How does STRV source the best talent

As we move to expand our share of the competitive US mobile app market, STRV is beefing up its Prague development office to help meet the demands of our growing client roster. In addition to top-tier startups powered by the likes of Y Combinator and 500 Startups, we have started to court Fortune 500 companies and need a new layer of experienced and creative developers and designers who take us to the next level.

Dominika a Ondra

Dominika Hornakova and Ondrej Prochazka, our diligent tech recruiters, dish on what exactly STRV is looking for, how best to get a foot in the door and our office’s amazingly awesome geek culture – laser tag games, Nerf wars, grill parties and Xbox Fifa showdowns.

We definitely expect a lot from our team, but we also make sure they have a lot of fun, too. Maybe you’d like to join us?

So, what kind of candidates is STRV looking for?

Dominika: Candidates don’t have to have a certain number of years of experience to be considered. But they need to be dedicated and motivated and know how to think outside of the box, so to speak. If you are an experienced iOS developer, for example, but are familiar with another platform, like frontend or Android, you’ll stand out. We are pushing for all our developers to have working knowledge of a secondary platform or be willing to learn.
Ondrej: We are basically searching for people who can hit the ground running. But at the same time they are willing to learn; they want to learn. We are trying to make this a hub of talent that can be universal, where people can learn new skills and take on more projects.

What about personality?

Dominika: We need team members who are comfortable interacting with people. Our developers and designers talk directly to clients, so they need to have some soft skills; they need to like doing that part of the job. Talking to clients is an integral part of the job. Our clients value our professional input and advice. Clients see us as specialists. They know that we can bring something new to their app idea. So we are looking for creative people who can think two steps ahead of our clients.

You must get a lot of resumes. How can a candidate stand out?

Ondrej: What I care about is results. If a candidate actually sends me a link to something he’s done or something he’s currently working on, that’s something that I absolutely love. I can have a look at what he’s doing and what he’s interested in. I can see if he cares about what he’s doing. That’s really important to us. We care about delivery more than just buzzwords in a resume or cover letter. Buzz words are more of a corporate thing. We look for results.

Dominika: I guess for me what really gets my attention is if the person writes a nice cover letter. He can have all the experience in the world, but if he writes in his cover letter that he’s just interested in getting a new job, I don’t know if this person is actually really interested in STRV. Someone who doesn’t have that many skills, but writes in their cover letter that they absolutely love everything they’ve heard about STRV, you can see that the person is genuinely interested in working here, and that person gets my interest right away.

What’s expected from new hires

Ondrej: We certainly expect them to be inquisitive: look around, learn from people. Get involved in everything that is going on at the office. Get to know your colleagues, that is very important to us in your first month.

Dominika: During their first month, they will start working directly with clients as part of a team. This will give them a chance to immediately see what kind of projects we produce and an opportunity to contribute their own ideas. It’s a whole new level, this one-on-one communication between the developer and the client. Here, there are no project managers that will do that instead of them.

What can new hires expect from the company?

Ondrej: Absolutely awesome culture. You’ll be free. No one’s going to tell you what to do, when to do it and in which way to do it. There is no bossy management, and there’s plenty of young people who have similar interests who are very energetic and super motivated. So you’ll instantly be in an environment where everyone wants to do stuff, and that’s pretty inspirational.

Dominika: Exactly. We make everyone pretty welcome here. We try to include them in the environment and help them out. We want them to feel part of the team from day 1. In their first month, they will get a senior mentor, who will be their right hand on any issue.

And let’s not forget about the Xbox.

Ondrej: Definitely. We have Xbox Fifa challenges. We play laser games, we have Nerf guns in the office … But seriously, in addition to all this fun stuff, new hires can expect to work on some really interesting projects with dynamic clients and fabulous mentors.

Is good talent hard to find?

Ondrej: The Czech market is pretty limited, that’s fair to say. So that’s a yes. It’s hard to find real good people, who want to learn. On the other hand, what we are offering is something that is pretty unique on the Czech market, so we are getting a lot of inquiries from some really talented people. There is not many companies that work on the same stuff that we do. And there’s for sure not that many companies that have the same culture as us.