To effectively hire and manage the best engineers, you must have a passion for people. Toni Martinez has just that – an extensive background as a developer and technician, and multiple roles leading teams as a Project Manager or Development Manager. Currently the Engineering Director at Softonic, world’s top Multiplatform Software Guide, Martinez oversees an engineering team. Read on to learn about how he uses “hiring committees” to recruit and employ the best tech talent.
My role here at Softonic covers two fronts. The vertical front goes from reporting to the executive team to managing my team of engineers and agile coaches. The horizontal front is about working together with my business partners and the senior management team. This way of working helps ensure my tasks can move from aligning technology with the business vision to making sure engineering teams (with the help of the agile coaches), are performing accurately in terms of quality and time to market.
I consider hiring a very serious process that requires a deep look into the candidate in order to find whether he/she could be a good fit. In order to make sure we recruit successfully, I always set up a hiring committee that includes various people with different profiles depending on the open. This includes everyone from HR professionals to engineers that may work with the candidate, and of course some agile coaches (so we can create a comprehensive vision of what the person can bring to the organization). Of course, the candidate needs to decide whether they see themselves working at Softonic, so I believe offering the opportunity to speak to many different people can help him/her in that process.
The various people involved make sure that the interview conversation varies from organizational aspects to technical assessment and the values or motivations that the candidate may pursue when coming to work at Softonic.
I believe putting in place a hiring committee with people from many different disciplines is a unique way go about hiring. After a candidate has completed the process, the committee gathers together and takes a decision. My role at this stage of the process is just one voice among many, since in the end we want to decide based on consensus whether the candidate is a good fit.
The challenge is always to find the right people for a certain position. The market for technical roles is extremely hot and there is plenty of demand, so positions are sometimes really hard to fill since people with the right skill set are scarce.
In addition, when an interesting candidate emerges, we need to move fast to make sure we get the candidate before they receive another attractive offer.
I very much enjoy the recruiting process, and I find it a very rewarding experience in and of itself. I have learned a lot just by interviewing people. It's always surprising how different responses can be depending on the candidate's personal background. I can honestly say that every experience has been rewarding, especially when the candidate takes the job and I see that they fit well into the team and performs to our standards.