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Saana Rossi, HR Expert, Author, Speaker, Advisor

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Tomi (host) [00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by Allies. Allies is all about bringing growth to the software services industry. It's a platform where hundreds of companies grow together by exchanging talents, projects and best practices. In this podcast, we will bring you the stories of the most successful companies and people in the business. We cover topics from sales, marketing, H.R. and culture to give you ideas for future growth. Hi and welcome to Allies podcasts. I'm your host, Tomi Kaukinen, and together with me today is Saana Rossi. Welcome!

Saana Rossi (Author, speaker, advisor) [00:00:32] Thanks.

Tomi [00:00:33] How are you doing?

Saana [00:00:34] Quite good, quite good. I'm looking forward for the autumn time and having some speech gigs and writing my book and all that. So very excited.

Tomi [00:00:42] We have a lot to cover today. You are doing exactly what and what is your background?

Saana [00:00:49] Oh, good and a quite wide question. I have a background in H.R, communications and recruitment and employer branding as well, basically, 15 years. I have worked in different industries and different companies in different roles. And currently I'm working as an entrepreneur, kind of. I'm writing my second book. It's not about recruitment. Oh yeah.

Tomi [00:01:15] We're going to come to that. We're going to come to you.

Saana [00:01:16] I'm not going to tell you anything.

Tomi [00:01:18] All right. All right.

Saana [00:01:18] It's a good book. But my first one was about recruitment, so I'm really enthusiastic about recruitment and employer branding. I think it's such an important topic, especially nowadays when the situation in work like is what it is. But yeah, besides that, I'm talking on speaking about H.R. recruitment, leadership, culture, meaningfulness of the work, all those areas. And then also I'm sitting in different boards, so kind of like my own hybrid work life.

Tomi [00:01:50] How are you enjoying that?

Saana [00:01:52] Very much. I actually I wouldn't change this to anything. I really love it. I love the freedom. I love that I have my schedule on my own hands and I get to do what I want. I don't have to ask anybody.

Tomi [00:02:06] But before you jumped off to produce, because I know for a fact that it was like one year ago.

Saana [00:02:11] Yeah, a year ago.

Tomi [00:02:11] Like that you were working for a software service company?

Saana [00:02:15] Yes, I was working for a tech company Vincit that you might have heard of before. And I worked there for five years. My latest role was an H.R. director, but I have mainly focused on recruitment and employee branding. And as you all know, like the IT sector is very difficult at the moment, especially in Finland. There's like a lot of lack of like 15- to 20 thousand people in that area. So the recruitment is very difficult, it's very difficult. And you need to like turn every stone on and do all the tricks you can do to attract talent. So it was a good, good school in a way, like doing a recruitment. And I was awarded as a sorry, I was awarded as a recruiter of the year in Finland. Oh, first one, right. 2018. And I was very happy about it because I feel that like the acknowledgment like raises the awareness of recruitment in general and raises the level of recruitment, in a way.

Tomi [00:03:17] Yeah, we're going to cover that actually quite wide. My background, you know, it's in startups and stuff and recruitment is well it's, it's a little bit wild wild west.

Saana [00:03:28] Yeah.

Tomi [00:03:28] And for us it's, you know, we, we, it's so hard to find talent. So in a small startup for us, it's for example, let's say we are, you know, let's say we are three founders and we going to hire the fourth. It's 25% of the company.

Saana [00:03:46] Hmm. Yeah.

Tomi [00:03:47] And you probably sit in like a room like this. So when you put out the ad and you find one candidate that's even remotely good, you take them, and you if it's. If it's okay when you meet with them, you hired them on the spot. Yeah. So we had interviews where we met someone on Friday afternoon and we said, you know, can you start on Monday and just grab them?

Saana [00:04:08] Yeah.

Tomi [00:04:09] So for us, what you are doing as a recruiter, it's. It seems very scientific.

Saana [00:04:15] Hmm. Yeah. Yeah.

Tomi [00:04:19] So. So what? What do you counter with? What's your Argument? We need to go through the whole process.

