May 08, 2024


Challenge Accepted: Recruitment Q&A with Julia Glasfors

Challenge Accepted: Recruitment Q&A with Julia Glasfors
The Northvolt Podcast
Challenge Accepted: Recruitment Q&A with Julia Glasfors

May 08 2024 | 00:22:09


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[00:00:01] Speaker A: And there are a lot of creative tips about how to pimp your cv and something. We have very little time to screen a cv, so for us, the best cv is a very lean cv, actually. [00:00:21] Speaker B: Welcome back to Challenge accepted, our employee Focus podcast. I'm your host, Sena Lee. And in today's episode, I'm joined by my colleague Julia Glossfosch, director of talent acquisition here at Norfolk. Not only is her team responsible for recruiting talent, she also has a team for employee branding, onboarding, relocation and immigration. All of these teams together contribute greatly to making sure that we get the best people for Norfolk. But in this special episode, we will focus on the most frequently asked questions about how we recruit and how it is to work at Norfolk. Now onto the episode. Welcome to the studio, Julia. [00:00:56] Speaker A: Thank you. [00:00:56] Speaker B: Do you want to just introduce yourself and what you do here at the company? [00:00:59] Speaker A: Yeah, sure. Sure. And thank you for having me here. So I have started at Northwold four years ago. Pretty much, exactly. And I work in talent acquisition right now, leading the team of about 30 people in Sweden. And, yeah, so it's a lot of fun. It has been quite a journey, and we're always looking for great talents. [00:01:19] Speaker B: So how did you end up at Norfolk, out of all places? [00:01:22] Speaker A: Oh, that's a good question. I think, actually, I had a former colleague whose husband was working here, and so she recommended me to Danina, who was leading the talent team at the time. And, yeah, we just hit it off and had a great, great interview, a great time, and I just fell in love with the company directly. [00:01:42] Speaker B: I was gonna say, was there something that drew you to Norfolk before you even ended up in that interview? Yeah, of course. [00:01:48] Speaker A: I mean, the journey. The journey that Northvolt was projecting and that we're on right now. So, yeah, that was super, super interesting already before. [00:01:57] Speaker B: Yeah. An exciting challenge. [00:01:59] Speaker A: Yes. [00:02:00] Speaker B: What would you say? I'm very curious because I think that the talent and HR industry in itself is very interesting, especially in an industry that's growing so rapidly and you have a lot of things going on all the time. What's a common myth about your field? [00:02:14] Speaker A: Yeah, maybe when you think about talent acquisition in particular, that we're just filling roles, but actually there's a lot more to it. Like, you really work as a partner to the organization. You have the hiring managers that you work very closely, closely with. You want to understand exactly what they need, but also maybe give a little bit advice what they should focus on. And people are actually very engaged in the business journey, not only filling the role. [00:02:44] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. So you're not only just getting a profile on a piece of paper, you go find it. There's a lot of collaboration that has to happen in between. [00:02:52] Speaker A: Right, yes, exactly. And then also with the candidates, you get quite involved in personal stories and moves with a whole family. So there's a lot of engagement both with the candidate and obviously the business. [00:03:07] Speaker B: Yeah, I've sensed that. When I've met people who have hired people and when they see them on site, let's say at Norfolk, up in Khraftu, it's always this kind of sense of pride that I hired that person. They're happy. I'm happy. [00:03:21] Speaker A: Yes. [00:03:22] Speaker B: What would you say is the hardest part of this job? [00:03:25] Speaker A: I mean, especially at Northwold, it is really like finding the cutting edge profiles, the superstars that we need for this journey, but also the speed of the whole mission. Everything is super fast paced. We need the people here yesterday and just this combination of running and keeping the quality and bringing in the best people. [00:03:52] Speaker B: There are no breaks. [00:03:54] Speaker A: No, but what's your favorite part about this? It's the same thing, actually. It's the same thing that the challenge is. It's the speed, but it's also the mission that we have, and it feels great to contribute. When I always look back and I talk about how many hires we have done so far, it makes me tremendously proud of the team and what we have accomplished, it's great. And to see the people, like you said earlier, to see the people, meet them on site, then it's fantastic. [00:04:25] Speaker B: I have a fun little question that I actually never asked you before. Do you know how many people that you've hired since you started? [00:04:32] Speaker A: I actually don't. [00:04:34] Speaker B: Do you have an estimate? [00:04:35] Speaker A: Ooh, yeah. It must be, I don't know, over 200. [00:04:41] Speaker B: Wow. [00:04:42] Speaker A: That's a lot. [00:04:43] Speaker B: Yeah, that's definitely a lot. What inspired you to start working? Not just this industry, but of course, as a talent acquisition specialist, actually, how do you say. [00:04:56] Speaker A: I came in by