Dominic Heeraman

Funding Circle TA Manager Dominic Heeraman

Dominic Heeraman Talent Acquisition Manager

Dominic Heeraman is the Talent Acquisition Manager at Funding Circle, the number one provider of small business loans in the UK (to date, they have lent 13.7 billion pounds!) In this episode, he joins us to talk about how he has transformed their recruiting process by improving a number of valuable metrics (such as their time to hire and offer acceptance rates) and ensuring that each and every candidate leaves the interview process with a positive mindset towards the company, no matter the outcome of the interview. We also get into Dominic’s journey from talent partner to talent manager, remote versus hybrid work, and what employers can do to support the mental health of their staff.

Episode Transcript

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:05] RS: Welcome to Talk Talent to Me, a podcast featuring the most elite talent leaders on the front lines of modern recruitment.

[00:00:12] FEMALE: We actually want to understand the themes of someone’s life. We want to understand how they make decisions, where they’re willing to take risks, and what it looks like when they fail.

[00:00:22] RS: No holds barred, completely off-the-cuff interviews with directors of recruitment, VPs of global talent, CHROs, and everyone in between.

[00:00:31] FEMALE: Once I went through the classes and the trainings and got the certifications through diversity inclusion, I still felt like something was missing.

[00:00:39] MALE: Talent Acquisition, it’s a fantastic career. You are trusted by the organization. You get to work with the C-suite and the security at the front desk and everybody in between and everybody knows you.

[00:00:52] RS: I’m your host, Rob Stevenson, and you’re about to hear the best in the biz. Talk Talent To Me.

[INTERVIEW]

[0:00:59] RS: Here with me today on Talk Talent To Me, and fresh off of 30 minutes of just chatting about the scandal that is the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. Not good material for a recruiting podcast, but I did so enjoy that conversation. Anyway, we’re well past our scheduled start time. Here with me today is Talent Acquisition Manager over at Funding Circle. Dominic Heeraman. Dominic, welcome to the show. How’s it going today?

[0:01:23] DH: Cool. Thanks a lot. Yeah. No, it’s really good. Thanks. Obviously, it’s a little bit later in the afternoon for us here, so 4:30. I think it’s obviously bright and early in the morning for you. Yeah, very good discussion on football, anything football related is always something I’m happy to talk about.

[0:01:38] RS: Maybe we do a spin-off podcast. Maybe we launch our football podcast on the side. We’ll have to see. I’ll ping you about that later. I’m always looking for an excuse to do that. Here, though, we’re meant to talk about recruiting and hiring and all that good stuff. Anyway, I appreciate you sticking with me here at the end of your day, beginning of mine, as you call it out. I’d love to just hear about you and Funding Circle here at the top. Would you mind sharing a little bit about what Funding Circle does? Then we’ll get into your role too.

[0:02:04] DH: Cool. Yeah. No, definitely. Yeah, just to, I guess, provide a little bit of context. Funding Circle has been going for about 12 years now. We started in 2010 and spun up after the recession in the UK. What we found is that small businesses weren’t really being serviced that well, weren’t being very well looked after, and so it was massive market that we can move into. Our CEO at the time, Samir, decided that this is how he would start the company. We’ve moved on from there, so just to give you a little bit of an idea about numbers and facts and figures. So far, since the company started, we’ve lent about, or for our investors, we’ve lent 13 point 7 billion pounds. We’ve helped probably over 122,000 small business owners. Just to again, break that down into a little bit more, that really looks like around given the UK maybe a 100,000 jobs, and contribute over 7 billion to the UK economy. Actually, quite a massive market, even though we are just focusing on small businesses.

[0:03:05] RS: Got it. Then your role, what is your journey been with Funding Circle? When did you join and where are you now?

[0:03:12] DH: Yeah. I joined FC, probably, it was literally just before the pandemic started. A really, really strange time. I joined in February 2020. Really, really strange. I was in the office for two weeks. Then I was working from home probably about 18 months of the rest of the time. Very, very strange. Even when I went back to the office, it was almost like I was a newbie, because I didn’t know where anything was. Only ever seen people on Zoom, rather than in person. That was, again, a bit of a strange one.

