By Braulio Giron, Jr. on June 20, 2019
Kalibrr Co-Founder and CEO Paul Rivera shares his insights on how HR and recruitment can help build a culture of innovation at the Cebu edition of Kickstart Venture’s signature networking mixer
Last May 29, the Philippines’ leading Venture Capital firm Kickstart Ventures once again brought together numerous executives and professionals from startups, corporations, and other enablers of the local startup ecosystem for its monthly networking mixer, ‘Raid the Fridge’. However, the gathering was a little bit different than the usual from Kickstart, as it was this time held at HM Tower in Cebu City.
Aptly called ‘Move the Fridge’, the signature networking mixer was held in partnership with the Internet & Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP)’s DigiconSouth XE 2019 and featured resource speakers who happened to be founders from the Kickstart portfolio. This included Kalibrr Co-Founder and CEO Paul Rivera.
From Start-Up to Scale-Up
Addressing those in attendance, Rivera specifically shared his insights on how to build a culture of innovation, by leveraging the power of HR and recruitment within the organization. He shared that doing so within a start-up presents a great opportunity, given the relative newness of the company and it being a blank slate. However, there is also the caveat of having to do so while trying to survive.
“We (Kalibrr) should have died at least two times in 2013 when the company did a big pivot, and in 2015 during a ‘fundraising winter’, then we almost ran out of money at least two more times. But even then I had always been transparent with the team, and they always knew how much runway we had. So we never lost anybody, and in fact, it was these moments that galvanized the company and solidified our culture of innovation.”
Culture Begins at the Top
Rivera also touched on how, just like almost every other aspect of any business, an organization’s culture is most influenced by its leadership, be it when they hire and how they operate.
“Hiring is the CEO’s most important job. You need to become great at identifying talent,and hiring them for their potential, not just what they can do today. Even then, you’re going to make bad hires- so expect a healthy churn from stage to stage (of your business) and know that not everyone is going to make it.”
“Culture is a company’s operating system - it is how you communicate. And a large part of the culture are the founder’s personalities: passionate, quirky, high empathy, strategic, data driven, entrepreneurial, fast learners, and is seen in day-to-day actions and decisions — who gets promoted, how ideas are evaluated, how feedback is taken, your management style, etc.”
Rivera provided further insight as he answered questions from the attendees in Cebu, both after his talk and also during the networking portion of the Kickstart Ventures event.
Kalibrr is a technology company that aims to transform how candidates find jobs and how companies hire talent. Placing the candidate experience at the center of everything it does, the company continues to attract the best talent from all over, with more than 2 million professionals and counting. Kalibrr ultimately connects these talents to companies in search of their next generation of leaders.
The only end-to-end recruitment solutions provider in Southeast Asia, Kalibrr is headquartered in Makati, Philippines, with offices in San Francisco, California and Jakarta, Indonesia. Established in 2012, it has served over 18,000 clients, and is backed by some of the world’s most powerful start-up incubators and venture capitalists. These include Y Combinator, Omidyar Network, Patamar Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and Kickstart Ventures.