Mikel, an executive chef with more than 20 years of experience, found Harri by chance. He had taken a short break from his career to travel, but he is now ready to get back to doing what he loves, and is looking for new opportunities.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO COOKING?
At first, I just went with it because Spain, where I come from, is famous and known for its Michelin-star restaurants. Besides that, I grew up in the countryside with my grandma, spending time there during the weekends and summers. I was basically living in the kitchen; it was the heart of the house. She had a traditional, wood-fired stove and it was my favorite part of the house. My mother learned from her as well.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN THE HOSPITALITY BUSINESS?
I started my career working front-of-the-house when I was 16, and I moved up until I was a GM by age 26. I went on to attend culinary school at Escuela de Hostelería de Barcelona, while working as GM. After completing my degree, I started working in the kitchen and never left.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY?
Making people happy. From the way I cook and also not just cooking for myself, but for others. It is my main secret to being successful and loving what I do. The most important thing for me is to make people feel happy from what they eat.
HOW DID YOU FIND HARRI AND WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO JOIN?
I found Harri randomly while looking online for work. I was directed to Harri. Harri offers executive and management positions from awesome restaurants, unlike Craigslist and LinkedIn. When you look for a job on Harri, you do not feel like you are thrown onto a rollercoaster, where you do not know where you are or where you will end up. Also, on Harri, employers are always quick to respond to job seekers.
HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING OUR 200K MEMBER?
I could not even believe it at first, since I was in Barcelona when Team Harri reach out to me. I thought it was a joke, but then I realized it was really true. I was impressed and wanted to be a part of your feature.
HOW HAS HARRI BEEN USEFUL FOR YOU?
Since I am a new member and just started using Harri, I have found a few possible opportunities that are opening in the summer.
HOW HAVE EMPLOYERS REACTED TO YOUR HARRI PROFILE?
Employers have responded pretty quickly to my profile. It is very different from the way other job sites hire, which tend to be be pretty complicated, like Taleo, for example. When you apply for positions on Taleo, you probably will get a reply three or four weeks later. In contrast, Harri is able to match job seekers’ profiles to jobs that they qualify for and employers react quickly.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF OTHER JOB SITES, COMPARED TO HARRI?
Basically, I only use LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter. I think ZipRecruiter is not as useful because I do not like the way they designed the website; it is a bit more complicated and super impersonal. As for LinkedIn, the basic, free account is not as helpful. I actually got a premium account for the purpose of finding a new job, so that I could access other features, like inMail. But with Harri, these features are free. Harri is also tailored for hospitality professions, where as LinkedIn is more general.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE MOBILE APP?
Because I have been traveling so much, I prefer the mobile app more than the actual website. It is easier and it sends me updates pretty often.
WHAT TYPE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING HOSPITALITY PROFESSIONALS?
Work hard and be patient, and be honest! There are so many chefs that think that after they finish school in two years, they are a chef. It took me three years after culinary school, working in the kitchen with experienced chefs, to actually learn how to cook properly and respect food. You have a base that you learn from school, but the experience is totally different from a restaurant. They have to understand that they will not be chef right away, you have to work at your craft.