I guess, my journey to the role is that, I guess, I’m a little bit different. I didn’t fall into recruitment, as people say. I was working in a sales job after university. Unfortunately, I was made redundant from that role. I was siding on what I should do next. One of my friends moved into recruitment. He was doing really, really well at an agency, making a really good lifestyle for himself. Really good money for himself. Told me about the role. I went away, had a really good think about if this is something I wanted to invest a lot of time into, just because I’m quite, I guess, a pragmatic person. I like to weigh up all the options, really deliberate over it before just saying yes, I’m going to jump into it and see what happens. I want to take my time and be methodical about it all.

I ended up taking on the role, where I worked for an agency for just over four years, focusing on software engineering for investment banks and hedge funds. Then after that, I moved into JP Morgan, which was my first internal role. Then from there, moved to Facebook, which is a very, very different environment. Then from there, I’ve steadily made a progress to get into Funding Circle, where I joined as a talent acquisition lead, or talent acquisition partner at the time. I’m now a talent acquisition manager here. I’ve had really good progress here.

[0:05:00] RS: Background in financial tech, I guess, let’s call it, to put a broad umbrella maybe over some of the industry you’ve worked in. That move to JPMorgan, then to Facebook, then to Funding Circle, how did those happen? Were you poached? Did you pursue those roles yourself? I’m just curious in the way you specifically have found your way from role to role.

[0:05:20] DH: Yeah. With agency life, I guess, I just got disillusioned after four years of doing the same thing day in and day out, and not really having much impact on what we do. We’re just filling roles and getting commissioned and that was it. There’s no real interest after that. I wanted to move in turn, or and be able to help a little bit more on the strategy side of things, really implement processes, defined processes, which I’d never had a chance to do before. That came about as me just deciding that it was the right time to go.

As I was working with other top tier investment banks, JP Morgan just seemed to make sense to me. After doing for years at JP, I was approached by Facebook, and had a obviously, really good conversation with them. That conversation went well. I ended up moving to that side of things, where I think not controversially, but quite honestly, I learned a lot more in my time at Facebook, which was only a year, compared to the four years I spent at JP Morgan, just because I was working with very like-minded people, really innovative tech ways of sourcing, ways of working, playing and using data, which actually was very, very interesting to me when I actually got my head round it.

Then, it just came to the time where I needed to look at other options at Facebook. I really wanted a role where I would have a bit more of an impact, and have a bit more control over the process. At that time, I’d had roughly nine coming up to 10 years’ worth of experience in recruitment. I really felt I had a lot more value to bring, rather than just being one of many recruiters at Facebook. I wanted to join a company where I could have an impact, work closely with the business to really make those changes that I felt could be done.

[0:07:08] RS: What were some of those changes you wanted to make?

[0:07:10] DH: Yeah. I really wanted to look at interview processes. Once I interviewed and got the role at Funding Circle, I found out a little bit more about how the processes work, things like the regular metrics that we look at, like time to hire, cost per hire, those kinds of things and wondered like, how can we shift the dial on this? What we were doing at the time was okay. It was definitely below what the industry average is. To be honest, that’s not great anyway, and I definitely wouldn’t want to use that as a benchmark to aim for.

We really wanted to drive down that time to hire to make us really differentiate ourselves from other companies, other fintechs in the UK. Just looking at ways we can do more things, like pair programming sessions in the interview process, rather than – I mean, at JPMorgan, they were doing take home tests, which are awful in terms of the dropout rate. Nobody really wants to spend time doing the take home test on their weekend. I definitely wouldn’t want to do anything like that. How can we make the process more engaging for candidates? Also, it’d be more of a discussion-based interview rather than, “Here’s 10 questions, answer it. If you get the right answer, we’ll progress you to the next round.” That’s not a great experience to me.

