Meet Jason, our Director of Talent Acquisition

Get to know Jason, and discover what he and his team are looking for when hiring at Choco.
Life at Choco May 15, 2022
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When job hunting, Talent Acquisition Managers are often the first people we meet at an organization. They help us understand what the job entails and give us a sneak peek at what it’s like to work there. Meet Jason Yi, Director of Choco’s Global Talent Acquisition Team. We had the pleasure of chatting with him about what inspired him to join #TeamChoco, the difference between Talent Acquisition and Recruiting, and what he loves most about working at Choco.

But wait, there’s more! Jason and his team are searching for talented and ambitious individuals to join their Talent Acquisition team. Continue reading to discover more about Talent Acquisition and see whether this is the team for you!

Hi Jason, what does Talent Acquisition mean, and how is it different from Recruiting?

Recruitment to me is the end-to-end life cycle of understanding there is an open position within a company and going through the appropriate process to fill the position. Talent Acquisition (TA) is more strategic and collaborative with the business, focusing on the long-term understanding of talent markets, skills, and experience.

At Choco, we’re building five pillars within Human Resources, and TA is one of them. We have five teams under Talent Acquisition which are: Talent Co-ordination and Sourcing, Candidate Experience, Employer Branding, and Events.

What are the main responsibilities of a Talent Acquisition Manager?

As TA managers, our job is to attract the best talent to join our rapidly growing team. At Choco, our Talent Acquisition Managers are responsible for end-to-end recruitment: from the analysis and scoping of a role and a market; to intake calls to identify the key skills and experience needed in a role; to interviewing; providing a great candidate experience and negotiating.

One of the biggest challenges Choco faces as a young company is to scale. To expand with a company and grow, we must also understand the market and tailor an approach that will allow us to be competitive and exciting to the outside world.

For instance, when a new role becomes available, we don’t just look for applicants with the right qualifications and experience. There’s a lot of market research involved. This could mean using tools to better understand where the talent market sits, which companies they are working for, and who else is hiring for these positions in order to be effective with our time. Additionally, salary and compensation benchmarks are important as well and we have frameworks in place to ensure we are competitive with the market.

What inspired you to join #TeamChoco?

Like many others, I began my career at a recruitment agency – a small mom-and-pop shop, working on more specialized roles. Then I moved to a larger, more established global organization and made my jump internally. Prior to joining Choco, I worked as a Second Global Recruiter for a Blockchain incubator consulting organization. In just 18 months, we scaled our organization from 150 to 1,300 employees!

I love working in a fast-paced, high-growth, and somewhat chaotic environment, but I wanted something a little more structured. Choco came along at the perfect time, and since joining Choco in 2019, I’ve had an excellent time here working on a variety of roles, building a team, and processes, among other exciting initiatives.

I also enjoyed the conversations I had with the individuals I spoke with during my interview process. I was particularly inspired when I met our co-founder Dan and ultimately decided that Choco was a good place for me because I believed in the purpose and his vision for the company. There was a sense of humility, a positive team dynamic, and collaboration that I got to experience in the two years since I embarked on my journey at Choco!

How do you envision the future of Choco’s Talent Acquisition?

We’ve recently gained another $111 million in Series B2 funding with a valuation of $1.2 billion – joining the league of unicorn startups in Berlin – and we’re only 4 years young! We’re working on many initiatives to grow our Talent Acquisition function, so we have a lot of exciting new roles and opportunities to apply for!

First, we’re anticipating significant growth over the next 18 months and are looking for new team members! This includes Recruiters, Sourcers, and Coordinators. We’re also looking out for people who are enthusiastic about events, and also those who are passionate about Employer Branding. As we continue to grow our team, we’ll need to make sure that we work well together, and follow best practices to help Choco develop. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions, or are interested in joining us!

What do you like most about working at Choco?

I’d say the people. We have a fantastic team of sharp and energetic people from over 50 countries represented throughout the world striving to make the global food system more sustainable. When the going gets tough, having a supportive team, whether it’s folks I’m working with directly or the larger team, is incredibly motivating.

I’ve been lucky to have had managers who’ve empowered me to do what I have been able to do, and as a leader, I strive to do the same for my team. I believe a big level of ownership is quite important to be successful at Choco. We have some standard processes in place, but otherwise, let’s give each other a lot of autonomy and ownership to tackle challenges in the best ways possible.

“We shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes, they’re a part of life and a part of start-ups as we grow quickly. Weigh out the pros and cons before we execute. Should we make mistakes, let’s fix them together, learn from them, and move on!”

We provide training and development and offer personal growth opportunities. We want to ensure that people remain engaged and curious. When opportunities arise, we want to place them in situations where they can learn new skills, and try things that they’ve never done before.

Choco’s hiring Talent Acquisition Managers. What are three tips you’d like to share with aspiring candidates?

Do your homework. Find out a little more about what we do. Reach out to current Chocorians, ask them why they’re with Choco, and what motivates them. I think it’s quite insightful to hear from people who actually work at the company and not just through online reviews.

Be professional. Especially now that we’re conducting many virtual interviews, do what you would for an in-person interview. Remember to mute your phones and be present.

Ask good and thoughtful questions that reflect your interest in the company. Interviews allow us the chance to get to know you better and for you to learn more about our culture and team! Perhaps there’s something you’d like to know about Choco that isn’t available on the Internet; we'll be happy to answer them!

Finally, if you could be anybody or anything, what would you like to be?

I’d be doing something operational one way or another. I enjoy executing, looking at data, and strategically coming up with ideas to help solve things. Therefore, I consider myself to be someone who can mend things and make them run better than they did before. I could be plumbing for all I care, but it would be in that realm.

Inspired by Jason’s journey, and aspire to grow a company alongside him and his team? We’re hiring Talent Acquisition Managers and more in cities across the United States and Europe. Check out our open roles and apply to Choco now!


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