We spoke with Jack Adkins, an Internal Recruiter at 10x Banking, a London Fintech. When we partnered with 10x they were in a period of immense growth and needed to scale to meet business and funding targets.
How would you describe 10x to someone that just dropped on planet Earth?
At 10x, our core banking platform gives banks everything they need to become the bank their customers love. It’s trusted by some of the world’s biggest banks, enabling them to create real-time customer experiences, innovate faster, and stand out from the crowd.
Everything we do is geared around improving speed to market for banks. For example, building and launching a banking product on our platform takes a few minutes, and doesn’t require any coding knowledge.
So, with that in mind, I would suggest to any alien life form planning on dropping by, to set up an account with one of the platforms we have built…
What do you think it is that technologists like about working at 10x?
For a technologist, but I do think it applies across most of the business, the two big things are the people and transformational work.
You spend more time with the people you work with than almost anyone else, even if it is often done virtually these days. People are always going to be a massive part of what makes a company great or not. At 10x, you work with subject matter experts, people who you can challenge and be challenged by to grow personally and create a better product. Something we're super proud of is that people who have an interview with 10x usually come out of it really wanting to work with the person they've interviewed with.
Not only do you get to work with great people and tech, but you get to work on something that is truly transformational. One of our values is around transformation and it’s been at the heart of the business ever since our founders Antony and Amanda created the company from their kitchen table. Their aim was, and still is, to make banking 10 times better for banks, their customers and society. As a 10xer you get to be part of real change in the industry and make a positive impact through it.
We did a lot of hiring remotely. How would you describe the process of dealing with such a high volume of roles?
It was very busy! The great thing about 10x is that our mission has never changed. We want to transform the industry and want to work with people excited to do that, that’s a super helpful lens when hiring.
It’s important not to grow for growth’s sake, but to be really strategic about where we can optimise. You don’t want to hire massive teams without knowing the purpose for doing that. That's something that 10x and the people who are making hiring decisions have always had in mind.
Ultimately, hiring someone is about finding a solution the business needs and that candidates’ potential to make a real impact. That's something we try and really embed in people's minds at 10x when they're interviewing – they’re identifying a candidate’s potential to succeed here, not seeking to find any gaps they may have.
In terms of hiring at the pace that we did, you can only do that with good people interviewing. These people understand the importance of taking time out of their busy day-to-day work to hire the right people.
We did grow at pace and for someone in talent, it was exciting. We have this amazing melting pot of great people who come in with their own ideas and are a real cultural add. It's great to work somewhere like 10x where you can look to hire the best.
What’s your impression of the market and the challenges candidates are in?
The market is incredibly competitive. I don't think that's a surprise to anyone. That's always been the case and I think it always will be. There are loads and loads of great engineers on the market, even if they don't necessarily know about the opportunities that are out there.
What you're seeing in the market now is that the bar is continually getting higher. I don't think that's a negative thing for people, it’s an opportunity to be challenged and grow. The people who will succeed are the people who are always trying to learn and be curious.
Curiosity is a word you hear a lot when it comes to hiring engineering talent. And an interview is a perfect example of that. Your knowledge may be limited to the commercial environment you’ve worked in before, so you need to have curiosity about this new company and the context in which they operate. We’re not expecting you to have all the answers in the interview, but we do want to see a desire to find out more. We're always searching for people who are looking to better themselves and learn. And we have to provide an environment they can do that in as well.
How would you describe your experience of working with agencies?
Having been on both sides, I know success happens with agencies when it’s a strong partnership. That's something that Client Server is very good at – the buy in.
There are the obvious common goals like deliverables, ultimately that's what everyone's there for. But something that is important to my team is the partnership and the service that has been provided. This isn’t about filling in as many roles as possible, it's about road mapping, what’s coming up and knowing what is needed in those areas.
When you’re hiring during periods of high growth, it's not about just making internal teams’ lives easier, it's about making everyone's. That filters down to the candidate as well and the experience they're getting. Client Server does this really well by embedding into the ways in which a company works. Client Server knows 10x, has a good feel for our values and needles down into the specific needs of teams. They get the minor details that make all the difference.
The difference between agencies that do well with us and ones that perhaps don't is that level of service and integration.
What is your personal experience of internal versus agency?
A lot of it comes down to where you're doing the job. I certainly didn't come into an internal role to then be allowed to twiddle my thumbs. It was great that I could move at speed, coming in from the fast-paced agency world.
I think the knowledge you need is very similar whether you’re agency side or internal. Ultimately, you need to know what a good CV looks like and you need to identify the right person for the right role. You may get to the point where instead of sending a strong candidate out to five great roles, you have an idea of where they would have a chance to thrive and make an impact.
In terms of the differences, there wasn't a huge change for me around the mechanics of filling roles. Obviously, you are working on one client so to speak, but then you're working across multiple departments with lots of different hiring managers so there are similarities there as well.
The main benefit of internal would be that you get a bit more buy-in personally. You see more of the cogs and the backend of the company, which I find really interesting. You get to see how your hiring is directly impacting the business. One of the best things that I've had in my role is hiring someone and then hiring their team. It’s been amazing watching them grow and see people in that team progress.