accident. I came to Sweden. I was looking for a job in HR because that was really my passion. But then since I haven't worked with the local laws, the local HR legislation, and so maybe that wasn't the right starting point. And somehow I ended up through a recommendation in talent acquisition. And before, I had never thought that this would be my thing because I always. Before, I thought it was very transactional, like we just talked about before, but it's actually not. So I found that you get a great insight of many jobs. You learn a lot about different roles responsibilities and people. And so I just. Yeah, I fell into it and I fell in love with it. So I think it's a great job. [00:05:42] Speaker B: I love that. I'm just gonna ask you the last little more personal question. Is there anything that you find challenging right now for you and your team that you think is something, that it's an uphill battle? [00:05:55] Speaker A: Yeah, several things, probably, but it's also, again, the speed. Also how Europe, this industry is new to Europe and there is not that much of the competency here already. So it's a lot of relocations. We know from what we have talked about in other settings before that the housing situation in sileftio is not ideal where we're looking to. We need more housing on the market, basically, and I wish we could run faster there. So it's a lot of practical. [00:06:34] Speaker B: It's about everything catching up together. [00:06:35] Speaker A: Exactly. [00:06:37] Speaker B: So one of the hardest questions I ever ask someone is how does a normal day look like for you? [00:06:42] Speaker A: I have to laugh about this question. Sorry, but there is no normal day. Every day looks different and I like it. I think that's a very fun part of my job. But sometimes I'm really like, I'm coming in in the morning. I don't know what the day brings. It can be so many things, but obviously it's like meeting candidates, doing introductions. But it's also a lot of time with my team and to understand where our pain points, how we're doing, what are we really excelling at. And then, of course, understanding the business needs and constantly realizing on priorities and focus. [00:07:25] Speaker B: Yeah, it sounds like at least a little bit stable. I know you said that sometimes you don't know what you're doing when you come in, but that sounds at least that you have some sort of normal see every day, in a sense. That's true. Yeah, that's true. So how did your, or how did your experience look like in recruitment before you came to Norfolk? [00:07:43] Speaker A: I have worked with executive search, I have worked with middle management positions externally as a consultant. But it's my first in house job. I think it's more fast paced from what I understand from others than other companies. It's, of course, a huge ramp up. And when I speak with my network within talent acquisition, there's not many people, many companies who have this immense hiring need, and especially they do all of it in house. Yeah, exactly. And we do everything in house. [00:08:14] Speaker B: Exactly. [00:08:15] Speaker A: But it also makes me incredibly proud of the team that we manage so well. We manage better than most external companies, but external and internal, but I think, yeah, it's really the sheer speed that we're working at is really a major differentiator. But it's also a lot of fun. I mean. [00:08:37] Speaker B: Yeah. Okay. So the reason for this episode is that we've gotten a lot of questions, not only internally from candidates, when you and your team have been hiring people or doing interviews, but also we get a lot of questions on our social as well. How do I work at Norfolk? And so our teams decided that it would be a good idea to have Julia come in and do a Q and A, which I think is super fun. So, potentially, and hopefully we'll give some people some answers to those questions. So, you ready for this? [00:09:06] Speaker A: Yeah, let's do this. [00:09:09] Speaker B: So what kind of person are you looking for? [00:09:13] Speaker A: That's a very good question. That's a question that we also obviously get a lot. We're looking for people who really want to be with us on this journey. I mean, they have to have, obviously, some technical competence depending on which area they go into. But then also, there's more to that. People need to be quite quick in understanding a complex situation. Also, they need to be good at communication because it is fast paced. So you need to understand the message quickly, but also transfer it to someone else, maybe quickly, and then it is still challenging. It is a fun challenge, but it is still challenging. And if you don't have the passion for the mission that we are on to a greener future, then I think it becomes a little bit. Yeah. An uphill battle. An uphill battle, yeah. But if. But what I see is that the people that we have hired, they are really, really passionate about this mission. You can feel it in that people, and it is something that drives them to take on this challenge and to keep going. [00:10:16] Speaker B: Yeah. So drive and looking for people who want to be a part of this crazy journey. That's a good answer. One that we definitely get a lot of questions about is why does it take so long to hear from you guys? [00:10:33] Speaker A: Yes. I'm not proud of that one, but it's something that we also. We have to be realistic about. We're still working on it, so give us some time. We're really trying to improve this, but it's also, if you look at the sheer volume of applications that we get, I looked quickly at what we got last year, and it's 180,000 applications for the year, which is awesome. It makes me feel really proud. So many people want to be part of this journey, but it's also this volume. Obviously, it creates a lot of work, and so it takes a little bit longer to get through all that just. [00:11:11] Speaker B: To give some comparison for other industries or companies. 