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OPERATION BLACKSMITH – PART 3: A COURSE FOR GOING INTERNATIONAL

Our latest Blacksmith meetup has just come to an end. This time, eight people from different Vainu countries gathered at our newly opened office in New York.

As you might remember from our blog previously, we have an internal development program called Blacksmith. The aim is to shape the talent we have at Vainu and benchmark the way we work with other companies.

During four days in New York the group exchanged ideas and knowledge, carried out three office visits with inspiring companies in the city and made plans for how Vainu can continue to grow and improve both its product and organization. 

Our gathering in New York was the first time this year that we had people from all our Vainu offices gathered in one room, including our new offices in New York and Oslo. With the new setup in mind, to say we had a lot to talk about would be an understatement.


The Blacksmith program aims to help Vainu’s talent develop and benchmark the way we work with other companies.

Thursday, our first day in New York, we met at our US office, located at one of the WeWork co-working offices in Manhattan. During the first hours, we had Samuel Lee, our first US hire, walk us through the basics of the American market.

Being used to working in Europe, it was soon clear that things work a little bit different on the other side of the Atlantic. We discussed best practices for sales and marketing in the US, and talked about how we will implement those when launching Vainu in the new market. The Blacksmith group got many ideas and teachings to bring back home with them – such as using more content in the sales process and using different tools to do that effectively.

During our stay in New York, the Blacksmith team had the pleasure to meet and discuss sales and business with three great companies based in the city.  


OFFICE VISITS

Smartly.io
Smartly.io is one of Finland’s fastest growing startups. They launched in 2013 and today they have offices all around the world. In New York, they recently moved from WeWork to an office right next to Times Square. We discussed how to build a successful international company and how to keep every employee aligned with the company's main objectives.

As Vainu grows larger we need to allocate time for maintaining a good communication between every office. It could be by arranging weekly meetings where each office joins to share feedback, experiences and updates on what’s happening on their market, or doing the small things such as arranging one-on-one lunches over Skype with a colleague from another office.

Google
It was really interesting to see how Google approaches talent acquisition, how a huge company maintains order and how they maintain a motivated and innovation-driven culture amongst their people. It was also inspring to see how they focus on using their employees networks when hiring new people – great talent knows great talent! 

At Vainu we want make sure our employees have all the possibilities to make a great impact on the company’s success and do what they want – whether it's going abroad to start a new office, attend a specific management training program, or be involved in marketing when working in the tech-team.  

Expand Executive Search
Expand Executive Search is originally from the UK, today they have offices all over the world. They shared some insights on how they operate and how similar companies operate in more detail in the US.

Vainu has many customers within the staffing industry, the meeting with Expand Executive Search was great as it allowed us to dig a little deep into our users’ mind. It helped us understand how to make their life better by building a software that makes their everyday life and sales more effective. 


Key takeaways

At Vainu we don’t only want to find the best developers and sales people, but people who can develop into management positions in our company. The Blacksmith program is created to make sure that talent is spread between our Vainu offices and to motivate our employees to grow within the company.

Events like the Blacksmith meetup in New York aims to give participants, and later on every employee at Vainu, more knowledge about different markets and the company as a whole. This to give everyone who’s interested in an international career the knowledge he or she needs to transfer to a new office and help Vainu become an international SaaS player.

Rewarding great effort and combining important business sessions with relaxed dinners in New York is a part of the Vainu culture we’re building in order to attract the best talents and make them stay with us.

The Blacksmith team got the chance to see that our company has a huge potential in the US. Hopefully we will soon greet more American and European co-workers welcome to the Vainu family.

Stay posted on where the next Blacksmith trip will take place. We’re currently looking for new members – you might be one of them? 

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  • Anne Liiri
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