Case Study - Recruitment
In-house recruiter finds rare cybersecurity talent - 11 total hires in just 6 months
Finders Seekers x Insta
Insta were looking for a recruitment partner with a difference: a talent partner to deliver a strategy that would engage the competitive talent market and enable internal recruitment processes to flourish.
Meet the client
In-house recruiter helps internal team scale
Insta Group, founded in the 1960s, is a family-owned tech company with a wide corporate portfolio encompassing cutting-edge software and hardware technologies: industrial automation, defence, green industry, cybersecurity, and aviation are just some of its varied business functions. With over 1000 staff and a turnover of 150€ million in 2021, Insta does not chase quick wins, but aims for sustainable growth, working with both the public and private sector.
Marja Leena Koskinen, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, specifically wanted to develop a talent strategy that would highlight how working at Insta is a really unique opportunity to work with cutting-edge tech that is not widely available elsewhere in Finland, or even abroad.
Elina Niemimaa, Vice President (Cyber & Digital), articulated the need to find the right talent and retain it.
In February 2020 Insta started building their own in-house recruitment team, commencing by hiring in-house recruiter Emma Kurki, Recruitment Lead, to help further engage the talent market in this incredibly competitive sector. To help scale Emma’s and the rest of the team’s in-house efforts, Insta were looking to work with a recruitment partner with a difference. Though the team had previously used recruiters, working with Finders Seekers was about working with a partner who could do more.
As Marja-Leena Koskinen remembers:
“Emma had previously heard of Finders Seekers and mentioned them when we started looking into potential talent partners.
As well as being innovative, the Finders Seekers attitude to talent attraction was fun, positive, yet super professional at the same time.”
Not satisfied with simply buying from a recruitment vendor, Insta wanted a partner who would help them truly engage with the talent community in a meaningful way.
As well as finding stellar candidates for hard-to-fill cyber security positions, Insta wanted someone who could really integrate into the company life and communicate the Insta value proposition to the talent market clearly and effectively. Partnering with Finders Seekers was about investing in a long-term talent strategy, and therefore, bringing in an in-house recruiter from Finders Seekers made perfect sense.
Ida Mansikkamäki, Senior IT Talent Advisor & Partner, joined Insta as an in-house recruiter in late 2021, bringing her own tech talent expertise to the table. Right from the beginning, Ida and Emma worked closely together as a team.
Emma remembers how Ida quickly jumped in and got sourcing candidates: “From the beginning Ida’s mindset has been very much about working as a team member, really working as an Insta recruiter.”
Ida’s tech talent expertise was something that Insta were keen to maximize. It is no exaggeration to label the talent market for cyber and digitization roles as extremely competitive, as Elina underlines:
“The talent market is very competitive: consultancy firms, organizations, and everyone else are competing for a very small talent pool. So the emphasis is on the recruiter to express the true value of the organization.”
This is where Ida’s specialist knowledge of the talent market stood her in good stead, enabling her to quickly identify Insta’s key value propositions in the talent market.
As well as headhunting candidates for key roles in cybersecurity and software, a holistic approach to Insta’s talent acquisition strategy was adopted. Activities such as personalized recruitment training for hiring managers and 1:1 mentoring meant that the impact of the collaboration was amplified throughout the organization. Ida’s introduction of new recruitment processes such as a candidate feedback loop meant that Insta could start to gather more insightful recruitment data. On the sourcing side, Ida worked with internal teams to improve direct messaging, job ads, and sourcing strategies in order to allow Insta to upgrade its talent acquisition strategy.
One of the core successes of the collaboration was the successful recruitment of so-called unicorns: cyber security specialists, and the total number of hires after 6 months was 11.
And though these hires were a big success, Insta also had a lot of praise for the other elements of the partnership.
Marja-Leena praises the ability of “a senior consultant who has an outside perspective to develop the internal recruitment outfit and help things move faster.”
Having a constant feedback loop kept Ida at the forefront of developing internal processes. Upgrading job ads, collaborating with hiring managers on job specs and hiring rounds – just a few of the ways in which Ida helped Insta refine their internal talent strategy
In terms of Ida’s approach, her hands-on attitude has won her praise throughout the organization as Marja-Leena emphasizes:
“Ida is brilliant and her expertise shines through in our conversations, materials, training, everything – in this specific niche, Ida is definitely amongst the best in Finland.”
Ida was especially talented at helping hiring managers and senior leadership understand the current talent market and how Insta could best stand out. Elina elaborates how “Ida has not only found great candidates for very challenging roles, but she has also been brave about bringing out her own ideas and expertise to the table.”
Emma feels like the in-house model adopted in this collaboration is actually “better for the candidate: this way they get closer to the brand faster, and the recruiter is going deeper than just a surface-level understanding of the organization and the roles.”
Ida also collaborated with other in-house recruiters on their sourcing strategy – sharing information about how best to research candidates, what sort of messages to send, and how to best convey company value. All in all, it was this combination of successful high-value hires, Ida’s expertise, and the holistic approach to tech recruitment in a highly competitive field that gave Insta the edge. As Elina Niemimaa summarizes, recruitment has become increasingly central to Insta’s commercial strategy: “Now we see recruitment as a core strategic function.”
Would you recommend working with Finders Seekers?
Marja-Leena feels that the results speak for themselves:
“Ida not only delivered cyber security candidates of an exceptional quality, she has also matched us with unbelievably high-quality candidates that suited our organization and resonated with our values, delivering on the brief right to the very end. On multiple occasions I have had spontaneous positive feedback from hiring managers and leadership on Ida’s attitude and professionalism.”
With this collaboration, it wasn’t just about the numbers: the overall support and the holistic approach to recruitment allowed Insta to maximize the collaboration ROI. Ida received praise for not only filling roles with challenging job descriptions, but also using recruitment data to help justify and educate. The collaboration has been part of a wider transformation exercise for the organization.
Marja-Leena explains why Ida’s stay with the company was actually extended:
“Having Ida with us for this long has really helped us develop, find results, and replicate models so that everyone is doing the same things at the same time.”
Emma specifically praises Ida’s tech expertise as a big value-add of the collaboration:
“This is what you get when you work with a tech specialist like Finders Seekers, this is the added value. Ida has genuinely been a colleague to all of us here on Insta’s in-house recruitment team.”