Hello, I’m Maria and I’ve built a career leading People, HR & Recruitment in high-growth tech startups, taking them from early stage through growth, from 30-300 employees. I’ve worked at Monzo Bank, Snyk, GoCardless and Permutive – some of these are unicorns now, and in my time at each the number of employees was doubling every 6-12 months.
This means that I’ve been involved in hiring more than 500 people, into a huge variety of roles, from C-level to interns, customer operations to design to risk to security engineers, across four companies in three industries (fintech, adtech & cybersecurity).
In these high-growth environments, I’ve had a really accelerated opportunity to learn a lot – I’ve made mistakes, I’ve had successes, and want to share my experience with such a range of hiring.
Why? Well, two stories (to start with):
1. Many years ago, I was supporting hiring someone new into a business. We arranged on-site final-stage interviews for four candidates for a business-critical role. Afterwards, the six of us who’d interviewed the candidates sat together to make a decision on who we should hire. We couldn’t reach agreement because every one of us was looking for different traits, skills and experience. None of us really knew what the role was, what we wanted or what we needed.
2. Last summer, I was searching for a new role. I spent seven hours being interviewed with multiple people at one company. Towards the final stage, I presented a first year strategy and spent a couple of hours discussing it with a handful of the existing leadership team. And then I was rejected from the process, because they were looking for someone with a background in consulting. I have exactly zero consultancy experience. This is clear from my CV. No amount of strategy presentations would have changed this fact!
Sometimes you reach the end of an interview process and realise that everyone has different expectations, you have no idea what the job is, and despite hours of interviewing nobody knows whether you’d be great or not.