Dec 4, 2020

Employee Spotlight: Hanna Raeluoto, HR & Administration

Employee Spotlight is a brand new series that highlights the unique stories and contributions of Flowhaven team members.

At Flowhaven, we believe our employees are the lifeblood of our company. With team members hailing from 16 countries, we're fortunate to have a wide variety of personalities, experiences, and skillsets who come together to create one powerful product., HR & Administration Director Hanna Raeluoto is the woman responsible for helping the team continue to attract unique talent and keeping employee wellbeing top priority.

We sat down with Hanna to learn about her unusual career path (hint: she went to school for political science), how her team is molding company culture and what she enjoys most about working with a rapidly expanding growth company. 

Are you interested in doing work that drives your passions at Flowhaven? Check out our open positions.
We'd love to hear from you.  

You have an impressive background in the startup space. How did you get your start?

I come from a place that is so far from a tech startup scene as possible. I'm a country girl, I have a master's degree in political science and I actually started my professional career working as an office/service manager in different golf courses - which as an industry is not too famous for this flexible mindset that sets growth companies apart. 

I first started working with startups in 2011. Joining this industry can be described as energetic, fast, sometimes stormy, but always fun. It was not easy, and it required me to change my whole mindset about working basically. But I love growth companies, the fact that you can help people grow and succeed, and that the employees are seen as the company's greatest asset even with the best product. The possibility of building this company around these values was definitely the selling point for me to join Flowhaven. 

What is the secret to creating a successful team?

Being careful with the hiring process. Making sure you hire the right kind of people who are open, who are able to build trust with the company/leadership, and who are willing to learn. These go hand in hand. It's only when you trust each other and the company you work for, you can be in a state where you can learn. To learn you need to be able to admit that you don't know everything. We hire people with different talents, strengths, and ideas and then work together for a common goal. No person is perfect, but we can build a pretty perfect team. 

What excites you most about working at Flowhaven?

The people. We have an amazing team and we have a great company culture to build on. When mistakes happen - and they do happen - we don't look for blame, we look for a solution. I have to say that I appreciate the amount of laughs we have at the office. I get so energized just interacting with colleagues from every team. 

And then, from a professional standpoint, I think what excites me the most is to hustle around the team, find those growth paths to individuals, give them the tools to thrive and then see them finding their voice and really shine and grow. 

Growth companies often change priorities and direction to support speed and growth. What challenges does that present for HR?

There's something I always say in interviews with potential job candidates, "Working in a growth company means that you always have to plan what you and your team are going to do in the next week, month, quarter, and year. You also need to be willing almost daily to throw those plans away, adapt, and make a new one." It is not easy, and it requires a flexible mindset. The feeling of accomplishment needs to come from somewhere other than finishing something for 100%. It needs to come from learning and innovation and making an impact. 

Flowhaven has a very diverse team made up of many different nationalities. What actions does the company take to continue to attract different types of people? How does it benefit company culture?

Diversity attracts more diversity. It is a lot harder to start building a diverse workplace if the first 10-20 people come from the same background. There's no secret. We just hire the best talent and give everyone equal opportunities regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. We care about what is inside you, the passion you have for your profession and growth, and how you treat other people around you.

What do you think about the term work/life balance? How does Flowhaven make sure employees are balanced?

We hire human beings, and human beings are "imperfect", i.e. not robots. They have their issues and personal lives and everything that makes life messy. But those same humans are also smart, innovative, loyal, fun, and respectful colleagues, everything that makes them great. 

There are times when our employees might need to put in some extra effort at work to reach a specific goal -- this is the flexibility we are expecting from our employees. But that works both ways, we also understand that there are times when we as a company need to go that extra mile for our employees if something is happening in their personal time - or not happening. If there has been a tight stretch at work, then they need off-time to spend with family and friends. It's not so much about balance, it's about flexibility. When we support our employees 100% or more when they need it the most, we get well-rested, happy, innovative employees eager to grow, making for a winning team. 

What do you look for in a "Flowhaven personality"?

"Flowhaven personality" is the holistic representation of a person. It's something that matches our values: Trustworthy, proactive, community at heart, and then a drop of magic on top. A Flowhaven personality is someone who is genuinely nice, someone who treats everyone with respect, someone who stands on their own feet and feels that there is no one better than them - but on the other hand, they are not better than anyone else. Someone who owns mistakes and shares success. And it helps a lot if they like pizza. 🍕🍕🍕

Are you interested in doing work that drives your passions at Flowhaven? Check out our open positions.
We'd love to hear from you.  

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