Lasting, smooth collaboration
Länsförsäkringar Jönköping is one of 23 independent, local, customer-owned insurance firms operating with other local firms in Sweden under a single brand as a mutual organisation. This business structure has special requirements in terms of management and organisation. Anna Brolin is HR manager at Länsförsäkringar Jönköping and has been working with Finnveden Executive on the firm’s management recruitment for a long time now.
What is now Länsförsäkringar, with operations in insurance, banking and the property sector, has a long history. Back in the mid-19th century farmers grouped together to help each other out financially if anyone’s farm suffered a fire. The farmers formed fire insurance cooperatives that they owned between them. That same kind of thinking still remains. The customers are the owners and the firm safeguards local interests. “Over time the firm’s remit has grown wider. Today it’s about developing and delivering products and services in banking and insurance to offer financial security,” Anna Brolin explains.
Looking for managers with the right kind of drive
Jönköping employs about 220 people in a flat organisation with three management levels and about 25 managers. Anna describes the organisation as offering plenty of development opportunities, which helps to encourage internal mobility and attract great external interest in the company as an employer.
The partnership with Finnveden Executive goes back a long way and has been stepped up over the past 5–6 years.
“We always have them on board when we’re recruiting managers and they’ve also helped us with specialist recruitment,” Anna explains. “When I first started here nine years ago, I wanted to overhaul and quality assure the management recruitment process and I felt that Finnveden Executive ticked all the boxes for a top quality partner who shares our values.”
“We’re looking for managers who represent the kind of leadership that places great trust in employees, people who share our values and are keen to build on our successes. The formal competencies go without saying, but personal characteristics are crucial,” Anna points out. “Our managers need to be a bit entrepreneurial and capable of thinking outside the box. In our firm we have short decision-making paths, which means managers are particularly important. You have to be able to roll up your sleeves, be visible and show your passion for what you do. The role is all about both management and development.”
Listening and dialogue important
“When you’re finding the right person for a management post, a good dialogue with your recruitment partner is essential,” Anna says. “A company’s needs change over time and it’s important to find the person with the right skills for the job and the challenges faced. Every management recruitment is unique. Finnveden Executive has done an excellent job in helping us with specifications of requirements, listening to our needs and asking the right questions to pin down exactly what we’re looking for in every new situation.”
Close contact in an organic process
Länsförsäkringar Jönköping has worked with several different people at Finnveden Executive over the years. However, Anna has had the same main contact practically all the time. “I think we have a unique relationship – personal and close, but not private. We have an open dialogue but also ask each other challenging questions. During the recruitment process we’re in frequent contact. My feeling is that the process is organic rather than being set in stone. There’s a lot of give and take.”
“We’ve been involved in a large number of recruitment processes with Finnveden Executive and we always get the feeling that we’re in this together. Where the process might sometimes have headed in the wrong direction, everyone acted transparently and took time out to analyse the situation before working to find the right path together.”
Länsförsäkringar Jönköping feels that the follow-up process works well too. “Finnveden Executive is good at following up and providing feedback, to candidates who don’t progress through the process, to the individual recruited and to us as a company. Here too, they’re keen listeners with a personal commitment that goes far beyond the call of duty.”