In this edition of the ‘Getting to know us’ series, we are introducing you to one of the people who makes sure our testers work on interesting projects and our clients can count on talented consultants. That’s obviously a group effort, but Baruch is central to this process. Find out how he makes sure it’s a good match between the tester and the client in his interview.
Hi Baruch, can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Baruch Annink, I recently got married to the love of my life and I live with her and our cat Tony in Amsterdam. I have been working at spriteCloud for 6+ years now.
We want to know more about your background. What was the path you took to get to where you are today?
I studied International Business and Management in Amsterdam and had the chance to do an exchange in Lisbon during that period. After my studies, I lived in Costa Rica, where I volunteered in a local orphanage for six months.
Before I started working at spriteCloud I worked for a bank, which wasn’t ideal for me. I decided to join spriteCloud because I wanted to work at an international organisation where my work made a difference and I wasn’t just a number. Six years later, I can definitely say that was the right choice.
What’s your role at spriteCloud and what do you like the most about it?
I’m spriteCloud’s director of consultancy services, which means I’m negotiating the best deals between spriteCloud, our clients, and our testers. What I like most about it is that there’s a nice balance between working with people from different backgrounds and different cultures, as well as being in the centre of business-critical decisions – these are not limited to sales. I like having varied responsibilities and also chipping in in areas that are traditionally outside of sales.
Part of your role includes finding the right person for a client’s projects. How do you find the ideal match between the skills and interests of a tester and client needs?
From a helicopter view, both flexibility and momentum play a huge part in this choice, but also anticipating what is most popular in the market at a certain point in time. Knowing your client and your staff well is key to creating a successful relationship in the long term. And I mean that for clients and for colleagues.
One very important point is flexibility. The reason for that is that a 100% match between the client and the tester rarely exists. It’s the same when you go job hunting, you rarely fulfil 100% of the criteria listed in the job description on one hand, and on the other one, the job is rarely exactly what you are looking for.
There always is a certain mismatch or element of a role that doesn’t attach to a person or where that person lacks experience. That’s ok. The more important part, and what influences the success rate is how the person handles that. Fortunately, I get to work with people who love the challenge and communicate well in their daily work.
How do you handle the situation when it isn’t a good match? Let’s imagine a tester is not satisfied with an assignment or her/his skill set is not suitable for the client’s assignment?
This is always a difficult situation for multiple stakeholders, taking into account spriteCloud as a business, the tester as an individual and the client itself. Usually, the most unfortunate situations are the ones where solely a single stakeholder is unhappy, which indicates a mismatch. If all stakeholders agree that it’s a mismatch then it’s rather simple but no less unfortunate.
If there’s a mismatch then we need to act very fast and accordingly. We need to speak to all stakeholders and come up with different scenarios to resolve this in the best way possible. Communication is key in these situations, which means keeping everyone in the loop, being transparent and having solution-oriented thinking.
This approach makes the difference between happy stakeholders that have a positive perspective toward future collaborations and a long-lasting grudge, in the worst case. In the end, having the right match is very important in our business and anything less could harm the relationship and reputation between spriteCloud and both the tester and the client.
That’s for sure! Thinking about your career, where do you see yourself in the future? Are there any particular skills you’d like to develop?
I would like to see myself being the head of the consultancy business branch and therefore leading that part of the business. I’m currently acquiring more experience in management, in a broad sense of the term, and working on financial plans. This isn’t my strongest skill so I’m happy to have the occasion to improve that. Sitting on Justin’s throne [our CEO] would be the end goal, so watch out Justin 🙂
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Or what’s a topic you could talk about for hours?
The best football club in the world, it’s so obvious that I’m not even going to say which club…. ;-). I also love food and like to cook a lot! In combination with that, I love to travel and explore new places.