I like how Nimrod Kramer was able to pursue his vision – persistence really goes a long way. In fact, his HR recruitment plan has some valuable insights that we, Founders, can actually learn from. Nimrod teaches us that what makes an initiative truly successful is the engine that runs it – the people.
Nimrod Kramer is the Co-Founder & VP Product of The Elegant Monkeys. He is a dedicated tech entrepreneur who thrives in creating innovative technologies and businesses, and specializes in providing solutions and identifying targets that can help accomplish goals quickly and effectively.
Why The Elegant Monkeys? What inspired you to build this organisation?
Basically, we were a bunch of friends during the service in the army (in Israel it’s mandatory for everyone for 3 years) and we wanted to make something different that will last and will have an effect on other people’s lives. So with this thought in mind, we started exploring for ideas and from there, it grew up slow and steady. What mainly inspires us to build this business is that we want to bring something totally new to the world that would make lives better and healthier. We believe that we will do that by pursuing our vision – to digitize human emotions and mental states.
How do you qualify people to bring into your organisation?
This topic is actually a key point at TEM. This year, we are planning to grow really fast and be able to multiply the current team size by 4. Therefore, we had to come up with a good HR recruitment plan that would bring us the best and most suitable team members.
After a lot of work and thinking we understood 2 main points:
- We are still a relatively small team. Therefore, if one employee does not fit, it would create a huge impact on the whole company and we cannot afford this situation to happen. If we were a 10,000 employee company, then one “not so good” employee would not make such a big impact. However, this is not the situation as of today so we cannot compromise on quality.
- In each stage of the company’s growth, we, the founders, will have less impact on the selected candidates. So, we must locate and recruit people that are nothing less than what we expect from ourselves so that in the future, those people will recruit the next generation (so on so forth). Basically, you can look at it as the first 5 people recruit the following 20, and those 20 will recruit the 100th employee…. etc.
With these points in mind, we decided that all candidates will be evaluated based on the following 3 criteria (in this priority):
- Company Cultural Fit – what made us pick this one as the first priority is what I explained in #1 above. In addition, we already are used to working with each other for a long time (since 2013) and we know what works best in the team and what our DNA is (which obviously we subjectively believe is good).
- Learning Skills – this is the “balancer” between company culture and proven experience. In a startup, you always have things that you need to learn and improve. Therefore, this skill is critical for every member in our team. By using this balancer, we came to the conclusion that company culture is more important than proven experience as this can be learned over time.
- Proven Experience – last one but still important. We understand that in our stage, experience matters so the starting point with our requirements is very high. As of today, we recruit only senior positions that we believe will be able to break all the barriers and overcome any challenge.
How do you foster creative and innovative thinking within your organisation? How are ideas shared and implemented within your teams?
We are very open to every thought and we let our people experience different challenges which are not in their main field in order to get new and fresh ideas.
In terms of our vision, we are guided by a sentence that was said by Paul Graham, “Live in the future and then build what’s missing.” This philosophy is the key when trying to think about the ideas that will change the future.
What are the most successful projects you had for The Elegant Monkeys and how did it impact your venture?
So far, our most successful project is Kenko Technology (still in stealth mode) – a unique unprecedented solution for mental health monitoring for large enterprises.
Knowing that the competition is tough within the digital marketing space, how do you manage your team in order to stand out?
We are quite active on different social media platforms and we publish things that are related to our team’s culture. In addition, we are very active in sharing our knowledge with the community and that gives us credibility. In that aspect, we share many blog posts, and give lectures to entrepreneurs worldwide. Also, we constantly upload open source for other developers.
What advice would you have for anyone looking to start their own initiative?
Be patient and persistent.
About The Elegant Monkeys
The Elegant Monkeys is creating a technology that enables translation of human emotions and mental states into the digital world for preventive health care purposes.