Saana [00:04:26] Oh, well. That's actually a very good question because I have seen recruitment processes that takes like one day, like one day, not like two weeks, all month or three months. And yet at the same time, there are so many companies that are doing recruitment in very old fashioned way. And the problem is that that when you're in a situation like we are currently, that there's a lack of like or a shortage of talent at the market. You need to be fast. You need to be agile. You need to be like doing everything you can that you can have the talent to your organization.

Tomi [00:05:07] Yeah.

Saana [00:05:08] So like when you are interviewing on Friday and hiring on Monday, well that's just good business and I absolutely recommend to do that. But in order to be able to do that, it means that you need to be very clear about what you're looking for, like what is the role about and what kind of personality do you need? And one of the biggest problems that the companies have is that that they don't specify enough, like the role and the needs that they are looking for. Okay. So I definitely suggest companies to think about more of that, like be very clear about what you're looking for. But because normally like recruiters and leaders and all that are like used to the fact that they can like dictate what they want to have.

Tomi [00:05:55] Yeah, exactly!

Saana [00:05:56] And then you get like this miles Like or kilometres long wishlist about, okay, we want to have this and this and this and this and then you're like creating like this ideal person.

Tomi [00:06:08] That doesn't exist.

Saana [00:06:09] It doesn't exist. Yeah. And during the process, you're probably going to lose a lot of good candidates because nobody is like up to the those criterias.

Tomi [00:06:19] But also I think because of the probably a little bit of the current climate, because of the mass hysteria or reactions in social media or whatever it is, if you even try to be a little bit edgy, you create this huge scandals and stuff. The, the job applications are very, very generic.

Saana [00:06:41] Mhm. Yeah they are. And that's a big problem.

Tomi [00:06:44] It's a problem. Right.

Saana [00:06:45] It is, it is. Because when it's generic it doesn't really like, it doesn't attracts the right kind of talent, it doesn't like focus on the exact focus group that you want to attract and it's, it's boring.

Tomi [00:06:59] Yeah, it's.

Saana [00:07:00] You need, yeah. You need to be edgy and you need to, like, be bold and be brave and be authentic. That is what like attracts. If you think about different kind of brands, you're probably the most interested in the brands that are making statements or are doing something differently or doing the kind of like words or communication that others don't.

Tomi [00:07:23] Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So I mean, if you come to employ your branding, I mean, surely applications are part of employer branding. They must be a huge part.

Saana [00:07:34] Yeah. Yeah, they are. But they're only one part but huge.

Tomi [00:07:38] Yeah. Because if you look at, you know, you go to certain platforms and you look for jobs and it's always the same. Like it's almost tiring to see like team player, you know, oh blah, blah, blah, blah. And you're like, What is this company?

Saana [00:07:50] Yeah. And the key is that if you want to have a team player or team players, you should specify what team player means. What does it mean? Because then it becomes interesting. Okay, what does it mean to us? Because it can mean different things. Yes. Yeah. To employers. Yeah. And like being specific is the thing like if you ask or if you say that, okay, we have great benefits and great company culture. Okay.

Tomi [00:08:17] Well, that doesn't mean anything.

Saana [00:08:17] Yeah, everybody has the same thing. Like, what does that mean? Like, what is look like great benefit to you? It can be something different than what it is to me.

Tomi [00:08:27] Oh, this is. This is so, ugh!

Saana [00:08:28] And I would like to know that. Okay. So is it like good extra health care? Is it like something bonuses or some nice trips to like? Yeah.

Tomi [00:08:39] Remote work?

Saana [00:08:40] Yeah. What is it? What is it?

Tomi [00:08:43] Yeah. It's this. I could talk about this for so long. And, I mean, I remember.

Saana [00:08:48] Yeah, me too.

Tomi [00:08:48] We had these these work applications back when you could actually stretch, stretch it a bit without, you know, people going crazy like now.

Saana [00:08:57] Yeah.

Tomi [00:08:57] Mhm. And we were, we were writing in applications like, you know, we're a small team, we're just five people or six people. We would, we would prefer, if you like, stand up by, you know, this comedian and you like these because then we shared a similar because you sit in a small space.

Saana [00:09:12] Yeah.

Tomi [00:09:13] And you don't want someone who's like totally the opposite.

Saana [00:09:16] Yeah.

Tomi [00:09:18] So what is this culture that everybody's talking about right now? Is that culture fit?

