HR tech company Jobagent needed competent developers to build the platform that is the core of the business. With Miller Development they got everything they needed and then some. Now, Jobagent has its own team of five people in the Philippines that serves their development needs, both front-end and back-end, on a daily basis.
The year was 2016. Björn Elowson, the psychologist who worked with everything from personality assessments of CEOs in Sweden to developing automated career guidance in London and Mats Wernheim, the serial entrepreneur who, among other things, founded and promoted the companies ZeroLime, Want and Mayday, had a business idea. The two entrepreneurs wanted to build a sharing service for job seekers. Instead of, like many other recruitment companies, letting people search for open jobs, they would let the jobs come to the applicants.
Did not compare with others
“We needed really good programmers to build our platform, which consists of a sharing service where our system helps people describe their strengths, how they are as a person, what skills they have and where they want to go in their career. The data they enter becomes searchable for recruiters via anonymized ads about the people in question,” explains Björn. He and Mats got in touch with Sven Miller, owner and founder of Miller Development, and quickly got a positive feeling.
“We gained a lot of trust in Sven straight away. Therefore, we chose to go ahead without comparing with other companies. When we then got to meet the developers, we knew we had made the right choice,” says Björn.
Björn, Mats and tech guru Fredrik Niemelä, formerly product development at Spotify and now tech lead at JobAgent, immediately got to take part in Miller Development’s onboarding process. After a digital start-up meeting with Sven, including a solid review of future work processes and routines, and one with the team in the Philippines, Björn and Fredrik traveled together with Sven to the Philippines to be able to meet all the employees physically on site in Dumaguete.
High level of the developers
“During the trip, we spent a lot of time discussing with the team and conveying our thoughts about what was to be built. Me and Fredrik told us about which problems we needed help solving, how our platform would be designed and we also had time to discuss a lot of other company plans,” says Björn.
The rest of the time Jobagent and the team got to know each other in light ways, at dinners and joint outings.
“We gained a lot of experience and insights. Firstly, we noticed that the team is very close-knit, which is incredibly positive. But also that there is a high level of knowledge among the employees at Miller Development. Moreover, they could easily insert themselves into our reality and we into theirs.”
Digital stand-ups every day
Björn points out that the onboarding process, with, among other things, detailed start-up meetings and the trip to the Philippines, was absolutely crucial for the continued work going forward.
“It was really important to get to know everyone in the team. It made it easy to quickly pick up the pace of the work, because we had a clear picture of which of us is doing what and how the processes would be carried out,” says Björn.
As soon as Björn and Fredrik returned home, the collaboration started with digital stand-ups basically every day along with a demo after each sprint.
“Even we on the Swedish side of the company had, and still have, demos for the team in Dumaguete, so that everyone is always aware of what’s going on. As development has become more self-paced, we only need to have digital stand-ups a couple of times a week. Also, I, who is the product owner, and Cedrik, who is the proxy product owner for the team in the Philippines, have regular weekly meetings.”
The company was founded in 2016 by Björn Elowson and Mats Wernheim and started operational work in August 2019. Today, 10 people work actively in Jobagent – which helps job seekers and others who want to take a step in their career to be visible on the job market. The data people enter about themselves turns into ads that are searchable for recruiters. In this way, the jobs come to the applicant instead of the other way around.