Diversity

HR-ON Signs Professional Agreement with Technology Denmark

HR-ON Signs Professional Agreement with Technology Denmark 1280 866 HR-ON

The professional agreement, signed by HR-ON in conjunction with Technology Denmark, has for a year now increased the company’s focus on IT-specialists. This is especially noticeable in the IT-company’s staff as HR-ON now hires more students.

HR-ON is making great efforts to contribute to improving the conditions and professional opportunities for future IT-specialists. This is the main goal of the professional agreement that HR-ON signed with Technology Denmark last year. An agreement which HR-ON continues to support, confirms Ali E. Cevik, CEO of HR-ON.

Ali E. Cevik underskiver virksomhedspagten i 2018.

Ali E. Cevik, CEO of HR-ON, signed the company pact last year with Mayor, Peter Rahbæk Juel, acting as a formal witness.

Why the need for a formal agreement?

“You may be asking why we need a formal “professional agreement”, why we couldn’t just give the students and others the opportunity of an internship or a job without a specific agreement. But I think Mayor Peter Rahbæk Juel made a very good point in his speech introducing the contract, a year ago,” Ali E. Cevik says. 

Ali E. Cevik is referring to the mayor of Odense’s pertinent and humorous speech, in which he made his point by encouraging us to think back to one of Denmark’s most-remembered kings; Canute the Holy (or in Danish ‘Knud den Hellige’). He argues that if this king had signed an agreement with the Jutes back in 1085, he could have conquered England with their help, instead of being murdered by them.

The morale here is that tech and robot companies on the Danish island of Funen must take a common responsibility and sign an agreement, where they each contribute to the development of the future’s talent pool, especially by creating new jobs.

“And that is actually what we have done, which we are very happy about,” Ali E. Cevik says.

Breath of Fresh Air

The main goal outlined in this professional agreement is for the participating companies to create more internships and student jobs. Also to hire more international employees.

Currently, there are 17 interns and student workers at HR-ON. The students are an important asset for HR-ON, Ali E. Cevik says.

“We have gotten a lot of good energy, new knowledge and new angles on the solutions to a variety of tasks. Our interns and student workers have evolved, gained practical insight and work experience, which makes them better equipped for a future career, most often – but not exclusively – with us,” Ali E. Cevik says. 

You can read more about the professional agreement on Technology Denmark’s website here and here.

From Shepherd to Gazelle Hunter – An Unusual Journey to Success

From Shepherd to Gazelle Hunter – An Unusual Journey to Success 1200 731 HR-ON

One entrepreneur in Odense has had a longer journey to success than most

Today Ali E. Cevik, founder of the Danish IT company HR-ON, will be presented with a coveted business award in Odense. The story behind this successful entrepreneur is rather unusual and very interesting. 

When Ali E. Cevik first arrived in the Pjentedamsgade area of Odense, he was a shepherd. Today, 42 years later, he is an academic and the founder of a growing, Danish software company, currently with 37 employees.

And it is in his position as founder of the company HR-ON, that he is to be awarded the ‘Børsen Gazelle’ award for the second time in the Odeon cultural center in Odense.

“My story shows how far people can go, if they are not held back by barriers”, says Ali E. Cevik.

The house on Pjentedamsgade

The area around Pjentedamsgade in Odense was far from fashionable in 1974, when the car with Ali E. Cevik’s father behind the wheel pulled up in front of number 28. Here, on the second floor was Ali’s childhood home.

“This is not where the rich lived. It was a real working quarter. I remember life back then with adults sitting and drinking all day in front of the grocery store, and ladies standing on street corners”, says Ali E. Cevik.

However for Ali and his friends, life consisted of riding their bikes around town, mainly through the Pjentedamsgade area where his home was, and where today the city’s Odeon cultural centre is located.

Ali E. Cevik came to Denmark with his little brother. Coming from a rural, agricultural community, the pair quickly located the best fruit trees in the neighborhood, searching for apples to make apple pie. It also didn’t take them long to find and explore the neighbourhood’s backroads and shortcuts, and although they initially had no idea who Hans Christian Andersen was, they found their way into the author’s house, where they were shown a real gold mine for a couple of young growing boys. A cocoa machine.

1976:  Ali E. Cevik photographed at Adamsgade, where the Odeon cultural centre is now located.

2019: Nearly 40 years later, Ali E. Cevik will receive a Gazelle Award on the same street where he played as a child. Behind Ali E. Cevik is the Odeon cultural centre, where the awards ceremony takes place today on 20th November.

