks time. Where most people cross, the lawn will be trodden. And this is exactly where you need to pave the way.

A few weeks ago, one of our EU Training customers e-mailed us inquiring if we considered adding the “Login with Facebook” feature to the website. Actually, we have long been considering adding this feature but were not sure how many of our customers would use it. This customer inquiry gave us additional motivation, so we decided to set up a simple test. We placed a dummy “Login with Facebook” button next to our regular login. It was only a test button and all it did was counting the number of clicks and displaying a brief info box (after click) informing users that a test was running. Couple of weeks and a few thousand clicks later, we knew that our customers want this feature. More than 15% of those logging in first clicked on the dummy “Login with Facebook” button, which was a clear sign of demand. The feature is now live and the percentage of users using it is constantly growing.

Adding a new feature is great. But adding something your customers actually want is even better. If your business is online, it is easy to test demand. But what about offline products? Is there a real difference in testability? Could the playground have adopted the Swedish park architects’ method?

User manuals and tutorials? Things of the past!

When was the last time you read the user manual of a newly bought vacuum cleaner? How many times did you watch the on-screen tutorial on how to use an web app?

My guess is: ages ago, if ever.

user experience dont make me think.jpg

Ever since IKEA has created text-free, culture-independent assembly ‘cartoons’, nobody ever wants to read overly detailed and complicated instructions. Also, it is not surprising that so-called ‘Plug & play’ devices, such as DVD players, gaming devices and other appliances are such a success.

This is even more true of the web and digital gadgets: if it’s not intuitive, it sucks. Which user will ever watch a tutorial to start using a product?

The only place such reference materials may still have their place is the ‘Help’ section, but even there, if a user or customer has to resort to looking up this information, you may need to rethink your assumptions about clean and easy design.

There is a famous book on web usability written by Steve Krug whose title tells is all: Don’t make me think!

(p.s.: as we at Arboreus want to walk our talk, we have decided to completely redesign and simplify our websites, so stay tuned in the coming months!)