People & Talent: What We Look For

Last month, Sebastian, our head of People & Talent, wrote about big data in HR. This month, he gives us an insight into what he looks for when recruiting.

ESPI People Talent What We Look For 2

Managing the recruitment for the Berlin office means I see a lot of applications. If I had to give one piece of advice to potential applicants, I would say always try—the worst thing that can happen is you get a polite rejection. But, in order to try, you have to know what you want to work on.

It doesn’t stop there though, so I’ve put together a guide to getting yourself noticed by the right people in the right places.

Show off

We love to see your work. As a design applicant, for example, you should spend time on your portfolio. It’s what our design team really look closely at, so show us what you got! Don’t hide the early work you were proud of at the time, and never hide the weird and crazy stuff—we live off this. Same goes for the repositories of developers, and the past experiences of account managers or scrum masters.

Don’t forget the basics

I still need a CV from you, and it doesn’t need to be creative. You can use this handy tool. If your career path isn’t straight and by the book, that’s good: we like bendy career paths, just like in life. The one thing I will say about CVs though is don’t overdo it. Rule of thumb:

(your age/10) - 1 = the amount of pages your CV should have.

Know the big three

Ok, so these only apply specifically to us. While these might not be the first three things I look for, they’re definitely the most important:

  • Self-reflection: Nobody is perfect, and you should know you aren’t and won’t be either.
  • Authenticity: This is especially hard to spot in a situation as artificial as a job interview. But we’re hiring people, not portfolios. We want to hire you, not who you think you have to be in order to get hired.
  • Humor: Everybody loves a sensible chuckle.

What would I do?

It’s obviously easy for me to offer advice, but if I were looking for a job myself, I’d focus on these two important points:

First, I would make sure that wherever I’m applying has a strict “no assholes” policy and that everybody has their egos under control (at least most of the time). The ability to get over yourself improves any work place massively, and creates better solutions for everyone. And secondly, I’d check what kind of people already work there. Would it be a crowd I’d feel comfortable spending most of my awake-time with?

And finally, some advice for life

My last piece of advice is simple and difficult at the same time: find out what matters to you, then find the place where that matters too, and you’ll already have a foot in the door.

Our Berlin, Amsterdam and Singapore offices are hiring. Take a look at our current vacancies here.

Illustrations by Toshiya Izumo