As part of our efforts to support talent and HR leaders, the Make It. MSP. team shares tools and insights helps facilitate collaborative efforts. This month we connected with Betsy Johnson, Talent Acquisition Manager at Cludo, one of the region’s many fast-growing technology companies. Betsy has leveraged Make It. MSP. with multiple companies and rolled up her sleeves to volunteer in community-driven efforts with Make It. MSP. partners like Board Repair, which works to place people of color on local boards of directors, and Twin Cities Startup Week, which works to showcase the region’s entrepreneurship and innovation.
Q: Tell us about Cludo. In what areas is the company growing?
Cludo is a global search and insights SaaS provider that started in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2015. We opened our first U.S. office in Minneapolis last year. Our CEO, Philip Andersen, chose the Minneapolis – St. Paul region as its second location largely due to this region’s strong economy and skilled talent pool.
It’s been a lucrative move. Our revenue at Cludo exceeded 3x the 2017 projections, resulting in Cludo doubling our headcount globally within our Customer Experience, Development & Product, Marketing, and Sales teams. We are growing in all areas, which makes Make It. MSP. even more valuable as we hire talent here.
Q: How do Cludo’s talent issues compare to those outlined in the Make It. MSP. Insights report?
Cludo identifies with the observation that it is getting harder to attract skilled workers. As a result, we expanded our technical recruiting outside the U.S.
One effort we initiated is company-wide training for all employees in the U.S. to understand interview basics. That seems like a strange opportunity; however, we wanted every employee to contribute to the candidate experience as part of our greater community outside of Cludo. At the end of the day, candidates are customers, which in turn can be future neighbors, colleagues, etc. It doesn’t matter if you are the employee greeting candidates, meeting them 1:1 during an interview, or conducting an informal Q&A, we want to encourage a great interviewing experience that supports positivity, direct feedback, and transparency.
Through this initiative, we now have an excellent candidate experience track record of getting referrals from former candidates and growing the number of employees who socialize outside of work with their colleagues.
Q: Why do you spend time focused on the broader community in addition to these organizational practices?
Fifteen percent of our new hires have moved from other regions outside MSP since expanding our recruiting efforts. What’s interesting about that number is that every one of those hires coming from another region was not only swayed by our career opportunity; it was evident that our new hires were connected to a family member or friend in MSP who supported their transition.
Social integration is a key qualifier for candidates you are attracting from outside the region, in addition to a prospective job. As an international team, we are meeting for the first time during a Global Meet Up in Denmark to discuss what we value, share opportunities to grow and succeed with every department and of course, to socialize as a community. This will be a great chance for all our employees to give feedback and promote social inclusion as part of our talent attraction and retention strategy.
We need to do more in the MSP region to be more inclusive, and that needs to involve everyone, even if you are not in a HR and/or Talent Acquisition function.
Q: Is there a specific tool or program you’ve put to use in your work?
Yes, I’ve watched great tech talent relocate to cities with well-established tech brands. That said, we have some key opportunities that employers should be taking advantage of to increase our performance.
Cludo participated in the Make It. MSP. supported Fly-In Program during Twin Cities Startup Week this past year, which was primarily volunteer-driven. The program introduces prospective candidates outside our region to employers and takes the time to integrate candidates into our broader tech community.
One-hundred percent of the candidates that we spoke to were very impressed with their experience and were eager to apply for a job based on our welcoming community during this week-long event. We look forward to participating again in talent attraction and retention efforts at a grassroots level.