Helping to build the next Unicorn – Swappie — Talent Design
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Helping to build the next Unicorn – Swappie

Helping to build the next Unicorn – Swappie

Swappie, a high growth technology company based in Helsinki, Finland, is transforming the smartphone market through an end-to-end marketplace for refurbished smartphones. Since its launch in 2016, Swappie has skyrocketed, to a team of over 500 people and operating in 11 markets in early 2021. This growth has been propelled by impressive funding rounds from prestigious investors such as Inventure, Lifeline Ventures and Reaktor Ventures, with the latest series B round completed in 2020 for €35.6m.

The latest funding round enabled Swappie to accelerate their internationalization and increase the rate of opening new markets. They internationalize purely digitally through their e-commerce platform, which set high growth expectation to the tech organization. To make this possible, Swappie hired a new CTO, Jori Ahvonen, in early 2020 to lead the technology organization and to steer product development to match the expectations. To amplify the growth of the organization, the cooperation with Talent Design began in May 2020, with a focus on building the tech organization to a new level.

The starting point was one software engineering team, and the goal was to establish five comprehensive product teams, which was established by beginning of Q2 2021. As Jori describes the starting point: “We identified five main domain areas to encompass the entire customer lifecycle which has been automated by software. With one team in place and all five areas needing engineers, we had to prioritize issues and shift resources on a swift basis.”, which clearly points the need for rapid scaling of the team.

The work started with recruiting several software engineers, and at the same time perfecting the process to find the best balance between a lean process and a thorough technical evaluation to ensure the best candidate experience. Once the engineering teams started expanding and new teams launched, the scope of recruiting broadened to other roles to build comprehensive product teams. Roles included Head of Product Development, Product Managers, Designers, and Product Analysts which were needed for all the five domain areas identified (Supply, Refurbishment, Demand, Payment & Logistics, Care). “Working together with Joakim was exceptionally smooth straight from the get-go. He knew what information he needed to succeed, he was working independently on all stages of the recruitment process, and I knew he would get results. Clearly an experienced professional, so working together was easy and I was able to focus my time to other acute matters, knowing the recruiting was in good hands”, says Jori.

Talent Design provided Swappie with a comprehensive recruiting package, where Joakim (Co-Founder, CEO) was working as an in-house recruiter responsible for the end-to-end process, including profiling, sourcing (headhunting and job ad), process design and administration, debrief meetings with the team, feedback discussions with candidates (both technical and non-technical), offer negotiations and agreement preparation. Also, in some cases relocation assistance was provided as needed.

“Working with Swappie has been a true privilege. Such an ambitious company with fast growth, extremely intelligent people, a culture of doing and moving forward has made it a pleasure to recruit for them. Working together with the HR team, the tech team, founders, and especially with Jori has made it a tremendous experience. My expertise was trusted, and the cooperation was seamless.” describes Joakim the last year working together.

If your company needs help with anything recruiting related, do not hesitate to give us a call:

Joakim Kalliala, Co-Founder, CEO +358 50 560 8881


More information about Swappie:

Growth Builder of the Year 2020

The Finnish Innovation Fund’s award for contribution to the circular economy

Wired’s list of hottest startups in Helsinki

TechCrunch: Swappie bags $40.6M to sell more secondhand iPhones across Europe


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