My first day at Lindström starts off with a hug. My new supervisor has come to greet me in the lobby and warmly welcomes me with a smile. To mark my joining the team there is a cake adorning the office desk upstairs. People are buzzing around it as my new team has been called to together. This is the group I am now part of. I am nervous — in a good way!
To be honest I have not been actively seeking employment. I never imagined I would be sitting at a table with people completely new to me, drinking coffee and eating cake while talking about who I am and where I come from. So, why did I apply for a job at Lindström? Was it a coincidence, fate, good luck or some other supernatural moment written in the stars when, at the last stretch of my maternity leave, I decided to take a peek at the sales and marketing job opportunities available in the Helsinki metropolitan area. There were a total of 308 vacancies. The position of Senior Key Account Manager at Lindström was one of them.
Values guiding in job selection
Personally, I appreciate the training and development opportunities a job has to offer, I feel that the world is close to my heart and my views are liberal. Sustainability is a value that is very important to me. I try to recycle whenever possible, I think about my carbon footprint as a consumer, I want to be aware of different environmental impacts and I remember worrying about the future of our planet since I have been a teenager. Sustainability is a value that my employer cannot ignore. Disregard for sustainability cannot be hidden behind empty phrases or ignored. Before sending my application I wanted to know how the textile company has done its part with regard to sustainability and how well the values of the company match mine. How employees are cared for and what it is like to work at Lindström.
As a job seeker, the nuggets of information often have to be gathered from public discussions and company websites, if you do not happen to know someone working at the company who could provide further information. The more material there is available on a company the more transparent the operations of the company become. I did not primarily look for information from an expert or “marketeer”, using public online channels. Instead, I started by asking what a friend of a friend, who had worked at the company years ago, had to say about the company. Her message was, “Go for it!” I then took a closer look at the company’s website and googled what information would be available on the company. As a job seeker, I was interested in what types of blog posts the company published, what customers thought about Lindström and what views the company had on different subjects — what the company wanted to communicate to the world! My view of Lindström formed very quickly and was purely positive.
This is where I wanted to work!
The website often mentioned topics such as emotion, innovation, circular economy, sustainability, responsibility, taking care of others, eco-friendliness, well-being at work and family business. I had a strong sense that it would be easy for me to agree with these values. I wanted to be part of Lindström because the company was open to discussion about topics that are important to me without hiding the downsides of the industry. Quite the opposite, negative aspects of the textile industry, such as child labor, were approached with strict zero-tolerance and the company was frantically trying to find different recycling solutions for textile waste. I feel that is important, especially when working in sales, that I can fully stand behind the product or service I am trying to sell. That is why the values related to a product or service must be in order. My nature does not let me do or say things that go against my values.
The application process is a two-way street
When I was applying for the job I did not really think how this image was created. Without a functional and informative company website, I probably would never had bothered to update my CV from several years ago, let alone being willing to go through a multi-stage recruitment process. The employer’s image grew even stronger during the recruitment process and the recruiter was the first person to give a face to the whole organization. The first encounter was virtual, as I had a video interview while my firstborn was taking a nap in the next room. Without this possibility, taking part in an interview would have been challenging to say the least.
The employer must be able to market itself even before drawing up a job advertisement by thinking about what type of image they want to portray and what kinds of people they want to attract. The employer must also continue to think about these aspects and market themselves during the entire recruitment process. Just like the employer is considering whether they want to hire this Katri, that Katri herself is considering whether she wants to work for that employer.