People often ask what’s the biggest blocker we face at MarketInvoice — for the last year or so the answer has been hiring.
We’re recruiting for a lot of positions right now as we aim to scale the team from around 70 to north of 100 over the next 6–12 months. As you can imagine we all think a lot about the type of people we are trying to hire here. There are loads of really talented people out there, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all be a great fit for us. I felt that really thinking hard about the types of people we want to hire not only helps in making our hiring process more streamlined and efficient, but is also helpful to candidates who are looking to apply. Getting to a consensus on ‘what good looks like’ across the hiring teams can save a lot of wasted time and confusion.
So following a long discussion with my hiring team leads, I circulated the below email to the whole company a few weeks ago — let me know what you think:
“What are the most important things we are looking for in new hires at MarketInvoice? It can be summed up like this:
We want applicants who can display excellence in their CV and who intrinsically seek to pursue success.
Excellence can be demonstrated by: degrees from top-tier universities, working for top-tier companies, showing excellence at previous jobs (rapid promotions, measurable value-add), out-of-work success (competitive hobbies, side-projects).
We believe excellence takes time so we like to see some stability in the CV. This means that candidates who have hopped jobs lots of time in a short time span, or never held down a job for a meaningful amount of time (e.g. 2–3 years) raises a yellow flag which merits more investigation. To get very involved in a mission and make an impact, we feel commitment is important.
2. Self-improvement & coachability
Here at MarketInvoice there’s virtually no-one at the company who’s doing the exact same thing they were a year ago (common across the start-up world). We need people to be able to learn and expand their horizons. We need self-starters who are willing to throw themselves in and work stuff out (even if it means picking up a text book on the weekend or reaching out to experts to gain some insights). We also need these people to be able to take on feedback and improve without getting defensive (“coachability”), to refine strategies, and to iterate to try out new methods.
These traits can be demonstrated by: how a candidate has improved as result of feedback, self-driven learning (taking advantage of platforms such as Coursera, Code-academy, General Assembly etc.), attending meet-ups in their free time, and general self-improvement to increase job performance.
Linked to the above, we also need candidates to display adaptability and comfort in operating in an environment of uncertainty. Things change on a monthly basis at start-ups, we listen to ever-changing customer demands, and our products and strategy will evolve over time.
This can be demonstrated by track record of adapting to rapidly changing roles, someone who has a range of experience (large & small companies, maybe a stint being an entrepreneur), and who has seen a fast-paced environment. We are less excited by someone who’s good but has just been doing the same thing for the last ten years without any changes.
These 3 key things above will help you as you screen CVs or think about who in your network would fit here at MarketInvoice.
During the interview process we also look out for Red Flags which would pretty much torpedo someone’s application. This can be summarised as follows:
- No clear motivation to join MarketInvoice (does not believe in our mission)
- Bad team player, obstructive, egotistical
- Bad communicator, unclear, not concise and to the point
- Lack of drive / low energy
If we uncover any of the above red flags during the interview process that typically means we won’t hire the applicant — no matter how good they are in other areas. It’s nothing personal but not what we are looking for. We’ve seen the negative impact a person can have on the whole team when they don’t buy into the culture of the company.”
We use the above as a framework to think about applicants. It’s useful in comparing across candidates as well. Of course, it’s also beneficial for candidates to read about what is important to us here at MarketInvoice and decide whether it matches what they are looking for.
And before I forget, you can see all our active job posts here:
Co-Founder of MarketFinance