Saana [00:09:24] Well, I, in my opinion, of the cultural fits like term, it's like wrongly used term in a way because usually, like, people don't like it because in their minds it means that, okay, they only want like certain types of people to the company.

Tomi [00:09:41] Yeah.

Saana [00:09:42] And well it's not about that. It's not about okay. That we don't want women or we don't want that ages or like different like nationalities or anything like that. But it's more about like, what is our culture about? Okay, we are like relaxed and humorous people. So it's more beneficial that there is a newcomer who is same.

Tomi [00:10:10] But the atmosphere seems to be like you can't look for it. You need to, you need to, like, include everyone. But yeah, that's how you build a company culture. Is it?

Saana [00:10:18] Yeah! I definitely understand what you mean. I think that there's like, both sides are kind of like true. It's good to, like, question your own ideas about what our company culture is about.

Tomi [00:10:31] True, true.

Saana [00:10:32] And how can we develop it to become, like, better and, and how can we include more people? But at the same time, if you're hiring someone who is very formal to the informal company culture, it's not going to work. So you still need to, like, really know what your company culture is about and be able to communicate it outside.

Tomi [00:10:55] Hmm.

Saana [00:10:55] Yeah. So I say like that.

Tomi [00:10:57] It's very good point.

Saana [00:10:58] Yeah. Both things are true.

Tomi [00:11:01] In your experience when we talk, when you look at like founders and stuff, they tend to be, tend to be quite stubborn and you know, quite a little bit original in a way. They don't listen that much maybe to others.

Saana [00:11:15] Some do. Yeah.

Tomi [00:11:17] So like what is your advice for, for people that going into this role when dealing with ike very stubborn founders that basically just like, okay, okay. And then they don't they just ignore what you're saying.

Saana [00:11:31] Very difficult question. I'm not sure actually if there is an l like good answer to this because it's it's much about personality. But I have experience that whenever you want to influence some person like you need to or make some changes you need to find a person who like the CEO or the found a really appreciate and then go through that way and try to explain this that okay you can't be this stubborn because that company is dying or something.

Tomi [00:12:06] Yeah, exactly.

Saana [00:12:07] This doesn't benefit the company.

Tomi [00:12:09] Okay. Yeah, that's a good strategy. Actually. Find find a confidant.

Saana [00:12:12] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Somebody who the CEO values. Yeah.

Tomi [00:12:16] All right. Okay. So we talked about the bland messaging of, like, job applications and stuff. Yeah, but if we now go to to the software services business here.

Saana [00:12:27] Yeah.

Tomi [00:12:28] Looking at it from outside, you're looking at different companies. And you're looking at how they brand themselves. And Antti Kiukas said the only difference between the software companies is the color of their brand. So what I see is the same, I'm like, okay, there the people are moving, like between these organizations and it's made up of people like how do you differentiate yourself as an employer?

Saana [00:12:58] Yeah.

Tomi [00:12:58] What do you do?

Saana [00:13:00] Unfortunately, well, this is a very adult answer, but you can't. If I'm being very straight, you really can't.

Tomi [00:13:09] Mm hmm.

Saana [00:13:10] Because, like, in the IT sector, every not well, not every, but most of the companies has have like developed their culture to the top notch culture as well as leadership, as well as benefits and salaries and all of that. So they are already in a very high level. So there's not much they can still do to differentiate themselves from the others but still in the IT field, I would still want to see more authentic branding and more authentic communication because that is really something that you can do differently because every company is different. Every company has their own stories and the reason why they're existing and and different kind of future where they're going. So I would hope to see, like hoping to see more diverse, authentic communication and more bold statements.

Tomi [00:14:11] Yes, exactly. Yeah.

Saana [00:14:13] Yeah, like do it differently. And I always say to different companies that if you want to attract talent or attract attention, be more specific about the downsides of your company, because not so many companies are doing that. So and when you are talking about like what what kind of like issues or problems do we have? Because every company has issues and problems, you don't need to hide it. It's more interesting and like.

Tomi [00:14:42] Spicy!

