If you had asked me 10 years ago what my career plans were, I probably wouldn’t have put recruiting on my list–but there’s no denying now that Rivi had a draw I couldn’t resist. One of the best things about working here is knowing that I can be impactful no matter what my position. Ultimately, being successful at Rivi boils down to a variety of factors, but the amount of time you’ve been here has little to do with it.

Of course, there are the obvious things: being intelligent, organized and hardworking (which are certainly all factors). However, there are some perhaps more specific things that lead to successes around here. Number one is understanding what your clients’ pain points are so you can help solve them. For example, we did a search for a first-time CEO who had built the whole product himself but knew it was growing too fast to manage alone. His pain point was that any attention he dedicated to the search seemed to be at the expense of the day-to-day operations. It was a classic catch-22: it never made sense for him to prioritize the search over the company even though the company could not succeed without the leader we were trying to hire. It’s very human to make rational short-term decisions that are disastrous in the long run. Sure enough, by empathizing with his dilemma, we struck upon common ground, which in turn helped us work out a process for him to quickly evaluate candidates for his absolute must-haves before committing a longer, more in-depth round of interviews.

It’s important to look at Rivi as a different kind of recruiting firm. It’s not just about placement here; it’s about advice and guidance. Our deep knowledge of product and engineering lets us help our clients understand what makes a good leader and what type of experience is actually relevant. Our advantage is that we sell a process as much as we promise a result, which gives us the time to guide our clients to the right candidate rather than just telling them who the right person is. In most cases, what a client sets out to find is not what they end up hiring; not because they settle for less but because through our process, they were able to really hone in on what traits and experience they really need in their new executive. We’re really selling a process rather than selling a placement.

Rivi is still a bit of a startup itself, which means that you not only have unprecedented levels of access to people at the top, but also that there’s a lot more upward mobility based on merit, rather than simply “time served.” In this way, Rivi can be a great place for someone who is just starting out–or pivoting–in his or her career.

Michael Peart is an Associate at Riviera.

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