When we started Riviera Partners in 2002, we set out to build a company with a completely different approach to recruiting. Starting out, we made some key decisions that now, in hindsight, look pretty smart (but at the time we were sweating it). From the beginning we didn’t see ourselves as a traditional search firm, and we didn’t want our clients or the candidates we serve to see us that way either. We wanted to approach the market differently, with a unique operating model, and we wanted to develop a culture focused on delivering the best service and experience possible.
The first decision was to specialize. We decided to focus exclusively on engineering and product recruiting. This meant turning away potential clients (which was tough when we were starting out and our goal was just to keep the lights on). But, the decision allowed us to go deep in tech and establish relationships with talented engineering and product people. We become students of those functions, beyond learning who the best people were we learned why certain organizations stood out from engineering and product perspectives. Ultimately, this has enabled us to work with some of the most seminal technology companies in the country––those that have disrupted existing markets or created new ones. We’re fortunate to have built relationships with these technologists and to have partnered with these companies.
We needed a platform that could give our recruiters and clients visibility to the very best candidates. We wanted to provide total transparency to clients through the recruiting process so they could make the best hiring decisions. We knew efficiency and collaboration were critical to our success. We needed a platform that enabled our recruiters to access the most complete and current data about each candidate. And, we needed a way to share information between recruiters, candidates and companies. We knew we would have to build something proprietary. At first there many non-believers both inside and outside Riviera. Many times we were advised to buy an off-the-shelf solution rather than dedicate the time and resources necessary to build our own. But, our decision to build our proprietary platform paid off and now we have a powerful platform that uses machine learning and years of collected data to identify and match companies and candidates. Our investment has made us efficient and made the quality of our service consistent across all of our recruiters.
We also knew that we wanted a very different culture than the transactional top-down agency models of the past. We established a vision––delivering the best service and experience––and purpose––helping people and companies reach their full potential. These served as our North Star over the years.
Everything we did––from our search approach, to our technology investments, to the people we hire, and how we train them to operate was, and still is, based on that original vision and purpose. We give our team members the latitude to operate without defined rules, within the context of our vision and purpose. And, we’ve proven that our culture attracts the best and brightest people who are motivated to build long-lasting, successful partnerships with clients and candidates. I’m really proud to work with the Riviera team.
I’m super excited about the investment we announced today. For me it is validation of the early choices we made as an organization and our dedication to making our early vision of Riviera a reality today. I’m not only satisfied with the choices we made in the past; I’m excited about our team, culture, and our vision of where we’re going.
As I absorb the implications of this investment I am reminded of the importance of humility and showing up each day knowing there is always something to learn, people to learn from, and more that we can do to improve our craft. I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Roca and Kayne to the Riviera team, and I look forward to what we’ll build in the future together.