100,000 plus. Is that a normal number or is that a lot? [00:11:19] Speaker A: That's a lot. [00:11:20] Speaker B: Okay. That's a lot. [00:11:21] Speaker A: That's a lot. [00:11:22] Speaker B: I'm just asking out of curiosity because I don't know what a normal number is. [00:11:25] Speaker A: I mean, it's really for those super popular companies, Google, Spotify, and so they are around there, but otherwise, so that. [00:11:36] Speaker B: Is a crazy number. Wow. So another question that we could get, or I think potentially you get a lot more than what we would ever get on external platforms, is what kind of career development opportunities do we offer here? [00:11:50] Speaker A: Yeah, and that's also a very good question, and I understand that people are really interested in that here. I want to reflect a little bit upon the past, the current and the future state of the company. So you grow with the growth of the company, but you also, you're learning so much within your job, so you're rising to the task, as we say, and that gives you a lot of development opportunity already. But then, of course, now we're becoming a bigger company that is also becoming more structured, which means that we also, we're professionalizing this journey to make it more clear and outspoken. And I think then in the future you will have clearer career path. But actually, we also, if someone is really up for the challenge and is really thriving in this environment, we have seen a lot of personal growth within people and for most people, but it was also kind of nice to not. [00:12:59] Speaker B: Have all those checkboxes that you have. [00:13:00] Speaker A: To do before you can go to the next step. [00:13:04] Speaker B: Would you also say, talking to some people have been here for a while, would you also say that there are some careers or opportunities or openings that just haven't even come up yet that will eventually, because we're still very much growing. [00:13:18] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Definitely. [00:13:20] Speaker B: So that in itself is also a career opportunity. [00:13:22] Speaker A: Exactly. [00:13:22] Speaker B: If you come here, maybe in a few years, there will literally be a job that didn't exist before, but. [00:13:29] Speaker A: Exactly. And we have seen that in the past already. We have created new jobs. We needed new titles. Everyone needed to grow with their team. The teams needed to split. We needed new managers, more managers and so forth. Puzzle. It's a puzzle, yeah. And it will continue to be one. [00:13:47] Speaker B: Yeah. So what roles and locations are a priority right now? [00:13:52] Speaker A: I mean, it really, as I said, it depends on the location, what roles are in priority. But if you generalize, it's really programs and construction and then production related roles, maintenance, shift managers, operators and so forth. Everyone who gets in North America and Germany, who gets the factories up and running in Sweden, who supports the production process quality, very important area as well, is growing a lot. So is the engineering space. So those are really our focus. And I mean, if you want to put a priority on it, it's a little bit difficult because, I mean, obviously. [00:14:31] Speaker B: They'Re all a priority. [00:14:32] Speaker A: They're all priority. Right. And North America and Germany really need to get going and build everything up. But I mean, Sweden is already up, so here we need to put in people to actually make sure that the production is running. [00:14:50] Speaker B: So in that sense, the location is the priority because that's where things are happening. [00:14:54] Speaker A: Yes. [00:14:55] Speaker B: Yeah. Okay. So why should people go to Norfolk? Why should they go to Kholeftu? [00:15:01] Speaker A: Yeah, good question. I mean, I think she left you is actually a really nice place. And I swear, every time I come up it's sunny. No, no, but it is a lovely place. It's a smaller town. I think everything is closed. From what I've heard, it's a fantastic location for families. But also the municipality is extremely active in ramping up the whole town and every service around it. So they also doing a lot to attract more singles or couples. So I think it's really becoming a fun place. If you love nature, that is fantastic because there are loads of opportunities what you can do there. But I also have to be frank. If you're a big city person and New York is your favorite place in the world, this is not the place. It is a smaller town, but very, very pretty and lovely. I think that is also a very fun part of our job that we actually, we're not only building a company here, we're building also a whole society up in the north of Sweden, a new large community. Yes. [00:16:10] Speaker B: So what do you like the most about Norfolk's culture? [00:16:14] Speaker A: The engagement of the people. [00:16:16] Speaker B: