“Ajattelin että wow, tällaisiakin työpaikkoja on olemassa”
Kesällä 2020 espoolainen Ville Häkkinen pohti omaa työtilannettaan. Aikaisempi työpaikka, kasvava startupyritys, oli myyty onnistuneesti isommalle suomalaiselle yritykselle, jossa Ville oli viettänyt jo useamman vuoden tuotepuolta kehittäen. Vaikka työnkuva ja tittelikin olivat kunnossa, mielen takana kutkutti ajatus startup-maailmaan palaamisesta. Uuden työn hakeminen ei kuitenkaan tuntunut ykkösasialta Villelle. Työt suuremmassa suomalaisyrityksessä olivat edelleen haastavia, ja työkaveritkin kivoja.
Jokin sai silti Villen pysähtymään tuttavan Linkedin-keskustelussa MeetFrankin nimen kohdalla. “Kiinnostuin MeetFrankin apista ja ajattelin, että miksi en kokeilisi tätä itsekin.”
Algoritmin yhdisti unelmatyöpaikkaan
MeetFrankin lataaminen ja esitietojen täyttäminen sujuivat Villeltä sutjakkaasti.
“Halusin oikeastaan vain nähdä minkälaisia työpaikkoja MeetFrankissa olisi tarjolla oman profiilini osaajille. Mielen takana kutkutti myös pieni ajatus startup-maailmaan ja nopeatempoiseen työhön palaamisesta.”
MeetFrankin rekrytointiappi perustuu algoritmiin, joka yhdistää työnhakijat ja työntekijät toisiinsa ilmoitettujen taitojen perusteella. Algoritmin avulla appi osaa tarjota työnhakijalle sopivimmat avoimet työpaikat.
“MeetFrankin appi tarjosi heti ensimmäisenä Dear Lucyn työpaikkailmoitusta, jossa yritys etsi teknologiajohtajaa tiimiinsä. Tuli heti sellainen tunne, että wow, tänne on pakko hakea. Ilmoitus täytti kaikki omat kriteerit työnkuvasta ja startupmaisesta työpaikasta. Algoritmi toimi siis omalla kohdallani paremmin kuin hyvin.”
Työpaikkailmoituksen kautta Ville sai yhteyden Dear Lucyn rekrytointivastaavaan, jonka kanssa keskustelut työpaikasta alkoivat heti. Elokuussa 2020 Ville aloitti Dear Lucyn kahdeksanhenkisessä tiimissä teknologiajohtajana.
Teknologiajohtajan työssä tärkeintä on jatkuva oppiminen
Teknologiajohtajan työ vaatii Villen mukaan taitoa hallita isojakin kokonaisuuksia sekä sisäistä poltetta oppia jatkuvasti lisää.
“Olin ollut aina kiinnostunut tekniikasta ja siitä, miten asiat toimivat. Ensimmäisen tietokoneeni sain 7-vuotiaana, tähän aikaan huippumodernina pidetyn Commodore 64:n. Kirjoitin ensimmäisen pelini kopioimalla koodiliuskoja aikakauslehdistä ja innostuin jatkuvasti lisää. Sama innostus teknologiaan jatkuu edelleen; yksi harrastuksistani on uusien teknologioiden, kuten älysormusten testaaminen.”
Teknologia vaatiikin Villen mukaan jatkuvan oppimisen mentaliteettia. Teknologiajohtajana olennaisinta on ymmärtää alan uusimmat keksinnöt ja pysyä mukana pulssissa.
“Oppiminen ei koskaan pääty, vaan sitä tekee huomaamattaankin työssään. Esimerkiksi Dear Lucy auttaa myyntitiimejä oppimaan omasta työstään datan avulla. Kehitämme palvelua, jonka kautta myyjät pääsevät kehittämään omaa työtänsä ja oppimaan aikaisemmasta.”
Dear Lucyssä työskentelemistä Ville kutsuu “yhdeksi parhaista jutuista koskaan”.