[0:08:20] RS: I’m glad you called out the take home test, because it sounds so obvious in retrospect, why would anyone want to spend their free time doing an interview? They’re basically doing free work at a certain point and yeah, it’s been designed so that it’s more evaluative. It’s maybe not like, “Oh, you’re writing code that we use in our product,” but it’s just extra work outside the process. I don’t know, the pair programming puts it in the actual interview cycle and the time that is already allotted by this person to interview.

I think, maybe you can get away with a take-home test if you’re a company like Facebook, right? If you have that leverage of like, “Oh, we know people really want to work here and we know that we’re going to throw a huge amount of comp at them, blah, blah, blah,” then people might suck it up and do it. But I would just have a bad taste in my mouth, if I was forced to do, frankly, homework.

[0:09:11] DH: Yeah. Yeah, that’s basically what it is. I remember my time at JP that they were doing those kinds of take-home tests and some of the other clients when I was at agency as well. We were doing it similarly and it was a case of, “We’re a really big reputable firm, so somebody or anybody who wants to work here will put in that extra work to get it. Well, now, it’s very much a candidate-driven market.” There are candidate shortages everywhere, in tech especially. We need to move with the times and make sure we’re selling to the candidate every step of the process.

I just feel like, with our pair programming sessions, where we’ve got two of our engineers on a call, or a video call with an interview with a candidate, they’re getting to ask questions, they’re getting to see how they work, getting to see how they use their intuition. It’s really, really much more valuable than a take-home test. Like I said, they get to understand and see the people they could potentially get to work with, which is super, super valuable.

[0:10:09] RS: Yeah. It’s much more realistic to how work actually gets done, too. It’s interesting, you said that, “Oh, well, we’re this established firm. People should want to work here, so they’ll do the take-home test.” No one was ever under the illusion that it was a good candidate experience. It sounds like they were admitting that it was bad, but we have leverage, right? That like, “Look, if they don’t like it, then don’t work here. We don’t we don’t care.” The idea that it’s now in the other direction, that now candidates have the leverage, and so companies are being forced to provide good candidate experience, surely you should have that anyway, regardless of external economic forces, the idea that you’re going to double down on a lean hiring environment by making it worse for someone and knowing that they have no choice but to do it. It’s a little bit of a slap in the face to the candidates.

This comes up a lot on the show. Will remote hiring, for example, go away if companies aren’t hiring like they are now, right? If things are a little bit leaner, and then the companies have the leverage again, will it just go away? That I think is maybe asking the wrong question. Rather than saying, “What can we get away with depending on who has leverage?” Shouldn’t we just make a better experience, regardless of external happenstances? It sounds like, that’s kind of one, you need to be more competitive, so making the candidate experience better. Isn’t that good practice no matter what’s happening with inflation?

[0:11:26] DH: Yeah, 100%. I mean, candidate experience is super important to us. Even though we’re the number one provider of small business loans in the UK, we’re not a big enough company and a big enough brand that people know who Funding Circle immediately are, unless you are in this kind of industry. I would just say that no matter what level the candidate is, whether they’re successful if they’re unsuccessful, we want them to go away with a really positive mindset about Funding Circle.

We don’t want anybody to go away with a bad taste in their mouth. It’s got to be a very good experience from end-to-end, no matter the outcome. In terms of how people work nowadays, especially engineers, which is what I cater for, remote work has always been highly desirable. If we want to hire the best engineers, we have to move with the times and be able to offer what they want. Some people want to do fully remote roles, some want hybrid roles. I personally am a little bit old school, I like actually doing face-to-face chats, face-to-face discussions, so I like going into the office twice a week. Other people can go, be fully remote and just come in maybe once a quarter, once a year, whatever works best for them. It all boils down to us wanting the best talent and being able to almost move mountains to get them over the line.

[0:12:47] RS: Is Funding Circle going the hybrid route with regard to in-person versus remote?