Saana [00:14:42] It's spicy. And for example, in in the recruitment, when you're interviewing people, when you're talking about the problems in the company, it usually attracts trust, like like it creates trust that people will start to trust you because you're able to speak openly and you are not afraid that, okay, what does he or she think about us now, huh? And when the person is hired, they don't have too high expectations about the company because they already know realistically. Okay. What kind of difficulties does this company. Yeah.

Tomi [00:15:20] Also, if you want to. If you want to attract the talent. You. All the companies also have the same offerings, so they offer the same services to everyone. And one way to attract talent is to become a little bit more niche.

Saana [00:15:37] Yeah.

Tomi [00:15:38] So create some kind of, you know, company that is only like you own it, but it's still it's a subsidiary that you own but you still niche on something. What do you think about that kind of strategy? Because I think it's happening.

Saana [00:15:50] It is. It is. And that's good strategy. Definitely. Yeah, I would say go for it.

Tomi [00:15:57] So everyone should just, like, put themselves to pieces and.

Saana [00:16:01] Yeah. Yeah, I think so. Well, not every company, but some companies definitely should do that because when you're offered offering everything to everybody, well, you know, it.

Tomi [00:16:12] Doesn't work anywhere.

Saana [00:16:13] It doesn't work. It doesn't work. Yeah. And still, like, previously we talked, like, more like previously like in year history, we talked more about software companies. Now the software companies have named themselves as tech companies. It's not only software, it's like tech like generally. So that is like the thing like the future that they're going to.

Tomi [00:16:42] Okay. So they are tech companies now.

Saana [00:16:43] Yeah, they're tech companies and software companies, but it's tech companies. And that tells a lot like what you just raised.

Tomi [00:16:50] But it's a bit misleading to me because when I think tech companies, I think like tech companies from like Silicon Valley, you know.

Saana [00:16:57] Yeah, yeah. But it's more like, uh, it's more high.

Tomi [00:17:01] So what about, what about the people who you hire in your, in your previous, you know, job or, or in general, the people who go to the software companies or tech companies. Now, how much do they actually care?

Saana [00:17:17] About what?

Tomi [00:17:18] About the company culture and all this stuff?

Saana [00:17:20] Actually, they do care. They do care a lot. But of course it depends on the individual, uh, because everyone has like different hopes, hopes about the, their future employer. But yeah, they do care about that because like usually people want to work in a company that is good a company. Like you want to have a good leader, you want to have a company that culture works and your colleagues are nice and, and you're able to learn something and you are able to build, uh, products or tools that are amazing. Um, so they do care because the company culture really affects.

Tomi [00:18:03] But how different are the cultures?

Saana [00:18:05] You know, I would say that they are, but not like, not like super different. But there are of course things that are different depending on the company. Yeah.

Tomi [00:18:15] And how much does like geographical location play part here, for example, in Finland?

Saana [00:18:20] I don't know. It's hard to say. I think it plays some part. Not like but still in the IT field or tech field the most companies like have already like developed their culture and workplace very much because they have no other choices. They, they have to do it. Yeah, yeah, they have to do it because the competition is so fierce.

Tomi [00:18:44] Yeah. Because that, that's was also one of the points that I thought about is, you know, it's the growth, the demands for growth within the company in the end leads to this uniformity or conformity of all companies. So they want to grow. So they start a new kind of we do also service design or whatever it is. Then they do that and everybody does that.

Saana [00:19:05] Yeah. Yeah.

Tomi [00:19:06] Should someone just say no, we are actually not going there?

Saana [00:19:09] I think so. I think so. And I'm pretty sure that we are going to see more this kind of like in the future that they are not doing everything for everyone. Yeah.

Tomi [00:19:20] Yeah, exactly. I think there was some growth automation stalker that they also talked about in my Pod with him. And so okay, we're going to see that. But who will have actually the the courage to say no to.

Saana [00:19:36] Paying customers?

Tomi [00:19:38] Paying customers and focusing instead of being like the dominant force in a specific area at the cost of not doing everything? That's a tough call.

Saana [00:19:48] It is. It is. But I'm pretty sure that they are companies that are already thinking about it because they don't have much choice because if the offering is is spread out, like then there's like difficulties, for example, to attract all that talent. And then when you don't attract talent, you're not going to have those kind of projects or whatever you're doing. So and then you're not going to, uh, like give out the things that you want to give out.