A radio was the height of technology

At this time, Denmark was taking major steps forward in the tech revolution.

In contrast, in the village of Gopson on the Anatolian plateau, where Ali E. Cevik and his family originally lived, there were not many modern conveniences. In fact, there were none.

“My grandfather had a radio on which he could hear some news, and that was the highest technology we had”, says Ali E. Cevik.

The family’s house was built of clay and consisted of one room in which the whole family lived.

The children of the community had the task of looking after the animals. This was primarily sheep and some goats, but his family also had a buffalo with youngsters, which Ali was particularly attached to.

An unconventional entry into the labor market

Working as a shepherd was Ali’s first experience of teamwork.

“Within the group of children there was a kind of hierarchy, and being one of the youngest I was among those at the bottom. The big ones were maybe only ten years old, but they were big compared to me. So it was us little ones who were sent out to find the animals if they had wandered off”, says Ali E. Cevik.

These children did not have any toys, and before little Ali was brought to Denmark he had never seen a car up close. The children instead played with whatever they could find around them. They would fill their shoes with sand and pretend to drive around like cars and they would play with sticks.

Here Ali E. Cevik is seen surrounded by family and people from the village in a sacred place, Demirci Baba, used as a meeting place for celebrations. Here the village would dine together, play music and dance folk dances. On the tree behind them, they would tie fabric to the branches and make a wish.

Ali E. Cevik and his brother in the small village in Turkey where the two brothers grew up.

The bus ran once a week 

There was no electricity and virtually no road network. A bus came to town once a week. The bus was a big event and the little boys would watch the buses coming to town.

It was therefore also a big event when Ali E. Cevik and his brother were picked up by their father to leave the village. Their father had traveled in advance to work as an unskilled worker at an iron foundry. Then their mother followed, and after that their father went back to fetch the brothers from their grandmother. In a car!

“I went from never having seen a car up close to driving all the way from the Anatolian plateau to Denmark”, says Ali E. Cevik.

Thrown in the deep end

On his second day living in Denmark, Ali was already sent to school, without being able to speak a word of Danish. However, today he appreciates being thrown in the deep end.

“I came from a village school where we were learnt the alphabet and the history of the Ottoman Empire, and not much more than that. In Denmark, however, I had to adjust quickly to a more professional style of education”, says Ali E. Cevik.

From primary school to high school, and on to university. Ali E. Cevik graduated with the ‘cand.phil.’ title, specialised in Russian and Social Economy studies. And with that, one part of his journey to success was complete – the journey from shepherd on the Anatolian plateau to academic in Denmark. He could then begin the second stage – the journey that culminates in part with the award ceremony held today in the same place that he, as a child, cycled in search of apples.

“My dad broke the social legacy and moved out of our village. If my parents had not moved at that time, I might still be living in that village. I would probably have a television, because they now have those in the village, but it would be very far from the life I live today”, Ali E. Cevik ends.

HR-ON Awarded Second Gazelle Award in a Row

HR-ON Awarded Second Gazelle Award in a Row 1200 626 HR-ON

HR-ON is on a roll!

In October, the software company received the Gazelle award for the second year in a row. This means there are now two gazelles sitting in HR-ON’s head office.

The Gazelle award goes to companies which show positive growth. They must double their growth and revenue within a four year period. Being presented with this award supports the fact that HR-ON is in a rapid development phase. This is also reflected in the number of new employees and also the expansion of the head office at Odense Banegård Center. As of October 2019, they have approximately 35 employees.

CEO and founder, Ali Cevik, is extremely proud:

“The world of HR is strongly driven by professionalism, networking and personal relationships. We owe our explosive growth to the good references from our customers who recommend us within their network. It is affecting our developers, who are confirmed to be making a difference through daily contact with our customers,” he says.

Focus on values

HR-ON will continue the good progress and will not take it’s foot off the gas. The software industry requires innovations in order to survive. This is why the employees of this Danish company are in constant development, so that they can maintain the high growth and chase gazelle number three. While the company is in a strong position and growth is well underway, it is essential to keep an emphasis on the company’s values and DNA. Ali Cevik adds:

“The challenge we face in achieving our goal of becoming a recognized global player in the field, is to maintain our values as a diverse, intimate and professional company. We believe these values are a prerequisite for responding to customer needs as well as maintaining close dialogue while expanding.”

