PCWorld - How Small Businesses Can Mine Big Data

Big data is a hot topic in the tech world these days. Businesses today are producing huge amounts of data and the companies that are able to capture and draw insight from it are setting themselves up for future success. PCWorld wrote an article specifically addressing this topic and discussed how Riviera is using recruiting data to deliver search work more efficiently.

(PCWorld) - How Small Businesses Can Mine Big Data

As buzzwords go, big data is currently one of the most powerful—and one of the most perplexing. It sounds like something only multinational conglomerates can afford. But the concept of analyzing very large amounts of data and looking within it for patterns, trends, and insights is one that nearly any business, large or small, can use to help make better decisions.

The big data you might not know you have
Chances are, you’re already processing big data, even if you aren’t aware of it. If you have a website, you probably use a tracking system like Google Analytics to help you determine who’s coming to your site, what pages they’re looking at, and what its overall traffic patterns are like. This is, in simple terms, big data in action. You’d never manually download your Web server’s log files and pore through them, entry by entry. You need to step back and let a big-data tool—in this case, Google Analytics—help you make sense of it and present the insights in a more visual, easily understood way.

Read the full article here...

Dice - In Tech, ‘Age’ Is About ‘Experience’

There has been a good amount of buzz surrounding our recent venture to help strengthen the engineering ecosystem, and Dice spoke with COO John Simonelli to learn a bit more. In doing so, they spoke on the broader topic of hiring and discussed how the technology marketplace assesses talent in terms of experience, with little relation to age.

(Dice) - In Tech, ‘Age’ Is About ‘Experience’

In hopes of broadening the technology talent pool, San Francisco staffing firm Riviera Partners has teamed with Code Path to offer a free class in Android development to engineers. The six-week class began last week. The average experience level of those attending: 4.5 years.

“We wanted to take experienced engineers and give them a new skill,” Riviera Partners COO John Simonelli said of the class, taught live by Code Path founders Nathan Esquenazi and Timothy Lee. It plans to repeat the class in October, and offer sessions on iOS development as well.

However, the age of the attendees illustrates how, in technology, the term “experienced” is relative.

Read the full article here...

Data Informed - Three Traits That Characterize Workforce Analytics Success

As a followup to a previous piece published in Data Informed about how the Riviera team is using data to help guide our business processes, Ali Behnam once again shared his perspective on how we measure and quantify our successes. The article highlights the insight that we are able to derive and identifies the top three data management capabilities that successful companies are demonstrating.

(Data Informed) - Three Traits That Characterize Workforce Analytics Success

It’s no coincidence that since rolling out its proprietary workforce analytics system, San Francisco-based executive search firm Riviera Partners has cut its search time for candidates by a third and has increased revenue per head by 52 percent over the past year. In fact, when research firm i4cp delved into how companies make the most of their workforce data, stark differences emerged between so-called high-performance and low-performance organizations.

When asked about the secret of its success, Riviera Partners cited unique factors such as a proprietary workforce analytics system and an impressive database of candidates that enable recruiters to match techies with some of the Bay Area’s most highly sought-after employers liked LinkedIn, Zappos and Dropbox. But, according to Carol Morrison, a senior research analyst with Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and author of its “Workforce Planning: Data Choices for High Performance” report, there are common traits among companies like Riviera that enable them to achieve workforce analytics success.

Here are the top three data management capabilities demonstrated by companies with an enviable workforce analytics track record:

Read the full article here...

PandoDaily - Job Recruiting in Silicon Valley is Broken

As highlighted earlier in the announcement of our partnership with CodePath, our COO John Simonelli spoke with Carmel DiAmicis over the weekend to discuss our motivation for doing so. In a candid conversation with DiAmicis, John discussed the current state of recruiting (including the flaws and negative stigmas associated with those who do so), our vision for giving back to the engineering community, as well as further details about the current bootcamp. DiAmicis also speaks with the CodePath founders who share their own perspective and vision for the partnership and address the issue of talent gaps with newer coding trends like Android and iOS.

(PandoDaily) - Job recruiting in Silicon Valley is broken, and these guys are trying to fix it

When Riviera Partners recruiting firm asked serial entrepreneur and Y Combinator grad Michael Ellison to join the company, he gave them a list of demands a mile long. They would need to fund a non-profit in the education sector, shift their marketing and branding strategy, and change their relationship with entrepreneurs. After he sent his requirements he assumed he’d never hear from Riviera again. “I was requesting a lot that was not traditional for a recruiting firm,” Ellison says.

But much to his surprise, the very next day Riviera CEO John Simonelli invited Ellison to the firm’s new offices and welcomed him to the team. Riviera wanted big changes, and Simonelli thought Ellison had the right vision to help.