[0:12:51] DH: We offer both, really. We do hybrid work and we do fully remote roles. I mean, we’ve got some engineers who are out in different parts of the UK, or just far out in some areas. We’ve got people in Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Devon. Literally, all parts of the UK. The commonality is that they’re really strong engineers, they’ve passed the bar for us. I mean, in terms of what we look for in an engineer, it’s always very good communication skills, and somebody who likes collaborating, because pair programming is part of the process.

For somebody not to be able to collaborate and not be able to communicate is not going to work well. Otherwise, we offer both. We’re very, very flexible in terms of that. I guess, just me being a little bit old school, I still like going to the office and having a bit of a separation between work and life. Yeah, work and life balance. I like doing that by going to the office.

[0:13:45] RS: Yeah. What do you think is the reality of work for fully remote workers? Do you think that they risk, or sacrifice anything by never coming into the office?

[0:13:54] DH: That’s a good question. I mean, I guess just talking from my personal perspective, I would really suffer on a couple of different levels if I was fully remote. One being, I think I have my best brainstorming type sessions when I’m doing it in person with my team. We’re all sitting in a room, bouncing ideas off each other. I think that helps in terms of how I like to work, in terms of how I learn. That’s always been a really good way to do it. When I’m meeting stakeholders, like our CTO, our VP of engineering, who I work with, I like to see them face to face, have a really good in-depth discussion with them. I think it’s a lot more healthy to do that.

I think, also, just well-being and mental health is obviously been a really, really big thing during the lockdown period. I think, just staying at home working by myself remotely, that wouldn’t be something I would particularly enjoy. I’ll probably struggle with that, to be totally honest. I like to have that dynamic, where I can go into the office whenever I want, work from home whenever I want, and I’ve got that flexibility and that’s what we offer at Funding Circle.

[0:14:56] RS: Yeah. I think people need to – being remote is so convenient. Like, “Oh, I can do laundry in the middle of the day. I don’t have a commute anymore. I can work in pajama pants.” I’m not saying you shouldn’t want those things. I do want people to just really reflect on what parts of the office that they maybe miss that they don’t realize. One, separation of church and state. I do think this transition period is really important. Even if you have a space in your home, if you’re lucky enough to be like, “Oh, I don’t work from my dining room table. I work from a tiny little room that I’ve made into an office.” Even if you have that, that separation is really important.

Also, every meeting is now 30 minutes. There’s so much more of a performance than ever before. You’re speaking to everyone. Every meeting is now 30 minutes, no matter what. There’s no ad hoc meetings. There’s no quick, I breeze by your desk and, “Oh. Hey, Dominic. Can I ask you quickly about such and such?” And we have a seven-minute conversation, and we both get something done. We don’t need to schedule 30 minutes. We don’t need to interrupt our day. We just crank something out. There’s all these opportunities, especially in establishing relationships with co-workers, all these things I think that we just sacrificed without really investigating if it’s better for us in the long run.

Now it’s been two years. If you’re feeling really jittery, if you’re feeling really disengaged from work, I do wonder if some part of it is that you are stuck inside most of the day in your home, and then you spend eight hours in front of a screen and then you spend the next eight hours doing scrolling social media. I don’t know. I worry about folks’ mental health. How do you qualify mental health in the workplace? Is that something you think about?

[0:16:35] DH: Yeah. No, no, it definitely is. Luckily, we’ve got a lot of help and support regarding our physical and mental health. Because I guess, when people think of health, they’ve always traditionally said our physical. “Go to the gym. Go for a run.” Obviously, mental health is super, super important. We do have counselor sessions, which the company pay for, and we are allowed to sign up to. It’s totally confidential as well, so you can have a discussion about anything, whether it’s relationships at home, at work, stress, whatever. It’s one on one for you to have a chat with somebody, which I think is really, really cool.

We’ve also launched a neurodiversity group internally as well because that’s being a really big important thing at the forefront of everybody’s mind. I think that is very, very important to think about. Also, hopefully, if people are lucky enough to have a good manager, somebody who actually regularly checks in on their mental health and on their mental well-being, rather than just thinking about performance. “How many hires have you made? How many calls have you made?” It doesn’t have to always be around that. It should be around just checking in with your colleague. “How are you getting on? How’s things outside of work?” I think that’s just super, super important. It’s so small, but it is really important just to have that touch point, where you’re not always talking about KPIs and metrics and whatnot. It’s the human element of it.