“Teknologian parissa työskenteleminen on minulle se juttu ja Dear Lucylla pääsen jatkuvasti haastamaan omia taitojani. En ole koskaan oppinut näin nopealla tahdilla uutta, mitä olen oppinut Dear Lucyn tiimissä. MeetFrankin lataaminen taisi olla itselleni yksi elämäni parhaita päätöksiä.”
Lentokentän ja ydinvoimalan kautta digitaaliseksi suunnittelijaksi
Ennen nykyistä työpaikkaansa digitaalisena suunnittelijana Fondionilla Sid kerrytti työkokemusta yllättävistäkin paikoista; ydinvoimalasta, Helsingin keskustassa vartijana, tehtaassa, laivan kansimiehenä ja lentokentän siivoojana.
“Olen arvostanut kaikkea työtä mitä olen tehnyt, en usko huonon työn termiin. Kokemusteni kautta olen nähny niin paljon erilaisia ihmisiä ja ammatteja, että moni ei uskoisi. Tämä ymmärrys taas auttaa minua nykyisessä työssäni suunnittelemaan entistä parempia käyttöliittymiä kaikenlaisille ihmisille, myös niille joita ei arjessaan tapaa.”
“Olin aina halunnut työskennellä teollisena muotoilijana tai arkkitehtina, mutta kouluun päästyäni tajusin miten paljon digitaalinen ympäristö kiinnosti minua. Tietokone mahdollistaa tekemisen ihan eri mittakaavalla.”
Unelmatyö löytyi sattumalta
MeetFrankiin Sid törmäsi Linkedinissä, kun alkoi pohtimaan tulevaisuuden työhaaveitansa. Mielessä pysyi ajatus tiimistä, jossa pääsisi kehittämään tuotetta alusta saakka omien taitojensa kautta. MeetFrankiin Sid liittyi kokeillaakseen onneaan – ja se löytyi nopeasti.
“MeetFrank tekee työnhausta automaattista. Latasin apin, ilmoitin omia tietojani bottiin ja algoritmi osasikin pingata minulle heti Fondionin avoimen työpaikkahaun.”
MeetFrankin rekrytointiappi perustuu algoritmiin, joka yhdistää työnhakijat ja työntekijät toisiinsa ilmoitettujen taitojen perusteella. Algoritmin avulla appi osaa tarjota työnhakijalle sopivimmat avoimet työpaikat.
“Fondionin paikasta tuli heti sellainen olo, että tänne pitää hakea. Siinä ilmoituksessa mainittiin oikeastaan kaikki mitä etsinkin – käyttöliittymäsuunnittelua, tuotekehitystä ja pieni, intensiivinen tiimi.”
Sidin mukaan parasta työnhaussa oli se, ettei haun aloittamiseen tarvinnut valmista CV:tä tai edes koko omaa nimeään. Keskustelu potentiaalisen työnantajan kanssa oli myös helppo aloittaa. “Anonyymius ja mahdollisuus kysyä kysymyksiä avoimesta paikasta tekivät rekrytointiprosessista helpompaa ja nopeampaa, ja samalla myös aidosti työnhakijaa arvostavaa.”
Digitaalisena suunnittelija pääsee ratkomaan ongelmia päivittäin
Fondionilla on tällä hetkellä 12 tiimiläistä, jotka ovat rakentaneet tiimihengestä välittömän ja joustavan. Fondionissa Sidin mielestä parasta on juuri “työhön liittyvä ongelmanratkaisu, joka ylläpitää kipinää pitää yllä myös työhöni liittyvä ongelmanratkaisu. Käyttöliittymiin liittyvät ovat niin monimutkaisia ja monitahoisia, että välillä ratkaisujen löytäminen tuntuu ylitsepääsemättömiltä. Ja sitten kuitenkin se ratkaisu löytyy jostain. Jatkuva itsensä voittaminen pitää minut edelleen tässä työssä”.
