Recruiter in Focus: Marie Olsson Brown

We <3 recruiters. We think it's about time to let everybody know about all the amazing recruiters out there, some of which we have the joy of working with. This is the start of an interview series where we talk to recruiters that we feel deserve some extra love. Read about the amazing Marie Olsson Brown and get inspired!

Tell us about yourself and your way to becoming the Talent Manager at Bambora!

With an interest for marketing, people and student life, I started out with several years of studying in Lund. That resulted in a degree in marketing and human resources, and of course – friends for life. However, this was in 2002, and there weren't a lot of job openings in that scope of studies back then. Thus, I started working at an advertising agency and then switched to recruiting and HR.

That mix turned out great because eventually employer branding became a line of business, and it felt completely right. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to work with attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining. With an energetic personality and incredible impatience, I have found myself in a lot of startup and developing environments. Most recently I was in an entrepreneurial Oriflame as the Global Talent Manager. To be able to use these interests and experiences at Bambora now feels so right and important.

What defines Bambora's workplace culture?

Bambora is the ”world’s biggest startup” which creates an incredible creative environment where we are expected to think outside of the box, and to maintain the innovative surroundings that we have. As we have merged several companies, collaboration is something that we really value. It's essential to make the business work and continue to transfer knowledge. There’s so much competence within the company that we have to identify and mediate, and for that to happen we have to collaborate and see ourselves as a unit.

So what defines us is innovation, collaboration and that we live in a culture where we are encouraged to think modern to change the market.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the HR departments will face in the future?

I think leadership is an important component and challenge. The new modern leader and employees have new demands on a leader. These demands are characterized by three E-s. Engaged leadership, empowerment, and education. Engaged leadership is important because the struggle for talents is going to be about retaining and keeping talents, and very rarely do talents stay at a workplace if there is a weak leader. The leader is also expected to engage and develop. To be able to do this, the modern leader has to be educated in how to keep up with this future and how to meet the new demands. This is especially important because we have a generation change and the space between resigning managers and new is small, and education has to replace experience.

The last E stands for empowerment. We are living in such a fast-paced world that the knowledge has to be found within the organization. The management won’t be able to be experts of everything. They have to depend on their employees, know that they are the experts and utilize their knowledge. That’s why empowerment is essential because those who have the knowledge are the employees and they have to get the trust to do what they are best at, they have to be empowered.

We (in HR) know all this, but the challenge is that not every organization is as modern in their setup. They don’t have the conditions for it; neither in where they are choosing to spend their budget nor in the way the organization is built. They are afraid to take that step. That is going to be a big challenge.

How is it to be a part of a merger of several companies?

Crazy, lovely and very energy boosting. We at Bambora are living in an amazing and turbulent world. From an HR perspective we didn't have anything when we started! We were a completely blank canvas but with more than 400 employees and now we are even more. This creates lovely opportunities and challenges. The opportunities are that I get to be a part of creating processes that traditionally takes years to build, but we are expected to create and implement them in a couple of months. This gives me incredible professional challenges and opportunities. We have been a part of creating everything. So the answer is crazy, professionally challenging, educating and innovative.

What advice would you give other recruiters?

Be a part of the business and understand it, see recruitment as the business benefit that it really is. Think about the numbers and really get into budgets and business plans to see the long-term need and strategy with every recruitment. And challenge, challenge, challenge. All the way from challenging the stubborn senior recruiter to your own and others preconceptions. Also challenge preconceived role descriptions. Educate and contribute to thinking outside the norm when it comes to age, gender, type of business or other unwritten expectations. You can and you will make a change!

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