So it just works now, but it feels like cheating because it took some hard work to get up and running, and it took investment in talent and people. But it’s now with 50 people. It’s this self reinforcing mechanism that keeps propelling itself and the team just find great team members.
Ryan Savage: Interesting. And I’m curious, like, you know, cause you talked a little bit about, you know, how obviously biases can always come up, like, how do you guys try to counteract that? Do you have trainings for your employees, especially those who are in the interview process? Like what’s your take on– how can take those unconscious biases out of the equation?
Daniel Jensen: Yeah, I think it’s a process that I think we all sort of are still still learning. And I think the whole world is learning at the moment in this area. I think we have extremely talented and diverse people team that is leading all the recruitments. So a lot of the screening and so on takes part there, and they are extremely good at it, they are leading the whole inclusion and diversity policies and everything.
We have a committee that is focusing solely on that. But I think we, I think we managed to be both diverse both when it comes to gender, ethnicity, diversity and so on. But, of course we have some way to go still.
Ryan Savage: Yeah. Well, and I’m always you know, I’m following you guys regularly on LinkedIn and I’m always impressed by, you know, the conversation, the topics about diversity that comes from your LinkedIn channel. So I think you guys are doing a really great job when it comes to that.
I’m also curious too, because, in my experience and coming in as the first Head of Talent [in a few organizations] and having worked with a CEO who has, you know, usually been handling talent prior to the first Head of Talent coming in… Was it hard for you to give up that role in a way? Did you immediately trust Frederik to come in and do the right thing? How did that dynamic work in the beginning?
Daniel Jensen: For me, it’s about alignment on ambition and [the idea of] what what could people be in an organization? And I was very ambitious in this area. I also met a lot [of HR professionals] that came from other type of businesses. Maybe not so much scale-ups and, and I felt it became very legal focused, HR, and it became very much… yeah. The whole notion of the Human Resources, just that name in itself comes from that assembly line, right? That you put a resource on their assembly line and then you have a high output.
And then I met Frederik and he was passionately speaking about these things and how a company should be creating connections for people, even when you don’t need to hire them.
Say you don’t have a specific job post, but… you know, often you find people saying, “oh, I would love to work for that company”. They don’t know if they have the position or whatever, but that’s your opportunity to create a relationship. Then the day you have that job, you had already very strong candidates to fulfill that position.
So that whole vision of what people could be. I, I was, I was very keen to invest in to that level of vision. And Fredrick is very visionary in this area. So it was just so in-tune. So for me, it was just, you know, getting a strong team member on board that could push the agenda even further than I would do as a one man army.
Uh, so then for me personally it was not difficult, but I think my style is also… I believe a lot in extreme ownership. It’s about getting great people, give them tremendous amount of ownership, and believe in that they’re going to do what they’re going to do.
And if you’re better than probably then they’ll set off in the right direction. And the same with Frederik it was just a match, personally, from the get go.
Ryan Savage: Do you find that when you’re trying to hire for Helsinki or Stockholm, and I imagine even Copenhagen, like does, does your geography puts you at a disadvantage in trying to attack really great talent? Or is that something that kind of is more or less a myth in today’s remote world?
Daniel Jensen: Both yes and no, because you can save because we are not in London or New York or Silicon Valley or whatever, you know, there’s not the talent pool and experience.
Of course we want people with experience in scale-ups because they know the game of it. We seen too many times, someone coming from a more big established company that there’s a big challenge in understanding the speed. The speed is maybe not as important as it is here.
We have always 12 to 18 months between the funding rounds. So it’s a different game, but talent wise, I think both. Yes and no. Because if you look at, um, the talent pool, it’s smaller.
If you look at countries as a product, I think the Nordics in this example is one of the best products to sell: Extremely high quality of life. Big tech and a startup environment, and all of the cities are developing very rapidly. There’s very advantageous tax exceptions when you come from abroad and you get a higher paid position. So I think we have a lot of things going for us, but especially with corona, it’s been more challenging to relocate team members.
But I think there’s a big inflow of people coming from the traditional more established industries going into scale ups. Now they’re learning the game and everything, and how to build companies in this way and learning those tools.
So in two to three years, we’ll have a massive talent pool and thereby new ripple effects of new companies and all of these things.
Ryan Savage: One final question. What is a common myth in the startup culture that you found not to be true?
Daniel Jensen: I think, yeah… hmm. A myth.
At least this one that I would like to change is that, if you go into startups, you need to, work non-stop, and it’s very long hours, and all of these things, and there’s a lot of startups that work like that. I did a lot of that when I was in my twenties.
But I think too many people perceive scale-up as kind of like something you do for two or three years, because it’s such a sprint and then you need to take a break. And I think it’s such an unhealthy mindset. It should be a a marathon. So, uh, focus a lot more on how you work, and how you approach your work and then try to limit yourself by having a fairly normal amount of hours.
So I think it’s a myth that it’s necessary to, to sit from from early morning to 12 o’clock in the evening. I haven’t seen a lot of team members that have been able to be efficient at doing that. And on the other hand, they are losing time with their friends, family, everyone around them, everything that makes them “them” outside work. So, I have to think that is a little bit of a myth that we are focusing a lot on at NØIE that it shouldn’t be like that here.
Ryan Savage: Yeah. Great. Well, I mean, I think that is very solid in the sense having that work like balance, being able to spend time with your family. And if I’m not mistaken, you also just had a newborn, yourself. Uh, so congratulations on that. And I’m glad that you’re able to spend some time with them as well.
Well, Daniel. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me, on our very first episode of Savage talent. Definitely look forward to working with you in the future and yeah. Thank you.
Daniel Jensen: Thank you. Thank you.
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