The recent business developments around Pipedrive showed how rewarding share options can be. The company reached unicorn status, which became extremely rewarding for its longtime employees – who also happened to be the shareholders.
Imagine sharing the company’s success, as it grows bigger and its shares become more valuable.
Is this big payday just a fairytale? How do share options work? What is the main benefit of it?
Talking about unicorns, the most successful Lithuanian start-up Vinted gladly agreed to explain how the share options function in real life. They have rather good insights on the matter, as Vinted’s employees have the opportunity to enjoy this motivational benefit.
Let’s imagine that you have a new employee. How would you explain step-by-step how Vinted’s share options work? As simply put as possible.
Share options give employees an opportunity to buy company shares in the future for the pre-determined and heavily discounted price. This right (to purchase company shares) is earned gradually over the period an employee is working at Vinted.
Each option grant of our employees is reviewed on an annual basis and additional options are awarded for achieving certain milestones.
As the company grows and matures, we expect the worth of the company to increase as well. The idea is for employees to participate on the growth journey together. Hopefully, at the end, the share price will be considerably higher than the predetermined price. This will then allow our participants to buy low and sell high.
Company’s growth does not happen overnight – the share option is a long term investment. How much could the Vinted be worth at the moment and how has that changed over time?
You are right, the growth does not happen overnight. That is why many equity compensation plans are long-term, four years and longer, to give employees an incentive to stay in a company for many years.
However, the terms of the equity compensation plans might not be as important as company culture. In order to be able to grow the company, it is important to promote collaboration and ownership mentality.
When people with an ownership mindset come together to co-create and work, amazing results can be achieved. For example, last year Vinted became a unicorn with 1B EUR valuation, which was celebrated by all employees and investors.
In the future, we believe that our teams will grow the company value even more.
As we mentioned time, please explain what vesting means?
Vesting means that options become available to you over time, so you have to work in the company for a certain period in order to exercise earned options.
All option programs are designed with the future in mind – companies want to incentivize employees to stay longer and focus on long-term goals.
At Vinted standard vesting schedule is four years – 25% of share options are earned on the first anniversary of the grant date, and the remaining balance is earned monthly in three years.
Owning shares may come with plenty of financial benefits. Where is the catch?
With options, high risk comes with high reward. When the predetermined share price is higher than the market price, then your options are worthless.
Vinted has been around for 10 years and is now an established player in the industry. We are in a sweet spot where there is still a lot of room for growth but, we are no longer a start up, trying to prove our product.
How the share options are taxed?
Taxation varies across countries, however, the truth is that more and more countries try to broaden employee financial participation, therefore, different incentives are being introduced.
For example, the Parliament of Lithuania approved the changes regarding share option taxation this year. The new incentive states that income calculated at the option exercise moment (when shares are purchased for a discounted price) is a non-taxable income if the option is held for at least 3 years. The sale of shares is still a taxable transaction, which means that income received from selling the shares is subject to taxation.
One thing is attracting talent, but the other thing is keeping them. Do you see that the share-based compensation package pays off in the long term?
Equity compensation in many cases is expected to lower retention and grow employee loyalty.
At Vinted we have employees who celebrate their 9th working anniversaries, which might prove the point.
However, the truth is, that overall satisfaction of employees and their loyalty depends on other things as well – working environment, colleagues, and most importantly – company culture. We promote an ownership mentality which helps us to keep engagement and attract the right talent.
Share options are an extension of our culture and offer a generous way to reward our employees for their contributions to company growth.
Does it all come down to money or is there another angle of the benefit?
Financial benefit is only one side of share options. For example, Vinted introduced “options for all” to strengthen our culture and show our employees that we treat them as co-owners of the business.
We believe that our teams feel responsible for the company’s success and our collective mission to make second-hand fashion first choice worldwide. Eventually, their effort will be rewarded by having an opportunity to become shareholders and selling shares to benefit financially.
Developing business-driven ecosystems and enterprise architectures all have a clear objective to make clients’ lives easier and businesses more effective and functional.
