This week we are interviewing the newly appointed CEO of InHunt World to get to know him a bit more. Teemu Ruuska, 34, is originally from Espoo, Finland’s second-largest city after the capital, Helsinki. A passionate golfer and die-hard fan of Atlético de Madrid football team, Teemu enjoys outdoor sports together with his family on the weekend.
We had the chance to enjoy a coffee with him and ask him a few questions now when he has been the famous 100 days in the new position.
Congratulations on your new position as CEO of InHunt World Teemu. It’s been a few months now, how do you feel?
Thank you very much. I feel very good and very excited, and I would be lying if I wouldn’t say that a bit overwhelmed at the same time. But in a good and positive way. The First 100 days have been very intense, and I must say that because of the pandemic, I have been able to focus on my work and the time that is left spent with my wife and our kids.
We’ve got so much ongoing at the moment in our Network. You could say that we had a house but after some years we tore it down and we’ve now built it again. We did save some good parts like some of our old Partners in many countries but other than that the Network has been renewed completely. Obviously, some of that work is still not done, but we are getting there and now, in January 2021, we are able to move to phase 2 of our plan. But needless to say that hours of the day just aren’t enough. Although InHunt World has Partners in 35 countries, we are still a relatively small team that’s running the show behind the curtains.
Moreover, I would like to add that I’m also positively surprised in a way that there’s such a good spirit among all our Partners in different countries. I think the pandemic has brought us closer, and everybody is willing to put their time and really help each other.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you started your path inside InHunt?
Well, in a very nutshell, InHunt Group was founded in 2008, and I came in 2009. They actually had one project where I was a candidate and one of the finalists, but I didn’t get the job, but then Esa and Hannu, who are the two founders of InHunt, wanted to hire me. And now, if you go back, you’ll say, wait, you were 23 years old. And yes, that is totally true, but Esa and Hannu had another side project at that time, which was a new online job platform, and they saw that I could help in that as well.
Quite fast, I moved to the business development side, and we started creating new recruitment solutions for our customers. If not the first, we were definitely one of the first who actively started using social media in our recruitment and headhunting projects, and thanks to that, we got some projects with some really big and well-known brands in Finland.
Did you conduct many Headhunting cases in the past? Do you miss it?
I did, and I have done many even though headhunting has never been my primary job, and I’ve always been more on the Business Development side. But easily, I’ve done more than 100 cases, and still, every now and then, I’m actually doing those, but not many, though.
Maybe a few cases per year where I’m actually the one who is in charge of the case. I honestly think that it’s really needed to understand what is happening and how the industry is changing, especially now in the middle of this pandemic. I’m not saying that McDonald’s CEO should be flipping burgers every now and then, but I think it’s needed to visit the restaurants once in a while and feel the atmosphere. Actually, that is what I just read that he’s doing and eating lunch at McDonald’s every day. Although, I’m not sure if that’s really a great idea health-wise.
I’m not sure if I miss headhunting, but I do enjoy it. The biggest problem always for me is that it’s really hard to find time to do it. Over the last few years, the cases I’ve conducted personally have been cases here in Spain and quite often Country Manager / CEO type of projects and helping a company to expand to the Spanish Market.
Those I love to do because I know that I can add so much value to those projects and not just help finding the person but to help the company to get things started here as well.
What are your hopes for the future now that you are sitting at the dashboard?
I hope we can become one of the leaders and forerunners in our industry, and we can create something that we can truly be proud of. I hope we can help many companies reach their full potential internationally and help people to fulfill their dreams. Personally, I believe that there’s so much we can do in our industry that is definitely not the most developed one. Words like innovation, digitalization, HR-tech, candidate experience, and customer experience are at the core of what we are going to do.
Our vision is to become the #1 company, reference, and synonym for international recruitments globally.
We often hear you use the term ‘InHunt World 2.0‘, what do you mean by this?
InHunt World was launched in January 2017. After almost four years, it was finally time to take this Network to a whole other level. Last summer, we started and created the plan that we named “InHunt World 2.0″ and we hit the” reset” button.
There were some good things in our first version, such as many great Partners in many countries but other than that we kind of started everything all over. We’ve now created a new plan that goes until 2026, and we’ve established five key pillars for the project and a realistic growth plan. What those pillars are that I’m not allowed to reveal, but I’m sure the ones who are following us closely are going to see them pretty soon.
There is a long way from Finland to Spain. How did you come up with the decision to move to Madrid? Do you like it here?
Since I was maybe 12 years old, I already had this dream that I could live abroad. I think I got the idea when I visited my cousins in New York, where they used to live in the mid-90s’. I kind of realized that there’s much more than just Finland in this world, and you can actually choose the place you want to live.
When I met my wife in 2011, I sold her the idea that we could leave Finland together and go somewhere warmer. And Spain was a logical choice because I always liked the country and even studied at the University of Huelva one year in 2009, and for that reason, I did speak Spanish at least a little.
Madrid was then just common sense. We visited Madrid and its surroundings in 2012 the first time, and we really liked what we saw. At that time, the world was still trying to recover the financial crisis, but I thought that Madrid being the capital of Spain and having over six million people living here, that there must always be something to do. And funny enough, when in this life you make that kind of big decisions, all the pieces of the puzzle start coming together. So here we still are after six years, with two beautiful kids and happier than ever. Yes, despite the pandemic 🙂
A long time ago, I realized that it’s better to focus on what you have and not what you might be missing. I think life has given me so much, and this pandemic doesn’t change that. Yes, I’ve worked my ass off the last 20 years to get here and achieved these things with planning well and executing even better, but still, I’m grateful for so many things, and that life hasn’t thrown any too big obstacles on my way. But oh boy, have there been obstacles, don’t even ask.
Most importantly, we’ve stayed healthy, and I’m sure this will pass sooner or later and then we are again able to enjoy this beautiful country and planet as we should. I hope we take care of it a little bit better than we used to.
Tell us a bit more about yourself. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I think it’s easier if you go to my personal Instagram account because that explains it quite well: Family, Atlético de Madrid, golf, travel, and lots of sun. Lately also lots of snow 😀 I’m also fortunate in a way that I can do my job no matter where we are, so basically once a year, we make these longer trips. A year ago, during the Christmas holidays we spent almost three weeks in Thailand. A year before that, we went to Australia to do the same.
We also travel a lot here in Spain throughout the year, especially during the summertime because it’s so easy. Spain is an amazing country, and there’s so much to see, so there’s really no reason to go any further.
Before the pandemic, we used to go to see Atlético de Madrid every time they had a home game, and every now and then, I like to take my golf clubs and play a round of golf with my friends or customers. I also love doing all kinds of sports, exercise, and just being outdoors with my family, which we’ve done a lot during the past year for obvious reasons.
Well, thank you for taking the time to have this interview. Any last thoughts before we leave?
“Nunca dejes de creer”, which means never stop believing in Spanish. Another one that I like very much is “Si se cree y se trabaja, se puede.” If you work and you believe, you can. That is a famous sentence from Diego Pablo Simeone, the Atletico de Madrid’s charismatic coach. For those who don’t know, before he came to Atlético in 2012, Atlético wasn’t a big team in Europe, and they had been doing several years really poorly. Nowadays, Atlético is one of the biggest clubs in Spain and Europe thanks to that one man who has always believed in what he does, he has certainly worked more than anyone and has achieved big things.
So never stop believing and never stop working towards your goal because everything (or almost everything) is possible if you just keep believing, working, and having your goals clear.