By the Hapkey team

Interview with Fredrik Mellander, Head of Partnerships at Teamtailor

Post by
Marcus Castenfors
Interview with Fredrik Mellander, Head of Partnerships at Teamtailor
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Marcus: Hi Fredrik, could you tell the readers a bit about your background and role?

Fredrik: Thank you so much for having me. My name is Fredrik, and I work as Head of Partnerships at Teamtailor, a fast-growing SaaS company within the recruiting space. Before doing this, I worked a lot in sales, and now I have a broader role focusing on marketing, tech and sales.

Marcus: As Head of Partnerships, you get to have a lot of conversations with startups in the HR space. Are there any specific themes that stand out over the last six months? What are your lessons learned?

Fredrik: Number one is digitalization. People have become more acutely aware that we need to have a digital way of working relating to HR. The way we work with data has also become more prevalent.

Stakeholders have started to understand the -- real -- value of data.

HR organizations, traditionally, haven't really been that good at leveraging data. But I've seen, at least from our perspective, from our clients, and from the conversations I’ve had, that HR professionals in general are becoming more familiar, more eager to understand and action on data. By leveraging data, they are becoming more informed to improve the way they hire and their workplaces.

Additionally, diversity and inclusion has been a really positive trend and has spawned an important change to make workplaces more diverse and inclusive.

Marcus: Could you share some soundbites from these conversations?

Fredrik: Sure. Relating to diversity and inclusion, HR professionals are also becoming more aware of the benefits. We’ve seen many cases of companies who are making strides to make their hiring more diverse which is positively impacting their business’ bottom line.

I don't have the exact numbers in my head, but people have started realizing how much more valuable it is to remove biases in the recruitment process by anonymizing candidates. People have started to ask more: "Okay, who should I hire in terms of skills?" instead of "Who should I hire for their personality or traits?" This mindset shift gives great results.

Marcus: That's fantastic to hear. From a creativity standpoint, there's ample research showing that if you have diversity, you create better products, or you come up with better ideas.

Fredrik: I think there is a McKinsey study, done a while back ago, that says that if you have diversity within your leadership team, your company is likely to generate 36% more revenue. That means a lot more money if you have a more diverse leadership team and a more diverse organization. So, it's not just the fact that it's nice to have diversity from a creative standpoint, but it also makes your company more profitable and therefore more and more successful.

Marcus: To change the topic a bit -- in your words, what does "employee happiness" mean to you?

Fredrik: I think that employee happiness is so important for a lot of factors because it enables you to be more empathetic as a company. If your employees are happy, they will do a better job. They become ambassadors for your recruitment work. They become ambassadors for your brand.

Happy employees help you attract and retain talent.

They help you become more successful. Their happiness can help you reduce personnel costs, not by paying them less, but by reducing employees' churn. People will want to work in a place in which they actually enjoy working. 

This is especially true among younger people. Millennials value happy workplaces or places where they actually want to be a lot more than older generations, who tend to look more at “hard” things rather than “soft” things.

Marcus: If you would be a newly hired HR manager, what strategies would you give that person?

Fredrik: I'm biased, but I don't think it's just about purchasing a HR tool. I think that one of the great things about HR tech is that it allows you to save time for the stuff that actually matters, to make your employees happier, and to focus on more strategic work.

Mentimeter, who won the Swedish HR team award recently, pretty much said that all the boring HR stuff should be outsourced, like salary administration and other mundane traditional HR. By doing this, you can spend more time with employees. 

So, addressing this newly hired HR manager, I would recommend as a first step to analyze the current state of the organization. Second, I would look at what you need now and what you need in 6 months or in 2 years. This way, I would try to set up a plan to save time using HR tools -- so you can actually focus on improving the satisfaction of your colleagues.

Marcus: I saw on Linkedin that you were part of a Clubhouse discussion with other HR Tech SaaS companies. Any key takeaways from that conversation?

Fredrik: That was a very broad conversation. There was not a particular subject, but we are going to do follow-ups. There will be at least a weekly session where we will discuss all things HR on Clubhouse. 

But, I'd say that the most important topic that we touched upon was regarding HR's role in the future and how the role of HR has transformed to more of a “people” role. The name “HR” might not be the right name anymore. Previously, the term HR meant a person doing a lot of admin stuff. Now, it has become a cornerstone of the culture. HR is invited to investor and board meetings to show the current state of the company’s most important assets, their people.

The HR role has evolved into something more strategic, and a lot more exciting than it has been viewed historically.

Marcus: You talk about HR and how the term HR might need to be changed given the progress that we just talked about.  

But another term that I have a pet peeve about is 'employee engagement.' The word ‘engagement’ only implies that it’s the company’s responsibility to engage employees. What’s your take on this?

Fredrik:  Engagement is such a broad term, and it's pretty vague what it actually implies. I think that you have to break it down into things that you can more easily understand.

So, happiness is a really useful term since everyone can relate to it. You know what it’s like to be happy or unhappy. You know exactly how productive you could be if you're really happy with what you're doing.

If people are really passionate about something, they don't see it as work. They see it as something they want to do. That will take everything to the next level.

Marcus: That’s an excellent wrap-up to this conversation. Thank you so much for chatting with me Fredrik.

Fredrik: My pleasure, thank you.

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