Together with TalentBee, Qreform successfully hired three new colleagues in just four months in the roles of a Technical Project Manager, Senior Frontend Developer and Technical Specialist.
In the beginning of 2023, Qreform’s team felt a bit desperate about important recruitments that they urgently needed. They had worked with recruitment agencies before, and felt concerned about the lengthy processes, unsuitable talent lists and little traction.
However, they decided to team up with a market challenger in the SaaS talent acquisition industry, TalentBee. Four months later, they had successfully hired three new colleagues in the roles of a Technical Project Manager, Senior Frontend Developer and Technical Specialist.
The challenges Qreform had with recruiting before
“We felt a bit desperate about recruiting, to be honest. With our former recruitment partners, the processes had been slow. We didn’t exactly know how to solve the problem in the best way and still, we had urgent hiring needs,” says Jaana Raaska, COO of Qreform.
Qreform has been growing steadily for the past years and the management team as well as the hiring managers have a lot on their plate all the time. In spring 2023, Qreform’s CTO, Pasi Selkama and his team were working on a new version of Qreform’s software, Rego. All working hours were valuable and full of tasks regarding this undertaking.
The team had urgent recruitment needs, but not enough time and resources to manage the recruitments themselves, with the required quality and focus.
The solution: teaming up with TalentBee
According to the experiences of Qreform’s team, people with technical backgrounds are harder to find while some customer-facing roles had been a little bit easier. They needed help with a technical role to start with.
“I had heard good things about TalentBee’s experts and their skills. Still, I felt a little bit suspicious about teaming up with a market challenger, a young company founded only a few months ago,” Jaana thinks back.
Another concern was: what if the recruitment process will once again be too slow and require too much from the busy Qreform team? Everyone had a lot to do, and additional plot twists weren’t needed. Teaming up with a new partner is always a risk in itself.
“Then we thought that our company had entered the market as a market challenger, too. Market challengers tend to have a bigger drive and hunger to succeed than the more established companies. I felt that TalentBee had exactly that hunger,” Jaana says.
“Together with TalentBee, we started to look for a Technical Project Manager first. When we saw traction pretty quickly, and had success in that recruitment, we decided to start working with TalentBee in two other recruitments, too,” Jaana says.
Recruitment plan and the concrete steps in the three recruitment projects
1. Recruitment project: Technical Project Manager
The search for a Technical Project Manager started first, in February 2023. To support it with a targeted recruitment marketing campaign, a job advertisement and a blog post were produced. They opened up the role as well as everyday life of a colleague working in a similar role honestly and transparently. The salary range for the role was also announced in the job ad. Based on the content, paid advertising was done on LinkedIn.
The recruitment campaign reached its target audience pretty precisely: professionals with experience in the health sector with a technical background, who are motivated by customer work. During the recruitment campaign, 6 applicants were received into the process, all of whom were of good quality.
"All the applicants were 4-5 star applicants in relation to the open role," comments Jaana.
Recruitment was completed at the end of March.
"The recruitment process could not have gone better. We found the perfect candidate quickly, in a straightforward manner. Right from the first conversation with her, we were on the same page and both parties were willing to move towards an employment contract," says Jaana.
2. Recruitment project: Senior Frontend Developer
This recruitment process was completed in a week in terms of job interviews. Applicants interested in Qreform were brought into the process using the same method as in the search for a Technical Project Manager. In addition, personalized video outreach messages were used when approaching the sourced candidates.
"This search went really well. I didn't have to go through many interviews, as I immediately found common ground with a competent person. The choices were also made quickly and the decisions were made as soon as possible. The arrival of a new colleague happened even too quickly: we couldn't get all the working equipment ready for him so quickly. The recruitment went great," comments Pasi Selkama, Qreform’s CTO.
"The person who finally got hired answered an hour after I had sent them a personalized outreach video on Linkedin. There was no need to search any further there. However, the long list tailored to this position still exists if there is a need to look for the same type of talent in the future," comments TalentBee tech recruiter Saara Kyllönen.
3. Recruitment project: Technical Specialist
Although the third of the recruitment projects could have been imagined to be the easiest in terms of the seniority level, it was the most difficult one. It was a relatively junior role, a Technical Specialist.
In theory, many different talents would succeed in the role, who would have the desire to learn and develop as professionals, and who would be interested in becoming a deep expert regarding Qreform's software. It was understood in the beginning of the project that the most important thing was to focus on the internal motivation of the applicants instead of hard skills or previous experience.
"I can immediately say what we learned from this: the profile could have still been defined even more precisely. You can never invest too much in profile definition – it’s so important," says Saara, who handled this recruitment, too.
