Case Nordcloud: Expanding to new European markets in 6 months

The Client

Nordcloud is an European leader in cloud services, specialising in migration, application

development, managed services and training. With ~ 1400 cloud experts across 10 countries, Nordcloud is growing rapidly with support from its parent company IBM.

The Challenge

In spring 2022, Nordcloud was planning their next step on its aggressive growth path: expanding to two new international locations together with local partners. The target was to rapidly scale up new Nordcloud business in two new European countries by taking advantage of existing local brands and operations while growing its own sales and delivery teams to take over the new markets.

We joined the team directly from the get go: the partnering companies had agreed on a target operating and organizational model and initial headcount plan between the companies, but no existing structure for collaboration and decision-making models or talent attraction, recruitment and talent development processes were yet in place.

Jan Kritz, Global COO at Nordcloud: “We chose to work with Granny in the snow because their way of working is very forward and proactive. With a team that has experience from many different people operation sectors, they were able to take over the whole people entity from recruitment to upskilling. Their extensive experience was crucial for success.”

The Solution

Our Granny in the snow consultants joined the team as the Talent Team in charge of leading recruitment and talent development activities. In the new situation, the first task was to bring structure and clarity into the two-way collaboration. During the first 6 months of new country ramp up, our focus was on creating new talent processes and structures for the team: defining core team roles and responsibilities, setting up recruitment processes between multiple companies and parties, defining talent management practices and setting up the teams’ first ATS all while starting recruitment immediately.

On the strategic level, focus was on creating a smooth and efficient experience for everyone involved: candidates, hiring managers, recruiters, marketers and leadership on both sides of the collaboration. Our core role was to lead the recruitment strategy implementation, forecast demand and prioritize open roles according to sales indicators and future project need, guiding our recruiter focus and timelines for best results.

On the operational level, tasks consisted of recruiter and hiring manager management: leading the recruitment process, screening and validating candidates, negotiating hiring decisions between the two companies and creating onboarding, upskilling and training plans for new hires.

Eduardo, Business Unit Lead at partnering company: “They were very helpful in adopting a proven framework to define the ramp-up needs for the ring fenced team, as well as executing and tracking recruitment. They provided an alternative point of view on needs and actions, which was good to have. They were good in providing help connecting to the right stakeholders.”

We also took lead on employee experience development, creating an Employee Handbook to define basic HR, admin, leadership and working practices to clarify employer responsibilities and employee expectations between the two companies. Finally, we also facilitated the start of employer branding collaboration, setting up the foundation stones for combining messages and communication between two separate brands and different talent audiences.

The Impact

When we stepped down from our role in June 2022, the new country ramp up was going full speed ahead: with collaboration models and processes defined and a core team in place, the new full-time recruiter had a clear role to take over for continued growth.

Paul, Country COO at Nordcloud: “I just wanted to send a quick note to say you’ve done an excellent job on the ramp up! The Steering Committee today was really well prepped and presented, in the midst of all the local challenges you’ve brought real structure to the plan! Thanks for all the good work.”

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