Technical recruiting has been disrupted by the Web just like other industries. LinkedIn has made talent recruiting more competitive, by giving everyone access to a pool of applicants. At the same time, recruiting firms annoy the hell out of developers by cold-calling them. As a result, many headhunters don’t have a great rap with the industry talent they’re supposed to be placing. “We would go so far as to say recruiting is broken,” Riviera’s Simonelli says. “My characterization is that recruiting spends too much time focusing on the recruiter.”

Read the full article here...

Riviera Launches Android Developer Class With CodePath

Riviera Partners is excited to announce that August 21st marked the start of our first Android developer class in partnership with CodePath. The partnership has enabled the creation of the first Mobile Academy aiming to give engineers in-demand mobile skills at no cost. The 6-week evening program is designed to prepare each developer to pass the hiring bar at the most competitive mobile software startups in the world.

The course is ideal for existing developers who want to transition to Android development. The first 15-member cohort will meet twice per week for 90-minute sessions and do weekly projects. An additional 5-10 hours of work per week will be needed in addition to class time.

The application process for the first class was spread primarily by word-of-mouth and was well received by the developer community, pushing the acceptance rate to five percent. The most common languages among applicants were Java, Javascript, and Ruby. On average, the engineers selected to participate in the class have 4.5 years experience, 94% have CS or other technical degrees, and 30% attended a top 10 engineering school.

“We are impressed with the quality of the applicants and narrowing the group down to 15 was not an easy process,” said Timothy Lee co-founder of CodePath.

CodePath, founded by Nathan Esquenazi and Timothy Lee, has been offering high-quality mobile courses to companies in the Bay Area since its inception earlier this year. Nathan is a serial entrepreneur who’s been developing web and mobile apps for the past eight years and Timothy is a Stanford graduate and the co-founder of Miso - a startup acquired in January. The two of them bring mobile technical expertise and a high-quality learning experience to the partnership. Additionally, the guys at CodePath have been active in teaching with groups like RailsBridge and RailsGirls for several years.

Riviera Partners is also bringing a unique team together to make this project a reality. Michael Ellison, Riviera’s Product Manager previously founded a Y Combinator backed education startup and Alaina Percival, Riviera Marketing Manager also operates the successful programming education organization Women Who Code. Their efforts demonstrate the level of innovation Riviera Partners encourages within the organization.

Supporting the CodePath Academy is part of Riviera’s overall effort to provide the best service and experience to the tech community. We have a broad overview of the market and a large gap exists in the markets supply and demand for mobile engineers. Providing these classes will help individual engineers pursue rewarding careers and aid the overall tech market by providing an additional source of high-quality mobile engineers.

Apply to the next class here!

First Round Capital - Riviera's Founders Share Leadership Hiring Insight

Riviera's founders Ali Behnam and Michael Morell spent some time with our friends at First Round Capital and discussed what goes on behind the scenes during an executive search for technical leadership. Together, they discuss a variety of topics that growing startups need to consider when scaling and begin undertaking  a search for leaders who can further develop their company. They share a wealth of insight acquired over hundreds of searches and touch upon some of the most difficult questions that startups need to ask themselves in order to land the talent their companies demand. It is an incredibly thoughtful article and is definitely one not to be missed.

(First Round Capital) - What You Want in a VP Eng from the Recruiters Behind Twitter and LinkedIn

Years ago, real estate success story and $1.4 billion company Trulia was in its infancy and on the hunt for a VP of Engineering that would take the site to the next level. It wasn’t going to be easy. The initial team was a close-knit group of hardcore developers led by a pair of seasoned founders, and they weren’t going to let just anyone lead the technology organization.

Less than a mile away, another company was just getting started: a nascent Riviera Partners, founded by tech recruiters Michael Morell and Ali Behnam. Individually, they had a roster of wins, but their company’s engineering-focused model was still new and untested. Trulia bet on them, and after looking at half a dozen candidates, they landed on Daniele Farnedi.

“He had all the right DNA of a great VP of Eng, but he hadn’t been the No. 1 engineering leader anywhere before,” says Morell. “At Trulia, he went from 10 folks in the company to now. He’s still the head of technology six years later, and after going public. It really came down to finding someone who was smart, but also very curious about solving problems, with a high like-ability factor. He had success leading teams in the past, at Trulia he just gave it his own flavor.”

Read the full article here...

Continued Growth and Expansion to New York

2013 continues to look like a very promising year for us at Riviera. We are still experiencing steady growth, hiring more great people, and find ourselves continually expanding into new markets. Specifically, it is with great pride that today that we have officially announced that Riviera has laid our own roots into the red hot tech market of New York. We have been fortunate to work with some truly visionary New York startups throughout our company's history and look forward to providing greater access of our services to more growing companies in the area.