Tomi [00:20:19] In terms of employer branding. I mean, it's this probably there is some big changes going on now. People are at least thinking about that.

Saana [00:20:26] Yeah, yeah.

Tomi [00:20:27] Because everybody surely understands that they are called like copies of each other. Yeah, everybody knows. So in terms of employer branding, what would you say are, you know, a couple of significant parts of employer branding? What would you say are the like some key components of employer branding.

Saana [00:20:45] Like currently?

Tomi [00:20:46] Yeah! What affects, you know, your employer branding from if I come from the outside, I look at this, you know, what are the things that affect the most?

Saana [00:20:54] Well, I think that, like, the most like the important thing is that you really need to know your target group, the like people who you are targeting your brand to just like don't targeted to everyone because you are not attracting everyone. So you need to be more specific, like be more specific about everything. If you want to attract JavaScript software developers, be very specific about it. Like think about like what they are interested in, what where they are, what they are doing, what kind of things are they talking about? What is the interesting in their field and then like send your message straight to them. So I think that is like the one thing, yeah that you should definitely do. And then just like I really, I really would love to see the authentic communication.

Tomi [00:21:39] Yeah, yeah.

Saana [00:21:40] Yeah. And like, who is the, like the first company to bring to their website the downsides for the company like because.

Tomi [00:21:48] There's some tips.

Saana [00:21:49] Yeah, yeah. Because companies already have like the benefits like openly on their website.

Tomi [00:21:55] Only benefits.

Saana [00:21:57] Only benefits like we have this and this and this and like twenty different things, but there's not much like info about okay, we are quite poor with the communication or we are quite poor with the leadership or something like that.

Tomi [00:22:12] Yeah, yeah.

Saana [00:22:13] Yeah. I would like to see that.

Tomi [00:22:14] Okay. So we're going back to it authenticity. I mean authenticity always works I would say.

Saana [00:22:19] Yeah, yeah, yeah. It works. And also one thing I would like to mention is that people usually ask me like, what is the quickest way to, like, attract talent? Like, can you like, give me it's just like one easy thing to do to fix it. And I'm also like, always like there is no easy fix like, yeah, like you need to do it strategically and you need to build like a brand in long term. But still, if you want to like attract easily talent, I would say that it's just like open your salaries. Like do do open like salary policy and tell it about like outside of company because salaries are still taboo in in finnish work life. Yeah. The companies that are able to break that taboo are very interesting and and gain attraction. Yeah.

Tomi [00:23:13] But that's a very interesting topic that I know a lot of people have opinions about.

Saana [00:23:16] Yeah.

Tomi [00:23:17] So are you saying that job ads should have the salary? You know?

Saana [00:23:22] Definitely not exactly like the exact salary, but at least salary range. Now. Why not?

Tomi [00:23:30] Interesting.

Saana [00:23:32] Yeah. Yeah. Because usually we ask the candidates to, like, give us your salary request.

Tomi [00:23:39] That's a lose lose.

Saana [00:23:40] Yeah.

Tomi [00:23:41] That because I had a friend call me yesterday. He was applying for a new job and he's changing country. So he went and checked the stats. Like, what's, what's my position. Yeah. And the span for that position was like 5-10 K. Yeah. I was like, okay, that's a little bit difficult. That's pretty wide. Yeah. And he, he was going for the bottom was like. Why are you doing that? Because if you go for the upper range, it's not like they're going to shred your application there. They're probably going to give you a counteroffer, I think.

Saana [00:24:12] Mm hmm.

Tomi [00:24:13] I would assume at least so that you have if you're if they say yes immediately to your low end spectrum, you're going to go think about like I undersold myself.

Saana [00:24:22] Hmm. Yeah, I understand.

Tomi [00:24:24] So like, if you get, what do you do if you put a range there and somebody goes for the top? What does that signal to you as a recruiter?

Saana [00:24:33] Well, I would like to dig in more like why is the salary like on the high end of the range? And are there, like, good? Like like valid?

Tomi [00:24:44] Yeah. Is it merited?

Saana [00:24:45] You know? Yeah. Yeah. Like, is is merited. And just, like, start negotiating. Yeah.

Tomi [00:24:51] But it's not like it's going to go to the shredder.

