In my previous post I wrote about how we made it to 100 FTEs. This process pushed us (as usual) far outside of our comfort zones in search of the people who could join our Leadership Team.
The Leadership Team for us is the exemplification of Predica values, our Triangle of Power, and lots of experience in the specific areas of our operations. These are the people who make tough decisions every day, draft vision and strategy of how we go about running our company and keep delivering value to our customers in the ever-changing information technology landscape.
Until only a few months ago, it was always our 4 founders (“the founding fathers”) who did this with a much smaller structure. But the scale and size of our organization requires us to expand our setup and grow this team.
For 3 reasons, mainly:
I was personally responsible for filling the gaps in our team. This caused me to look deep into our Predica core values, and what we are looking for in the people we work with, putting emphasis on 3 key elements:
Knowing whom we were looking for, we then took a step back to review recruitment methodologies that would fit our need.
A mistake in hiring a high-level executive can be very costly.
Hence, we reviewed a lot of books, materials and frameworks for recruitment. We found 2 that were especially useful:
Besides these two frameworks, we’ve gathered an extensive database of interesting questions that we can weave into the interview. However, we won’t reveal those and will keep them as a surprise for you. If you are interested, you can apply and experience them yourself! 🙂
During the recruitment process for these executive positions, we’ve included 3 important steps that we think should be a part of every executive recruitment. We are now test running them for our other searches!
This document describes in great detail the position for which you are applying. We feel that today’s standard job offers do not provide enough meaningful information to make an important job change decision. Hence, the position brief will include at least:
We will require you to procure at least 2-3 reference contacts to your previous employers (ideally your direct managers). Then we will likely also search through our own network to see if we can reach out to someone who has worked with you at any of your previous positions. These reference calls serve not only to validate some of your experiences, but also to make the onboarding process smoother.
However, we also provide reference contacts for the candidate. This means you can talk to someone at Predica in a similar role and hear their story. You won’t just get the one from the hiring manager or HR!
We will spend at least 3 hours with you and go through your entire career, as well as delve into the details of the role at Predica. This ensures there are no significant gaps between us and that both parties understand in detail what the relation will look like.
We went through this process for 3 positions for our Leadership Team recently, and today we are happy to announce 3 new key leaders joining our organization: Urszula Banasik, Marek Drob and Grzegorz Rycaj.
Here is the list of people who greatly impact the shape of Predica every day:
Ewa joined us just 2 years ago as a Board Assistant, and making tremendous progress, she is now responsible for all operations and administration. She manages a 3-person team and 3 offices (Warsaw, Doha, Cairo), in addition to corporate cost control.
Additionally, Ewa and her team optimize our expenses, as well as expense control (like delegations system). She ensures we continue to deliver the best value for our customers while keeping our costs in check. This includes relations with banks and accounting firms that help us stay compliant with the local laws.
Ula joined us 1 month ago, with a vast experience in HR at organizations like Orange, Raiffeisen and mBank. The corporate background did not, however, stop her entrepreneurial drive to improve and optimize HR processes on a large scale.
At Predica Ula takes on the challenging role of Head of HR. It is challenging, because our business is based in 95% on people. Hence, their performance defines company performance. Some of the areas she is accountable for: training and learning, compensation and benefits, culture, employer branding, recruitment.
Piotr joined us 9 months ago, and immediately rolled up his sleeves and started to improve how we do marketing. We (founders) worked with Piotr at Microsoft, so we knew we were like-minded in approach. In the last 4 years, Piotr has gained a lot of experience in digital marketing, running his own company Loopa.eu in the e-commerce space.
Since Piotr joined, our marketing footprint has increased enormously. Our social media fanbases grew by ~140% on LinkedIn and an impressive ~450% on Facebook. In terms of our website traffic, we have also seen a ~360% increase in average weekly sessions.
These numbers can be seen to make a difference. As a result, even after this short time we can already trace 20% of our opportunities (and counting!) to marketing. We are happy to see this growth and at the same time, adding structure to this function at our firm.
At Predica, Piotr is responsible for managing our 4-person marketing team, the marketing budget and most of all, generating leads from digital media.
Marek has joined Predica only recently (1.05). He started his career at IBM, and then at Billennium he was the man behind the success of the Service Delivery department. Marek’s journey at Billennium began with a seven-person team in Lublin 8 years ago, and finished with 530 FTE in 4 Delivery Centers in Poland and Offshore Delivery Center Pune, India.
At Predica Marek is responsible for 2 key areas of our Delivery unit:
Grzegorz joined Predica at the same time as Marek, coming from the same organization. A multiple Microsoft MVP, currently holding Microsoft Regional Director title, Grzegorz built a number of products and a highly-skilled cloud consulting department at Billennium, where he has been acting as a Board Member for a couple of years. His team was responsible, amongst others, for the largest adoption of public cloud for the Polish administration (JPK file gateway deployment for the Polish Ministry of Finance).
At Predica, Grzegorz is responsible for 2 key areas of our Consulting unit:
Our technology ‘oracle’, MVP since 2004 (with a short break while working at Microsoft), Tomasz joined Predica as Partner in 2012, and has been driving the technology part of our business strongly ever since. In his recent blog post he’s given some insights into an example project he’s put in place lately.
And it’s much more than that. From blockchain to cybersecurity and machine learning, Tomasz is our go-to guy, who guides Predica’s technology directions in the ever-changing IT landscape.
Aka “The Brain”, Pawel is the force behind all Predica data models, reporting and systems. As COO he is responsible for improving and automating processes related to our company operations. Additionally, as GM, he manages the whole Polish division of the company (95+ FTE).
As Shareholder Representative I am expected to take Predica Shareholders’ long-term view into account. This requires me to put the company interests before my own, or any other share- or stakeholder’s. All of us, owners, have the same perspective and attitude but some of my “special roles” include M&A, financial and legal structure of our companies.
As Board Member I am engaged in day-to-day operations of the company, acting as a stand-in for any of the other Board Members (our Board is the 4 founders of Predica). The few areas where I specialize in and am actively engaging on a daily basis are: HR, contract negotiations, conflict resolution, finance.
The “Steve Jobs” of Predica, and Greg does wear a black turtleneck to work sometimes! 🙂 The man behind our most ambitious and courageous endeavors: Predica Middle East, IoT partnership with Gerda, Predica Egypt, just to name a few. As CEO, he is responsible for Predica’s expansion to new business lines and regions.
And although not part of our Leadership, but taking on a new, challenging role in our organization is:
Andrzej is our long-time security expert and Microsoft MVP. He has proven himself in technical, sales and managerial roles, and now is stepping up, moving with his family to the Middle Eastern deserts. He will take full accountability of our operations in the Gulf countries.
What is important is that we are definitely hands-on leaders, who engage in all kinds of activities. We meet with customers, prepare (or evaluate and comment on) proposals, participate in recruitment etc.
In these activities we aim to be examples for all our employees – taking accountability, rolling up our sleeves in everyday problems, and providing valuable feedback and help to all employees. Consequently, we don’t lose perspective of what it’s really like to be a Predica customer, employee or partner.
Aside from the day-to-day ‘hustle’, we meet every 2 weeks to work out the most complex issues. Additionally, every year we travel for 2 days offsite to work out more long-term strategic plans. It’s valuable that each of us has a different background, specialization and experience. This diversity brings lots of discussion but often sheds light on difficult issues through various perspectives.
We are happy to head into mid-2018 with such a strong management team and are excited to see what the future brings! If you’d like to join us on this journey, get in touch!
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