Helena Ojala now Pro’s Chief of Culture and People

Beginning today, Helena Ojala assumes the role of Proekspert’s Chief of Culture & People.

Helena Ojala, Proekspert’s Chief of Culture and People

Helena has been a member of the Proekspert family for almost a year in her role as Talent Acquisition & Growth Lead. Taking on the new role of lead in the field of culture and people, Helena takes the baton from Tiina Sakkos, who took personal leave in June.

Triin Sepp, Proekspert’s CEO, says that Estonian leaders and spokespersons in the HR field were involved in the search process to get the best candidates for the job. What made Helena ideal for this job? Her professional knowledge, skills, her understanding of people, and her ability to fit into the culture of our organization. 

“I am proud that the candidate chosen as the winner is from our own team,” says Triin.

“Good luck and success to Helena as she meets her new challenges! We’re all here to support her, carry our culture, and care for our people so that it’ll be enjoyable for us to create value together for the world, clients, and ourselves.”

Helena has been involved in the field of HR for the last ten years, working in companies like Playtech and Fiizy. During this time, she managed to coordinate rapid growth in start-ups, as well as lead recruitment in an international unicorn.

A psychologist and coach with business development experience

Helena’s background is as a psychologist and coach, but she has also been involved in business development. 

“In my life before HR,” she says, “I was always racing in parallel on two tracks. I was a business manager in the mornings and a psychological counselor in the evenings. I initially got into HR as a consultant and trainer, but I soon discovered that here my two paths meet and merge into one. Working in HR, I feel that I am in the right place.”

Helena says that it is very difficult for her to restrain herself in places where she sees that something could work smarter or when there is unused potential somewhere that could take off with a little help.

“Being a development partner of people and organizations, and picking the fruits grown, is what makes my work sweet and provides me with real inspiration.”

Proekspert is a pioneer in the Estonian HR landscape

“Accepting the role of Chief of Culture and People of Proekspert is awe-inspiring because, before me, such powerful women as Tiina Saar-Veelmaa and Tiina Sakkos (Seeman) have directed this area at Proekspert,” says Helena.

Proekspert is a pioneer in the Estonian HR landscape, having been the first to introduce self-organizing teamwork without managers and to practice a hierarchy-free culture. “After us, many companies started using similar practices and today these are widespread,” adds Helena.

Autonomy brings employee satisfaction

“We have also called ourselves bossless,” says Helena, “which means that management must not hinder or demotivate our people. A leader should not be a boss, but a partner.”

“Proekspert’s culture highly values autonomy. Proekspert people are characterized by curiosity, courage, open-mindedness, and sincerity – but above all, an intense desire to do something useful. At Proekspert, work is more than just getting the job done.”

“We trust our people, and therefore a lot of responsibility is given to teams. Our engineers have more decision-making power in their daily work than at a typical company. The results of our satisfaction surveys confirm that people like and appreciate this kind of work culture and freedom.”

Proekspert’s employees highly appreciate the company’s unique culture. “As the new lead in the field of culture, one of my tasks is to preserve this special culture but, at the same time, help it grow and innovate at the same pace Proekspert grows,” adds Helena.

“Proekspert, and specifically our HR department, has an insanely awesome team. Our team also includes coaches, for instance, and this ensures that every Pro person has an in-house development partner available.”

Updating value propositions

Helena has plans for the near future: “We’re planning to develop some completely new and innovative services for our people and, through this, strengthen the value proposition of our employees. It’s typical for us that Proekspert HR is a little ahead of the curve.”

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