HR-ON will officially receive the Gazelle award on 20th November. This will take place at Børsen’s Gazelle Award show in HR-ON’s hometown, Odense.

Værdien af diversitet

The business value of diversity and integration

The business value of diversity and integration 1200 628 HR-ON

What is all the hype around diversity and inclusion? Is there an increase in focus on fewer opportunities for some, or equal opportunities for everyone?

What exactly is the meaning of diversity in the workplace?

Does it pay off from a business perspective to focus on diversity and integration?

These are some questions that might be on your mind when talking about diversity. Let’s break it down into smaller pieces.

 

Diversity

The employees have their own set of skills which are attained through studies and experience, as well as through their personal and professional background, all of which will affect their work perspective in certain ways.

On a personal level we are talking amongst others about ethnicity, country of origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or disabilities. The second level is the professional diversity that includes amongst others academic background, career path, industry background, personality type and thinking style.

All of these traits and experiences are accumulated over time and give candidates unique perspectives and skills that come in handy when the company wishes to increase creativity and develop innovative solutions. That being said, employers are not defined by their background, but rather enriched by it.

 

Integration

Integration can be designed as an ongoing process in which all the qualified bidders are taken in consideration and where the focus lies on giving everyone a fair, unbiased chance and not concentrating on excluding some or stop hiring and promoting the typical profile.

Inclusion is shifting attention towards bringing people in as a substitute for keeping people out.

A workplace that focuses on a culture that is accepting of diverse profiles and that includes everyone is on their way of designing the job environment for the future workforce.

This is done by designing a workplace where employers can all have lunch together, make company activities so people interact with each other beyond work tasks and be aware of the employers work-life balance.

Look beyond culture fit when hiring for new positions. By looking for someone who will compliment your work culture you end up having a fresh mindset that will improve and bring new insights to your team. Teams created by like minded employers with a similar cultural heritage and educational background tend to become homogeneous thus making growth and development a slow process.

 

It all starts with the leadership

Include training in cultural awareness, diversity and inclusion. Set guidelines that will ensure the implementation of processes that support and embrace diversity in the workplace.

Measure the progress of the inclusion efforts with the help of analytics. There are relatively easy options to help eliminate bias from inclusion and diversity processes. Analytics help identify and minimise unconscious prejudice throughout the HR departments.

The first step in combating bias is to be aware of it. Once recruiters become aware of this, they will be more likely to screen for a broader candidate base.

Optimize the hiring process so it is based solely on merit and not cultural heritage, race or simply a name that sounds foreign, and continue with the career advancement processes in promotions and leadership development. Focus on these issues and give a fair chance to all candidates and therefore enhance employee involvement and give them a memorable employee experience.

 

Business value in diversity

There is revenue to be gained by D&I. The benefits are numerous, starting with increased creativity and innovation. A recent BCG study shows that companies with a diverse leadership have 19% higher revenue. This is the result of a diverse team that will inspire each other and come up with more diverse solutions to the company’s problems.

Creativity is broken loose, more innovative solutions come on the table, you get a competitive advantage and the employees are engaged and motivated to do their job knowing that their actions are acknowledged and they have a fair chance of advancement. As a result you get a positive reputation which enhances your talent pool.

–for those curious minds a talent pool is a database where hr managers keep all their top job candidates.–

The only offset is that it takes time and engagement to change the way things have been working out so far, and naturally the beginning might be rocky, so keep at it if you want to see results.

 

Future predictions

We are facing a accelerating globalisation and advancement in technology and access to education. Therefore the future of the talent pool is expected to grow in the future, in fact, according to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

“the number of young people aged 25-34 with a tertiary qualification increased by nearly 45% between 2005 and 2013 in OECD and G20 countries and is expected to keep increasing in the coming decade”.

Though migration may make a difference in where the future workforce will come from, the OECD predicts that the individuals with a higher education in the working age population from the EU countries is likely to increase from 26% in 2015 to 34% .”

By 2030 more than 60% of science, technology, engineering and mathematics(STEM) educated young people will come from non OECD countries mainly India and China.

Different people with different

An HR-ON perspective on a diverse workplace

An HR-ON perspective on a diverse workplace 1200 628 HR-ON

Having a diverse workplace, as in our company HR-ON, can be an immense advantage, not only from a personal point of view, but above all business-wise.

In this article, we will list the positive changes that we have experienced by having colleagues from different cultures and with disparate backgrounds.

