Scouring the globe for First Circle’s next Principle Developer


The Brief

Philippines-based fintech start-up First Circle provides business financing to SMEs.

On a recommendation from another client, the CTO briefed us to find a multi-talented Principal Developer. As a fast-growing company, First Circle needed someone with solid experience in web app Ruby on Rails, as well as the ability to have a large input into the architecture, DevOps and frontend stack… and handle a highly multinational team. This would take a global approach.


The Approach

We started with an in-depth conversation with the company’s CTO, to fully understand First Circle’s mission and business ambitions. This would tell us why this was such a critical hire, what skills were needed and – most importantly – what they were expecting from this hire. From there, created a candidate pack with company overview, role specification, relocation package and wider USPs on the company and the role. Next, we mapped out the market in its entirety. We started our search in South Asia’s financial hubs – Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing and Guangzhou. From there, our search widened to encompass Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. Because solid English speaking skills were required, we looked to the UK, parts of mainland Europe (specifically the Nordics) and major North American cities. We took 10 days to speak to every candidate identified, who we charted into pros and cons, and finally stripped down to a shortlist of six candidates from Australia, New Zealand and the USA. These candidates were then shared with the CTO – who we joined on screening calls and in-depth follow ups.


The Result

Of six candidates, all went to second interview and three went to final interview with the VP of Engineering. A candidate was offered, and hired – bringing an end to what was an intensive six week recruitment process.

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