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Penta Fintech Meetup: It’s the Team That Builds the Unicorn

Alina November 2020 6 min

Table of contents

We are very happy to have welcomed so many people to our virtual Penta Fintech Meetup in the month of November and the last one for the year of 2020. We think that it’s important to discuss how you can hire a team to build ideally a unicorn. Jessica Holzbach our Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer at Penta, invited great guests and speakers on 17 December 2020 to this Meetup:

  • Anna Ott – VP People at HV Capital
    Since moving to Berlin in 2010, she has worked with start-ups in their initiation phase, first at i-potentials, where she was involved in Team Europe’s company building, and later at Deutsche Telekom’s hub:raum. In her current role at HV, she aims to help founders build talent-centric organizations. Anna sees people management as a clockwork-like system with talent acquisition, performance management, leadership and culture as the cogwheels. Working with early teams is when Anna most feels like an architect of talent.
  • Sebastian Seifert – MD & Co-Founder at viacash
    Sebastian is in charge of the divisions sales, PR/marketing and business development. Furthermore, he is taking care of investor relations. Before founding viafintech, he operated for JP Morgan in London and built up extensive experience in the financial sector, especially in investment banking.
  • Ruslan Khalilov – Co-Founder of Recruitty
    Recruitty – a recruitment agency with a focus on tech & product with a large portfolio of clients such as N26, SumUp, Wooga, and 50+ other startups around Europe.
  • Magdalena Herzog – Recruitment Consultant at Payments & Cards Network
    Recruitment Consultant at PCN focused on the DACH-market, specifically in the fintech and payments space. Originally from a small village close to Vienna, she is now spending her time in Amsterdam and has been working in HR and organisational development as an HR consultant, project manager, and recruiter in the last 7 years.

We recorded the entire Meetup for you in case you were not able to attend live. If you don’t have the time to watch the entire Penta Fintech Meetup, you can also grab your takeaway with five key learnings below.

1. Without a Great Team You Will Always Fail – Even With the Best Business Idea

As soon as you need to delegate tasks for your newly founded company, the team is the most important thing to successfully realize your business idea. If the capacities of you as a founder and possibly of your co-founder are no longer sufficient to handle the tasks around your business on your own, the next people you hire will decide on your business success. No matter how brilliant the business idea could be and how ideal the market situation is, if the new team doesn’t work very well together, you will probably fail. Team flow is extremely important, especially in rapidly changing markets and especially in the start-up environment. Investors also quickly notice when a team is dysfunctional and if there are trust problems.

2. Become Aware of What the Goals of the Company Are and Which Person You Are Actually Looking For

If you have come to the point that you would like to hire a new person, you should consider that especially with a new market entry there is of course still just a little awareness of your company. Maybe the person also fears that your business could fail. Therefore you should be able to illustrate and explain your business idea and future visions in a very good way to attract talents. Make sure what you want to achieve. The experts at Meetup also advise you to consider very carefully which person you need next for your business, what references, what experience and what skills are required. But keep in mind that you should not hire a copy of yourself, but that diversity is very important from now on. You will need different perspectives and different ways of thinking in order to grow with your company. After all, we want to develop a unicorn in the best case.

Want a book recommendation?

The book “Who: The A Method for Hiring” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street helped Ruslan enormously to understand how good hiring works. Check it out!

3. Your Own Network Can Help You, but Rely on a Specialist if Possible

To be good CEO and founder doesn’t automatically mean that you are a professional at recruiting talents. But that’s not a problem at all. In very early stages it is often helpful to hire from your own network and university friends, for example, can also form a great team. So never forget to maintain your network. However, it is often also important to seek the help of specialists with more experience and expertise. They may also know what and who you actually need for your business. Expertise is also particularly in demand, as there should never be a bad hiring experience. People who may not fit into your company at the moment may be needed at a later time.

4. Team Fit and Diversity Are Key

As already mentioned, make sure not to hire only copies of yourself. Diversity is important to see your business from all angles. Nevertheless, all experts highlight that the cultural fit and the team fit are very important. Shared values and attitudes help to work towards one big goal. And it makes communication much easier. Even a lunch together will help you to understand if someone fits into your team.

5. Only Trust Holds a Team Together and Enables Innovations

The core idea of a good team is probably trust – from the first moment. This can be achieved through honesty and personal communication. So when you introduce your company and a potential role to someone, you should make sure that your expectations really match. In a good team, feedback plays a big role, as well as when you have to turn down a candidate. And we can assure you – a good team is also able to work on innovations and move things forward. Just think of a good brainstorming session with a great team.

During this Meetup we noticed that to hire a good team has interesting similarities to successful dating. So we wish you good luck attracting the right people for the team – and of course in dating ;)

Please, make sure to join our next Penta Fintech Meetup in the beginning of next year to get exciting insights. On our social media channels we keep you up to date about all upcoming Meetups.

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