A man and his dream: innovation without compromise Karl Toosbuy – the founder of ECCO – had a dream. He wanted to own a shoe factory and run his own business. Trained from an early age as a shoemaker, he gradually rose through the ranks and by his early 30'ies was managing a shoe factory in Copenhagen. The business, however, was not his.
The family decided to give up the security of a regular job, sell their home and move to Bredebro on the west coast of Denmark, just north of the German border. Birte and Karl Toosbuy and their 5-year-old daughter, Hanni, rented a small house and took over an empty factory built by the local community to help create jobs in what was a predominantly agricultural town.
Where it all began: from humble beginnings to the breakthrough Farmland stretched for miles around the small factory building on the outskirts of Bredebro where Birte and Karl Toosbuy had assembled a small team to get production up and running. Initially limited to ladies' shoes under the Venus brand, it was a tough start. The Toosbuys worked extremely long hours, tackled endless problems and sometimes doubted whether they would succeed. The first real breakthrough came in the late 1970s when ECCO's designer Ejnar Truelsen created the "JOKE". This was followed by a series of other revolutionary shoes, some of which are still in production today. Karl Toosbuy bought his first direct injection machine to apply high-tech production technology to the business. He was so confident in the machine that he bought a second one before the results from the first had materialised.
Our Reason for Being: we are shoemakers Unique to our industry, ECCO makes leather at our own tanneries and produce shoes at our own factories. Our global family of employees, representing over 50 nationalities, is the life force behind our products. Design, development, production, and retail – we take responsibility all the way. Throughout our history, our philosophy has been to make shoes that are shaped to fit the foot, not the other way around. This is who we are.
HINTS FROM HR
“Hints from HR” turns Interviewers into Interviewees to ask the Human Resources
(HR) professionals making the hiring decisions what they actually want, what they look for,
their turn-ons and turn-offs, their best advice plus a little about their own story. Read on to get
Ecco Shoes’s advice:
When you were 9 years old, what did you want to be when you "grew up?"
What was your first job?
I worked at Dominos Pizza, my family friend worked there and recommended me.
How long have you worked in HR/recruitment?
What is your favourite part of your job?
Working with people and seeing them really love what they do.
To me, the most employable skills a candidate could have are:
Passion, Creativity, and Innovation.
My advice to applicants who want to stand out:
Be innovative so submit a video if you can. Or, make our job in screening easier by telling us why you’re the right fit. Make it show.
The biggest mistake you could make:
Not having voicemail on your phone. When we’re working with a pool of people as big as we have, and as much as I’d love to be able to call everyone 3-4 times, the reality is we don’t have that kind of time. So if you don’t answer when we call and there’s no way to leave a voicemail, how are we supposed to let you know we’ve called?
The first thing I notice about a resume:
Formatting. If someone has put in the effort and it’s easy to read, it makes a huge difference. Your resume doesn’t need to be pretty with pictures and graphics but if it’s easy to read it will stand out. Or, even scrap a resume and send us a video!
The first thing I notice about a candidate at an interview:
How they present themselves and their handshake.
Questions a candidate should never ask:
What’s the number of sick days I get? If you’re already thinking about your sick days, it could be interpreted as a red flag.
Don't shy away from asking:
Questions that are important to you. The interview is your opportunity to find out if the company is the right fit for you as much as it’s their opportunity to figure out if you’re a good fit for the company. For instance, if career progression is important to you, don’t be shy to ask about the company’s training and up-skilling opportunities. Or, if the company’s values are important to you, ask about what we stand for and how we support those values.
My advice to a candidate who wasn't successful:
Keep trying. The right job is out there whether it’s with Ecco or not.