Saana [00:24:53] I don't think so. No, no, no, definitely not.

Tomi [00:24:56] Because for me, it's also like it can signal two things for me. If I hire someone, it can on the downside be just you know, being a boosted ego. But it can also signal quality like, this person is very, very confident in their skills.

Saana [00:25:12] And the person knows what he or she is worth.

Tomi [00:25:16] Yeah. For me it's interesting.

Saana [00:25:19] Yeah. But of course, you have to be prepared for that, that you will get, like, different kind of people who are like you will have like five people who are like asking 10,000. Yeah. And probably they don't all deserve it. Like they don't have like real like grounds for asking that. Mhm. But you shouldn't be afraid of it.

Tomi [00:25:43] No. No I think so too. I think assertiveness or like this, not aggression but assertiveness in applying. I think it's always good thing. Mhm. I get an advice when I had my first salary negotiation just slightly off topic maybe, from my cousin. I just started working straight out of school in a fund, I was in fund management and I was moving to Finland from Sweden back then and then I called my cousin who was, is executive in a big company and was like, what am I going to do? What are the best strategies for getting my, my salary raised? He said like, okay, so you do it like this. So you go in to the room with your boss and then you say what you want and then you just quiet. You don't say anything. You just sit out until somebody breaks.

Saana [00:26:35] Did you do that?

Tomi [00:26:36] Yeah, I did. And it was the most horrible fifties in my life. So I went to my boss I was like, I need I, I think I made €2,800. This was in 2006. And I said, I want €3,800. I put a huge price on it. And then I was just silent and he was silent and we both sat silent and I saw he's becoming red here and I'm like, Don't break, don't break, don't break. And I got it.

Saana [00:27:03] Oh you got it, that was good!

Tomi [00:27:06] And then I called my cousin. Well, I got that raise.

Saana [00:27:09] Yeah, it worked.

Tomi [00:27:10] And I tried it a couple of times and it always works. But then my cousin told because he, he's telling the story, so people try it on him and he immediate like don't pull that on me.

Saana [00:27:20] Yeah!

Tomi [00:27:22] Though. So in case you try it sometimes, please let us know. Send us on LinkedIn or something. I want to hear about this. We're going to have this silent wage negotiation.

Saana [00:27:32] Yes, some pressure.

Tomi [00:27:35] And don't try it out on me. Yeah, but okay. So I just a lot of small digression here. So salaries in the in the actual job ad are there any negative sides on on the salary in the ads? Are there any downsides of doing that?

Saana [00:27:52] Oh, well, usually companies are afraid that competitors will know the salary like levels that the company has. But I don't think that's so bad. Like, uh, I'm all for the openness and, and usually like industries like, like the companies in the same industry pretty much already know. Yeah. Because they hear about it from their employees and, and all that. So I don't think it's, you should be like so afraid of that.

Tomi [00:28:21] And what is that? Why is there, why is there is negative sentiment around is why are people objecting to this?

Saana [00:28:26] Well, one thing is that they're afraid that if we put the salary range on the job ad, then our like our employees know what kind of salary are we paying through the newcomer? And that might raise some questions and issues. And but that actually that is quite good thing because it forces the company to have the salary discussion inside and see all the levels. Okay.

Tomi [00:28:54] Oh, my God. Yeah, that can open up a Pandora's box.

Saana [00:28:57] Yeah. Yeah, I have seen it. It does do that.

Tomi [00:29:01] Well, you put out this band for a job, and then you have the people in the office who have below this band, and they're going to be like, excuse me?

Saana [00:29:07] Yeah, yeah, but that I think that is like one of the biggest things that people are afraid of it.

Tomi [00:29:15] But it's. I see it happening. It's happening.

Saana [00:29:18] Yeah.

Tomi [00:29:19] Oh, wow. Good God.

Saana [00:29:21] Yeah.

Tomi [00:29:23] Okay, well, that's authentic.

Saana [00:29:25] But I urge to try it. Try it, at least. Then you can see like. Like put to like two quite similar job ads out and but you know the salary range to the other and then see what does it do? Like which ad attracts more cause.

Tomi [00:29:45] Yeah. Yeah, sure. I forgot. You can do ab testing with this stuff too. Yeah. I never thought about doing AB testing with job ads. Yeah, but that's. That's good.

