What Does it Mean to Be First?

8 minutes read

Scaling the most innovative tech companies of today and tomorrow requires a certain mindset – one we like to call Be First – but what exactly does it mean?


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Malin Haglund

Hi Malin! Can you start by sharing a bit about your role at FE?

I started working at FE in August 2019. My current title is Recruitment consultant, but I also have a dual role as Head of Internal Recruitment and Employee Experience.

Be First is our employee motto, and it can mean many things to many different people. What does it mean to you?

For me, Be First means that we aim to be the best recruitment agency within tech in the market. We are a bunch of hardworking, skilled people who always go the extra mile for our clients. I really believe we are an innovative company, which means we do our best to create new market value and solutions for our clients based on gaps in the market. This results in innovative recruitment solutions that are tailored to the ever-changing nature of the industry we work in.

How you apply the Be First mentality in your daily tasks?

It's difficult to mention one specific example, as I guess this is just a big part of our culture as well. Still, I think one example could be that when I recruit for my clients, I'm quite thorough in terms of what candidates I present to the hiring managers as potential candidates for that specific role. I value quality over quantity because I don't want clients or candidates to spend a lot of time on a recruitment process that isn't right for them.

On the other hand, I try to see the bigger picture. If I have one candidate interested in one specific position, but I see that he/she might be more fit for another position in that company, I try to be flexible and open about it with the client and the candidate. I try to be as much of an advisor for my clients as possible. I try to guide them in making decisions and using data to help them make the best choices.

How do you see your colleagues carry out the Be First"mentality in their tasks?

We have many great people working in FE, and I feel that everyone is trying to make things better every day. These could be small things and bigger things. One small ongoing thing that makes a big difference lies in our knowledge sharing. So, when people come up with best practices for their tasks, they are quick to share them with the rest of the organization to make sure we can all learn from each other. For example, how can we automate small things to make sure we can work more efficiently.


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Håkon Ødegaard 

Hi Håkon! How long have you been at FE?

I started working as a Talent Acquisition Consultant at FE about six months ago!

Malin talked a bit about Be First and what it means to her, but what does it mean to you? 

Be First can mean so many things, but I would say for me, the first thing I think of is our strive always to be the best at what we do and be able to deliver whatever we promise in the best possible manner. It comes down to really having a passion to deep dive into new assignments, always challenging ourselves, and strive to be world-class professionals.

How do you carry that mentality through your tasks and projects?

At FE, I get so many cool and different challenges. Specifically, I have gotten many assignments that I had no prior experience with. Tackling these new projects is where I feel the Be First mentality is really important. Since you will get so many opportunities to widen your knowledge, you have to face new challenges with a deep desire to deliver the best possible results (i.e. Be First).

How do you see this mentality shine through at a company level?

The thing that stood out for me from day one was that everyone at the company jumps at opportunities. In a way, everyone wants to Be First, as they proactively seek ways to gain new experiences.


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Sebastian Meum

Hi Sebastian! You joined FE not too long ago as a Talent Acquisition Intern - what was your official start date?

I started as a Talent Acquisition Intern on the fifteenth of March, 2021.

As you know, Be First is our employee motto – what was your first impression of it?

I was curious about this when I started and what it actually meant. I thought it was related to something like "always winning." However, for me Be First has shown itself in the first weeks to be strongly related to the quality of the work itself. The effort and work that is put into each project when it comes to learning about the company, the role, the tech lingo, etc. was quite surprising. So I would say Be First is about delivering the first-class work and services, not necessarily being the "winner".

You may not have had the time yet to properly implement Be First within your own tasks, but can you talk a bit about your colleagues adhere to Be First?

The way I have been welcomed and how they have followed up and supported me even during onboarding has been amazing. I have had weekly calls and been offered help and guidance at every single stage of the onboarding process. In this sense, I can really say I have been given first-class treatment, and I would assume that my teammates are carrying this quality treatment to clients and in their work.

What is something that has surprised you during your first few weeks at FE?

How supportive every single employee is. We are in tough times, and everyone struggles in their own way be it with lockdowns, COVID, work etc. FE employees are busy with their own work, yet everyone from CEO to another TAI takes large chunks of time out of their schedule to help integrate the new employees into the company. It is amazing to see how good the company's culture is even in a time where no one has seen each other for more than one year.



Silje Lian Østrem

Hi Silje! Like Sebastian, you recently joined FE! Can you tell us a bit more about your position and start date?

I started the first of February 2021 as a Talent Acquisition Intern. In my position, I work part-time as I am still a full-time student!

Can you tell us a bit about what Be First means to you as a new hire?

Be First is for me means to be engaged and taking initiative on things big and small within the organization – regardless if it is something small like taking initiative on scheduling a virtual coffee to get to know my new colleagues or something bigger like taking on my first project.

How do you see your new colleagues carry out the Be First mentality?

My colleagues are forward-looking. If they see something done, they do it rather than waiting around for others to take the initiative. FE is also quite innovative in handling recruitment processes, and I think our innovative mindset plays into our solution and delivery processes from a client perspective. 


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Agata Kmiecik

Hi Agata! When did you start at FE and how has your role evolved since?

I started at FE on the sixth of August 2018. My current title is the Manager and Head of Academy. However, I've had a chance to go through the whole career development cycle for a recruiter in FE.

What does Be First mean to you?

Be First for me means that you really own everything that's going on in the company and drive progress - whether it's your recruitment projects and how they impact our revenue or redesigning the company's career development if you see that it does not fit the current company direction. Being first also means that I can approach the CEO and tell him what I think works and what doesn't and how I would approach certain things instead. For me, this is what ultimately makes FE different.

How you apply this mentality in your daily tasks? What about your colleagues?

I apply the Be First mentality everyday usually through the feedback I give to everyone around me and making sure that whatever I commit to, gets delivered and ultimately makes the company better. I think everyone in FE has that mentality, too. Essentially, there is a constant openness to change and various ideas on improving the recruitment industry and internal processes we have. I think everyone has that owner mentality in FE - knowing that you can genuinely have an impact here and that your voice will be heard.



Interested in learning more about Be First or joining the team? Check out our open positions and learn more about our mission and values on our career page.