Ksenia Fedotova – A remote professional services firm – HOPLA Online
Last updated August 28, 2019
I am talking to Ksenia Fedotova of HOPLA online. She is the chief officer of HR and recruitment for HOPLA and they are an outsourcing supplier here in the Philippines, HOPLA specializes in home-based professionals, the emphasis here is on professionals.
This isn’t the Upwork and freelancer of the world, this is still professionalized outsourcing services. So we’re going to talk to her about that and also we talk about Ksenia herself and her experience with outsourcing. I had a really good conversation and I hope you enjoy this episode.
Derek Gallimore: Welcome to the Outsource Accelerator podcast. This is a short format podcast where we explore business and outsourcing mastery. My name is Derek Gallimore and I am really excited to bring you the leading podcast in outsourcing
Derek Gallimore: Hi, and welcome to another episode of the Outsource Accelerator podcast. My name is Derek Gallimore and this is episode number 238. Today I am talking to Ksenia Fedotova of HOPLA online. She is the, chief officer of HR and recruitment for HOPLA and they are an outsourcing a supplier here in the Philippines, but they specialized in home based professionals. Okay. So the emphasis there is on professionals. This isn’t a, the upwork and freelancer of, of the world. This is still professionalized outsourcing services. but their angle is, it’s home based, which of course, has some cost savings but also efficiency enhancements. So we’re going to talk to her about that. But really in this episode we talk about Ksenia herself and her experience with outsourcing, her experience with remote and home based work from her own experience and also her HR background. So I had a really good conversation. and I hope you enjoy, if you’re on any of the show notes, then go to outsourceaccelerator.com/238 enjoy.
Derek Gallimore: Hi and welcome back everybody. Today we are joined by Ksenia Fedotova of HOPLA online. How are you Ksenia?
Ksenia Fedotova: Hi Derek. I’m great. Happy to be here.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, absolutely. And thank you for your time and you are joining us remotely. You’re in Madrid, in Spain and I’m, I’m talking from Manila in the Philippines. it’s, yeah, which we’re obviously going to get to the whole kind of remote thing. So, thank you so much for your time. I suppose initially I’m, it’s good if you can just introduce yourself because you’ll no doubt far better at it than I, your role and what you do at HOPLA.
Ksenia Fedotova: Yes, sure. so as you mentioned it already, my name is Ksenia Fedotova and I’m chief of HR and recruitment at HOPLA online. I started my career journey in a corporate world that, then I moved to another country and, discovered an absolutely different world where I’m happily working in for the last four years. And that’s, the world of remote, hiring remote outsourcing.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah. So, and just a really, I suppose, frame the whole conversation HOPLA online, is a, outsourcing supplier. but you have a particular niche that you deal in. So what, what, what is the sort of angle in terms of HOPLA in it’s provision?
Ksenia Fedotova: Yeah, so HOPLA we work with the home-based professionals, we help small and medium businesses across the globe hire their remote team starting from one person. All our team is home based, so we don’t have an office anywhere in the world. And, yeah, every one, every team member’s enjoying working from their home offices, organizing their time and, yeah, just having fun doing what they love.
Derek Gallimore: And that’s exactly what I want to explore in this conversation because it is really the new world of work, isn’t it really? And you know, this whole thing, you know, we can speak about this, but whether you have involvement with digital nomads and the whole kind of roaming digital economy now, but I suppose let’s rewind a little bit and, explain your original professional involvement and then how you moved over to this, remote, economy.
Ksenia Fedotova: So, myself, I started my career in, in fashion world. I was working for world famous brands like Zara and United Colors of Benetton where, I was doing and yeah, building HR and recruitment functions from scratch. then when I switched to remote world, basically I always continue to do the same. Building teams are looking for the right talents, but in there in the new environment. When I joined HOPLA, we started to build all their HR recruitment piece from scratch. So this was a very exciting experience. We were testing and trialling different bottles of all for doing the interviews of hiring, contracting. And one of the biggest lessons learned was to find people with the right mindset because, right now everyone wants to work remotely, and many people have a little bit a wrong perception about it and everyone admits that if you work remotely, you are laying somewhere on the beach with your laptop working one, two hours a day.
