Placement Spotlight: Max

Recruitment Case Study – Senior Front-End Engineer

A Little Background

Our client, a Series-A internet company, backed by Sequoia Capital. They needed a JavaScript expert with a very specific skillset.

It was business critical for the company to hire a front-end engineer to help them transition from Angular to React. The candidate would need to architect and develop key features for the company’s client-facing web application.

The key skills the company was looking for included having a strong theoretical and practical foundation in computer science concepts (data structures, algorithms, design patterns, operating systems, etc.).

The Problem

Within 4 weeks we had presented our best candidate and they were given an offer. This hire was particularly difficult because the candidate was a FAANG employee and in high demand by many other companies. They had 4 different offers to choose from.

The Solution

Ryan Durrschmidt, Senior Technical Recruiter at Kofi Group, kept the lines of communication open throughout the process and was able to work out a solution to ensure the candidate accepted the offer from our client happily as a first choice above his other offers.

Ryan’s approach always starts with a review of a resume. With six years of experience in the recruiting business, he knows exactly what to look for – college history, tech experience and skills, the companies that the candidate has worked for, the tech stack they have in their locker – and how it matches to the job description. It usually takes him less than a minute to decide whether to take his search to the next step with a candidate.

“I can review resumes faster, but I like to make sure that I haven’t missed any ‘hidden’ details,” says Ryan.

If a potential candidate’s credentials look promising on the resume, Ryan then reaches out with a call.

“This is really important to do,” say Ryan. “You can learn so much about a candidate from a 30-minute call. A lot of the potential candidates I reach out to are pretty smart folks, but if you can’t kind of dumb it down for people – or at least take the time to talk with somebody – it’s going to be difficult for them to work with many companies.”

And the red flags that he looks for during the call?

“Egocentric people. Those who are not willing to take the time to walk you through things. For most of the companies that we hire for, those types of people are just not going to make good cultural fits.”

Using this approach, Ryan was able to present four suitable candidates to the client.

“I did extensive research through our networks and via LinkedIn, and identified several potential candidates. The candidate we placed was actually a previous connection that I had made via LinkedIn, so I’m pretty proud that our tactics are shown to work,” Ryan explains.

The Candidate

The candidate we placed is an ex-Facebook Software Engineer. He has a BS in Computer Science, and  more than five years of software engineering experience with React and other JavaScript frameworks and libraries. Plus, of course, he could demonstrate experience in working on client-facing web applications.

The End Result

Closing the deal on this hire wasn’t straightforward.

Throughout the process, Ryan kept the candidate in the loop, with daily texts or emails, and regular conversations.

“We were talking on the phone, staying in touch, continuing to help build the rapport – not only between us, but between the client and candidate, too,” says Ryan. “That proved invaluable in the closing stages. The candidate received four other offers, but it was that open line of communication that we had established that really paid dividends.”

Ryan helped in the discussions between the client and the candidate, and was able to negotiate a sign-on bonus – something that this client rarely does.

“It was a perfect fit for the client and the candidate. I think they both knew this, but it was just a question of getting them to the perfect compromise to make that match happen,” Ryan recalls.

The Kofi Group Approach

We specialize in finding talent for startups and early-stage growth companies, especially where the talent needed must have ‘big-tech’ experience – people who have cut their teeth at the likes of Facebook and Amazon, but are perfect for a new challenge and role with a startup. They want more than to be just another number at a big tech company.

“To get into one of the big techs, the interview process almost dictates that you must have strong fundamentals. The questions asked are theoretical, academic, algorithmic, and cover high-level mathematics too. So, it’s pretty straightforward when it comes to technical interviewing. When you’ve got someone from that environment, they’ve already been through the gauntlet of the ‘Facebook interview’,” says George Atuahene, Kofi Group founder and Managing Director. “Then it’s all about desire, commitment, personality, and the future.”

If you are hiring for your startup, you will benefit from the same focused approach when you get in touch with Kofi Group.