Hire CTO in Less Than 10 Weeks
Debitos is a fintech company and Europe’s leading secondary online marketplace for debt- and real estate sales.
Although Debitos had become highly successful among registered investors in Germany and beyond, they were looking to take their tech platform to another level. Their aim was to turn their marketplace into a full-blown product that both matched buyers with sellers and allowed them to conclude all deals within the platform.
To put this plan into action, the company decided to hire a CTO who would be responsible for all tech decisions, as well as for consolidating development under one roof in a unified in-house development structure.
The Caissa Team conducted a long briefing call to understand Debitos, its business model and employer brand on a deeper level. We talked to all decision makers involved in the hiring process and found out what makes Debitos unique, what their recruitment process looks like, and the strategy behind the CTO role.
As a next step, we researched the materials Debitos provided us with and came back with sample profiles. Sample profiles are real CVs that represent different candidates. They help us hone in on our client’s specific preferences, and allow the client to see their job description in action, and adjust their requirements. During this call we figured out that Debitos didn’t need the CTO to have years of C-suite experience, but the new hire should have possessed a very solid understanding of the highly regulated financial sector.
Based on these conversations we developed our search criteria. We engaged with our talent pool, researched the market and shortlisted a number of active and passive candidates who looked like the right fit. Our executive search team divided them into 3 categories:
1. Candidates matching the Debitos requirements
2. Candidates slightly exceeding the requirements
3. Candidates slightly below the requirements
Candidate screening is a preliminary conversation with a person who both matches the search criteria and is interested in the position. At this stage, it was important for us to understand the candidates’ background, make an assessment of their hard and soft skills, and learn about their current motivation and expectations. The goal was to make sure they were both a functional and cultural fit.
04. Presenting candidates
We at Caissa always focus on quality over quantity -- most of our clients make a hire after reviewing 7 profiles at most. The executive search team selected 6 individuals and sent their CVs to the Debitos executive team. These were qualified candidates who matched all the criteria and were a good fit culturally.
Over the time that followed, 5 candidates got interviewed. Debitos conducted the interviews on their own and shortlisted 2 candidates.
During this stage, our team continued to schedule interviews, make the necessary arrangements, moderate the communication between the company and the candidates, follow up with both sides and gather feedback.
10 weeks in Debitos decided to make an offer to Frederik Tylleman - a Citi Group veteran that Caissa sourced in their network. With a background in development, rich experience in the financial sector, and willingness to take on more responsibility, Frederik was looking for a career change. He wanted to join a smaller company as a CTO.
The Caissa executive specialist met with Frederik in Frankfurt to test the offer and find out what his expectations were. After this Timur Peters, the CEO of Debitos, presented the official offer letter to the candidate.
After taking a brief time to consider and reflect, Frederik successfully accepted the offer. On the start day we followed up with both the client and the new hire to make sure everything was proceeding as planned and if our help was needed.
08. Following up
Our executive search team continued to regularly check with both sides several months in to ensure successful integration into the business. We believe that our job doesn’t end with the offer - we care about the success of our client’s business.
Product Owner: 8 weeks from briefing to start date
TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions) is a global leader in managing corporate payments. Offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the TIS solution is a comprehensive, highly-scalable cloud platform for company-wide payments and cash management.
The current Product Owner at TIS was going on a maternity leave and decided to switch roles within the company on her return. The HR team was very clear on the profile they needed to replace her - the main challenge was to find someone very fast to make sure TIS doesn’t lose the momentum and keeps innovating their platform continuously.
TIS had already been our client at the time the search was initiated, and we were very familiar with their business model and employer brand. Nevertheless, we wanted to understand the exact requirements for the Product Owner role and conducted a detailed briefing to ensure precise alignment.
02. 3 finals out of 5 CVs
Thanks to our broad talent network in Berlin, we were able to present TIS with the first profile immediately after the briefing call, which turned out to be a perfect match. We then used this profile to develop search criteria and continued sourcing. Our brand-led approach to recruitment is based on quality over quantity -- most of our clients make an offer after reviewing 7 profiles at most. In this case 5 profiles was enough. In the course of the next few weeks we submitted 4 more candidates, 3 of which proceeded to the interview stage. Over the time that followed 4 candidates got interviewed, and 3 of them got to the final stage.
03. Perfect Match
TIS was so happy with the very 1st profile that our team provided them with right after the briefing call that they extended an offer to that candidate. The whole process from briefing to offer took slightly over one week. Unfortunately, the candidate rejected the TIS offer in favor of another one.
It took them several weeks to complete the process with their second-choice candidate (mostly due to vacation time), and when the offer was finally extended, he took it right away.
04. Recipe for Success
Solid talent pool with engineering A-Players
Excellent understanding and representation of business model & employer brand
Well-structured recruitment process
Feedback and realignment after every interview
This was the fastest hiring process I have ever experienced. It was perfect from start to finish: Caissa understood our requirements right away and we hired our ideal candidate after reviewing just 5 profiles. We love working with Caissa because they are always fast, reliable, understand us really well and deliver quality results.