Multinational strategic change and technology company Nortal’s Partner and Head of Technology Jarkko Enden explains why digital ecosystems utilising modern CRM and ERP solutions are a hot topic in IT at the moment and how teams at Nortal embrace it.
Hello Jarkko! Tell us a little about yourself.
I have 20 years of experience in different areas of software and IT service development. This includes enterprise architecture, full stack development, concept and business development, agile processes, DevOps, software architectures and quality management processes.
Healthcare is topically my strongest area, since I’ve worked as CTO in a healthcare company. I also have a long background in developing with Microsoft’s tools.
Your role, Head of Technology, covers a wide range of responsibilities. When did you start at Nortal and how does your daily work look like?
My career at Nortal started about 4 years ago, after working in healthcare technology for almost 20 years.
At that point Nortal had worked with healthcare clients mainly in the Baltics, and my role as a Lead Architect was to kick-start this business in Finland. It was quite a big risk, but during these four years we managed to grow this part of our business exponentially, and currently our teams consist of more than 60 experts.
Currently I’m the head of our Technology & Business Solutions unit, developing our internal processes and solution portfolio, as well as overseeing the work of various development teams. I also work as an enterprise architect in large digital ecosystem projects.
Nortal in Finland has 4 offices (headquarter in Helsinki), nearly 200 employees and 35 years of history! The company is providing technological solutions and consulting in all domains – healthcare, public sector, industry, enterprises etc.
The importance of education is a trending discussion in the computer science sector. Do you think studying is worth the effort for an IT expert?
I have studied at Helsinki University and have a master’s degree in computer science.
It is many times said that you really only learn once you go to work. But as a serious IT expert, it helps to have theoretical knowledge to be able to look at the big picture.
At Nortal you talk a lot about ecosystem thinking. What does the notion mean and why is it a hot topic now?
Basically, this idea comes from the fact that the whole world has gone digital. Nortal’s digital ecosystem approach initiates a shift toward viewing IT as an ecosystem, rather than a simple business function.
As technology can change entire industries’ business models and create new business opportunities for innovators, IT must become a strategic partner to management and an enabler of business transformation.
For us at Nortal, we strive for long customer relationships. Our aim is to be the enterprise architects of the digital transformation of our customers. We are very much focused on business benefits and tailoring solutions for each customer.
To put it very simply: IT is not a business unit anymore, but rather an enabler for the entire business ecosystem. It’s quite natural that this is a hot topic in an exponentially digitalizing society.
No arguments there, digitalisation is far-reaching and full of potential. What tools do you use at Nortal to make this happen?
Our aim is to utilize the most modern and robust tools available. Depending on the customer case naturally. We want to make sure that our tools and architecture solutions support modern environments and are also future-proof.
In our customer projects we aim to utilise secure, cloud-native solutions and hybrid cloud architectures. We have deep expertise in all the main cloud environments (Azure, GCP, and AWS).
Nortal values cross-functional teams. How do you implement it in Nortal’s daily life?
Especially in larger projects our teams are built around business processes instead of technologies, and they are composed of cross-functional experts. In one team you might have CRM and ERP experts, and custom software developers, all working towards the same goal.
However, certain dedicated projects might have expert teams focused on a specific system, such as CRM.
At Nortal, we value cross-functional know-how and learning. We have a ‘Friday Techie Show’ for all our developers and IT experts, where people get to present their work and findings to others.
Also, our Finnish IT architects have their own group, which normally gets together quite often to discuss architecture decisions, technologies and current business topics.
Our senior architects also typically contribute their know-how for sales activities.
Give our technologically talented readers some tips. What does it take to become an IT architect?
Generally, a senior IT architect needs to have a good understanding of enterprise architectures, business processes, data solutions, and client communication, to mention a few. Leading architects also need to develop suitable leadership skills, which in today’s working culture have to be based on merits on architectural thinking, and not top-down management.
The role of a solution architect at Nortal is a very strong and responsible one. Architects have an important role in projects, but they also hold the torch of implementing practices around the organization.
