Gazelle Companies. How to Exchange HR Knowledge


Stylight Atrium - Brainstorming

If you’re what they call a ‘Gazelle company’, you might find you or a representative attending numerous HR meetups, seminars, as well as the occasional workshop and then afterwards asking ‘could any of these strategies put forward from other companies be useful in ours?’. Sadly in most cases the answer is no. But just why is that?

Gazelle companies and their HR departments (as is with us at Stylight) often have less restricted budgets when it comes to employee benefits and are usually more open to innovation. They’re willing to try new things to see whether they can really work within the company, or of they should just be disregarded completely.

True, it might sound pretty obvious that a Gazelle company’s needs and peculiarities deserve a specific approach, but there’s no need to ‘reinvent the wheel’ every time. Sometimes all it takes is a little one-on-one with the people who are in just the same situation as you are. Those facing the same challenges, have similar mindsets and processes.

That’s why in April 2015, we took the initiative to start the first-ever HR Meetup in Munich for companies just like us, including Westwing, Kellersports, eGym, MeinFernbus Flixbus, Framos, Avantgarde, Discovery and Staffboard. All of course set within our spacious Stylight HQ.

Ok, so what resulted from the meetup we hear you ask? Well, just the small issue that we need to do even more of these exchanges! Putting our heads together to figure out exactly who is working on similar topics; we’ve now arranged meetups for every few months and within other offices, in order to gain an even deeper insight into another company’s way of working.

What have we learned so far from exchange of HR Knowledge?

  • Becoming inspired and influenced from other company career pages. Taking team photos of every department, shooting videos and presenting our international offices in NYC and London. (Stay tuned for Stylight’s brand new company career page!)
  • Implementing improvements with regards to leadership onboarding, such as workshops, ongoing support and leads for external trainers.
  • Getting more familiar and connecting with other headhunters and new job-boards.
  • Testing new communication tools, like Facebook or Google adword campaigns.

Stylight Atrium

“It is always inspiring to work with so many different HR Managers with diverse backgrounds who’ve mastered all kinds of challenges. The open dialogue enriches our ideas mutually!” Sarah Utke, eGym, Recruiting Manager.

Beyond HR Meetups…

Of course, HR Meetups alone aren’t enough. At Stylight we’re always trying to identify growing (eCommerce) companies who also hold agile mindsets, in order to gather as much useful input as possible, and try to make current challenges a lot easier for everyone.

Certain conferences can be very, very helpful with this and especially so when they’re focused towards our way of working. A few months ago Stylight attended the Agile HR Conference in Cologne to hear other companies talk about their experiences working agile in HR, and how they continuously improve their processes, so as to keep up with their growth. Here we were able to network and collect valuable contacts from companies throughout Germany, as well as grabbing the opportunity to present our own challenges. Together we stay in touch via LinkedIn groups, organised lunches and even just a quick phone call, if we’re feeling that we want to learn a little more from each other.

What’s next?

Now when we start working on certain projects and topics we always consult with our network and vice-versa. Sharing upcoming challenges within HR departments from other Gazelle companies really does keep the Start-up atmosphere alive! We all grow tremendously and at the same time, have flat hierarchies in order to give our employees as much freedom and responsibility as possible and of course face ‘normal’ challenges like finding and keeping the best people on the market. We strive to become the best that we can be.

So extend your contacts and don’t fight solo – together we’re even stronger and hell of a lot more innovative!

Stylight HR Team

Stylight HR Team

|By Maie de Smedt – HR Manager|


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