Mindvalley takes great pride in our marketing and product design. We do our best to create great products that customers love to help them in their learning; and we do it in scale! But how do we do it?
This post is about the most badass team in Mindvalley: the Tech Team. The misunderstood geniuses of every company, whose concise communication style and pragmatism scare most people away.
You see, we’re an online business where customer experience and scalability are fundamental parts of our success: and this team is responsible for the underlying technology that makes Mindvalley work. From our websites and apps to our internal platforms for operations, etc.
So how do we get these amazing people all together and bring them so motivated to give their best to have this company running and growing exponentially, even when that means a big amount of stress and hours of hard work?
Where do we find talent? And how do we ensure they stay in the company, stay motivated and invest their best in what they do?
On this interview with our CTO, Ezekiel Vicente, he tells some of the secrets to hire the best talents and keep them working.
How do you find the best people to hire?
First off, job websites aren’t really the best places to look. You want to hire smart people who are highly competent and confident enough to engage others in intellectual discussions, so you should go where these people usually are online (and chances are, that’s not on a job portal). Check forums and places like stackoverflow, reddit etc, where smart discussions happen on a regular basis (read intelligent, not troll). This is where you’ll find the people who know their trade well.
Another option would be: get out there, go to events where tech is discussed and talk to people. Choose events wisely though to make sure they aren’t dud events. The more people you talk to, the more likely you’ll find someone (or someone who knows someone) who shares your passion and get things rolling.
The most successful way we’ve done recruitment is simply by relying on the past connections of the team. Smart people like working with other smart people (and they tend to keep in touch). So if your team members love their jobs, chances are, they’ve mentioned it to their friends at some point and we encourage their friends to join the team. It’ll be better for everyone in the long run since the team will be composed of people who mutually respect each other, hold each other accountable to keep a high bar on the quality of their work, and already know how to work and have fun together.
How do you hire developers? What criteria and principles do you operate on?
We operate on the idea of grooming most of the people we hire. Every company is different, and we have our own way of building things that we’ve adapted from different best case practices coupled with Mindvalley’s work culture. This is why we’re absolutely okay with hiring very junior people. as long as they have the aptitude for development and hungry to learn. In terms of screening people, we give them a test that allows us to see the way they think, not how well they code. This can come in the form of simple programming tests, whiteboard exercises or having them criticise their own favourite frameworks. People can be taught how to code, but it’s harder to teach someone how to think.
Once they’re hired, what keeps them motivated to dedicate their best ideas and talents on a daily basis?
I can’t really say that much about motivation in general, because people’s motivation to work with you depends completely on your company’s culture and leadership as well as their personal motivations in life (perks, purpose, salary etc).
Here are some things that definitely help:
- A comfortable work environment where they can be themselves, free from distractions
- Give them meaningful work
- Pay well
- Listen to them and try to understand a bit of what they do so you can work with them better
- Get out of their way and clear blockers that hinder their progress as much as possible.
I know that these are very general comments, but in a nutshell, these apply to pretty much everyone in specialist roles.