Saana [00:29:52] You actually oh, yeah, you absolutely can. Yeah. And you should try it.

Tomi [00:29:55] Let's say this company now comes out and says, you know, we have this salaries and we are not good in doing that and that. What do you think other companies will think?

Saana [00:30:06] Well, that's brave. At least I would think. I would think that. Well, that's interesting.

Tomi [00:30:11] Yeah, maybe. That's like a low threshold way to diversify yourself a bit.

Saana [00:30:15] Yeah!

Tomi [00:30:16] But that's a very small step still.

Saana [00:30:18] Yeah. Yeah, but I think it's quite easy step to take. It doesn't, like, require any budget to do that.

Tomi [00:30:27] Hmm.

Saana [00:30:28] Yeah. And usually when somebody starts something the other companies are following because they don't have any choice.

Tomi [00:30:36] How much does that happen?

Saana [00:30:36] It happens. It happens.

Tomi [00:30:37] How much do recruiters and these software service companies like spy on each other?

Saana [00:30:42] Oh, very much, yeah. Yeah. They are very well aware what others are doing. Yeah.

Tomi [00:30:48] What is your advice to a junior recruiter?

Saana [00:30:52] Junior recruiter? Well, uhm, i would advise to hire or recruit in different roles like not only like software developer roles, but try to gain experience and knowledge about different roles in the company and change companies. That's a good one because when you see different kind of work environments and different industries, also you're much more like experienced or you gain some experience like doing the recruitment.

Tomi [00:31:24] How often do you think you should change jobs?

Saana [00:31:27] Well, that depends on you, but there's no right answer. It depends on the person.

Tomi [00:31:33] Like because you hear these you hear these stories where people are saying, if you look at someone's CV and, you know, we have one year, one year, one year, two years, one year, one year. If I'm recruiting someone, I'm going to be probably thinking like. Why is this person changing jobs all the time?

Saana [00:31:53] Yeah. Yeah.

Tomi [00:31:54] And then I become a little bit skeptic, like, is this person going to stay with me for more?

Saana [00:31:59] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tomi [00:32:01] What do you think about this?

Saana [00:32:02] Like. Yeah, it's. Of course, it's a valid concern to have. And if it's only like six months or one year, I would be also worried about, like, what? What is she or he wanting and what is there some problems and all that. But but like if somebody has like two years or three years, I think that's about.

Tomi [00:32:23] Yeah, me too.

Saana [00:32:24] It's like, because, for example, I'm the kind of person who would have like, never imagine, imagine to stay over three years in the same company where I was. I worked means it for five years, which was like mind blowing same time. But it was so interesting and it was like growing so fast that everything changed all the time. So that was the thing that attract me. But just like generally, if somebody is two years at the same company, that's fine. That's fine because the work life is so hectic and especially in the IT or tech field, the environment is changing so rapidly. So I just think it's normal.

Tomi [00:33:02] What about the opposite, then? Somebody's been in the same place for 20 years.

Saana [00:33:07] Well.

Tomi [00:33:11] They're comfortable, you know.

Saana [00:33:12] Yeah, well, I don't see as like, such a big problem, because it really comes up with the person. Like, if that. If the person is someone who has, like, changed roles or gained more expertize and widened their knowledge or something like that, and the company has changed like it has grown or whatever. Then, then it's, it's really valid like like 20 years in the same company because people are different. Some someone to have like the safe secure working place and some people want to change it like in every two years or have like different kind of like motivations of different like parts of their life.

Tomi [00:34:00] I just one of one of my acquaintances just quit his current job and started working on his description of the software service company was like, this is the place where developers go to die.

Saana [00:34:17] Nice.

Tomi [00:34:18] That's got a nice reputation.

Saana [00:34:22] Yeah.

Tomi [00:34:23] So what about, what about candidate testing.

Saana [00:34:26] Mhm. Well some, some do that, some don't. Ah. On my opinion. In my opinion I think it's more valid to have some testing than interview questions because yeah. You will probably see like the actual level of, of how they're working and, and what is the level of they're like.

Tomi [00:34:48] But not only like, like if you look at, you know, Myers-Briggs or all these, but but like specific like domain coding development.

