How Mats got a job without the right industry experience: "We look for the right person instead"
How does a company navigate to find competent staff in a Skellefteå where the battle for new employees is fierce?
Scandic dared to think outside the box and recruited Mats Bergqvist from the Church of Sweden, who is now studying Scandic's internal leadership training.
- We would rather build and strengthen the individual than stare blindly at a CV. It's the person that's important," says Elin Burström, Hotel Director.
This hotel business was something completely new to Mats, apart from a few nights as a hotel guest over the years, he had never been involved in the industry.
But it was as much a gamble for him as it was for Elin, who recruited Mats to Scandic in Skellefteå at the end of the pandemic.
- Here you have to trust your gut and be a bit brave. If you wait too long, you risk losing a talented employee. For us, it's a strength to have diversity in our hotels with employees who have different backgrounds and experiences," says Elin.
18 languages at the hotel
Some time ago, the hotel had taken stock of how many languages they spoke, just to know if there would be a need to communicate with any guest, and found that the staff collectively knew 18 different languages.
- We're proud of that. It creates a sense of belonging with our guests and the staff is very much appreciated by our visitors," says Elin.
For Scandic Skellefteå, it has been a recipe for success to recruit more on personality than strictly on a CV. This has been partly driven by the fact that it is difficult to find people with the right CV, but a big advantage is that it is possible to search broadly for employees instead.
Just as it did for Mats.
- I come from the events industry, you could say, I've worked with pub shows from the beginning, and now most recently for the Church of Sweden with their events and conferences offering and technology issues, says Mats.
It was also when Scandic's technology manager recruited Mats, as they needed someone to be responsible for the technology in the meetings department. He has since gone on to complete Scandic's one-year leadership programme, Future Leaders.
- I'm really enjoying myself, something positive happens in a workplace when the values are really followed. It creates a sense of joy and warmth in the workplace. I like that people are given high priority," says Mats.
Every day is different
Today, Mats is a restaurant manager at Scandic in Skellefteå. He is one of those who work with the evening restaurant and have contact with companies.
You've been given a different role than the one you were hired for, how does that feel?
- At Scandic you really get to grow as a professional and also as a person. It doesn't matter which role you take on first, if you have the drive to develop, you can get wherever you want to go," he says.
What does a day look like?
- It's so incredibly different and I appreciate that. If we have a big event, we work in preparation for it, some days it's stage building and other days it's taking care of our guests. Meeting as many people as possible per day is my goal.
Mats is in the middle of internal leadership training, which focuses a lot on including employees in the workflow.
"Something happens when we meet"
- This old way of pointing with the whole hand is long gone. Today, it's about getting to know yourself and your strengths. You let employees grow and dare to make their own decisions, on their own initiative," says Mats.
- And then a CV plays quite a small role, adds Elin.
So how do you find the right employer?
- One thing I've learned is to spend time meeting as many people as possible before a recruitment, even if a CV might not be typical for the position. Something happens when we meet as people," says Elin.
Mats believes there is a need for more events where companies and jobseekers can find each other.
- Maybe an event for quick interviews? We need to catch up with all the new Skellefteå residents, and there are a lot of accompanying people who move here to work at Northvolt, for example. I'd love to strike a blow for the hotel industry, which I've fallen a bit in love with. You get to know a lot of people, both regulars and all the enterprising companies. For me, it's not a transit industry, I'm here to stay," says Mats.