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How Luno builds a world-class technical team on OfferZen

Luno is a leading global cryptocurrency company with over 2.5 million customers in 40 countries and a team of over 250 people. Headquartered in London, Luno operates across Africa, South East Asia, and Europe. Its products and services make buying, storing and learning about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum easy and secure. Luno’s vision is to upgrade the world to a better financial system. We spoke with Neil Kelly, director of engineering at Luno, about the company’s success and impressive hiring process.

Key Stats
94.6% interview response rate within 48 hours
35 candidates hired on OfferZen
29 days average time to hire

Where are Luno’s tech teams based?

Most are based in Cape Town, Johannesburg and London and most of the technical staff are located at the main office in Cape Town. Recently, we opened offices in London and Johannesburg. The Johannesburg office started off with mostly front-end engineers, and recently added some backend engineers to compliment the team. At the moment, the full-time team is just over 250 people, 70 of which are part of the engineering team. Following the worldwide boom of the cryptocurrency industry in 2017, we drastically increased our hiring efforts to grow our teams in order to service more people and expand Luno’s services.

What are some of the tech challenges that Luno’s teams are working on?

Contrary to popular belief, our engineers don’t develop on the blockchain, but we do solve interesting problems at scale. We recently crossed the two and a half million user mark for all our markets. We have teams divided into pods with each of these pods dedicated to an aligned goal that includes onboarding, wallet, payments, and fraud, crypto-sec and so on. Our pods are cross-functional, which means that we have individuals in teams working together on a focused mission to build better products for our user base. We only work with the best people, so it's important to us that our sourcing and hiring process is world-class.

How does Luno use OfferZen in its hiring strategy for SA engineers?

When one of our Cape Town or Johannesburg teams has an open position, we will source mostly on OfferZen or rely on inbound applications on the Luno website. While we might use LinkedIn to directly approach potential candidates, most candidates aren't actively looking to move, so we find that the success rate is higher using OfferZen. As we’ve built up a stellar reputation as an innovative company where talented people want to work, we do get quite a lot of inbound applications. That said, the quality of the candidates on OfferZen is better, because of the upfront screening processes that OfferZen offers. When we reach out on OfferZen, we know that this candidate has been checked for intent to find a new role. We also know that only a small percentage of candidates make it through the screening process and we can choose who to reach out to.

“If we reach out to a candidate on OfferZen, we have an 8/10 interview acceptance rate which means that we can interview the shortlisted candidates in person within a few days and make hiring decisions very quickly.”

How have you experienced hiring on OfferZen?

I found that candidates are more engaged compared to other channels because everyone we reach out to is encouraged to respond to interview requests within 48 hours. I can also trust that the information on their profile is accurate because it's been checked by a talent advisor. It is also easier for us to categorise candidates based on experience, skills, and salary expectation because we have all this information upfront on their profile.

What are the main advantages of using OfferZen for you?

Working so closely with the OfferZen team in the past, and knowing that OfferZen truly cares about unlocking human potential, has definitely added a factor of trust. Combine this with a user-friendly product that has useful filtering tools, as well as access to vetted candidates with a dedicated advisor, and the deal becomes that much sweeter! I also find that the inbound applications on our career portal can become noisy, whereas, on OfferZen, we are always in control of who we reach out to. This means that we save time because we only have to reach out to who we see as ‘the best’ candidates for the role at the time.

2U’s path to technical hiring success with OfferZen

2U, Inc. is a global leader in education technology. As a trusted partner of great universities, we build, deliver, and support online graduate programs, GetSmarter short courses for working professionals, and Trilogy-powered bootcamps. 2U’s Cape Town office is the homebase of operations for our short course brand, GetSmarter, which was acquired by 2U in 2017. Since the acquisition, the Cape Town team has grown by 115%. “As a leading global edtech company, a key part of our success depends on finding top talent for our growing engineering and technical teams.”

Key Stats
Reduced cost and time to hire
17 candidates hired through OfferZen
33 days to hire per role

What role do your tech teams play in the organisation?

In partnership with 68 universities around the world, we currently power a growing portfolio of 125 practical, skills-based, and disruptive technology-focused short courses. These courses attract thousands of students which requires a lot of technical resources. Our Cape Town based tech teams include roughly 60 developers who primarily focus on the GetSmarter short course product, but also work on tech-related projects across 2U-powered graduate programs. These tech teams include an internal infrastructure team, DevOps teams, business systems analysts, and our core data team of analysts, engineers and data scientists.

What are some of the challenges that your tech teams are working on?

