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Talent Sourcing Trends

BuzzFeed’s Director Of Engineering On How He Screens Developers

PowerToFly interviewed BuzzFeed’s Director of Engineering, Clément Huyghebaert, on what to look for when hiring remote developers.


1. The main thing is good communication. If you can’t communicate with the remotes properly, it’s going to be an issue, even if they’re extremely good. How quickly can they answer simple questions? It doesn’t have to be complicated if English isn’t their first language. But, I do look for some control over the English language. That’s priority no. 1.

2. The second thing I look for is attitude. I find that I’ve often had people start complaining about other projects they’re working on, fixing other people’s code and that kind of stuff. For me, that’s a bad sign. It’s always part of the job, you’re always going to have to fix someone’s code at least once a day. It’s part of being a developer. If you’re complaining, that’s a no-no.

3. I’m looking for excitement — about our own projects at BuzzFeed, but also tech in general. I always ask, “Tell me about the project you’re most proud of, whether it’s for work or something on the side.” It gives me an idea of what they’re excited about and how to talk about it.

4. We give them homework after the interview that will introduce them to our code base so that it will give them an idea of what they’ll be working on and us an idea of how they’re working.

5. Being open to new technologies is a plus. Our backend is built in Perl, which is not a very sexy language these days, but it does great things — we’re not switching away from it. Sometimes it cools people off because it’s not the latest, bright thing. Understanding that you can make any product using any type of technology is key. It’s about how you use the technology rather than the technology itself.

6. They need to be proactive. Because I’m a manager, I have 10–15 projects going on at once. It’s better when they keep me updated on what they’re doing, rather than me having to check in.

7. Being curious, inquisitive is a good thing. I like when people like to try new things within our app. Some people will start as frontend and then they’ll want to do backend. I like that. It shows they’re interested, and they want to learn more and that they’re not bored.

For Employers

How Your Company Can Fight Racism— Inside & Outside the Workplace

Since the brutal murder of George Floyd, the demand to take a strong stance against racism has swept the nation.
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Career Advice

“Should I Join a Startup?”

Clyde's Kelly Hall Shares Tips for Moving from a Big Organization to a Startup and a Framework for Making the Decision

Kelly Hall broke a major rule of negotiation when she was interviewing for her current job at product protection startup Clyde.

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For Employers

How Leaders Can Support Their Black Employees

A five-step framework for addressing systematic racism at work

The world has changed in the past few weeks.

We're watching corporations and organizations across the world come out in support of Black lives in droves. Many of those organizations are doing so for the first time in their history.

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Diversity & Inclusion

Finding Community at Work: How Viasat's Suzanne Marchi Leans In and Lifts Up Women and Families

About a decade ago, Suzanne Marchi sent an email out to all of the managers on her floor. She was a technical operations manager at global communications and satellite internet company, Viasat, and reaching out to managers to garner support for the participation of women on their teams to connect with other women in similar positions to build a community.
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CSL

Saving Lives Through Biotherapy: Watch Our Conversation with Leaders from CSL

The core of CSL's mission is to save lives. They are at the forefront of finding biotherapeutic solutions for illness, and not just any kind— the rare and serious are their forte. During this unprecedented global pandemic, we'd be hard pressed to think of a better company than CSL to sit down with for a wide reaching panel discussion featuring several of their leaders.

WATCH OUR VIRTUAL EVENT WITH CSL HERE

Speakers from CSL included:

  • Melissa Bradford, Senior Director, Global Talent Acquisition
  • Wlenyeno Elliott-Browne, Division Director- CSL Plasma
  • Rebecca Mims, Director, QA and Compliance
  • Sophia Yu, Product Manager- HAE Marketing
  • Jasmin Senior Bostic, Senior Manager, Global University Relations & Recruiting
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