Building the Rivi Apps Team

April 2015 | Riviera Partners

To date, we have heavily utilized third party consulting and contract resources in our efforts around data analytics and matching algorithms  We’ve always had strong recruiters at Riviera, and the technology tools we’ve been building have been largely in support of that core user base. ...

To date, we have heavily utilized third party consulting and contract resources in our efforts around data analytics and matching algorithms  We’ve always had strong recruiters at Riviera, and the technology tools we’ve been building have been largely in support of that core user base.  However, as part of our ongoing effort to build out a broad technology platform to extend to our client and candidate customers, we realized that we needed to build out our own in-house development team–one that could bring stronger, more dedicated core technology expertise to  our existing domain expertise. And thus came the beginning of our efforts to grow the Rivi Apps Team, otherwise known as RATs.

Although the algorithms originally developed by eAlchemy got us off to a great start, we wanted to expand what we were doing and go much deeper, including extending the suite applications to the other two key constituencies in the marketplace. The only way to get to the next level was to bring on team members to continue building what we had started as well as aid in the effort to broaden the role of technology in the overall service delivery model we are pursuing.

Our initial efforts on this front were very similar to many of our emerging growth clients. On an opportunistic basis, we hired a few people to augment the efforts of our outside consultants with the goal of slowly beginning the process of moving overall product development in-house. In this manner, we added our first couple of RATs, who were instrumental in furthering our initial efforts on Sutro 4.0, and helped start the thinking on an extension of the app suite. They continue to be key contributors to the growing team of RATs scurrying around Riviera these days.

While we were making good, consistent progress with the hybrid approach to development, we had a strong desire–and a growing confidence level–to accelerate more aggressively. Since we advise companies and clients on this dynamic on a daily basis, we decided to take some of our own advice and seek out a leader for the team.

Through the course of efforts we conduct for clients on an everyday basis, we were fortunate to meet Majed Itani. In an initial discussion with one of our co-founders Ali, it became very apparent to both sides that there was a strong alignment on the opportunity for change in the talent acquisition market. Majed also recognized that strategic advantage that Riviera brought to the pursuit of the opportunity given the significant amount of domain expertise within the organization. He brings significant experience to this role, not the least of which revolves around building teams, which we would be doing from nearly scratch, as well as relevant expertise from his domain expertise in the CRM world.

Says Majed: “Recruiters have traditionally been very good about sifting through the top layer of engineers to find talent, but by adding tech we are empowering them to find the diamonds in the rough. Beyond that, we are enabling them to establish long lasting relationships with people who are still early in their careers, but who will one day be the leaders of the industry.”

With Majed on board, we quickly shifted to priority #1: building out the team. As we advise our clients, we used a variety of sources for this effort. We utilized personal networks, we utilized Riviera networks, including on ongoing partnership with organizations such as Women Who Code, and we focused on building a team–fit is critical. We also were very open to what individuals brought to the table in terms of advancing our effort. We bet on people and bet on potential, and the results have truly surpassed our expectations.

Now we’re running strong with a team of 10 people, with plans to add more–all totally dedicated to building out our technology. We are already working on Sutro 5.0, and Snap, our client application, is now in beta release. And we have begun the planning process around an app for candidates that our engineers themselves would want to use.