Inside The Growth Room of Hanafi Iryadi, Talent Acquisition Specialist (Tech) at foodpanda

Hanafi Iryadi is a Talent Acquisition Specialist (Tech) at foodpanda. Previously Talent Sourcer at Google and a Recruiting Coordinator at Twitter

Hanafi Iryadi, Talent Acquisition Specialist (Tech) at foodpanda

Say "Hi" and connect with Hanafi on LinkedIn

1) To kickstart, could you share about your current role, what the company does and a bit about your career background?

I am currently a Talent Acquisition Specialist at foodpanda, where I source, scout for, and reach out to potential talents in the APAC region, and hire them into foodpanda’s ever-growing teams. foodpanda is a food delivery and quick-commerce platform that is currently present in 12 countries regionally, serving a total of over 400 cities. Partnering with over 115,000 restaurants, we build and grow with the aim of “Bringing good food into your everyday.” I specialise in technical hiring, which sees me interacting largely with tech talents such as software engineers, programmers and developers; among the most important bedrocks of keeping our platform running and growing!

Prior to this, I was a Talent Sourcer at Google, where I similarly specialised in technical hiring and talent scouting most predominantly for our key offices in Singapore and India. Memorably, this was my very first stint in a tech hiring role and despite the steep initial learning curve, I was very happy and fortunate to be exposed to all the technical jargons and their inner workings. My very first full-time role right after graduating was that of a Recruiting Coordinator at Twitter, where I was in charge of interview coordination, analysing talent pipeline data, and optimising the overall candidate experience. Prior to graduating, I also interned in several talent acquisition-related roles across different industries. Overall I would say I’m blessed to have gained exposure to all these roles - I was a business major (in Human Capital Management) back at NUS, and it’s lovely to observe and apply what I learnt in my day-to-day work.

2) Can you describe what your typical workday looks like?

On a typical day, you’ll essentially find me interacting with people a lot, across many shapes and forms! A major chunk of my day is first devoted to scouting for talent, across the myriad of channels online such as LinkedIn and other major portals and groups. I communicate and build relationships with potential talents, through email, phone conversations, and even virtual coffee chats. Another major part of my day is also focused on interviewing our current candidates, while also coaching and preparing them for their interview stages - this is key to ensuring that our candidates succeed, and that they receive the best and most supportive candidate experience possible.

Across the week, I am also involved in team meetings where we discuss priorities, share talent pipelines and data, discuss hiring strategies, and generally just connect and catch-up with one another. The essence of my daily work therefore revolves around a people-centric focus where relationships are key.

3) What does personal growth mean to you?

Personal growth to me means stepping out of one’s comfort zone, or generally just doing something beyond one’s established order of things. I believe that while doing things over and over again leads to skill mastery in the short-term, it eventually stuns personal growth when routine and habit set in. Personal growth can manifest itself in several different ways - perhaps picking up a new skill, navigating a new situation, meeting new people of different kinds whom you’ve never encountered, and so many more. And it can span the quantifiable (scale, monetary gain, time invested, etc.) and the non-quantifiable (emotions, experiences, levels of creativity, etc.). Ultimately personal growth to me is therefore all about the different, the disruptive, and the new.

4) Is there a habit you consciously exercise to ensure you achieve your ideal personal growth?

A personal trait that I am working on (and something I don’t openly admit) is that I am naturally a very anxious person; I even consider this to be one of my biggest personal growth inhibitors. One particular habit that I consciously implement to mitigate my anxiety is to remove speculative and passive language, and instead replace my thoughts with an active voice. For instance, instead of “What if…”, I reframe my thoughts with “This will be done by me, etc.” It’s a deceptively simple habit that takes a lot of presence of mind to keep exercising, especially as personal growth necessarily means putting myself in new, unfamiliar, and at times anxiety-inducing situations or conversations.

