Business smart / human kind: The Ollion way of working
Considering that we're fishing in the same talent pool as a great many top notch consulting and technology firms, how do we differentiate ourselves? What really makes Ollion unique, and why do people work for us?
Business smart / human kind: The Ollion way of working
Ute Braasch, chief people and culture officer
As the Chief People and Culture Officer for an ambitious new company, I find myself faced with what I call the “exam question.”
Considering that we're fishing in the same talent pool as a great many top notch consulting and technology firms, how do we differentiate ourselves credibly with our employees and recruits? What really makes us unique, and why do people work for us?
The answer is critical, because in our industry, people are everything. The quality of our solutions, our service delivery and our client relationships hinge on the caliber and engagement of our people. Will they form meaningful connections with our clients? Are they motivated to find a unique angle to our client’s problems? Will they feel satisfied with their work?
Multiply your potential
Instead of hiring an external consultant to help us find the answer to this question, we turned to the folks who know best: our Ollion Oll-Stars, the nearly 600 employees who have come together from 2nd Watch, Aptitive, CloudCover and Cloud Comrade. We listened deeply and learnt some really interesting and – considering the diversity of our legacy companies – remarkably consistent stories.
Ultimately, our talented employees work for us because they believe in our vision and think that Ollion is a place where they can truly multiply their potential. That might sound audacious, but it’s no less bold than our company's purpose: to multiply humanity’s potential. It’s in our DNA to strive to help others achieve great things – be it our clients, our clients’ customers or our own teams.
So how do we do that? We think of this in four pillars:
- Create impact. Our employees want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to leave a legacy, a feeling that their work means something. At Ollion, we work with clients who inspire us in many different ways, whether because they’re purpose-led organizations or they’re unicorns or brand names. They engage with the open source community, actively sharing technology, ideas and ways of working. They are part of building a new age tech consultancy.
- Learn and grow. Smaller firms do not have the luxury of training departments, corporate universities or elaborate talent development programs. But let’s face it. That’s not where true learning and development happens anyway. Our training ground is the incredibly interesting, industry- and tech-agnostic work we deliver to our clients where our teams can build out their broad-based skills sets without getting pigeonholed. Our flat structure gives our employees access to opportunities and interactions that, in larger organizations, would often take years to participate in. And yes, of course we ensure our employees get the right certification training. That’s table stakes.
- Experience great culture. Because we’ve brought several companies together, we are putting a lot of emphasis on shaping a unifying, differentiated culture that is open by default, nurturing, creative, bold and inclusive. It also really helps that you’re not just a number when you join Ollion. It’s easy to get to know others, even globally. And we’re working hard to maintain our startup vibe – with the benefit of being backed by a strategic, long-term investor.
- Be your whole self. At Ollion, we recognize that people are more than just their work. In order to give your max at work, you have to be able to balance out your life overall. And since that optimum looks different to each of us, we try to provide maximum flexibility to our employees. For instance, we have no mandate to come to the office - instead, we give plenty of workspace choices. We push our insurers to offer a range of benefits for, say, employees who choose alternative medicine. We focus on wellness and work-life balance, and are committed to diversity and corporate social responsibility.
These are lofty aspirations for any firm, especially a newly merged, ambitious business, but it seems to resonate with our current employees and recruits alike. We continue to punch above our weight in our ability to attract and retain outstanding talent, and I take it as a compliment that our people are highly sought after by our competitors.
Fishing in a bigger pond
We recognize that our competitors are going to reel in a lot of the big fish in the recruiting pond, particularly early-career recruits coming from renowned universities. We are confident we can compete – but we also seek to expand the pond.
Ollion is a welcome change for many mid-career hires, return-to-work parents and early-career recruits. We know these people have the skills we’re searching for, and we know we can provide a necessary culture shift from some of our competitors. Some mid-career hires went straight to their dream job at a larger consultancy and got burned out – our more boutique, team-based approach can be an antidote. Or someone returning to work with a significant career gap could have trouble making inroads in other companies; at Ollion, we value the expertise they bring from their job history as well as their life experience. If they have the right skills and can back it up, we’re willing to invest in them.
When I said I take it as a compliment that our people are highly sought after by our competitors, that starts with us finding those gems in less traditional talent pools. We build upon that potential by nurturing our employees, offering them room to grow in the directions they want to grow in. If that makes them more employable in our competitors eyes, so be it – we aren’t going to rein in our employee value proposition just to hold on to them and stifle their careers.
That’s how we multiply our employees’ potential. With out-of-the-box thinking, teamwork and genuine investment in solving our clients’ business problems, our employees reciprocate by multiplying our company’s potential. And with the combination of all of this potential comes Ollion’s purpose: to multiply humanity’s potential.
Want to get in on the change you can be? Head to our careers page.