Ksenia Fedotova: And yeah, definitely see this is not something that’s really happens when you work as home based professional because here you have, you have a schedule, you have a task to do, you follow, you follow your schedule and and you need to communicate proactively with your team. There is a lot of planning involved and to find people with the right mindset and with the right understanding that working from home or working remotely is not the same as if you are freelancers or from time to time when you want and from where you want.
Derek Gallimore: Right. And then, so, you know, what did you learn in your remote? you were involved in remote working it, it’s quite a subculture isn’t it? And I, you know, I’ve sort of been on the digital nomad kind of trail and working remotely. and it’s kind of a subculture where everyone in that scene almost knows nothing different, but then you move out of the scene and it’s like no one’s ever heard of it and people can’t really grasp how people can work remotely. What was your experience in the whole thing? Were you traveling around where you were you doing your work from beaches and that kind of cliche conception?
Ksenia Fedotova: I was always more responsible. So I’m always thinking about their Internet connection, which is a key when you work remotely. In my case, being a remote, professional, help me load the course. because of my husband’s, I’m moving a lot. So I lived in Argentina, in Costa Rica in Georgia, in Russia. Now I’m living in Spain and, the, in all these countries I can continue doing the job that I love. in the company that I enjoy working and I think this is them, this is the priceless part because if I would be working somewhere in the office, I would need to leave this work. Looking for something new and working remotely allows me to change my location but continue working. Do what I love.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah. Yeah. And now HOPLA we’re of course deals with more, you know, structured, professionalized homeworkers in the Philippines. But what is your take on the whole digital nomad thing and remote workers, you know, all the, all the kind of kids around Europe do they really put in a full day’s work? You know what I mean? I do. Do you think that there is, when people are working at home, there is an opportunity, we’re not home, but working from the road there is an opportunity to, to maybe lean more towards going to the beach instead of doing that next report?
Ksenia Fedotova: Yeah, I think it’s, it all depends on their, on the attitude and yes, definitely you can work also from the beach and be productive and really deliver all the, all the tasks on time, but you really need to have this, being a home based or like remote professional like being professional in general. You need to understand that no matter where you are, all their, all the work needs to be done on time and with a very high quality. I think this image of a traveling freelancer that’s has, that, that, that many companies have is something that scares clients when they hear for the first time about hiring someone working remotely and they may feel insecure and this is what we are trying to give them as well. This is, security and confidence that people will work in a certain environment where they really will be there, they can action, it will be strong enough to work on the tasks. And, yeah, I, I think, to all the companies who are ready to discover this, remote model of working, it’s really important to have the confidence that, there will be no, no, let’s call it external circumstances that will influence the work deliverables and the quality.
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Derek Gallimore: I’ve just got back from a trip in the US and it was interesting talking to business people over there about, their perception of outsourcing and the potential for outsourcing. And, you know, a lot of the time it came back to their concerns of how do we manage someone if they are in another country, how do we know they are working? And what I’ve found is, you know, the world of business seems quite polarized in the, on one side you’ve got things like Google and you know, like Richard Branson sort of saying, just work at your own pace, free people to, you know, be able to work effectively. Richard Branson is saying, you know, take as much holiday leave as you want. Just get the job done. So there’s, you know, sort of half the management, philosophies suggest just giving people freedom. And then it seems on the other end of the spectrum it’s about, monitoring work. you know, having, severe sort of to do lists and project management, and even monitoring time and keyboard clicks. where do you think that the balance is there, not just for like Philippine remote staff, but for employment generally?