Some of the challenges our tech teams are solving include our recent move to a new customer relationship management (CRM) system, and predictive modelling that helps us drive overall growth. The data that they provide guides business decisions and informs us on how students learn best, which drives our online pedagogy.

How does 2U use OfferZen in its hiring strategy?

In order to keep growing our core products and student base across the world, we need to continuously and strategically scale our tech teams, which has been challenging. To do this in South Africa, we only use OfferZen or LinkedIn to source candidates. Our tech hiring team in Cape Town is small so we really rely on our account manager, Amanda, at OfferZen to help us with hiring. We have hiring goals and she helps us identify new potential candidates on OfferZen every week as well as giving us candidate feedback after an interview. This ensures that we don’t miss out on great candidates.

“Our tech hiring team in Cape Town is small so we really rely on our account manager, Amanda, at OfferZen to help us with hiring. We have hiring goals and she helps us identify new potential candidates on OfferZen every week as well as giving us candidate feedback after an interview.”

How have you experienced hiring on OfferZen?

What I like about OfferZen is that candidates are already screened before they are allowed on the platform, which improves the chances of putting the right candidate in front of a hiring manager.

What are the main advantages of using OfferZen for you?

We know that all candidates are actively looking for new positions. This means that candidates are more engaged, which increases the speed at which we can hire the right person. In tech recruitment, we know we have to go the extra mile and be more proactive in this industry to meet our hiring needs.

How Software Foundry builds their South African developer team with OfferZen

Software Foundry, a Netherlands based software development firm, looked at opening an international office, they were blown away by the quality and work ethic of South African developers. So much so, that they decided to grow their entire developer team from Cape Town. Manfred Suttorp, Founder of Software Foundry, shares his experience when first deciding to open their international office by working with OfferZen.

Key Stats
100% retention of hired devs since first success on OfferZen in June 2018
9 successful in person interviews conducted from identified candidates
2 Senior devs hired in one week for their South African office

What is the backstory to opening an office in Cape Town?

We found that when we hire developers in the Netherlands, the labour market is so tough. Once you hire someone, another recruiter is already banging down their door to get them to move. So we decided to consider options outside of the Netherlands. In Europe, it's popular to outsource development work to India or Eastern European countries, but we found that cultural differences and language barriers make this challenging. We liked Cape Town because it’s a well-developed city, the way we do business is very similar, and the people were a great cultural fit.

What motivated you to give OfferZen a try?

When we started broadcasting that we wanted to move to South Africa, someone in our network said that OfferZen was a renowned name for hiring developers. Recruiters we’ve worked with in the past have a ‘no placement, no pay’ model that is similar to what OfferZen offers, but it's less friendly. With OfferZen, you can pay the placement fee over 10 months instead of paying a once-off fee upon placement as with recruiters. For us, this definitely lowered the risks especially because we considered this new office an experiment.

How was your experience using OfferZen different from how you’ve hired in the past?

I found the relationship with OfferZen very transparent. With recruiters, you can’t see the pool of candidates that they’re working with. It’s always a ‘wait and see’ which profiles you get, and then it still depends how much you’re willing to pay in relation to other companies. We’ve even found that some recruiters won’t send us a candidate’s CV and that these are kept aside for the highest paying companies. On OfferZen, you can see exactly what the pool of candidates looks like and you can go through their profiles. If you like one of the profiles, then you can message the person directly to invite them for an interview. The other benefit is that OfferZen brings all the high-quality candidates onto a single platform, which saves a huge amount of time.

“On LinkedIn we got rejected very often, which makes sense as not everybody is actively looking for a new job, but on OfferZen, the hiring process was much faster because everyone has the intent to find a new job.”

What is the quality of candidates like on OfferZen?

Initially, I didn’t know what to expect, but I found that having two very good universities in Cape Town has really increased the number of high quality software developers in the city. We’ve found that the two hires we’ve made so far are on par with the people we’ve hired in the Netherlands.

How did you find managing candidates through OfferZen, especially while based in the Netherlands?

I find managing the candidate pipeline and hiring stages through OfferZen quite easy. I can search using filters and keywords like ‘Angular’. Then I look at the profiles and favourite some to look at later in more detail. A little further in the funnel, we reach out to the person and schedule an interview. In the last stage, we fly out to Cape Town for an in-person interview and we make an offer to the top candidate.

Would you say the experiment worked hiring a team based in Cape Town?

We are very positive so far and we have even made a principle decision not to look for any more developers based in the Netherlands. We were really holding back on projects for our clients in Europe as we couldn’t fill the team fast enough. Now, we are convinced that our experiment has paid-off and are continuing to build our team through OfferZen so that we can step up our projects.

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