Hiring Pipeline for Passion and Talent

Eduardo Bellani

Head of Technology at Brick Abode



"I was the first hire for an entrepreneur who started his company in my home country of Brazil. He was from outside of the country and came from a background of investment banking. Thus, he was a man of quality and precision. My first task as the CTO was to put together a team that was representative of the entrepreneur and his vision for the company. So I was faced with the challenge of hiring individuals that would fit best with this new company and create the best possible team."

Actions taken

"I began by writing down keywords that were indicative of talent and passion. These were the two principles that I wanted my team to operate under. For me, passion meant that someone had spent a lot of effort and time learning something new but without any significant chance of landing a job because of it. For example, Haskell language demands a solid amount of effort to learn. One needs to be involved with programming and language research and dedicate time to growing their knowledge of this language. The other factor was talent. I wanted people with natural aptitude who could learn quickly and who could learn almost anything."

"Once I knew these qualities that I was looking for, I then went to LinkedIn and other places to search for potential candidates. After applications were received, I needed to filter people out quickly, affordably, and reliably. Therefore, I created a pipeline of advancing significant tests. The first test was IQ, which has the strongest correlation that I know of for productivity. After that, we had what we called a smoke test. This was a team-driven programming challenge where the candidate was paired with a member of the team. Initially, that team member was me. The idea was not to see if the person could solve a problem, although this was part of the test, but more so to see how well they could work with other people. And the last part of the test was a paid challenge. We stimulated the environment in which the person would possibly be working in by putting money on the line. They needed to produce for cash."

"As you can see, the testing gets progressively more expensive for the company but with all of those elements we formulated a complete profile of the person. With this methodology I was able to make a confident decision about hiring the candidate or not. I hired around 10 people and we still currently have 8 people on board. Our retention rates are high and from my perspective, this is one of the best teams that I have ever worked with in terms of talent and capabilities."

Lessons learned

  • "I have learned that it is much more important to get talented people than it is to hire people with specific skill sets. Under the right circumstances a talented individual can learn almost anything and fairly quickly. So we strive to hire talented individuals."
  • "It also pays off if you can hire motivated people. People who like what they're doing. Personally, I don't believe in imparting motivation. I will align myself with the person's motivation or find people who are motivated by things that are aligned with the company."

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Eduardo Bellani

Head of Technology at Brick Abode

Leadership & StrategyEngineering LeadershipLeadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyDecision MakingCulture DevelopmentEngineering ManagementTeam & Project Management

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