Really. [00:16:16] Speaker A: I think the people here are very helpful. Everybody's super busy. You have really, you see that, you know, everybody fulfilling that challenge, but also their culture is really, we do that as a team, you know, we fix this together. And that is what a lot of people have commented when, after I hired them and I checked in with them and they're like, oh, this is really great. You know, it's not like, like people are standing around asking, can I help you with anything? But if you go to someone, you have to be proactive. But if you go to someone and say, I really need input here, people usually drop what they have and they help you. And that is really, really great. That makes me feel really proud and, yeah, I mean, we challenge each other. We don't always accept the status quo, but we grow together as a company. And that's what I really like about the culture. [00:17:10] Speaker B: How do you make sure that the company stays the same with its culture as we grow? [00:17:18] Speaker A: I think that is, of course, a very important part that we also want to spend a lot of time on with the HR organization. Obviously, in Ta we already talent acquisition, we focus on bringing the right culture contribution in. But also HR is doing a lot to talk about, you know, our values so that everybody is aware what they mean to us, how do we interpret them and how do we work according to them. We have a lot of internal learning sessions from the lead and learn team. We have a lot of different other forums where this is discussed. I think we have a management team that is still very engaged, gets a weekly update from Peter still, which is great. That gives us a lot of spirit. [00:18:12] Speaker B: Not a lot of CEO's that do that. [00:18:14] Speaker A: No, exactly. So this is super appreciated. And yeah, we have fun together. We have had great parties together, we had great, great events together. So this is something that we want to continue to make sure we stay kind to each other. Yeah, exactly. [00:18:34] Speaker B: I have a. It's not a question that we have here in the Q and A, but something that I was reflecting on when I was listening to a different recording and something that is brought up quite a bit when you and your team are recruiting, do you feel that lack of knowledge and education that people have for this industry because it is so new, is that something you feel? [00:18:58] Speaker A: Of course, yeah. I mean, it's something that we talk about every day. It is a new industry. It is a new industry to Europe. So of course we still need to work educational in the process and we cannot do everything in the interview. That's also something that we, it's a message that we send also internally that we need to even do even more on the educational side, parallel everything out. [00:19:29] Speaker B: In society, but also in the company. [00:19:31] Speaker A: Yeah. And we are working internally on new training programs, which is great. So we need to do more of that because if you don't find the right talents, you need to kind of like raise them from within. Right. You need to have the right education within. But also, obviously for the attraction part, you already need some pre education in order to attract. [00:19:53] Speaker B: Okay, I have one last question that I think the listener might want to hear. What advice would you give someone who wants to work at Norfolk, what do they need to do? [00:20:03] Speaker A: So it's a good one. I mean, for example, when it comes to the applications, you want to stick out in a way. Right. And now when you go online on the search for it, then there are a lot of creative tips about how to pimp your cv and something. We have very little time to screen a cv. So for us, the best cv is a very lean cv, actually, where we quickly see what you have done, that you have advanced in your career, and we understand what timeframe you have spent at which company, in which position. So keep it very simple there. But then also think about, when thinking about your last question, about the education that you have read up on what we're doing, because obviously, we're interested in people who have already a little bit of engagement before, who have done the research. [00:21:03] Speaker B: Pre knowledge. [00:21:04] Speaker A: Pre knowledge, exactly. And who have thought it through if they want to be on this mission, because that's going back to the first question, being really ready for this challenge. We want to see that already in the first call. [00:21:20] Speaker B: Yeah. Okay. So engagement with the company, simple lean cv. [00:21:26] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:21:26] Speaker B: That's what people need to do. Yeah. Okay, great. Thank you so much for joining me in the studio, Julia. [00:21:31] Speaker A: Thank you so much for having me. [00:21:32] Speaker B: This was fantastic. I think you gave people a lot of food for thought. [00:21:37] Speaker A: Thank you. I hope so. But, yeah, everybody feel free to reach out. Also, if you have more questions, reach out so we can talk about it. [00:21:46] Speaker B: Okay. Thank you for listening, and if you enjoyed this episode, please go listen to other challenge accepted episodes. If you're interested in what we do at the company, please listen to our in the loop episodes and the future of energy. Thank you for listening.

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