The power of language, creating a meaningful company culture and scaling the right way: an interview with Lingio’s Ellie Engström
Starting life in a new country is no mean feat, from getting your day-to-day bearings to establishing yourself in the workforce. Even in today’s digital first society, learning the local language is an essential part of flourishing in a new environment. Lingio was born of the desire to help language learners in their journeys and empower them to reach their goals. To build and develop the passionate Lingio team, Ellie Engström has just hopped aboard. Read on to find out more about what inspired her to join.
Company mission statements aren’t always a riveting read. But when Lingio’s Global Head of Talent Acquisition, Ellie Engström, learned what her workplace stands for, she says “They had me at hello.”
Ellie, what are you working on that gets you excited?
There's so much that excites me about Lingio and my role here, but first things first. Right now I’m rolling up my sleeves and so happy to get into the trenches in a really operational way. One of my first tasks is to make sure we have a qualitative recruitment process, giving candidates the best experience while also ensuring that our hiring managers feel secure and supported. And of course, putting Lingio on the map as the fantastic employer we are. Our sales department is a key part of growing the business side of the company, they basically show our customers the amazing impact our products can have. So scaling this team and hiring the best people out there is top of my agenda. We also have plans to expand internationally in the near future, that's going to be so much fun.
Could you tell us about your story so far?
I’ve spent the last 10 years working exclusively in the startup world. I always come in during the early stage, and I’m usually the first person setting up shop across talent acquisition and employer brand. Scaling up fast – I’ve been in fintech, gametech, SaaS and now EdTech. What gets me going is helping great companies to scale and placing the right people in the right roles – and seeing the magic happen. I am also passionate about delivering what the company promises to its employees – that means ensuring that a company’s management is absolutely onboard and committed to supporting its people.
What’s special about this company?
I’d say the mission provides so much inspiration, in that you add to something bigger than yourself. We’ve built a team of brilliant people who are also humble. The Lingio workplace is an environment where ideas are welcome, whether that’s developing our products, or shaking up our processes when they need changing. We’re a place where we thrive on experimenting and measuring – and we deliver on what we promise. And an important message that I want to get out there is that we’re a ‘We’ company – by that, I mean that we’re an organisation built on teamwork and togetherness. Our brand values really try to reflect this. Lingio is also about cutting edge tech, for example with our AI-based products. I truly believe that AI is the future of EdTech.
Could you tell us a fun fact about you?
Actually, I moved to Sweden from Iran at the age of eight. Back in the summer of 1989! I was fluent in Swedish in three months. There was no other way for me to make friends – language was the key. You know, I guess that’s what made Lingio resonate with me; I lived that experience of coming to a new country as a child. You want to feel like you belong, and I love that the technology of the world we live in can help people get into a space where they feel like they belong.
Last but not least, what’s the Ellie vision for Lingio?
I want us to make smart decisions now so we set up to reap the benefits later. Aside from putting Lingio on the map, I would also like to grow at the pace we should. To scale up, while being who we are, rather than hiring at breakneck speed and then thinking, “What are we going to do here?” after. I want Lingio to be a company where you can make an impact at work – you really have the freedom to shape your role and have your contribution recognised.