Nortal is a strong supporter of constant learning and education. We support our employees in applying for certifications in different areas, such as Microsoft Dynamics and cloud technologies. All Nortal group employees are also entitled to use one workday per month for education.
What’s hot in the talent market and what sort of specialised expertise are you currently looking for?
CRM is a hot topic right now, especially as part of a comprehensive IT architecture renewal program. CRM, customer relationship management, is traditionally viewed as a standalone sales tool. In the modern world it is actually a lot more than that. CRM (or XRM) is an essential part of a modern enterprise ecosystem.
Nortal is currently looking for CRM specialists/architects to take part in these ecosystem projects.
Do examples inspire you? Who is your role model or guru if you can say so?
This is easy! Martin Fowler, who is perhaps the best-known software architecture expert in the world. Among other things, he is considered to be the father of microservice architectures. He introduced innovative solutions already as a young IT guru in the 1990s. He is still a visionary in his own field of designing software.
It’s evident that joy is built into your profession! But how do you take your mind off business?
I have a passion for music, and I tend to joke that I’m another failed rock star. Back in the day our band was close to making it, at least we thought so.
I still play guitar in a few bands. Together with Nortal’s Chief Legal Council we have a group, which you can see as the house band at Nortal’s parties.
Join Nortal’s amazing team! Check out their active job openings:
No doubt the best known startup hub is Silicon Valley – the place is as famous as Michael Schumacher in Formula 1. Just like plenty of Finnish drivers competed with Schumacher (and won!), Finland’s capital Helsinki is on the top of the game in the startup world and successfully challenges the status quo.
Too good to be true? To find out how Helsinki has grown into an innovative stronghold, we contacted Helsinki Business Hub representatives – the people whose daily task is to support acceleration of business growth in the area.
A lot of cities are telling us that they are the most amazing destinations. However, Helsinki Business Hub is stepping up the game with actually providing a FREE 90-day relocation package, so talent can come and see themselves what Helsinki is all about. How does this opportunity work in real life? Who is the 90 day Finn targetgroup?
Thanks for bringing this up! It’s a fun campaign we launched especially the founders, investors and techtalent in the US-Silicon Valley in our mind. For years, the Finnish worklife has had a strong focus on empowering the employees. This means flexibility with combining work and family, working hours and remote work for example. This model has worked really well for us in Finland. The pandemic was the last push that encouraged us to take this thinking even further. Perhaps work from home could mean work from anywhere?
The 90-day relocation package is limited to max. 15 chosen applicants, but there is a lot of support we can offer to founders and tech talent planning to relocate, starting from meaningful connections and industry specific information all the way to introductions to ecosystem partners. And do note, this offer is available for everyone, with or without application.
Considering relocation or curious about Helsinki job life? MeetFrank recruitment app has now collected all the insightful data and highlighted it on the front page. Still have unanswered questions? Join the community and get advice from fellow users.
Now we just have to jump straight to the main question: why should innovative entrepreneurs and curious talent choose Helsinki?
The quality of life is something I can’t emphasize enough.
The winter is slushy, dark and long, and can sometimes get overwhelming, I get that, but click your day light on and listen to the positives: Four different seasons, each with distinct attributes. Clean nature on your doorstep. Fresh air. Safety and trust – for the society, democracy, business environment.
Friendships that start slowly but are for life. Work-life balance, you can pick-up your kid from daycare at 4pm. In addition to these come the secondary aspects: innovation-savvy society, closely-knit startup ecosystem, strong public support, lack of hierarchies.
We would gladly avoid talking about C-19 altogether, unfortunately it disturbs our life significantly. How has the pandemic situation affected the HBH?
There’s a C-19 joke of Finns having difficulties keeping the newly advised 2 meter distance from each other as the distance we are accustomed to is 4 meters….