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Riviera Partners, a market leader in comprehensive search and recruiting services for the technology industry, has formally expanded to the East Coast with its opening of a Manhattan office. The opening of the office follows on the recent hiring of Kevin Bijas and Anthony Cenzano in New York. In addition to the new satellite office, the demand for top tech talent has resulted in a 20% growth of its team in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Los Angeles.

"This is not only an exciting time for Riviera, but the tech industry as a whole," said John Simonelli, Chief Operating Officer for Riviera Partners. "The market shows no signs of slowing down, and top-quality talent remains in very high demand on both coasts. In fact, the demand is now extending to the professional recruiters working to source that talent."

Read the full article here...

5 Crucial Steps to Instill Your Company’s Culture

In early August, company culture authority Dr. David Vik held a roundtable discussion with a gathering of startup executives. During the session, Dr. Vik shared his insight into what it takes to create a successful culture – his methodology was previously proven successful at Zappos during its rise to eCommerce fame. So what does it take for companies today to create, foster and grow their own company cultures to mirror a world-class organization? We share 5 of Dr. Vik’s culture secrets below:


What it is: Vision expresses the focus of what your company does or wants to become.

Why it matters: Vision is the guiding principle that drives your business. This is what you and your team aspires to achieve every day.

Questions to ask yourself: What is your vision? Is it big enough? Is it about more than making money?


What it is: Purpose is why you do what you do. If it’s clear, authentic and powerful, it will generate excitement and passion for your business.

Why it matters: Purpose attracts people, partners, employees and customers. Purpose is one of the primary reasons why employees will choose your company over others.

Questions to ask yourself: What is your purpose? How does it affect your employees and your customers?

Business Model

What it is: On the surface, your business model describes how your company creates, delivers, and captures value.

Why it matters: A successful business model incorporates your vision and purpose and demonstrates value to your employees. It helps your employees understand their value, and creates an experience for your customers.

Questions to ask yourself: Can you explain your business model from end to end? Can your employees? Are you customer-centric?

Unique Factors/Wow Factors

What it is: Unique factors make you special. Wow factors elicit positive emotions and these are experiences that become encoded memories.

Why it matters: Unique/Wow factors are how you build trust and repeat customers. Deliver the Unique/Wow Factors to your employees first. Then they will deliver it to your customers.

Get this right and the future is yours.

Questions to ask yourself: What you can do that others don’t or can’t do? Will it attract employees who want to create it and customers who want to buy it?


What it is: Values let people know what you are about. Values are what we hold close to us and what we consider important.

Why it matters: Values shape behavior and mindset. Values empower your people at the individual and corporate level.

Questions to ask yourself: What are your core values? Are they aligned with your vision and purpose?

Once you have distilled these 5 important factors, now is the time to start implementing. As you progress, continually observe changes that you see to your business and team. Exciting things can happen when leadership starts to proactively steer culture toward benefiting your employees and customers.

5 IT Salary Negotiation Tips

Salary and compensation is a hot button issue for driving career changes. People often wonder if the grass is greener, but when it comes time to make the change, will the numbers add up the way they had anticipated? In an article published by InformationWeek, Partner Eric Larson shares his own insight into what it takes to help candidates get the compensation that they deserve during the interview process.

(InformationWeek) Many job hunters loathe the salary negotiation process, and it's no wonder: According to a new Staffing and Recruiting Pulse survey from CareerBuilder, two-thirds of candidates are disappointed with employers' offers. That's up 6 percentage points from last year. But what makes the process so uncomfortable for job seekers? Nicole Williams, career expert for LinkedIn and founder of career consultancy firm Works, says it has to do with confidence. .

"Many people think that the root of the process that makes salary negotiations uncomfortable is talking about money," she said. "But what helps is really having the confidence to ask for a fair salary and believing that you deserve it."

Being prepared before you enter that process will help with confidence, said Eric Larson, partner at executive recruiting firm Riviera Partners. "You need to know what you want and you need to know what you can expect to get," he said.

Read the full article here...

Executive Breakfast - Culture With Dr. Vik

We hosted an Executive Breakfast this week with special host, Dr. Vik, former Coach of Zappos, and Author of The Culture Secret.  Dr. Vik presented a Culture Workshop presented to some prominent VC-backed startup Founders. The group got hands on information on focusing and developing their startup culture by giving it vision and purpose. Each attendee “penciled out” key structures which will help them create their own Strategic and Intentional Culture. The process was focused on the founder’s needs to scale their companies to success in order to meet their potential.

Executive Breakfast - Culture with Dr. Vik

For more Culture information from Dr. Vik, check out www.theculturesecret.com