Lovoo is with more than 23 million users worldwide quite big and the most popular mobile social network in Germany, but it is also a lot more than that.
Headquartered in Dresden, an important German city half way between Berlin and Prague, Lovoo is growing rapidly, and seeks qualified professionals with different fields of expertise.
Dresden currently features rather negatively in the media, but LOVOO promotes love and openness and wants you to give the city a second chance.
Immigrant Spirit met with Anja Schulz, Head of Human Resources, Franziska Krone, PR & Social Media Manager, and Julia Mademann, Human Resources Assistant over refreshing drinks in their offices in Saxony.
When you want your work to bring people together, you should consider working for Lovoo!
IS: How do you describe Lovoo?
We are operating globally, in a total of six languages.
In Germany alone, we currently have around 10 million users. A long way from when we started our operation in 2011 in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Shortly after our launch we entered Spain, France and UK. Brazil and Italy are our most recent expansions and we continue to grow.
Every day, we have around 50.000 new registrations on our platform.
IS: What makes Lovoo unique in your opinion?
Franziska: That we combine the gamification element of the Match [a game where you rate user pictures to find new chat partners quickly] with a unique special feature, called Live Radar. It shows people around you, and you can easily get in touch with them, send a message and go for a coffee, for example. If you are traveling to another country, you could switch the radar to the country even before you arrive and check who is already there!
Anja: And if you find that a city has a number of interesting people, you may even make travel plans after using the app and visit your new friends!
IS: What is it like to work for LOVOO?
Anja: We have a great work environment. We have around 130 employees right now, with roughly 30 people in our Berlin office and the other 100 in Dresden. We started in 2011, with 2 or 3 people. I was one of the first employees the company had, and I have seen it grow and recruited for its growth since then.
Last year only, we hired around 85 new employees. We are experiencing a very fast growth!
Franziska: We are a rather exotic company. In Dresden we stand out, because most of the start-ups are in Berlin. And in addition, being a Mobile Social Network that is developed in Germany is also pretty unusual.
Anja: We also offer a great environment to our employees, and I would like Julia to share her experience. She has recently joined the company and could talk about it.
Julia: That is right. I am very new here. Last year, I was in the LOVOO trainee program and I have just joined the HR team as an assistant.
It is difficult to compare LOVOO to other companies, as it is so young and dynamic. The average age is below 30, which is a very refreshing experience! Each day offers a completely new challenge. There are new tasks, and new projects all the time.
Franziska: We also have a very close relationship with the founders here. We have 7 founders working in different departments, their doors are always open or you meet in the morning over breakfast.
IS: I have noticed that you actually enter the company through the kitchen, which is very interesting!
Anja: That is right. Where do we spend the most time and get together with our family in our homes? In the kitchen! As Franziska mentioned, we have a company-wide daily breakfast together, with fresh fruit and cereal, and we also use that space for informal meetings and many other gatherings. It is the heart of the company.
We are also very happy with our location in the Dresden city centre. There are so many options for lunch and shopping, various food courts, the train station, so many different things to do near the office.
We also have a penthouse apartment here in Dresden for new employees which are not based in Dresden and we can receive our people from Berlin to exchange knowledge and come to meetings for example.
IS: Talking about the international aspect, do you also employ foreign professionals?
Franziska: We have a great international atmosphere, and we encourage active exchange of experience. We have a live camera transmitting from our office here to Berlin, so people can always have quick chat.
Anja: Different cultures communicate differently. Having internationals around, helps us to understand this cultural diversity which is essential to tailor our product to specific markets. We want to bring people together all over the world – starting right in the company.
IS: Unfortunately Pegida has received a lot of attention lately on international media, and news always point to Dresden as the epicenter of this movement against foreign people. How do you feel about that?
Anja: We monitor the situation carefully and are committed to supporting foreigners in Germany. Fortunately, we do not see a drop in incoming applications.
Dresden is a great city to live in, and we are interested in attracting more and more professionals to work here with us. There are endless possibilities for cultural activities. The surrounding landscape is astonishing, and we are very close to Prague and Berlin. I really enjoy living here.
Franziska: We have two large universities in town, with students from all over the world. Many of them are student employees and may want to continue to work at LOVOO. We encourage people to come, get to know the city and experience Dresden for themselves.
IS: When our international professionals join Lovoo, how will they be received? What would their first day be like?
Anja: We begin very early to include new employees into the company. There is an internal blog, where all employees can get to know more about the company. All events and reunions that are scheduled can be found there, and also if we attended any events or fairs… New employees can feel their way around LOVOO even before starting their first work day.
The first day will start at 10am. I will personally welcome them, show them their work space and give them a “First steps” guide. They will receive a lot of information to get familiar with Lovoo and company culture.
Every person selects their own personal IT setup, something which is loved especially by our developers. They can choose if they want Apple Macbooks or PCs, and we often update our employees’ tools so they can work on the highest level without any technical hindrances!
Internationals who move to Germany can stay in our penthouse with other colleagues till they have found a flat and we also actively help them with official documents and such.
IS: What are the main characteristics that unite all Lovoo employees?
Anja: Everybody loves what they do! Entrepreneurial spirit, a professional and open-minded attitude and always wanting to improve. Being flexible, cosmopolitan, humorous and interested in technology are also crucial for being successful at Lovoo.
Franziska: We are an IT company. We don’t see ourselves only as developers of a social network. We want to be the tech company with the newest developments and inventions. Making the most of technology – especially in mobile.
IS: Can you share a bit about the positions you currently have open, and what you expect from your newest employees?
Anja: We currently have several senior positions to be filled, and we want experienced people to support our growth and bring new ideas.
For example, we are looking for a Senior PR and Communications Manager, who ideally would already have an established contact network and professional experience in an international market.
Franziska: For a PR position, great creative writing and communication skills are essential. Having a positive attitude and a good general understanding of what it means to be a spokesperson for our company helps too.
Anja: We are also looking for Graphic Designers – you see we are open for different professional profiles. For designers having an eye for usability on mobile and a feeling for brand communication is crucial. Lovoo wants to communicate feelings through its corporate image as well as product, designers who can connect the brand to usability are invaluable.
IS: What would be your key message to our readers who are considering applying at Lovoo?
Anja: There are so many things to tell people. We are an international, open-minded company. We have so many ideas, and we encourage creative thinking. We like positive people and want to spread our message of love. We want to promote a company-employee relationship like ours to the world, making it a better place.
Franziska: We always want to be one step ahead of the competition, and we want great people to build that!
Julia: This is such an awesome company – I feel really at home here. I can only say: You have to experience the Lovoo spirit for yourself. Best job ever!
IS: Thank you for this interview. I believe that one day, you will have people working at your company whose parents were connected through Lovoo. And that is very special!
Have you made the same experience?
You are well educated, you have professional experience and most important: You have drive and ambition. You want to make a contribution and build a good career.
But German employers don't value your talent. You apply for job after job. You spent hours editing your CV and cover letter to fit perfectly. And then: You don't even get an answer.
There is a way forward! Chris Pyak and the rest of us at Immigrant Spirit GmbH: We want you to succeed.