We have a simple but important hiring philosophy that we use across all positions. Our Principles describe what we look for in people. Depending on the role and the level of seniority, we interpret the values differently, but they are at their heart the same values. Beyond that,
We have 4 fundamental ideas that guide our hiring efforts.
Notice we didn’t mention money, not to say that it’s not important but if that’s your driving factor, then this is not the best place for you. We pay competitive salaries to make money with no concern for our team – everyone is in different stages in their life, and we’re not here to judge why that may be the case.
If you’re interested in growth and improving the level you are currently at through complex problem solving, you’ve reached the right place.
Our problems fall into 3 parts,
If this is what excites you the most, then you’re at the right place.
We do things slightly differently here. Our company culture is built on core principles based on our people and we foster changing and adjusting processes around the people that use the processes because an important aspect is an idea that people over processes.
Our team is built on mutual trust.
Tell your team you need their help during a tough spot and watch them support you, just be there to do the same. We’re here to make sure that each one of us succeeds in the goals we define for ourselves.
We treat each other as adults and expect them to behave as such – with great power comes great responsibility. Removing controls means that we’re removing checks and useless policies that make HR feel safer because we believe that each of us here acts in the best interest of the company.
This brings a net benefit to us.
Each of our team members is carefully selected based on their fit to the company culture, their problem-solving skills, and their willingness to go the extra mile to make sure that we really deliver value to our customers.
We’d rather work with a team of 3-4 very smart, highly motivated people than a team of 10 uninterested members where only 3 are contributing to the real problem solving.
Talent Density is very important to us.
Input is what you put in, output is what propels the company forward. Because of the above points we’re always looking for the best way to do things. How can you maximize your output and let that scale beyond the number of hours you can put in – that is the key consideration you need to think about. As a developer, this is fundamental, as everyone else you need to learn to do this to really grow the value generated.
When discussing work – we discuss goals, getting there is your choice.
The question on how to get there is up to you.
If you have to import an excel file with 20 names into a system. Doing them one by one might make a lot of sense because it’s quick and you don’t have to think – but it fails the scalability test. You do this once, but realise that you’re doing a list of 21 the next month and 22 the month after. You should stop, think about the team, maybe there are others doing the same thing and writing a script to automate this and then documenting how it works might not just save you time in the long term but others in the process. Although writing the script may take 10 times the time if you find 1 other person with the same scope of time investment you’ve cut down your payback from 10 months to 5 months.
At the center of everything we do is our focus on each individual that makes this company. It is your responsibility to make sure that every person in this team feels like they are part of the team and go out of your way to make sure that that is the case.
People over processes – we create processes to make our workflows more efficient.
When that ceases to be the case you should feel obligated to bring it up for discussion to ensure that the processes we have are always relevant to the people making use of it and really make sense and add value.
Here’s a metaphor that depicts that not the following dogma blindly is important to us –
There are two big aspects here:
The first one fits with the mindset above, you see something that doesn’t make sense, and it’s your duty to understand and fix the issue if there is one. This further goes into 2 parts: Direct feedback and honesty (shameless but not brutal). Honesty about challenges, issues, and problems helps us all improve. Generally, you’ll have quarterly 1on1s with your direct reports (upwards or downwards) and in the event that feedback you receive is a surprise for you or your direct report – something is not right. You should not wait for a quarterly event to give your feedback and communicate challenges, positives, and negatives with your team.
Although we may not agree on all initiatives (nor should we), we disagree respectfully and commit to decisions as a team.
The second one is a little more nuanced in an organizational structure: You need to make sure to communicate everything relevant to each stakeholder that needs to know about what you’re working on as soon as they need to know it. Think push notifications over pull notifications.
If you’re a product manager taking care of a killer new feature that affects Marketing, Sales, and the Finance department, it’s on you to inform each of your stakeholders of the status and changes to the accepted timeline, scope, etc without them having to check in with you. You do not do this by increasing the frequency of check-in meetings.
There is no box
– an overused metaphor but there are many ways to skin a cat and linear thinking should be left at the door. The reason you’re here is that you’re interested in solving problems yourself and don’t need someone else to solve them for you.
You learn by trying new things – you’ll fail a lot but that’s how you grow. Although we’re all big Nikola Tesla fans here. Figuring out 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb is the best example of trying new things till you succeed. Depending on where you are in your career where everything is new – at no point should you not be trying at least 1 new thing every month.
We work across borders – at the moment we have 3 of the team in Germany and 12 in India.
We’re disabling controls and requirements as much as possible to make sure that you can do whatever it takes to make you as productive as possible.
To make sure that the team gets to know each other well we have regular off-sites – the last was one in Munnar, Kerala in January 2022.