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Here's why it's not just about the hard skills, the Le Wagon attitude counts

Hi there! I'm Ben O'Mahony, Cytora's People & Talent Director, my job is to bring in the best & brightest to the company and then help them be happy and productive! I caught up with Katherine to talk about what we look for and how we work with Le Wagon to hire talent.

Here's why it's not just about the hard skills, the Le Wagon attitude counts
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Hi there! I'm Ben O'Mahony, Cytora's People & Talent Director, my job is to bring in the best & brightest to the company and then help them be happy and productive! I caught up with Katherine to talk about what we look for and how we work with Le Wagon to hire talent. 

Cytora is an insurtech company, and we're building an API platform to create programmable underwriting, our mission is to architect the future of commercial insurance. 

Our mission is to architect the future of commercial insurance. 

We have several main groups of APIs, these include our Geo APIs including location & search (using ML models & elasticsearch we now have a better match rate than the out of the box google maps API) and our Data APIs - allowing highly available access to a variety of datasets.

These Geo APIs underpin our higher level functionality including Risk APIs, Pricing APIs and Policy APIs. Plus, we are currently working on a "Portfolio" API for Insurers & ReInsurers to analyse their entire book of insurance! Boom! 

If you're interested in what languages we use to do this, we use Go & Python to build the highly composable microservices, and then our frontends are built with React. We've built a core platform that allows us to get these services into production safely & rapidly and we use continuous delivery and trunk based development to simplify and streamline our dev process. 

Let's talk hiring: we have a large in-house team dedicated to hiring Engineers and all our other roles! It's a team I love being part of, we meet so many awesome people. How we find these people? Pretty much everyone is found through we outbound approaches, like coming to Le Wagon careers days. Le Wagon is great because they share a React course to students once they graduate, so it's easy to transition. 

When we hire people, we are looking for intelligent problem solvers that are motivated to grow and learn.

When we look for people, we're looking for quality candidates that have a strong product focus, local optimisation tends to be sub-optimal, we want global optimisation! We want people with a vision - a long-term hire that has an entrepreneurial mindset that can grow with us.

There are a few skills that are super desired at the moment, that's problem solvers & big thinkers! We don't look for hard skills - we can teach you that. For example, we've hired 2 Engineers via Le Wagon. We like the variety that their varied careers pre-training bring. Also, we've been really impressed with the attitude and drive that everyone at Le Wagon expressed.

So why work with us? We really care about helping our staff develop and learn continuously. For example, we have a huge number of books available and we enable anyone at Cytora to purchase more that think would be useful to the team. We also have £1.5k L&D budget for conferences & courses etc. We want our staff to be enriched by working for us, there's also an awesome benefits package including 18 weeks maternity leave and equity.

If you're wondering about culture, we don't talk about it as an objective thing, because it's organic and impossible to define, we aim to live our values: "Start with the customer", "Ship fast & Iterate", "Impact, not Ego" & "Slay Dragons!". When we look at candidates we don't ask that they "fit" themselves to our "culture", we think instead about what they will add. Will they organise weekly climbing sessions? Will they get everyone singing bohemian rhapsody at a company party with their piano playing?

Check out the product and hopefully meet you at the next Hiring Day! 
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