– We’ve spent 30 years building our unique competence, and now we have to make sure to carry it forward. That’s what this trainee program is all about.
This is what CEO of Mazeppa, Aage Ramstad says when the company now introduces their 6 new trainees, hired across Mazeppa’s three countries, Norway, Denmark, and theCzech Republic.
Mazeppa is setting up the program together with its largest supplier, Infor. The idea behind it is to find new talent and develop the next generation of ERP consultants.
– This is something we have to do simply because some of us are getting older, and we see that a large part of our industry consists of people within that same age group. We were the ones who “started” this industry sometime in the 80s, and now we need to bring the next generation front and center into this business. The trainee program is the tool needed to achieve that, says Ramstad.
A generational shift and a promise to keep adjusting
He also emphasizes the importance of acquiring new forces to Mazeppa; people with fresh educations, with different views and ideas, a need that is equally present for Mazeppa’s clients.
– There’s a generational shift going on, and we too must meet that shift with people who can talk to and relate to the younger generation that’s showing up at our clients and in the market in general, Ramstad says and continues:
– This trainee program is essential to continue the competence we have at Mazeppa. We’ve spent 30years building our unique competence, and we must make sure to carry it forward.
Digitization isn’t slowing down, and the technology industry is one of the most important and value-creating industries world-wide. Still, there is currently a large and growing shortage of relevant competence. The process of educating new people is moving too slowly and recruiting is getting increasingly difficult and competitive.
– It’s a battle for the best people, a battle that the largest companies tend to win. So, we took measures to visually showcase that we’re moving with the ebbs and flows of the market, technology, and the business world, not against it, Ramstad says.
What he’s referring to is the collaboration Mazeppa recently did to rebrand the company. The goal was not only to modernize the brand, but to bring out who Mazeppa really are.
– Even though we’ve changed a lot over the years, our visual expression had not. The make-over is a statement and a promise to continue learning and never stop adjusting. And our goal is to show the benefits of being part of a small company, where there are short decision-making processes, little bureaucracy and a close professional community.
Not everyone can be a consultant
In total, Mazeppa received 30 trainee applications, and now, Mazeppa is making room for two new employees in each country. Ramstad emphasizes that they’ll get to build a truly special competence in a very interesting market and gain a career they can tailor to their needs and private life.
– As a consultant, you have a lot of flexibility and freedom. But that also comes with a lot of responsibility. It doesn’t suit everyone, and everyone can’t be consultants. Thus, this is something we’re preparing the trainees for and something we’ve expressed during the recruiting process.
The trainees are all different types, from mid-twenties to mid-thirties, some with a little experience, and some who’s right out of school. What they have in common is that they’re all resourceful people who have developed themselves through studies, personal initiatives, and hobbies.
– We’ve tried to put together a team where everyone has different qualities that complement the others. It’s quite special to find this mix of people, personalities, backgrounds and competences, and put them together this way, says Ramstad.
Possibly hiring the new CEO
The program is a big investment for Mazeppa: It’s an investment Ramstad has known he’ll have to do at some point.
– It’s probably one of the most important things we’ve ever done. Not only will we be able to share our competence and knowledge with the next generation, we’ll also be able to share this great resource with our clients, who has in fact asked for this program.
The trainees will start with training; courses, webinar and assemblies with Infor’s trainee center in Poland, where they’ll meet other trainees from Infor and other partners. Ramstad’s experience is that trainees often learn more from each other than anyone else, and therefore it’s important to build a good and lasting team.
– By meeting other trainees from the community surrounding Infor, the whole network will grow, and that network has previously proven to be key. Some 20 years ago, Infor (or Intentia as they were called back then) did a similar program for about 50 trainees, and those people are still good friends today, currently working across the world of IT and technology. That’s pretty cool, Ramstad says.
After the training period, where the trainees will learn about business, the industry and why the industry is investing in new systems and digitization, the trainees will get to work firsthand with Mazeppa’s own clients. The end goal: To train and cultivate great consultants.
– My goal is for one of these trainees to one day replace me as CEO. Who knows! That is what we’re aiming for: To build people up and give them opportunities.