Growth and quality go hand in hand

HR Mentor was born when three former colleagues and HR service professionals decided to spread their wings unconstrained by the glass ceiling. Compared to employment, entrepreneurship offers a freer outlet for their ideas.

There is always room for improvement. HR Mentor, a human resources service company with operations in Kuopio and Joensuu, never settles for the status quo.

“We see business development as a continuous process. We are always evolving, as well as measuring and monitoring the results,” says Päivi Savolainen, one of the three founding partners. Her co-founders are Mervi Okkonen and Kirsi Tikkanen.

HR Mentor continuously collects customer feedback to make the recruitment experience even more seamless, transparent, and compassionate. For example, the company commissioned a survey for all those interviewed over the year. It was conducted under a businesseducation partnership.

“We blushed reading the overwhelmingly positive feedback, yet we still we want to do even better.”

Päivi emphasises transparency and reliability. For instance, the company has implemented software that automatically updates applicants on the progress of their application process.

Even entrepreneurs need time off

The HR Mentor trio want to make working life more reasonable. Päivi notes that because work is such a huge part of daily life, the application and hiring experience has a significant impact on the quality of life in general, as does job satisfaction.

For the same reason, HR Mentor is quick to evolve but steady and patient to grow. According to Savolainen, they do aim for growth, but never at the expense of quality.

“We could strive for more intense growth, but we might risk our ability to maintain our desired level of quality. We want to grow and increase our revenue, but the basis has to be solid.”

This patient approach also helps the entrepreneurs keep their working hours reasonable. For Päivi, the separation of work and free time has been the most challenging aspect of being an entrepreneur. She therefore finds it important to foster a corporate culture where the entrepreneur also has the chance to take some time off.

Towards shared goals

The local Enterprise Agency in the Kuopio region helped to get HR Mentor up and running. Business advisor Pekka Naumanen sees the partners’ complementary competences as a particular strength for the business. Furthermore, the entrepreneurs already had robust expertise in their field, plenty of practical experience, and networks at hand.

Pekka stresses the importance of making partnership agreements and defining shared goals when starting a business between several people.

“This often means it takes a little longer to set up the company, but it’s best to talk things through properly before going into business,” he says.

Päivi also liked that she and her cofounders were already familiar with each other’s way of working.

“Our mindsets were aligned, and we had similar ideas of the service we would provide. We all wanted to spread our own wings without hitting the glass ceiling.”