Thursday 23 March 2023 marks the spot for the first ever Magnet Awards in Finland - and SprintIT came out victorious! We stood out with a killer application and thus winning the surprise category of Best Entry, together with KPMG Finland and Hoxhunt.
Originally we applied for the category of "Creating an Employer Brand". Mehiläinen took home that trophy and we congratulate them from the bottom of our hearts! Congrats go to all the other winners and nominees as well - the Employer Brand scene in Finland is (finally) alive and well.
The story doesn't end there though! A new category of "Best Entry" was created on the fly by the Magnet Jury, based on some exemplary applications. We happen to be among the special mentions!
"We truly feel this is a very suitable award for us to have. Our application came from the heart the same way our entire employer brand came from the heart: it was a creation of passion and pride. Passion and pride in our people, in everything we did and achieved together during the year of 2022, as well as in creating something showable from our Sprinter community.", says our People Lead Janina Kurki.
The People team even claims that putting the application together was easy!
"It was not formed within weeks, but in hours - last day, last minute, in a very agile way, with this “just do it” mindset that all Sprinters have.", Marketing and EB Specialist Henna Myllymäki confesses on the Magnet Awards stage.
This is exactly what the organisers wanted everyone to hear. Don't be shy, just do it!
"Let this also be a reminder for the future years of Magnet Awards: you don't have to be a huge organisation to be acknowledged. A small software development company like us, with 60 employees, can also be nominated and be rewarded", Henna continues.
And the application? Just read our story below. It really is that simple!
Our application: How "Creating an Employer Brand" became the "Best Entry"
How we created our Employer Brand
It all started because of growth. Our little software development company SprintIT grew from start-up to an adult business and from a group of IT-savvy friends to an actual work community.
It is the classic story: in 2021 we were growing fast in the customer segments and needed to grow the team and scale the company fast.
We needed to determine who we were. We wanted to develop and document our culture, and afterwards be able to say, “hey, we are like this, would you like to join us?”.
Long story short, we had our first culture workshops in the fall of 2021 and started to have conversations about Employer Branding (EB) at the same time.
Then it was the beginning of 2022, our culture work had been done, we had named ourselves Sprinters, talked about our character and tone of voice, hired a Marketing Coordinator, published an Instagram account, scheduled weekly EB meetings and started to plan like crazy. The goal: to recruit one new person every month in 2022 and make a steady foundation for the accelerating growth for the future years.
Getting serious with OKRs
We defined our Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) for employer branding as well.
1) SprintIT EB work kicking in
To be more known and to attract applicants: e.g. by publishing IG content every week and other content (blog posts, stories and interviews, videos, photos) as much as possible, optimizing web pages and perfecting our tone of voice, having on-going paid social media campaigns.
Questions to determine if we succeeded with this OKR or not:
Is recruitment easier? Do we get more applicants? What's the quality; meaning what was the candidate experience like for our candidates but also did our managers get the right talents to approach us? How do the new-comers feel about us? Do we look and feel like we say we do on social media and the recruitment process? What do Sprinters think of our social media efforts? Does this enforce our culture? What do we learn from data? What should we concentrate on? Are we doing the right things and spending money and resources wisely?
One of the EB team’s most important and concrete tasks was to establish career pages. The spring of 2022 went to planning, and version 1.0 was published at the end of June: people.sprintit.fi. Since then we have created a lot of content, fixed many issues, developed visuals further, and naturally followed analytics. The most important part of the website is presenting the open roles, and this year we will follow the conversion percentage more religiously. We know we still have work to do to make our People page more known among candidates, but the basis is solid and we’re good to go with the next steps!
On Instagram, we succeeded with our goal: publishing new content every week. Not everything was shared to Facebook and LinkedIn, just the most suitable ones. We followed the growing figures and also collected spontaneous good feedback from our applicants, clients and acquaintances.
We promoted our open roles on Meta and LinkedIn with about EUR 200 budget per channel per month. Not the biggest of sums but good enough for testing and some visibility. LinkedIn banners proved to be the best form of boost to attract visitors to our website.
2) Internal self-pride increases
How to measure pride? Well, we wanted Sprinters to share our content and to promote us to their network (recruitment bonus as prize). The Sprinters that were naturally active on social media were eager to work with us. However, no recruitment bonuses were given as in no referenced hires were made, so that’s a new challenge for us in 2023.
2022 Facts and results
What did it all cost?
If we count all the efforts made during 2022 for Employer Branding and everything related, it was an almost EUR 100 000 a year at SprintIT, as we also renewed our entire Helsinki office to be a more comfortable place for all the current and future Sprinters.
We formed a specific culture and events club named SPARK to share the culture and organize events. We did a photoshoot, we designed swags, created dashboards with external partners for website and social media metrics… the list is long.
Budget: close to 100 000 € (including recruitment marketing)
Resources: 1,5 FTE + additional resources in-house
End-results: Modernized 1x IT Office in Helsinki, 1x website created, 1x community group created, 659 applications (+103%), 16 hires, improved quality of candidates, 1 x active Instagram account.
In the active Employer Branding team there are three people: our People Lead in Finland, HR Manager in India and Marketing Coordinator in Finland (with 50 % input in EB).
That is not all though - we also had the entire management team’s support for our goals and the Marketing Manager helped us a lot along the way. The SPARK team was many times leading the way and showing by example on how to promote culture and share content in the EB spirit, developers helped with the website. So this was definitely an in-house project, still is. We have had quite a few influencers and past experiences to help us along the way. And we do feel quite proud about the end result.
Thanks are in order for quite many Sprinters!
The year 2022 was a real learning curve and now, in the beginning of 2023, we are so much wiser with everything. However, we could not be prouder of all our achievements so far.
Welcome to get to know us better!