Even though you are a local bank in Denmark, it will benefit your business to work internationally according to Spar Nord Bank. 10 years ago, the Danish bank decided to hire Ukrainian developers, as one of the first banks in the financial sector in Denmark. Spar Nord concludes that their decision to outsource was the right one, even though it at times felt like shaky grounds.
“We went to unknown territory when we outsourced a part of our IT to Ukraine in 2006,” says Head of IT Development at Spar Nord Bank Kaare Jacobsen, who has been involved since the startup. “There were many new things to learn – it was often “learning by doing”, and we also stumbled a few times. But it also gave us the opportunity to form how outsourcing could become an integrated part of Spar Nord.”
Spar Nord started their outsourcing journey with 5 developers in a small office in Lviv, Ukraine. Today, the bank has two fully integrated development departments in Aalborg (Denmark) and Lviv (Ukraine), where all developers start the day with a joint video conference meeting.
Job interviews at a hotel
The working conditions have changed dramatically from 2006 to now, where the newly built office building in Lviv e.g. offers coffee room, relax room and meditation room.
”When we came to Lviv, we had the job interviews at our hotel, and we hired the first software developers before we had an actual office. After the first 5 signed contracts, our outsourcing partner Conscensia found an office for our new employees.”
Conscensia is Spar Nord’s outsourcing partner. Conscensia handles all practicalities in Lviv, so the bank does not have to know about the Ukrainian rules and regulations. They ensure that the 12 Ukrainian developers have the same working conditions as their colleagues in Aalborg. The Ukrainians are equally Spar Nord employees, as their Danish colleagues.
Fewer visits to Lviv – everything runs smoothly
In the beginning, Kaare Jacobsen spent a lot of time in Lviv with Conscensia. Jointly, they looked into recruitments, ensured that the cooperation between Danish and Ukrainian employees went smoothly and found the most efficient way to communicate across borders.
“It is so much easier today compared to 10 years ago. The cooperation runs very professionally and we hardly need to be present in Lviv – Conscensia and our employees have everything under control. Conscensia is well-known on the IT market in Lviv and they have a professional HR department with a huge network. They screen the market for us, when we recruit new employees – and we have come to a point where many IT professionals send their CVs to Conscensia, because they want to work for them,” Kaare Jacobsen explains.
Work on a shared monitor
CEO of HR, IT and Processes at Spar Nord Bank, Ole Søholm Jensen is also very pleased with the daily work and routines, and the many new technologies make it easy for the developers to communicate and cooperate across Europe.
”We have a video conference every morning and discuss solutions and opportunities. A developer in Aalborg and a developer in Lviv can even work together on a shared monitor across Europe. There is only one hour time difference, and it is important to us that our developers are at work simultaneously. They might as well sit in another Danish city, as in Lviv,” concludes Ole Søholm Jensen.