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”Take care of the people you have”

Technology Operations Lead Marcin Floryan from Spotify thinks that flexibility and employee happiness are key issues in attracting and retaining talent in global business.

Marcin Floryan from Spotify and Milla Heikkilä from Sofokus discussed about attracting and retaining tech talents at Spotify at Talent Boost Talks event on November 2nd.

Finding the right talent is a hot topic in any company wanting to grow and have an impact. Before reaching out, you should look at the talent you already have, says Technology Operations Lead Marcin Floryan from Spotify.

Sometimes bringing in talent means developing the talent you already have in the company: giving people opportunities to realise their abilities, skills, or ambitions in places they are maybe not naturally in.

Marcin uses Spotify’s internal job marketplace as an example. Every single job opportunity in the company is first advertised internally. The company also uses AI technology to match employees and opportunities.

– This is really accelerating the ability for people to move around and to use the skills that are not necessarily the skills they have been hired for, Marcin says.

Towards More Flexibility

When attracting new talent, a strong brand helps. According to Marcin, Spotify is privileged to have a strong customer brand, which translates well into a strong employer brand.

He adds that Spotify has also been very intentional in creating its employer brand. This includes for instance going to universities to talk to students about working for the company and having summer internships where people can try out different positions at Spotify.

After the Covid pandemic, Spotify has also invested heavily in flexibility with its new global reach program. The idea is to give new employees freedom to work from where they live.

– We have definitely seen a huge shift from people relocating to places where we have offices to people starting to work for Spotify in countries where we don’t have a significant office space or an office at all, Marcin says.

Spotify is privileged to have a strong customer brand, which translates well into a strong employer brand.

Creating Opportunities for Choice

When talking about retaining talent in the company, Marcin points out the importance of an inclusive corporate culture. He thinks that employees should be treated as partners and be included in the decision-making of the company.

Marcin also stresses that companies should take care of the people they have. At Spotify, this starts with the behaviour of the managers.

One of the main jobs any manager has is to look after the people they work with.

Spotify also has a bunch of formal programmes to support their employees. One team organises events, talks, and workshops, which help people to take care of their mental health. Second focuses on developing office spaces, third on organising social events and fourth on career development.

Marcin also thinks that it is important to create opportunities for choice. Employees should be able to choose when, where, how, and with which tools they work. At Spotify, there is also a possibility to work during public holidays and take the days off elsewhere.

– Flexibility is not always easy to arrange, but it pays itself off in the level of engagement people have, Marcin says.

Global Business Requires Diversity

Diversity is a fashionable buzzword in the hunt for international talent. Marcin thinks that it is important for companies to first understand why they want to engage in it rather than just follow the fashion.

According to him, Spotify’s employees represent easily past a hundred nationalities. He says that diversity of employees is vital when building a global product for a global market. Marcin believes that diverse teams are also more creative and better at problem-solving.

If a company wants to invest in diversity of employees, Marcin advises to start with creating a narrative of why your company cares about it, so that potential employees can understand and relate to it.

– It is also important to think about how you are going to support these people when you have attracted them to the company. And how are you going to support the other employees who are going to experience a change in the environment at work, he asks.

Diversity of employees is vital when building a global product for a global market.

Investing in People Pays off

Marcin is happy to see a change in the traditional thinking of work being something very serious that you must do to make a living. He believes that happiness at work is an important business factor.

– It is about feeling that you are contributing to something you care about.

Marcin also stresses that engaged and happy people are more productive and innovative, and work better together. He thinks that being a good employer is about creating an environment where people can thrive. Investing in people can feel risky, but it pays off.

There is research on the fact that the companies where people are more engaged ultimately make more money.

The article written by Heidi Pelander, based on an interview by Milla Heikkilä in Talent Boost Talks: What makes a successful global employer brand. The event was organised by Turku Chamber of Commerce, World Trade Center Turku and Turku Science Park Ltd and took place on November 2nd 2022. Watch the whole event here.