Dragana Atanasov Poparić, Executive Director, Head Of Serbia, Deputy Head Of Switzerland, At Nicoll Curtin

Hungry For New Challenges

Nicoll Curtin is an international recruitment company that has been specialising in information technology and change since 1999 and has a long tradition of operating on the markets of Switzerland, the UK and Singapore

Companies that are creative, put effort into their employees’ learning and development, offer clear career progression, improved benefits and perks, and which have strong cultural values, are winners ~ Dragana Atanasov Poparić

Could you provide us with an overview of your business? What is particularly important to you?

– It was three years ago that we opened our Serbia office, which is also our Centre of Excellence. From Belgrade we provide support to the global operations of Nicoll Curtin in areas such as recruitment, finance, human resources and administration.

We take pride in the way we operate and provide clients with services. The focus is on the quality and integrity of our work. We prioritise ensuring Nicoll Curtin employees have the best environment, resources and opportunities available to them. If they are happy and satisfied, our clients and candidates will be too.

How do you rely on Swiss examples of good practice? We know the ways in which two markets differ, but they also certainly have a lot in common.

– Belgrade team has predominantly been built and trained in alignment with the high standards of quality of our Swiss business. Zurich and Belgrade team collaborate daily, and it is thus essential that processes and skills are aligned.

The Belgrade office has adopted the efficient use of systems and extreme diligence from our Swiss operations. Having spent eight years working on the Swiss market, I have learnt that speed and efficiency of work can indeed be combined. It isn’t required to compromise on one to ensure the other. This is another really important principle for our Belgrade office.

We focus on quality and always keeping up-todate with tech sector developments, as well as refining our trailblazing approach to recruitment

What we have in common in both countries is openness to innovation and hunger for new challenges. I believe that our business model showcases how fantastically the two professional cultures and talent capacities can merge and mutually benefit.

Nicoll Curtin operates in the tech industry, which is in very high demand. Does this create challenges for you?

– All markets where we operate are currently going through the same challenge, which is a shortage of suitable candidates. This trend will continue, given that the industry is still in the expansion phase. This makes it difficult for companies to attract and retain talent in the current environment, but we work to enable our clients to overcome these challenges. We focus on quality and always keeping up-to-date with tech sector developments, as well as refining our trailblazing approach to recruitment.

The pandemic showed that it is possible to work from home very effectively, which is why many employers and workers are now choosing this option. Are there any other global trends in employment? Is it difficult to retain a good employee?

– Hybrid work is a standard now. Due to the huge competition, companies need to do more to retain good employees. I would say that companies that are creative, put effort into their employees’ learning and development, offer clear career progression, improved benefits and perks, and have strong cultural values – are winners. This is a long checklist for businesses, but the offer of a good salary is no longer the single main reason for someone to stay in their job.

This is why we, at Nicoll Curtin, have been investing in upskilling our people, making them feel both challenged and part of something bigger. We are really proud that many of our senior management personnel joined Nicoll Curtin as trainees and that 75% of our people progress from junior positions within the first six months and are able to develop their careers further, in their direction of choice.

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