As a result of the recruitment marketing campaign including a job ad and a blog post, a total of 97 applications were received. The situation may sound ideal, but a huge number of applicants is usually not the goal – the quality of applicants is more important, and that you find just the right, motivated person for the job. In the end, chance intervened, as only one candidate out of 97 was interviewed and he was selected.
"It was lucky that there was an applicant, who was very motivated and really wanted to work for us," says Jaana.
This was fate, because while Saara was going through all the applicants, the interviewed candidate really was the perfect choice for the job. There were still many other good candidates as well.
The candidate commented on the blog published in connection with the recruitment campaign that, based on the description, the role sounded very interesting. It seemed to him that he would be the right person for the job. He wanted the job because he was so excited about it from what he read.
“TalentBee’s service package was value for money”
Careful planning of the recruitment project, profile definition and treating the process as a project in regards to leadership and scheduling are basic keys for a successful recruitment. What other things lead to success in Qreform and TalentBee’s collaboration?
Keys to success in Qreform and TalentBee’s collaboration
- Advertising on social media In addition to getting good applicants through advertising, we also got new followers for Qreform's company account, which in turn helps to build the company's employer brand.
- Great job ads Applicants praised the job advertisements and their informativeness.
- Additional material for recruitment marketing. These were generally praised in every interview because they provide the applicant with additional information about the role, the company and the culture.
- Outreach as a video: a personal way to approach candidates, because the videos are made personally for each expert. According to Pasi, the selected candidate said that he had not previously received video outreach from the recruiter
- Quick process. "We were all surprised by the speed of the process," says Jaana. Qreform also handled the processes quickly, resulting in many fast-moving processes, which were also praised by the candidates. "The process received positive feedback from everyone. It is important that the applicants get good experiences, because you never know what will happen next, and if there will be future hiring needs," says Jaana.
- Good applicant communication. "No thank you" messages sent to applicants by TalentBee were praised for honesty, personalization and openness.
- Growth Plan: a personalized plan for how the applicant would develop as a professional in the role was presented together with the job offer. Its purpose is also to ensure a higher offer acceptance rate. The person, who was hired for the role of Senior Frontend Developer, praised that the Growth Plan had a nice personal touch and that Pasi had carefully considered what the new colleague would bring to the team.
- Qreform's small team was seen as an advantage. "We don't compete for talent only against small SaaS companies, but also against big corporations. Our small team especially attracted people from the health and safety industry. This is a specific bubble of its own, which attracted the industry experts," comments Jaana
- Modern tech choices. New technologies and developing new software were big selling points in the developer audience
- Sales and marketing minded approach in modern recruiting is TalentBee’s approach. Applicant orientation, sales approach to recruitment worked well in this case, too: recruiting is, after all, a form of sales.
Lessons that Qreform & TalentBee’s teams learned from the collaboration
1. “Drafting a Growth Plan for the candidate is a great tool”
“It is really important to think about the Growth Plan of the hired candidate in our company from the beginning of the hiring process. Growth plan is a great tool. It structures your thinking when it comes to the job description that develops depending on what kind of person is chosen for the role. It depends on the person's potential, in which direction the role will develop in the future,” Jaana says.
“In fact, I had to give a thought to this recruitment process more than ever before. I had to focus on working on the profile definition with TalentBee, and also draft a Growth Plan for the candidate. But focusing on those paid off,” Pasi says.
2. “Salary transparency helps to attract the right talent”
“I must say that announcing the salary was thought about for a long time. It was a change for us that was talked about internally. But when the decision was made, it was good that it worked – salary transparency is appreciated in today’s job market. I personally see that if an idea works, it will be used, even though I wouldn't see it as such a big deal first. If the salary level is competitive, it’s a good selling point and correlates with getting good applicants”, Jaana says.
3. “Choosing a partner and recruiting carefully pays off as it is a big investment”
“If you don't have the time to recruit yourself, find a competent partner. It's not always possible to succeed in every search, but we succeeded in these three well. When we saw at the start of the first project that the recruitment was taking off well, we decided that we would also do the other two projects with TalentBee. Working with the same partner was a good choice and also brought synergy benefits,” Jaana says.
4. “Profile definition is key to create successful recruitment marketing campaigns”
“As a recruiter, I've known this for a long time in regards to recruitment, but I learned that it also applies to recruitment marketing: the better the profile is defined, the better the targeting is reflected in the marketing material and reaches the right target group. It gets the target group excited and brings in great candidates,” says Saara from TalentBee.