Peruse enough job postings in the tech world and you’ll probably discover that employers are looking for some of the same traits in candidates. Adaptability and the ability to multitask, for example, are often cited on job listings in this fast-paced, ever-changing industry.
But what about unique qualities, like grit, curiosity and coachability? Which traits really connect with employers in need of fresh talent — and which traits set candidates apart from the pack? To discover some of the most prized qualities in job candidates, we asked seven tech leaders about the ones they value in their current and future talent.
These thought leaders represent companies that are growing rapidly. Whether an online retailer disrupting the fashion industry or a startup pushing edtech in new directions, these companies are all looking for distinctive candidates whose traits complement their values and needs. Maybe the company needs new solutions to power its growth; or, perhaps it is looking for talent who think outside the box as they engineer and roll out one-of-a-kind products. In any case, these companies offer talented candidates the opportunity to join them and put their qualities to good use.
By matching their traits to organizational needs and values, candidates can transform themselves from job-seekers to new hires at these expanding companies.
About the company: Founded in 2017, Regard engineers AI software for medical professionals to interpret their patients’ symptoms and accurately diagnose them. Regard announced in 2022 that it raised $15.3 million to support its growth.
Eli Ben-Joseph, CEO, on the trait Regard values most in candidates and its current talent: "The most important character trait that we look for at Regard is grit. Grit encompasses many facets: not giving up when faced with challenges, working hard, being agile and learning quickly. These are all qualities that we look for in new hires, and the people who exhibit these traits are the ones who succeed in our company.
"Our team has done a great job of not shying away from hard problems, being nimble and learning quickly. When Covid-19 first broke out in the U.S., we worked with our hospital partners to develop a Covid-diagnostic module. Using data alone, we were able to help our hospitals triage and diagnose patients before lab testing was available. We delivered brand new tech in just a few weeks. This was a hugely valuable bridge for them as the pandemic was first emerging. That espoused our ability to quickly adapt and solve incredibly complex problems. All of that is now baked into our culture. Our team gets to see the fruits of our labor very quickly through clinical feedback we get from our users. We’re constantly learning and improving, and our users love Regard for it."
- Platinum health insurance plans covered at 99% for employees (50% for dependents) and parental leave
- Travel stipend to attend monthly company Jam Weeks in person
- Quarterly retreats in unique locations, such as Cancun
- Employee referral program, which includes $10,000 for engineering roles and $5,000 for non-engineering roles
- Annual stipends for learning and development and health and wellness
Where are you currently hiring for roles? "Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. We also have remote opportunities."
About the company: Wise is a fintech company working to make cross-border transactions faster, cheaper and more convenient. With Wise, people and businesses can hold more than 50 currencies at the same time and can send or spend money abroad faster and significantly cheaper than with banks.
Balazs Barna, Head of U.S. Engineering and Austin Operations, on the trait Wise values most in candidates and its current talent: "As a rapidly-growing, global company that became the largest-ever tech listing on the London Stock Exchange last July, we are experiencing significant growth in the U.S. and Latin America.
"To realize our full potential, we recently opened an office in Austin, Texas, where we’re building a full-stack operation, including product management, software engineering, operations, sales and customer support teams that can move swiftly on behalf of our customers.
"We are looking for people who want to make finance fair, and who want to help us to build the best international banking product in the world.
"We do everything for our customers, we are team players and we get it done.
"If you’re hard-working, intellectually curious and passionate about these challenges, come join us on our mission."
- Hybrid work environment
- Generous time-off policies, including 25 days PTO, 11 bank holidays, 15 sick days and three personal wellness days annually
- Employees can work remotely outside the U.S. for up to three months
- Parental leave policies that include 18 weeks PTO
- Employees are eligible for a six-week paid sabbatical after being with the company for four years
Where are you currently hiring for roles? "Austin, Texas; Tampa, Florida; and New York."
About the company: Palo Alto-based SambaNova is a DaaS company that engineers AI systems and platforms. Founded in 2017, SambaNova’s valuation was $5.1 billion in 2021.
Peter Buckingham, VP of Software Engineering, on the trait SambaNova values most in candidates and its current talent: "I think that intellectual curiosity is hugely valuable in anyone. I’m a fan of Ted Lasso and love it when Ted quotes, 'Be curious, not judgmental.' A lot of what we are trying to do in engineering is understand how and why things work and problem-solve how to create new things. Being inquisitive and curious is a very important trait to help these sorts of issues.
