Interview with expertlead's Co-Founder Arne Hosemann and CTO Moath Almallahi
Our goal at expertlead is to revolutionize how companies find, assess, and hire tech experts, by leveraging a combination of technology and a global network of self-employed tech experts. We do so by offering two services to our customers: First, we help them get access to vetted tech freelancers on a project basis. Second, we offer to assess their permanent engineering candidates by taking over the technical interviews for them, saving their engineering team some valuable time. For each of the pillars “find, assess, and hire” our Product and Engineering teams are developing tools that allow us to access a larger set of talents, assess them at scale without losing the required depth of the assessment, and then automatically match experts to projects or interviews. Our community is united by our shared love of technology, and we couldn’t make this all happen without them: highly skilled and ambitious tech experts from all over the globe take over our technical assessments, and in exchange, we try to support them throughout their entire freelance careers, going beyond offering engagements “only” (even though we think these engagements are pretty exciting).
By having each talent interviewed by an expert from our community, we guarantee high quality standards and transparency for our clients, as well as a positive candidate experience. Our strong focus on tech distinguishes us from a classic agency or a freelancer job platform. Rather we see ourselves as a tech company that aims at changing how tech recruiting is being done.
We met one of expertlead’s founders Arne and our CTO, Moath, for an interview to learn more about how their ambitious vision is being turned into action.
Hi Arne, setting a company vision as "the disruption of the traditional tech recruitment market" sounds ambitious. Did you have this vision for expertlead right from the start?
The vision back then was to use technology to bring together leading tech talent from all over the globe in order to help businesses get access to tech talent. At the same time, we wanted to be a career partner for this group of highly skilled experts and create a community around them. The essence of that hasn’t changed today, but we naturally refined our strategy, our product roadmap, and our services along the way in order to get there. And I hope we stay as responsive as we have been to our community and clients. We learn a lot from them about where we should direct our focus and how we can solve their most imminent pain points.
Can you share some insights about products expertlead is currently working on?
We are currently working on several products to further optimize the entire lifecycle of tech recruitment (from find to assess and finally hire). In the area of talent search, we will further improve a product of ours that allows us to identify and pre-qualify leading technical talent from around the world.
In terms of evaluating talent, we are continuously working on the expansion of our peer-to-peer quality testing. Here we recently released a product that allows our interviewers to conduct an in-depth technical interview remotely and score the candidate during the interview along a large set of quantifiable dimensions and sub-dimensions. Our goal is to make it accessible to an even wider range of techstacks and to increase the depth and complexity of our interviews.
Another project we are working on serves to further enhance our matching precision between incoming client projects and available freelance IT talent from our community, taking into consideration an even larger set of variables and specifications. There is really a lot of exciting stuff happening on the tech side right now, but Moath is so much more adept than I am at explaining it to you guys.
Hi Moath! Arne mentioned the improvement of expertlead’s existing tech tools. Can you tell us how you're going about it?
At expertlead we always start with the user and his/her expectations - including those not realised until now. We work backwards to define the best features and functionalities which can fulfil the needs and desires. The technological decisions then follow in the next step.
Moath, let's talk about the technologies you are using as a team.
We use recent technologies such as ReactJS, Golang, Docker, Kubernetes, CI/CD, Neural Networks, elasticsearch and many other technologies.
The scope is very exciting and ambitious, but at the same time you have to work with limited resources as a startup - how do you manage the delivery in line with the business expectations?
We have aligned our workflow with the given requirements. Using Agile methodology we successfully built a continuous delivery setup, where we ship the initial version of the prioritised requirements to the end user and collect feedback, so the experience is improved on the next release cycle.
Alongside the workflow, we use efficient technologies to automate all our processes, from Ideation & Design, Development, Quality Assurance, Release Management & Feedback collection.
Next to the internal tech team, the expertlead community plays an important role in the development of technical products, e.g. through the p2p interviews. How does the collaboration work here?
Our community members have a double role: On one hand, they are the main stakeholders of many of our products, either as end users or they may benefit indirectly from the tool. For example, an improved matching algorithm means we can guarantee a better fit between their skills and incoming projects.
On the other hand, they are a key source of knowledge and expertise and an essential component of bringing our vision to life and changing tech recruitment for good. It is our community members from all over the world that assess new applicants to the community or other tech professionals through technology-enabled peer-2-peer interviews. And it is them that contribute incredibly valuable input and content in order to improve these assessments and the scoring behind it. We as a company could not do it without our global community - we benefit from their deep expertise in certain technologies and it’s thanks to their combined efforts that expertlead can scale fast while keeping quality standards high. That is also why we really try to cater our community to the best of our abilities as we want to establish a mutually beneficial partnership.
Back to Arne: What does it take, as a team, to build a disruptive tech company?
First, the entire organization needs to be passionate about technology and everyone needs to do her or his part to help the Product & Engineering team build technology that solves the most pressing issues our clients, our community, or our internal team are facing in their day-to-day work. You don’t need to be able to write code to contribute to that: If you identify pain points by talking to our clients or our community and pass them on to our Product department, then you are directly contributing to us becoming a Tech company. The same logic applies to pretty much all other departments at expertlead.
Other than that, it takes hard work, speed, and agility. Hard work is clear, I guess - you simply don’t get to disrupt an industry without drive and going the extra mile. Speed is required to identify trends earlier than others - for instance, changes in consumer behavior or the emergence of new technologies. Agility is required because everything around us is constantly moving and we need to be agile enough to react to these changes quickly - even if that sometimes means reverting a decision we took earlier or stopping a product we developed as the MVP might not achieve the results we were hoping for.
The ultimate question is how to get there - and the answer, as in so many cases, is having the right people on the team. If you don’t manage to convince highly ambitious and skilled people of your vision and bring them into your team, then you will not succeed. In the end, it all depends on the quality and passion of the individual team members.
If you want to join our team and help us reshape the future of work, check out our open positions.
Nov 2020 - 5 min read
Senior Communications Manager