Last week it was time again for our bi-yearly planning in beautiful Stockholm. We travelled from all corners of the Nordics like Espoo, Helsinki and Täby to gather to our new and fine office on Wallingatan. It was the first time in the history of Agile Search to have 15 sharp and talented professionals in one room which may have resulted in it being kind of hot and heated in the room as well.
Within the last years we have been taking massive steps forward in both offices and after having experienced 100% growth 3 years in a row, we thought it would be important to revisit our values and mission – what we are here to accomplish and what defines how we achieve it.
Equally importantly we wanted to let everyone speak their mind and see if the values driving our everyday work are the same in respective offices and if they align to why everyone of us individually does what we do. It was interesting to see that our motives for having chosen Agile Search as an employer were relatively different, but still all supported the same goal.
Some of us wanted to support our countries’ economies by placing the right talent in the right company, whereas the priority of others was to make sure people are happy where they are, which would then increase their quality of life. All motives were slightly different and maybe therefore complementing each other.
So, why do we do what we do? What are we striving for? We figured that we want to enable and initiate happiness and growth in all of our partners – the candidates and companies we work with. In order for us to achieve this we will continuously strive for excellence in everything we do and we will continue to be agile in our way of working. Besides this, in our everyday work we highly value respect and honesty towards each other and our customers.
Too often values and missions are just words written by savvy marketing people or management on the website, but the question one should ask is whether they are guiding the everyday actions of everyone in the company. Is there some higher purpose we want to commit to? Is that aligned with what I individually believe in? How do we achieve it? What guides us?
After getting back to “why we do what we do”, we had a look at our reality in 2016 in the form of the old-but-faithful SWOT-analysis. We could clearly see the impact of the war for technical talent in both countries and the importance of trying out and implementing new and better sourcing tools and ways of contacting and engaging candidates. We also saw the growing need for our new products like employer branding, in-house recruitment and tech events in both countries. We were happy to notice that we had truly become industry leaders in many areas such as innovation in IT recruitment.
We cherished our company culture and the skillset we have when it comes to employer and personal branding, Lean practises, inbound marketing and recruitment, and realized our internal needs to grow and hire more excellent talent. We were happy to notice that although this year was a year of big growth (which is never painless), we made it and came out stronger than ever. 2017, bring it on!
After analysing our current state, we went into thinking big for 2020. In the upcoming years we want to focus on building and strengthening our product portfolio with some of the products we have seen to be valuable for and in demanded in the market. We want to be the leading consultancy house in the Nordics when it comes to employer branding, inbound marketing and trainings in recruitment as well as sales and coaching. We will be recognised as the most valuable partner when it comes to in-house recruitment and executive search for IT companies as well as professional branding for IT professionals all the way up to the executive level.
Besides this, we will continue changing the recruitment game by treating developers and other IT professionals as our main customers. We want to focus on providing them value by connecting them to the right new opportunity at the right time and offering them help with professional branding. We will be acting as tech agents in order to identify the right new challenge for our professional network.
After this we dived deeper into what needs to happen in 2017 in order for us to achieve Agile Search 2020. We realized we are on the right track with the growing needs for our clients to have a partner who can help them to showcase their unique offering as an employer, and potentially turn that into an inbound marketing strategy to increase the amount of incoming applications.
At the same time we will strengthen our tech agent approach and offer professional and personal branding services. Internally we will concentrate on becoming leaner and leaner in our ways of working, as well as continue to provide valuable content for our customers through our channels. Also, in 2017 we will implement AI even more to our daily tools for sourcing candidates and contacting them.
All in all, two days of heavy planning behind. As expectations we had set to become more aligned, have a clear focus, get inspired, and of course knowing our team – have fun! Based on looking at the team’s faces on our way back on Saturday morning, at least the fun part was covered (there is some interesting video footage of the partners dancing that won’t be disclosed!), but also there was new energy and alignment around our purpose and strategy for 2017 on Monday morning at work. Now it is time for the hardest part of any planning – execution.