Ksenia Fedotova: I think in general, the, everything starts from hiring from, from these sourcing and recruitment piece. And this is something essential if you find from the very beginning of the right people who don’t need extra management, like, let’s call it kind of micromanagement, who can, control their time and plan their time accordingly, communicate proactively, then these people are perfect seat for Richard Branson model. But unfortunately, human being, a majority of us who we are a bit lazy and sometimes they’re, the human being has a tendency to kind of procrastination. So you need to understand that there still needs to be an element of this work control. And, yeah, it doesn’t matter whether you are in the office because you can, yeah, you can be in the office, you can be told, but you still can do, it can be not in, not very proactive at the same time.
Ksenia Fedotova: right now there is so many tools are in place to, to stay in control of their time. There are some time trackers, which some of their remote workers are not big fans off because they feel like a big brother is watching them. But I find the time tracking tools, a great thing because you can also analyze your productivity. You can see what you spent your time on today. You can analyze what he did, what you, once he didn’t, how to change your, approach to work for tomorrow. So I think, this element of work controls steels should be there, but they’re essential. the essential essential work is done during the recruitment process. So you should look for someone who is ready to manage themselves in court, excited when they are given this freedom to set their own deadlines, timelines and yeah.
Ksenia Fedotova: Cool. Who really wants to manage themselves and who are ready to manage themselves. Because I remember when I just started to work remotely, I was really struggling because I couldn’t understand how to do it, how to plan my day because, I was sitting at home and my brain was just a, instead of working, my brain was just in La, la, la, la, la, la, and I couldn’t concentrate. That’s why we help everyone who joins our team as well. we help them, we explain how to build this work environment for themselves. How to, turn on their mind to this working mode and also how at the end of the day turned it off and still keep this work life balance and don’t be, don’t be working 24/7 because that’s another risk when you’re working from home. You can stop, especially if you love what you do.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, yeah. There’s, there’s sort of a jewel, exposure there, isn’t there. and so you obviously, you know, HOPLA specializes in getting that perfect balance. And as you said, it’s about sending the foundations right from the beginning about the recruitment process. And making sure all of these people are set up to succeed. I mean, what are your, you know, and I want to get you back so we can really deep dive into HOPLA and, and it’s, it’s, value proposition for, for users, but where do you see all this going? Right. You know, and especially you specializing in HR. where do you think the future of employment is going? Do you think everyone’s going to be remote? do you think that the world is going to become increasingly globalized in terms of the recruitment patterns? where do you, where do you see the next kind of 10, 20 years?
Ksenia Fedotova: Well, I believe the future is definitely in a remote working because you definitely don’t need to spend time in their tropical, go to the office to be more productive. however there is still need them in human communication. So I believe that, also makes models when a part of the time you can work from home, part of the time you can stay in the office will still, will still remain popular. also I think they’re outsourcing in general is a great way for many business outsourcing and offshoring is a great way for many businesses to grow and find the right talents without being limited to just one location, one city or one country and a, yeah. Also, I think you are doing an amazing job helping more businesses to discover this option for themselves and learn more about it.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, absolutely. I mean it is, I think we’re both in the same industry but, but a lot of the, effort with new clients is actually convincing them that outsourcing or remote working is viable. And, and you know, it’s a, it’s a huge opportunity once people kind of realize that this, this vast resources out there.
Ksenia Fedotova: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Definitely.
Derek Gallimore: Fantastic. And so thank you so much and Ksenia and if anyone wants to get in touch with you, I want to get you back. We’re going to get you back for another episode so we can, really deep dive into what HOPLA does. so people stay tuned for that. And in the meantime, if anyone wants to get in touch with you or learn more about HOPLA, how can they do that?
Ksenia Fedotova: Yeah, definitely. You can reach out to me by email. It’s [email protected] or just connect on linkedin now we can chat more about, remote hiring.
Derek Gallimore: Fantastic. Thanks so much for your time.
Ksenia Fedotova: Thank you. Derek.
Derek Gallimore: Okay. That was Ksenia Fedotova of HOPLA online. If you want to get in touch with Ksenia or HOPLA, then go to the show notes, which is at outsourceaccelerator.com/238 and as always, if you want to ask us anything, then just dropped an email to [email protected] See you next time.