Well, jokes aside, the pandemic has hit Finland as it has every other country in the world. HBH was no exception, we closed our office and have mostly been working remotely since March. As the gravity of the situation became clear to us, we had to rethink ways to support our clients and owners through this period. The usual way of working was out of question, so we have done test runs with different virtual event concepts ranging from Q&A sessions to pitching events.
The reception has been good. Our highlight of the year, Slush, has in the past years secured its position as the international meeting point for tech innovation and growth capital. So, this year was definitely different with no actual, physical event taking place, but Slush once again was able to nurture the connection between the founders and the investors through their NODE platform.
It is said that Finland has the most helpful ecosystem for scaling business. What role has Helsinki Business Hub in this notion?
One of the reasons why Helsinki is great for testing new innovations and scaling up is its size: it’s a modern European capital city, but it’s not too big, just the right size. Finns are tech savvy and interested in trying new things, a nation of early adopters and society built on trust, respect. transparency and low corruption.
Helsinki region has the most locally connected startup and innovation ecosystem in the world (according to Startup Genome report). Decision makers are relatively easy to approach and open for a dialog, there is low hierarchy and power distance.
HBH connects foreign investors and tech companies with the key ecosystem players, helps to efficiently launch business in the Finnish capital area and provides quality deal flow from Finland for venture investors.
What is the most significant success story of HBH that pops in mind first?
Our work is to promote Finland and the Helsinki region as an investment location, tech hub and a great place to work. Every year for six years in a row Helsinki has attracted most investment projects in the whole Nordics.
Also positive response and enormous amount of applications, which we have received for the 90 Days Finn program show that Helsinki is no longer seen as a remote corner of Europe, but is interesting, relevant and appealing to tech talent.
Our success is defined by the success of our clients. There are many interesting cases, all of them significant in their own way, but probably Muji and Zalando are the names well known to everybody. It’s great to see how Zalando’s office in Helsinki has grown over the years from a small team to the tech hub with more than 100 employees. HBH has been supporting Japanese design company Muji in their flagship store project in Helsinki and in collaboration with the Finnish tech company Sensible4 on the first self-driving all weather bus shuttle Gacha. This was very exciting!
Insightful comments from Helsinki Business Hub experts:
You have a pretty detailed insight of what talent needs and companies have to offer. Do the majority of companies prefer remote work (working from abroad) or talent relocation to Finland?
Panu Maula: This depends on the needs of the company and the situation of the talent. Traditionally companies have tried to relocate the talent but remote working has been around for a while already, especially within startup companies.
Remote work has become the latest trend which comes with its own advantages as well as challenges when the company needs to be aware of the laws and legislations of the country where the person is hired.
One of Finland’s uniqueness is being the global seafaring hotspot. How is smart maritime and Helsinki connected? What are the growing possibilities in that field?
Maria Hartikainen: Helsinki region is one of the leading marine technology and maritime innovation hubs in the world. The ecosystem is diverse and well connected – from headquarters of large tech companies like Wärtsilä, ABB Marine, Cargotec and Helsinki Shipyard to growth companies like Norsepower, Iceye, Fleetrange, Seaber and many others.
Aalto University is one of the best engineering schools in Europe and it has a major input in Finland’s exceptional engineering talent pool. And I’m especially pleased to see more and more women studying engineering, Finland offers great opportunities to build a successful career in tech.
Speaking about future drivers of technological development in the maritime industry I think biggest opportunities are in digitalisation and sustainability
Sonja Malin: There are a lot of cities in Europe that provide support for companies planning to invest in that particular region, however what separates Helsinki from the others, is that the city has a strong vision of becoming the most functional city in the world. Sounds grand, doesn’t it?
The plan includes a lot of tech, sure, but more importantly it’s about enabling people, the citizens, to influence decisions that improve their everyday lives. This mindset is something that can also be seen in the way the city of Helsinki works with founders. For us working at HBH this is a huge benefit and means we are able to provide our clients an easy access to testing their gear or service, as the whole city acts as an urban platform. A great example is Testbed Helsinki.
Want to boost your company’s visibility in the Finnish job market?