Another quirk that I have is that I pace a lot! Whether it’s my room, office, or outside, I will always pace back and forth and in circles whenever I am in thought. I find that pacing helps release any nervous energy, and psychologically removes me from a position of comfort in order to force a state of action. I do enjoy long walks to clear my head, so perhaps the pacing habit is a by-product of that!

And last but not least, I always make sure to network with new people as much as possible. I’m fortunate that my job already revolves around meeting new people, but beyond the scope of work, I try as much as possible to meet new people in my personal interest groups.

5) What does it mean to grow in your career? How do you measure your career growth?

Career growth to me is first having a direction and roadmap of how I see my career panning out, and taking stock of where I am on that roadmap. Once this growth is charted, it illuminates the way forward for the necessary ingredients needed to hit the next milestone and the next - the skills required, the networks to build, the time that needs to be invested, and the experiences/projects to acquire, among others. Measuring that growth might also bring together several components. For me, one of the main indicators that I have grown is if I can concretely point to new projects, experiences, or networks that I have acquired in my job over a period of time.

Essentially, have I done something new or something different in my current role, and have I performed successfully? If I can confidently say Yes, then that’s growth for me. Another way I look at it is if I have been able to expand either the breadth or depth (or both) of my job scope; either gaining deeper mastery in my role, or taking on additional tasks outside of my core role, are all ripe growth opportunities.

6) Aside from your full-time job, is there anything else you like to do outside work?

I’m an avid fan of watches! I research, trade, and collect watches, and at one point was even mulling the pursuit of a watchmaker’s licence. I find watch-collecting to be extremely enriching, and watches themselves to be extraordinary works of art and engineering. I feel the whole discipline of horology is in itself a multi-disciplinary one, bringing together the worlds of the arts, history, business and the sciences.

An added benefit of being in watch-enthusiast circles is certainly the networking! Besides our shared love for watches, we get valuable opportunities to meet people from vastly different backgrounds, and conversations always drift to topics beyond the watches. I never fail to leave group meetings learning something new.

7) Are there any books, podcasts or apps that have been helpful for your growth?

I must sheepishly admit I don’t really have the attention span these days to consume books or podcasts :D

That being said, one particular book I have always found extremely useful was a gift from my father many years ago called Lift Me Up: What a Great Idea! by Ron Kaufman. It is nothing more than a pocket book of inspirational quotes in business and in life. Whenever I feel my motivation or creative energy dwindling, it is the easiest thing to reach for for a quick pick-me-up. I still carry that book around heading into interviews or important meetings, just to get into a positive mindset and steady the nerves: simply turn to any page, read the quote, and hold on to it.

I also organically turn to short snippets or Youtube clips (especially when I pace around or go for walks) and absorb quite a lot of personal growth content in that manner. A few channels I particularly enjoy on Youtube include The Gentlemen’s Gazette as well as Kirby Allison, for tips on style, grooming, confidence and professional etiquette. I also enjoy watching interviews with celebrated individuals; I’ve recently become a huge fan of the fashion designer Tom Ford, as I find his confident presence and aura very inspirational and something to emulate.

8) Any tips you’d like to share for those who are looking to venture into similar roles?

Love people! You need not have the most natural affinity for charming people over, nor be the biggest extrovert in the room (indeed, introverts make some of the best recruiters out there, as this article posits.) But to venture into this role and be somewhat successful, one should love meeting new people, and, perhaps more importantly, love listening to what they have to say. Listening is perhaps the most important part of building a strong relationship.

Another tip would be to always remain open and adaptable. The job market, as well as people’s attitudes towards job needs, priorities, and fulfillment are changing on a dime. It is therefore necessary to always be ready for change and manage it as it comes.

9) Finally, what is the one quote you always live by?

“If it excites you and scares you at the same time, you should probably do it!” Because, it is in the scary and exciting that you will find the biggest growth opportunities and life lessons.


Looking to kickstart your career at fodpanda?

foodpanda is currently hiring actively across many different roles and teams! Visit their careers page and grow with foodpanda today!


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