My Name Is Barbara Dinoff — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Barbara Dinoff

Embrace the unexpected. I suppose my parents instilled this trait in me. In the early 1990s, they moved our family from Poland to the U.S. — sight unseen. I cannot imagine how scary that must have been for them to leave their comfort zone, immerse themselves in a new culture and language, and just roll with it.

Although admittedly different and (let’s face it) easier, I often thought about my parent’s journey when I first found myself in uncharted waters after college. As impatient as I was to graduate and join the working world, I was not entirely prepared for what awaited me.

The business communications classes I had taken at the University of Wisconsin-Madison were among my favorites, and I was eager to put my writing skills to work. So I accepted a position at an employment recruiting firm where part of my duties included social media and blogging.

A few months in, I was asked to help source candidates. Then the unexpected happened — I fell in love with recruiting. Being handed a job description and asked to find the perfect person for the role was an exciting challenge.

I loved talking to candidates, hearing their stories, learning about their passions, and working to match people up with the right job.

Then, just as my family had done decades before, my husband and I decided to relocate from Chicago, the place we called home. We were itching to experience something new, something exciting. (And yes, a warmer climate too.) We moved to Austin, TX. Along with a new address came new professional challenges and personal reflection.

I joined a media agency where I recruited talent in-house, as opposed to sourcing candidates for clients at the recruiting firm. The work definitely kept me on my toes, but it also got me thinking about what was next.

I wanted to find a company with a clear purpose, supportive culture, and a team that worked as hard as I did. It seemed like a tall order, and I prepared myself for a lengthy job search. That’s when I saw a LinkedIn posting for a People Success Specialist at Aha!

What happened next felt almost too good to be true. First, I submitted my application and heard back within an hour. From there, I was in awe every step of the way by how accommodating and generous everyone from Aha! was with their time.

I had a road trip planned that week, and the team scheduled my interviews in the evenings, whether I was in a hotel in Flagstaff or a coffee shop in Albuquerque. Instead of generic, guarded answers, Aha! CEO Brian de Haaff was honest about the company’s goals. Nicole Wosje, who leads the People Success team, shared her vision for recruiting at a high-growth software company.  

Kindness, responsiveness, and transparency — if this is how Aha! treats candidates, I couldn’t wait to join as an employee!

Fortunately, I did not have to wait very long. A few weeks after I accepted my offer, I was meeting Aha!s from all over the world at one of our bi-annual onsites. I witnessed first-hand the results of recruiting for a distributed team that puts as much emphasis on candidates’ passions and values as it does their professional competency.

For me, Aha! brings the welcomed unexpected each day. Being remote means going the extra mile to be available to your colleagues across departments and time zones. And with all that comes the amazing culture and support that I was searching for this whole time.  

That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.

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