[0:17:51] RS: Yeah. That is a really important part of, I think, a meaningful one-on-one, that it should not just be, “Hey, update me on all. Where are you tracking for your monthly and quarterly goals?” I could have sent you a spreadsheet with information. We didn’t need to have a meeting about that. You need to have that rapport as well. You can’t just come in at the one-yard line here, to make an American-centric sports reference, and be like, “Hey, Dominic. How are you doing?” If your manager hadn’t built that rapport, you would be like, “Fine, weirdo. I’m not going to actually tell you how things are going at home.” The same way as on the other side of that, I do want people to speak up and say things like, “Yeah, I’m burning out. I’m really, really tired. I’m really feeling stressed about all that stuff.” It affects your ability to do your job, in the same way as like, “I can’t come into work, because I broke my ankle.” Okay. It’s like, I do see what you’re seeing.

[0:18:42] DH: Yeah. I could see it. I can see it, people don’t realize how important it is. Yeah. I mean, I’m glad, like you probably are, because luckily, at Funding Circle, it’s very open, where we’ll have those kinds of discussions and we’ll have even guest speakers in. So we had Mental Health Awareness Month, not so long ago. We have external speakers come in, tell us about their story, how they’ve gone through mental health issues, how they’ve come out the other side of it, what they’ve done to cope with it, what’s got them through that. I think more than ever after the whole lockdown period. It’s been so long. It’s just something that needed to be addressed. It’s not just something that you just talk about once and that’s the end of the discussion. You should regularly have check-ins. Regularly make sure that likewise, if you’re not physically fit, if you’re not mentally fit, you’re not going to be right in the right mindset, in the right place.

[0:19:33] RS: Yeah. You will do worse work, you’ll get disengaged, you’ll probably quit in a huff after a few months, right? All these things that you don’t want as a manager, and you don’t want to be pushed to as an employee. You don’t want that to be your story, probably. You mentioned a minute ago, you’re mostly working with your hiring managers, VP of engineering, chief technology officer. Could you share a little bit about the nature of that relationship, what roles you’re overseeing and how you bring yourself to that hiring manager relationship in a valuable way?

[0:20:01] DH: Yeah, yeah. Sure. Like I said, I’ve had quite steady progress. Steady progress here, where I have moved up from talent partner, all the way up to talent manager. Now my main stakeholders I now work with are the CTO and our VP of engineering. We talk a lot about things like capacity plans. Obviously, we’ll look at what is the overall goal we want to achieve in, for example, 2022. Then obviously, we’re going to be shortly thinking about 2023. What is the end goal? Then obviously, we’ll work backwards, like we do with recruitment a little bit. If you want to make 10 hires, what do you need to get in the final stage, which needs to get in your funnel at the first stage, etc., etc.

If we want to make, for example, 100 hires, over four quarters, let’s break that down. We look at those kinds of capacities, those kinds of metrics. Then obviously, we need to factor in things like, what’s the product roadmap look like? How is that going to be achieved? We need to think about market conditions as well. The thing I love about tech and engineering is it’s such a fast-paced market, in that, for example, in January this year, it was a tremendous struggle to get candidates. It’s a tremendous struggle to get offers accepted. Whereas, if I look at Q3, we are flying. We are in an amazing place. Everybody in terms of the recruiters are shooting on all cylinders. That just makes the discussions I have with the CTO and the VP of engineering really, really good, really, really positive. That’s always a good thing.

[0:21:37] RS: You’re seeing things turn in terms of what, like candidate engagement, or what is the leading indicator that things were picking up?

[0:21:42] DH: Great question. I guess for me, I’m always – because I’m managing quite a sizable team, I’m always very keen to see obviously, what our pipeline looks like. I want to make sure it’s very, very healthy. In terms of numbers, I’m always very interested in how many candidates we’re progressing to offer. Obviously, what’s super, super important is our offer acceptance rate as well. Always keeping very, very close tabs on that.

