UNIVERSUM announces new CEO
Meet Petter Nylander, Universum’s new CEO. He comes to Universum from the online gaming company Unibet. It may seem like a big leap, going from online gambling to employer branding. But for Petter, joining Universum brings his professional career full circle. He actually started his career at Universum as a summer intern. After that, he began a career within corporate management that took him to the highest positions in several media-related companies before he landed as CEO of Unibet, Europe’s leading online betting site, headquartered in London. His desire to move home to Sweden led him to Universum, where Petter takes over the reins from Michal Kalinowski. Below, Petter shares his views on employer branding and his visions for Universum.
How will you handle the leap from online betting to employer branding?
Actually, I see many similarities between my old role and my new one. The online industry is extremely talent driven and as a CEO in that industry, talent development has always been a top priority for me. Furthermore, the online industry is at the forefront of digital and online technology. I believe that my experience from this will bring new possibilities to Universum and to how employer branding strategies are executed. In addition, I have spent my entire career in an international environment. That fits very well with Universum’s global reach and ambitions.
In your opinion, which is the most important employer branding issue today?
Internal talent development is a key issue. Today, what differentiates employers is their values and culture, not monetary compensation. In that environment, cultivating and developing your existing talent is crucial. Done successfully,it brings less risk and is less expensive, than relying too heavily on external recruitment. With talent that is already within the organisation, you know that they are a good cultural fit and they have higher credibility with their colleagues because they have a proven track record. Throughout my career, I have identified young,ambitious and smart employees that I have mentored to successful careers. I have seen first-hand the advantages of that kind of approach.
We see big changes in what motivates talent groups today compared to previous generations. How do you see that affecting the employer branding community?
Gone are the days when products or patents put a company ahead of the rest. Instead, we operate in a society where the talent has the power and the self confidence to use it. We live in a much more equal society where a vast amount of information is available to all. In a world driven by information flow, the talent is more sophisticated and more knowledgeable than ever. Whereas employers used to select the talent, nowadays, the talent selects the employers. This coupled with more emphasis on work/life balance, forces employer branding strategies to offer values and a culture that the talent can identify with and relate to. Selecting an employer is a statement of the person’s personality and lifestyle – not a paycheck.
What will you focus on as CEO of Universum?
I will continue to lead Universum’s expansion as a global thought leader in the employer branding field. Second, I will focus on our own talent and client offer development. We need to continue to strive for better client offers, higher expertise amongst our employees and an increased focus on innovative solutions for our clients. Third, the digitalisation of our client offers will be a main focus. There is enormous potential in our various online offers, and I see that as the main growth area for the future.
What kind of CEO are you?
I am ambitious, curious, and I have a genuine interest in helping people develop. Focus on the client is central to my philosophy, and I believe it is my job to sometimes look further down the road, to set the long-term course for the company and its employees. But this is no revolution for Universum. I am entering an already well-managed company that is stable and has moved in the right direction for quite some time. It is my job to continue that work, enhance it, and add my perspective to maintain the growth.