Saana [00:34:58] Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, definitely that. But when the market situation is what it is, you should be very careful about that the testing it's not too heavy because you might lose the candidate because if they are having like multiple recruitment processes is going on at the same time, they're probably not going to pick you if your process is way too heavier than the competitor's process.

Tomi [00:35:22] Yeah, that's true. Yeah. But do recruiters think about that?

Saana [00:35:25] Yeah, they do. At least like professional recruiters. They do think about that because it's people's market at the moment. It's not the companies market.

Tomi [00:35:34] Has everybody understood that?

Saana [00:35:36] I think at least in the IT field they have, because the situation has been going on so long. Uh, but other industries are coming like way behind not, not everybody, but for example, the industries that have now like woken up to the situation that, oh my God, we don't have enough people and people are leaving and changing jobs and like the people turnover is too high.

Tomi [00:36:04] Hmm, because like the branding once again or once again the brand as in every business it makes you recession safe when there's a talent shortage. If your brand is really good and you're a really good employer brand, you are going to get the talents.

Saana [00:36:23] Hmm. Yeah, that's so true.

Tomi [00:36:26] So it's like, yeah, so it kind of it's an investment that you really should invest in because when bad times hit.

Saana [00:36:34] Yeah, absolutely.

Tomi [00:36:35] You're going to be just sucking up all the talent.

Saana [00:36:37] Yeah. Yeah. And you can see that happening right now. And that's why even though when you're not, like, actively recruiting, you should, like, focus and put some efforts to employer branding. Absolutely. Because it's a long term. Exactly. It's like a marathon. It's not a sprint. It's a marathon. And you should really, like, start doing it from the day one.

Tomi [00:37:00] Yeah, I totally agree. I mean I mean, companies like Apple, they can they have such a strong brand already so they can probably do a lot of like semi bad stuff for ten years and probably 90% will still buy their stuff.

Saana [00:37:16] Yeah.

Tomi [00:37:16] Because of their brand image. So I think that's a very valuable lesson that people might not think about. Um, Supercell is probably one example of and I think Rovio was one too where everybody wanted to work.

Saana [00:37:29] Yeah.

Tomi [00:37:30] And they just drained the whole market of talent and problem for smaller companies was that when big companies, they're not only attractive, but they also pay more. Mhm. And that's happened to my developers. They've been sucked up. Yeah. They get like huge pay raises and I'm like, I can't compete that. So are some companies actually paying, overpaying?

Saana [00:38:00] Yeah, they are. They are. And that is their way to attract people. But not all people. Like like a really high salary is not the focus point for everyone. Like when the salary is, you know, okay, level or okay plus level, you're quite happy with it. And then other things come like more important, like, like the culture and the products that I have been like developing and all that. So it can attract people who are very motivated about the salary. But for that, like the normal people. When your salary is an okay plus level, that's fine. That's enough.

Tomi [00:38:40] Yeah. So the Maslow, It's fulfilling yourself.

Saana [00:38:43] Yeah, it's fulfilling yourself.

Tomi [00:38:44] So is there anything a company that has not yet rooted itself in these structures, as you mentioned, that can do? And what would that be like? How can you play around a little bit if you're growing?

Saana [00:38:56] They can do multiple different things. But for the benefit of like for the small companies that are your like there's not so much hierarchy in your company, the leader leadership, but the management is very close, the communication is very easy. The role is probably more diverse than in a big company. And when you're hired to that kind of company, you have so much more different possibilities to grow the company and to be part of the development and and same time develop yourself. So I think that is like the one thing that small companies should do more like bring the good stuff out.

Tomi [00:39:39] Yeah.

Saana [00:39:39] And really like small companies, in my opinion, small companies has much more or less to lose than bigger companies. Like yeah. So they should be, like, more bold and more more brave and be really like shaking the industry.

Tomi [00:39:57] It's very true. It's, um. The bigger you are, the more downside you have, and the more angry investors will be at you. Probably

Saana [00:40:04] Yeah, yeah

Tomi [00:40:07] I think we ran out of our 45 minutes. This was Allies podcast, I'm Tomi Kaukinen. Thank you so much!

Saana [00:40:13] Thanks. It was great! Thank you!