"SambaNova encourages curiosity, particularly with our 'No Boundaries' value. It is strongly encouraged for individuals at SambaNova to make an impact by solving important problems and not be constrained by the organizational boundaries. This can be clearly seen within the software organization where we have many people who originally were working on hardware. They helped bootstrap the software team and now hold senior roles in the organization."
- Free lunches and DoorDash credits for remote employees
- Ability to make purchases to better employee's work or home environment
- Curated care and appreciation packages distributed on a regular basis
- Wellness days off
Where are you currently hiring for roles? "In the U.S., we have offices in Austin, Texas; Seattle; and Palo Alto, California. We have always been flexible in supporting remote work too."
About the company: Customer.io built its messaging platform to help marketing professionals design and implement their campaigns and make sense of their results. It is based in Portland, Oregon, and exceeded $30 million ARR in 2021.
Julia Miller, Engineering Manager, on the trait Customer.io values most in candidates and its current talent: "The most important character trait for any developer is to be an inquisitive problem-solver. When a person is curious about problems, it drives them to really dig into one to understand it. Then they are curious about how to solve it — including the use of technologies that they know and ones that they have yet to learn. They will explore multiple solutions and collaborate with others. Once they have the solution implemented, they are still curious to make sure it worked and will follow up."
- Companywide annual retreat in a new international location each year
- Company-sponsored team meet-ups to connect with team members and cross-functional players
- Generous office set-up budget
- Fully remote with distributed teams
Where are you currently hiring for roles? "Since we are remote, we're looking everywhere!"
About the company: London-based Multiverse is throwing the old education rulebook out the window. This edtech company maps out professional pathways for talent without college degrees by connecting them with apprenticeships. Since its founding in 2016, Multiverse has secured $414 million in funding.
Sophie Ruddock, VP North America, on the trait Multiverse values most in candidates and its current talent: "At Multiverse, we care much more about you as a person than what your previous job was. When interviewing candidates, we assess four important characteristics: intelligence, character, coachability and track record of excellence. Candidates should also be deeply aligned with the Multiverse mission, hungry to be challenged and excited to grow."
- 23 days PTO, plus one life event and one volunteer day
- Four additional companywide days off to focus on wellbeing
- Comprehensive insurance plans and 401(k) eligibility starting on your first day
- Ownership in the business through equity options
- Be at the heart of a rapidly-accelerating business that the leading Silicon Valley VCs are investing in and be part of the foundational team on the ground in the U.S.
Where are you currently hiring for roles? "In-office roles in New York, as well as hybrid and fully remote roles."
About the company: Fashion-focused SHEIN makes clothing more affordable and accessible to its global customer base. Since its founding in 2012, SHEIN has only accelerated its growth — between 2019 and 2020, the company expanded its revenue by 250 percent.
Andrew Black, Head of Security Engineering, on the trait SHEIN values most in candidates and its current talent: "As we continue to expand and grow our global organization, we are attracting talent from many top sources with diverse backgrounds. Do you have the curiosity to learn, ambition to achieve and teamwork skills to move a business forward? Some of the top traits SHEIN is looking for are: self-management, strong organizational abilities, critical thinking aptitude and being results oriented, among others. We are considering talented individuals on all levels. If you believe in the 'work hard, play hard' adage, this may be a home to consider."
- Flexible scheduling and remote work arrangements
- Holiday parties and quarterly gatherings
- Contributions at a global scale
- “Lean Coffee” — Friday disconnects
- Diverse work environment whose community is 58% women
Where are you currently hiring for roles? "We are able to hire in California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Indiana, Washington and Washington, D.C."
About the company: With a specialist's understanding of the tech industry, TechnologyAdvice is a B2B company that helps other tech companies market themselves and connect with customers.
Crystal Mullins, President and Chief Operating Officer, on the trait TechnologyAdvice values most in candidates and current talent: "No matter who you are or what stage you find yourself in your career, when you join the team at TechnologyAdvice, you’re best served to view it as an entry point and the start of an incredible adventure. At TA, we work hard to ensure everything we do and say can be traced back to our core purpose: to create opportunity for technology buyers, technology vendors, our team members and our communities. That purpose is alive in every facet of the organization but it is most tangible in the investment we make in our people."
- Flexible work locations
- Flexible PTO
- Bucket list benefit
- Access to the Headspace app
- Opportunities to give back to the community
Where are you currently hiring for roles? "The majority of our roles are remote and can be located anywhere. The other location options for those interested in working from the office, either full-time or using a hybrid model, are Nashville, Tennessee, or Louisville, Kentucky."