Also, another thing is, which I mentioned earlier in the call, time to hire. We want to make sure we are not only identifying candidates, but also making sure that the candidates we’re identifying are doing well and we want to progress for them as soon as quickly. We’re always maintaining those key metrics that are very, very important to us. I think those are always at the forefront of my mind. I would just say in terms of the industry and why it’s moved so quickly at the moment, obviously we do have some great sourcing tools. Hired is one of them. It’s actually where we’ve probably done the most amount of hires this year, by quite a margin.

I think because the industry has changed so much definitely from the time I started in it, that hiring platforms and sourcing platforms are super, super important. They really, really help. Now that we’ve invested money in those kind of tools, it’s really equipped my recruiters and my team to hit goals. There’s no obstacles that they can say, this is a problem, or this is a challenge because we’ve got all these great tools that help us achieve the results we need.

[0:23:05] RS: Wow, Hired sounds amazing. What was your Venmo name again? I’ll just send you a quick – Not planned, but I am pleased to hear Hired has been working for you all. When you think of time to hire, speed to hire, how are you making sure that is happening quickly? Is it just over communication? Or, what can you do to make sure candidates move through the funnel quickly?

[0:23:27] DH: I guess, and obviously, we’re speaking earlier about what things I’ve done to help streamline the process, will make the process better. One of the issues we had earlier in the process was that we just didn’t have enough interviews, which always slowed things down. Our interview pool was too small. We had to look at ways that we could upskill our interviewers, which meant we had to give them regular interview training, whether it be for soft skills, which I can do, but not so much on the technical side. I’d have to draft in the principal engineers, or the directors to help really explain to, I guess, less experienced engineers, what things they should be looking for in order to make the candidate be a really good option for Funding Circle and somebody we want as part of the team. Those are the kinds of things we’ve done.

I would just say that we’re also looking at different tech stacks. I’ll be honest, and say that our tech stack is pretty difficult. We’re not a Java house, we’re not a C++ house, we don’t have thousands and thousands of candidates that we’re always going to be able to approach. We use niche languages like Clojure, which is a functional programming language. We use Ruby, which is quite a contractor-heavy market. We have been having discussions about what languages could we possibly take on, which could be quite easy to transfer or upskill to learn Ruby or Clojure, for example.

For example, Python. Python is a much larger area. Many, many, many candidates in that. It’s not too dissimilar to get a Python candidate in and maybe three months or so, get them trained up to learn to use Ruby. Obviously, a very, very important part of that is the candidate needs to be interested in doing that. We can’t just take somebody on who doesn’t want to do and doesn’t have an appetite for it. They need to be somebody who sees technology as a way to solve a problem. Not just like, “I’m a Python engineer and that’s all I do. I love Python, I don’t want to do anything else.” That’s not going to work for us here.

[0:25:24] RS: Is that common? Do some candidates say that?

[0:25:27] DH: We do have some people like that, who are almost like purists in their field. To be honest, I think, because of our mission, we’re here to help. We’re almost here to help a small person win, help the little guy win they say, but help small businesses win, who don’t get the love and care they need. I think people resonate with the mission. We all know like I’ve got friends who are small business owners, and I’ve seen the struggles they have to go through and the hurdles they have to jump through to get a loan, or just to get some help in their business.

It just seems right that we should want to help the UK economy. I can’t understand why anybody wouldn’t want to do that. The mission is a really, really strong mission and I think something that everybody can get on board with. I think the engineers as well, it resonates with them, because they do have – I mean, I’m jealous of engineers because they can pick and choose where they want to go, what they want to do. Obviously, they’re choosing to come to us, which is awesome to say, because not only is the hiring and recruitment process very, very on point, but they’re really sold on the mission as well, and the project.

