I recently sat down with Core10's Director of Talent and Organizational Development, Renata Ribeiro, to learn what makes her tick and what the key elements are for ideal team players.
Lee Farabaugh: How did you get started in the area of Talent?
Renata Ribeiro: I have always been passionate about working with people, and when I picked a major in college, I knew it had to be about people. I studied Psychology, and that taught me how to understand people, respect differences, and leverage strengths. During that time I really learned how to coach people to help them find what makes them unique and valuable.
Even in my first job, when I was 20 years old, I was taking care of people, working in hiring and organizational development. When I moved to the US, I realized that I had always working in the talent field, although in different sides of it.
My most recent job was at a startup, where I was tasked with doubling the company in one year, and my mandate was to hire the best developers in the US. I realized I was made for that challenge: I had been doing things that got me ready for it since early in my career.
LF: What was the hardest thing about growing your team so quickly?
RR: The toughest part was maintaining the company culture through rapid growth. I took the approach of being more concerned about quality than quantity, and it paid off. I wanted to find people who were hungry, humble, and smart -- those things were even more important than their specific technical skills. Even though I need them to meet a certain technology skill level, I knew that cultural fit was of paramount importance for growing the young company.
LF: You mentioned 3 characteristics you look for in hiring: hungry, humble and smart. Tell me more about what these meant to you.
RR: These qualities come from a book, called The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni. I was introduced to the book by my mentor, Amy Henderson. After reading it, I knew I had to structure my hiring practices based on these elements. They are the most valuable qualities a person can develop to be successful in a work environment. When we put ideal team players on our team, we can be sure we have a strong foundation. This foundation leads to growth and success in the company.
Smart isn't about intellectual capacity, although that is certainly important! Rather, it's about emotional intelligence and having common sense about interacting with other people. It means being interpersonally aware, dealing with other people effectively, asking good questions, and being a good listener. To me, being smart is about understanding other people and respecting their limits, and about how you help other people success rather than stepping on their toes. Ultimately, it's about having good judgment and intuition about group dynamics.
Humble is pretty straightforward. It's about a lack of excessive ego and concerns about status. If a person is not humble, then it's all about them. Those people don't make good bosses or good teammates.
Hungry is about intrinsic motivation. Hungry people don't have to be told to work hard, they just naturally do it because they want to. I find that a lot of hungry people have a personal story that's behind their desire and motivation to work hard.
LF: Do you have such a personal story, that drives you to excellence?
RR: I moved to the US from Brazil, and I didn't know the language. I had a small child to raise, and I had to start all over, proving what I could do. Going through that period of my life definitely taught me to work hard!
LF: How do hungry, humble, and smart play out here at Core10?
RR: When I came to Core10, the team wasn't using the book per se, but the strong cultural foundation was already there. Our hiring team is very focused on the culture side. We believe that as long as a candidate meets a technical skill level threshold, the culture component is the driving factor in making hiring decisions. I'm very excited to be here, helping the company grow to the next level, and working in the fintech space.
LF: Can humble, hungry, and smart translate outside the workplace?
RR: Definitely! I have 3 children, ages 5, 10, and 15. They are all at different life stages, and this is not dissimilar to hiring for 3 different jobs. My job at home is helping them find the right path in their life, and understanding who they are, so that they can have the most success possible. I'm teaching them how important it is to be hungry and never give up, to be humble even when they're the best at something, and to be emotionally smart in dealing with different people and situations in their lives, so they can be ideal team players in their own careers someday.
If you're hungry, humble, and smart, check out our Careers page for the latest openings!