Several characteristics define a successful leader. While some of these qualities are context-dependent, one of the most important and irreplaceable factors is hard work. Stating her views on modern leadership traits, Vlada Liaschenko (Managing Partner of CNA International IT) says, “I want to develop myself in terms of hard skills and practice is the only key to success.”
Vlada completed her education at Taras Shevchenko University from the faculty of Ukrainian and English languages. In addition to her core linguistic courses, Vlada also took classes in psychology and explored and tried her hand in a variety of professional fields including logistics, administration, and translation. However, realizing that her true passion was connecting people with companies, she started working with a US-based product company as an IT recruiter. After gaining experience in 6 different organizations, Vlada realized the need for stability, a globally-recognized name, and the opportunity to make an impact. This led her to join CNA International IT as a Recruitment Lead, where she succeeded and was later promoted to Managing Partner.
In a recent conversation with Mirror Review, Vlada shared her views on leadership along with the associated roles and responsibilities, and the challenging journey of the establishment of the company.
Below are some excerpts from our scintillating conversation.
In your opinion, how have the latest trends influenced the Franchise industry?
I believe that trends from other industries influence the latest trends within the franchise. These trends include building trustful long-term relationships with partners, what social initiatives and projects they support, how to communicate declared values in their activity, and how actions and views of the company correspond to Sustainable Development Goals. Another trend is customer-centricity, where the business focuses on fulfilling its customer’s needs.
These trends have helped the franchise industry to search for reliable partners for different domains. Since new partners become representatives of your brand, it is important that they should comply with business purposes and share the same social vision. This enables the formation of networks with congruent values and practices.
When was CNA International IT Established? What are the various services and solutions offered by the company?
CNA International was established in 1993 as a British franchise with its head office in Birmingham, UK. Later, in 2014, we started the CNA International IT. As a recruitment agency, we mainly deal with IT recruitment for C-level executives and senior specialists. Also, we offer a market analytical product called ‘Salary Survey’ that includes salary charts for specialists from the Ukrainian IT segment, market trends and forecasts, expert comments from our partners, and HR Generalists from product companies.
The company provides on-demand consulting services ranging from the operation of the recruitment agency, various kinds of HR consulting, financial consulting in IT, and several other services. Other specialized services we offer include R&D services, Employer Branding Services, Payroll, and Cross-Culture Program.
Being at the helm of the company, how would you define your primary roles and responsibilities?
My primary responsibilities involve negotiating with the clients (potential as well as existing), initiating and providing learning and development programs for my teams, and recruiting executives at C-level and senior positions. I further assist my team in solving critical non-standard tasks.
How do you ensure motivation and productivity at the workplace? Also, how do you respond to criticism and disagreements?
I always say that productivity can only be achieved alongside optimum work-life balance and good physical/mental health. To ensure high productivity during work, I usually suggest retrospection of day-to-day tasks, preparing a to-do list, and keeping buffer time for unpredicted events like meetings, calls, etc. However, since every individual is different, there is no one-size-fits-all method to ensure productivity and motivation. As for criticism, it’s one of the best ways to develop soft skills and practice staying calm under any circumstances.
As a Franchise leader, what essential characteristics are required to survive in the modern industrial environment?
There are a few cases where we can take advice from the head office including issues such as outstanding situations, business difficulties, and non-standard operational issues. However, the most essential factor to thrive in the modern industrial environment is to understand the latest market trends. This enables any company to provide relevant information to its partners and clients about the ongoing situation.
For example, since the VUCA context was replaced by BANI (brittle-anxious-nonlinear-incomprehensible), people are constantly searching for more reliable information. Another important and critical factor is to constantly keep in touch with our network (franchisees, partners, clients, and business fields) to gain valuable insights.
According to you, what roles are played by franchisors and franchisees in the success of a franchise company? Also, what essential qualities should an ideal franchising candidate possess?
Both franchisors and franchisees are the players on the same team and contribute equally to the company’s success. The franchisors are the ones who build the foundation, and the franchisees help them to grow. It is teamwork and equal efforts of every member that helps the company grow and achieve success. I feel that an ideal candidate should possess qualities including willingness to work more, openness to gather information from us, openness to challenges, and have a creative mindset where he/she is capable of finding solutions in uncertain and unexpected circumstances. Also, buying a franchise means you have a network of those who support you with their many-year-expertise and legal consultations if required.
What upcoming services and solutions we can anticipate from CNA International IT?
To diversify our business, we enhanced our services apart from our core services that include IT recruitment and executive search. In addition to this, we introduced services like HR Consulting and Employer Branding. We also have “CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH COMPANIES JUST FEELS RIGHT TO ME, LIKE GOOD KARMA”.
We started conducting market research projects including Salary Surveys, Company benefits research, and specific niche research. Currently, we are working on implementing a new version of the survey that will soon be introduced in the market. Also, we offer several competitive advantages to franchisees that include constant communication by the CNA International IT team, ample support and educational services, assistance in executive search and irrational recruitment cases, and expert guidance.
Think Tank Note:
“Connecting people with companies just feels right to me, like good karma.”