They say the success of any company depends on the people behind it and we couldn’t agree more! Victoria and Morten are two of the pillars at PCN. In this interview, they share their growth journey at the company, from joining the team to getting where they are today. They also discuss specific accomplishments they have achieved during their time at the company from welcoming a new investment partner to building the company’s new office in Berlin and more!
How did you join PCN? Could you tell us a little about your journey from joining PCN to getting where you are today?
Victoria: It was kind of a lucky meeting! I’d just moved to Amsterdam and happened to meet Jordan, who is the founder of PCN at a bar. We got to chatting because he had a very cute, but slightly wild dog, who I offered to look after. During the conversations he told me a little bit about PCN and what they were doing. At the time, I had also started looking for a new role. So we kept in touch and starting conversations about potential opportunities. Then I met with Rogier and a few people in the team, PCN always knew having a strong HR and operations structure in place would be important for our growth, so I came up with an idea about what the role could look like. And five years later, I’m still here!
Morten: I joined PCN four years ago, and I was doing supply chain management before, which was a lot of Excel sheets and not a lot of human contact. So I decided to change that. I got tons of recruiter calls myself and felt the quality of those was mediocre at best, very much not human-centric. So I thought I could do this better. So I went out, looked for a company that might combine recruitment with a bit more quality, long-term approach to human beings and found PCN. Spoke to Jordan, Rogier, and Vicky. Everyone laughed at the office, I remember. And that’s kind of when I said, “let’s go!”.
So when I started, Rogier made it very clear that I was supposed to build out the German market and that their vision was to one day also open an office in Berlin to be closer to our clients and our candidates. So I very much knew what I was getting into. And then after a year and a half, I realized that I can do this job, I’m actually decent at this job! I think Rogier felt the same. So we planned to go to Germany! This was right in COVID times, which didn’t make it easier. But now two and a half years later, we have an office and we have a team of nearly ten people and it’s been a very exciting ride!
Could you talk about your growth during your time at the company?
Victoria: When I started my role was anything and everything, from ordering toilet paper to hiring people to coming up with HR policies and systems. And then as time went on, the company grew and evolved and thankfully I’ve been able to go on that journey as well.
One of the most exciting changes for my development was bringing on Yan, who is now our Head of People and Operations. That really allowed me to move into the COO position where I now look after our strategy and the direction we’re moving into. I spend a lot of my time working our all of our people processes, people metrics, forecasting and future growth. I’d say it’s been a long and gradual change, but I think back to what I was doing five years ago and yeah, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come!
Morten: Oh, I’ve grown a lot since I joined PCN and I would say more than in any other four years! Not physically anymore, I’m still the same height (laughs). But I’ve grown to be a self-sufficient consultant. I have learned what it means to structure my day. I have learned to prioritize. By now, I’d say I’m very knowledgeable about the Fintech industry. Not just in Germany, but generally in Europe. I know what clients of ours and hiring managers want to see, how a successful interview, CV and the general appearance of a candidate looks like.
I have developed my sales skills. I have learned how to lead a team… still learning how to lead a team. This is very much exciting to me and it has been from basically getting off as a very raw, young, straight out of university coming student, into I would go as far and say, a professional.
Could you discuss a specific accomplishment that you feel particularly proud of achieving during your time at PCN?
Victoria: I think the one that comes to mind is probably the most recent as well. So for about the last year, we’ve been talking with investors and thinking about what the right opportunity would be and when to get potential investment for the company. So as of last month, we officially welcomed the partnership with PSR, and that’s something that I’d say was about a six month process – working with them, doing pitches and speaking with other potential investors and being one of the driving forces behind this decision. I think that’s something that I’d never imagined I could ever possibly do, and it’s been amazing to be part of that and officially announce it last month as well. It’s been a great experience!
Morten: Moving to Berlin and building this office here! This does not just come in COVID times, this comes with German bureaucracy, which is hell. So it is something that started at zero – me coming here, to Berlin, looking for offices, going to the notary office, trying to figure out what kind of entity we want to have, obviously with support. But how do taxes look? How do our contracts look? What do we want to do with what clients? Where, and which channels? Which jobs?
So it’s been a lot and it’s really great to see tangible outcomes. As in we are in an office, we have a team and hopefully we can build the foundation for other people to hopefully have the same learnings and the same kind of amount fun that I had.
What’s your favorite thing about your job at PCN?
Victoria: Apart from the four-day workweek? (laughs) I think for me it has always been the opportunity to continually grow and stretch outside of what I ever thought was possible. I’m still learning new things every day. I’m still able to get involved in different areas of the business that I never had experienced before. So I think as long as that still happens, I’ll always be happy at PCN!
Morten: Favorite thing about working at PCN? It’s a twofold answer.
Professionally, what I really like about recruitment is that every hour that I work on top of my normal hours or just generally within my contingent of a 40-hour contract is always going to be for me. Because whatever will happen, I always take my network. I always take the relationships I built with people.
And obviously, recruitment is a job that is financially based on commission, and that was something that I was missing in my previous jobs, where you get the same amount of financial incentive. So I was just trying to get done with my stuff as early as possible, which is something that has its advantages too, but I really enjoy professionally that everything I do is kind of for me.
And then, more on the human side of things, I think we managed to build a team and a company that is more than just people believing work is the necessary part of life and the actual life starts after it. So I constantly have a feeling that I’m surrounded by people who want more than just to get done with their work, which is very energizing!