[0:26:28] RS: Got it. Well, Dominic, before I let you go, I want to get one last piece of advice from you. On this shift from individual contributorship into management, which you recently made, it’s something that’s going to come up for people in their careers, I think almost as a guarantee. If you do your individual contributor job well enough, you will eventually be tapped on the shoulder and be like, “Okay, you’re so good at doing this job. What if you didn’t do it anymore? What if it was now your job to oversee people?” I’m just curious to hear you reflect a little bit on making that decision and how it’s been going. Do you miss the individual contributorship and the actual recruiting function and how you would just characterize the shift?

[0:27:02] DH: Yeah, yeah. Again, the opportunity came about after I think about a year or so of being here. I’ve been here for two and a half years, and it changed about a year and a half ago. Yeah, so after a year, the opportunity came up, that they were going to be looking for somebody to lead the team and manage the team. Again, being the pragmatic person I am, I went away, had a real think about, “Is this something I really want to do?” Because I’ve always been of the mindset, I want to be an IC. I just want to be the best individual contributor possible. Almost principal level, leadership level, whatever it might be, that is, for me.

Managing other people and caring for other people, that’s too much to think about. I should just focus on myself. I went away, had a discussion with friends who have moved into that field and hearing it from their side really made me want to challenge myself and do something different, which is this. I would say after I did accept the role and did pursue it, the biggest shift in mindset for me was remembering and understanding that I am no longer a player. I’m more of a coach now. I would definitely say at the start, I almost got disillusioned and maybe even a little bit frustrated that I wasn’t hands-on, because I could see maybe candidates not being managed properly. In my mind, I would think and I think we always do, “I could do that better. If it was me, I would have remembered to ask that question and made sure he was closed, or she was closed.” Obviously, empowering the team to be able to do that and giving them the confidence to do that, that has definitely been a big change for me.

It is a lot more about just giving them a lot of leeway. My way is not always the right way to do it. Everybody’s got their own style. I think that is definitely something I’ve learned a lot more. I’m there just to empower them, give them in confidence, and just provide advice, “This is what I would do. How would you want to do it? Let’s talk about the best way to approach this.” I think that helps them a lot. For me as well, it’s definitely helped me grow and progress and just hearing other people’s opinions, how they like to work. Not everybody is the same. Not everybody wants to be managed in the same way.

I think it’s really important to be like – the term I know is man manager, but obviously, just everybody has their own way of doing things. You need to really focus on how you’re going to do that.

[0:29:17] RS: Yeah. Do you enjoy that coaching role there? Is it more strategic for you?

[0:29:20] DH: Yeah. I mean, being able to – I would definitely say at the start, I found it very hard to let go. Gradually, like I said, it’s been 18 months now and I feel like I’ve transitioned well. Being able to do that and being able to share the workload has meant I can now have a much stronger relationship with the VP of engineering and the CTO, and I can work on more strategic things.

I can think about how we’re going to drive our DNI initiatives. I can think about all the challenges that we’re having and how we’re going to overcome them. For example, back in April last year, we never had a fully remote option. We only did office space work or hybrid work. Whereas now, we can offer fully remote jobs. That’s something that was discussed because we were seeing these challenges. The offers weren’t getting accepted and collated right. These are the reasons, this is the data around why things are not going well. Let me put a proposal and a presentation together to say, “Look, these are the issues that we’ve seen, these are the bottlenecks, these are the challenges.”

Then rather than just saying like, “This is it. Please, go away and solve it yourself.” I would obviously make and come out with solutions about, have we thought about doing this? What are the issues of us doing that? What could be the implications of that? Would it disrupt our culture if we were to offer remote roles? These are all things we really discussed at that C level to say, right, this is an option, or this is something we should really drive and do if we’re going to be intentional about it.

[0:30:44] RS: Well, Dominic. This has been a fantastic conversation. Thank you so much for being here and for sharing your journey and experience. I’ve loved chatting with you today. At this point I would just say, thank you for being here.

[0:30:53] DH: Awesome. No, thanks a lot. Really, really appreciate it. Really had a good chat and hopefully, we catch up for the football podcast next time.

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