  1. A continuous flow of great ideas
    As you can imagine, in a diverse workplace, engaging in personal and professional experiences together can be like a volcanic eruption of brilliant ideas. Most of the new features of our e-recruitment system were born in this way!
  2. A considerable ability to adapt
    Many of our co-workers come from other countries than Denmark, and this means that they have had to adapt to life in another country, sometimes completely different from their own and therefore, adapting to a new and diverse workplace won’t be a problem at all. Actually, they will definitely spice up your working day!
  3. An improvement in your company culture
    Nowadays, it’s all about employer branding. You will have a powerful recruitment tool by setting up a diverse and talented team.
  4. An enhancement to applicant variety
    If a future applicant checks your company page and sees that the company is diverse, they will feel more encouraged to apply. This has even been the case with some of our colleagues.
  5. A wider range of abilities
    Every culture has many peculiar characteristics that can be translated to professional skills, but also personal abilities to use as an advantage for your company. Some of us are more structured and analytical and others are more “free-thinkers” but we managed to find the right balance and to learn a lot from each other.
  6. Many new perspectives
    Do you have a problem you just can’t seem to find the solution to? A different perspective is what you need! Ask your co-workers and you might find a solution.
  7. An exciting boost to your productivity
    When the employees are in a good environment, their productivity and commitment to the company increase considerably. Our developers couldn’t agree more!
  8. More challenges to face
    Working with similar people might seem more comfortable and easy, while a multicultural and diverse environment might seem more challenging, however, in the long run it will be more rewarding and exciting to work in such an environment.

 

WHAT DO OUR COLLEAGUES SAY?

Image of Hr-on employee

Birthe, Customers Support & Communication:

We are about 18 people at our office, and we represent eight different countries. I like the variety of the languages and cultures, partly because it’s nice to be able to practice my language skills. And partly because it gives a nice vibe to the office when we’re not all from the same country with the same traditions. We hear about other traditions and cultures – and we taste different food!

Björgvin Gudjónsson

Bjorgvin, Brand Manager:

The benefit of working in a diverse workplace is that you get to know a lot of fantastic people, with useful and inspiring personal and professional trades that you can learn a lot from. It’s all about working together, finding our strengths and weaknesses and to develop as professionals in the most optimal way – “taking the best of both worlds”

Image of Hr-on employee

Yelizaveta, Marketing and Sales Coordinator

For me it’s an everlasting source of learning from each other, which allows to solve issues in a faster and more effective way. Diversity keeps changing and improving crucial things around in a better way.

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Why you should recruit diverse employees

Why you should recruit diverse employees 1200 628 HR-ON

Many people unconsciously recruit profiles like their own. But there ar many advantages in looking at the alternative profiles and promoting a diverse workplace.

In many companies, the workforce is very homogenous. It is, after all, easier to recruit people just like you. But is this always an advantage? Not according to manager in HR-ON, Ali E. Cevik. He has matched hundreds of candidates with the right company through the years.

“I have facilitated and held skill development courses since 2003. I found that the teams who were diverse in gender, culture, and age were remarkably better than the homogeneous teams.”

Ali thinks that diversity should be seen as a strength and points out that with diversity follows an enormous potential for innovation which is seldom fully utilized. His point is supported by a report by McKinsey & Company.

Core values are as important as qualifications

Ali has, in the span of his career, helped to place more than 400 candidates in different companies. His point is that companies should focus on the core values of the potential candidates instead of only focussing on their professional qualifications. He has a positive experience with implementing this idea in recruitment.

“I helped to place a young refugee in a big consultancy where he was first made responsible for sales and later hired by the purchasing department,” says Ali and continues: “He had no experience, limited language skills, and no usable knowledge in the field he had to work in. But he got the chance and created his own position through his personal qualifications, willingness, and curiosity. At the same time, he created innovation in the organization and jobs for others. Had he not gotten the chance, he would have never come so far and made the results he did.”

Diversity is not only about giving the inexperienced candidates a chance, but it is about having better results as a team.

Diversity for a better workplace environment

And it is not only the practical work that profits from diversity recruitment: ”It is also a very strong employer brand to be able to collaborate with diversity and core values instead of the classic economic incentives,” says Ali.

In terms of creating more job satisfaction among the employees, the research Good Workers’ Index 2015, also points out that meaningful and positive relationships with colleagues and management are by far the most important elements of a good work life.

A diverse workplace can help to promote learning, creativity, and innovation, and it is important to create close relationships in the workplace.

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