Mirri Hengeveld’s Story – People Operations Executive at Viva

Wednesday, 11 August, 2021
Mirri Hengeveld - People Operations Executive at Viva

When did you join Viva and what attracted you?

I joined in January 2021, having been advised by my partner to apply for start-ups. I was looking for a company that had a human recruitment process. 

Working for myself for a few years meant that my CV did not immediately look as attractive as it could have, and I wanted to work for a company that would see past that – to start in an entry level role and prove my worth.

I went from thinking “this looked interesting”, to “I definitely want to work here!” after I had my interview with Peter, the COO, and he told me more about the company. At the interview I really felt like I was listened to, and that Peter was interested in me as a whole person. 

Having worked in recruitment for a long time, candidate experience is my hobby horse, and it was nice to be treated in this way. I also remember saying that I could be interested in becoming a developer in the future, and Peter was also happy to test me for that and is open to exploring that in the future.

Tell us about your current role?

I work in the Business Operations team. It became clear within a couple of days of joining that the growth Viva is experiencing means that I could really use my background to help in this area. So very soon, my role became 90% recruitment, and then 10% finance and facilities.

I’m working on accounts reconcilable, facilities management, the office booking system, and day-to-day recruitment tasks. At the moment, I am also setting up a new people system, and have already set up an applicant tracking system.

What’s special about Viva’s culture and values?

In other companies I have worked for, there wasn’t really the assumption of competence which exists here, and I never felt like I could be myself at work. I would very carefully try to tiptoe out of the closet and it would always be met with anything between mild confusion to me feeling like I wish I hadn’t said anything.

At Viva, I’ve never felt that urge to just not say things about myself, or hide an aspect of myself, and that’s been really great. The culture is open and I can just go and talk to anyone, ask any question. There is freedom to work on big projects and take on challenges. As long as you get your work done, you can make improvements all across the company. I have been given the chance to do so much, creating standards and automating processes, and that is really exciting for me.

What advice would you give to someone looking to join the team?

Find out about us! We’re very proud of what we do and it can help you understand where you would fit best and really help you throughout the recruitment process. 

Be aware of what you can bring to the role that may not be specifically asked for in job ads. For example, I had spent a lot of time working remotely, and so this was a very helpful experience.

Be aware that Viva is a start-up company and things move really, really quickly. You’re always putting on different hats, so that’s certainly something you have to enjoy. 

Putting in that extra little bit of effort to push something forward, being happy to help out your colleagues, and being okay to ask for help when you need it are all important aspects of working at Viva.

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