Takeoff Partners was enthusiastic to host Takeoff Academy workshop in Helsinki on December 18th 2018. The event was packed with experts’ speeches and interesting topics concerning the factors that determine startup success. Combining corporate culture, modern recruiting and how to stay healthy made for one thought-provoking afternoon.
installment of the Takeoff Academy took place on December 18th and
this time the topic was “People and company culture as keys to a successful
startup”. Takeoff Academy had three amazing speakers giving presentations about
corporate culture, modern recruiting and how to stay healthy. Each of these topics
is vital for a successful startup.
was kicked off by Jasmiina Niitamo from Vala Group, followed by Henri Nordström
from Jobilla and Joni Jaakkola, the
author of “Väkevä elämä: Viisaampi mieli, vahvempi keho” (Stronger life: A
Wiser Mind, a Stronger Body), closed the show.
The significance of corporate culture and employee experience as competitive factors
speaker of the day was culture hacker Jasmiina Niitamo from Vala Group, an IT-consulting
company with 82 employees. Niitamo’s
main interest and focus is on wellbeing at work and making sure that employees
enjoy working for the company. The very
first point Jasmiina Niitamo made, was that corporate culture exists from day
one. This is due to the fact that when starting a business, the founders
reflect the culture in their company.
Vala Group faced a problem: a shortage
of good job candidates. Naturally, they could’ve just hired a recruiter and
hoped to find the perfect match. However, instead of going down that path, they
actually took a slightly different approach and decided to develop their
operations internally. This meant figuring out who the employees of the company
actually are, what they stand for and what Vala Group’s corporate culture is. These
are all issues that a company needs to resolve before they are able to attract the
best candidates to join them.
for a company to be viewed (by candidates) as an attractive workplace they
first need to improve their own culture and identity so that it matches the
image the company wants to display. The foundations of the corporate culture
need to be solid and if they are not good enough, a few after works and bowling
sessions will not be enough to accomplish a good employee experience.” This is
very important, because if the company and its culture don’t match
expectations, the newly hired person will not just leave, but also spread the
managed to improve employee experience and company culture at Vala Group by
interviewing every employee individually in order to identify the strengths and
weaknesses of the organization. Based on the results they started to focus on
wellbeing at the work place and made that their top priority. Niitamo states
that after focusing on wellbeing and happiness in 2016 the revenue of the
company has grown substantially.
strives for a workplace culture of self-directed employees. This means that
they basically have no managers and that the company lets their employees
decide which projects they join. Additionally, Vala wants to include their
whole workforce in the strategy and decision making processes. Allowing
employees to have certain freedoms and letting them be self-directed also means
that you can’t be afraid of mistakes. When an error occurs, you just need to
learn from it and quickly move on.
Modern recruitment: How to find the right talent for a company
speaker of Takeoff Academy, Henri Nordström, is the CEO of Jobilla, a digital
recruitment company. Jobilla concentrates on finding the best possible
candidates for the jobs and their vision is to be more than just another regular
recruitment company. They utilize data collection to enable them to analyze
their processes and efficiently find out if something is not working.
first thing Henri wanted to point out is that candidates’ expectations have
changed. “Especially young people at the age of 18-27 feel that the processes
around recruitment are outdated and unnecessarily complicated. Earlier the
recruitment market had a surplus of great applicants, but now there is a
problem in finding the most suitable good candidates.”
In the old
days people used to scroll through newspapers to search for jobs, then apply via
letter. The process is still very similar, digitalization being the biggest
difference. Nowadays, the job posts are
collected into places like Glassdoor and Duunitori, and consequently people
don’t just happen to casually browse job posts while drinking their Sunday
done by LinkedIn found that as much as 75 % of candidates are passive and only
25 % are active. Based on a study conducted by Glassdoor you need 14-18
different contact points in order to reach a passive candidate and that takes a
lot of work and ends up being a very confusing process to execute.
Why traditional recruiting doesn’t work with passive candidates – Henri Nordström’s three bottlenecks
candidates that you want don’t browse traditional job hunting websites
doing targeted marketing to direct applicants to your website, people end up
spending a very short time looking at the advert and typically don’t care what
the company says about itself
don’t end up applying – even if they find the job interesting
to Nordström, applying for a job is a very big psychological decision which is
one huge reason for that people tend not to apply. That’s why you should make the
process extremely easy.
Steps to activate and make a connection with
the passive candidate
them – via Google, Facebook or Instagram
them interested – for example via a video
(use something else than “apply for a job with us”) – try curating a short test
on how well a person would fit into the job and company.
Nordström offers three tips to successful recruitment process within a startup:
opening the connection very easy: It should take less than 5 minutes and be
easy to use with a mobile device
recruitment advertising with the development of the image of employee
experience at the company.
How a startup-entrepreneur stays healthy
Academy closed with a presentation from Joni Jaakkola, an author and an
entrepreneur. He is the founder and owner of Optimal Performance and Optimal
Performance Center. He also wrote the book “Väkevä elämä: Viisaampi mieli,
vahvempi keho” (Stronger Life: Wiser Mind, Stronger Body).
states, that you should consider your health and wellbeing at least in the top
3-5 most important things in your life. Think about your wellbeing and health
as an investment that helps you cope with a lot of problems in life without
your body breaking down.
Key points for your health and wellbeing
values – Have you learned how to be healthy as a child or do you have to make
it a new priority now?
your day to day life – If your schedule is overflowing you won’t last for long.
Find a slot in every week to rest and exercise
7-9 hours a night. This is very important since it impacts almost every aspect
of your life
– Keep energy levels balanced and eat within regular intervals
exercise – Aerobic and day to day activity
– 95 % of an adults recovery happens during sleeping
in a healthy way: focus on yourself. If you are in a poor physical state, it
will not benefit anyone. So, with everyone’s best interest at heart, make time
in your schedule to be active and fill in your calendar before someone else
says that you should “take care of yourself the same way that you take care of
brushing your teeth”. Don’t just be active and exercise when you feel good
about doing it: Rather, take a similar approach to it as to brushing your
teeth, you just do it. This will help you stay active even if you don’t always
feel like exercising.
clear action plan about your wellbeing. Often people tend to think about these
issues at a general level and not follow through action wise, that’s why you
should make a specific plan to actually achieve something.
how to live in continuum. Balance is important in everything you do, including
eating, sleeping and everything. Don’t be too strict on yourself; remember to
keep the bigger picture in mind.