Inside the Nest with Elisa and Marco from the Talent Team

Apr 23, 2020 - 4 mins

Elisa and Marco give a deep-dive about their daily work-life as Talent Specialists, involving amongst many things to be on the lookout and recruit new talents for the team but also what it means to them, to be part of the Sparrow family.

What do you as a Talent Specialist look after? 

Elisa: We have a holistic approach to talent, this means while we search, recruit, interview, and onboard new team members, we are also engaging in projects related to culture and employee development.

Marco: This also includes for example that we are looking after employer branding initiatives, where we are attending and sponsoring different events to get involved in the startup scene but of course also have the opportunity to meet potential new Sparrows to join the team.

What roles are you hiring for?

Marco: Basically, we are hiring internally for all teams within Sparrow Ventures that are hands-on building ventures or investing in startups. This includes the roles of Venture Architects, Investment Managers, Growth Marketers, Product Owners, UI/UX Designers or Software Engineers. On top of that, we also support the hiring process when it comes to recruiting Co-Founders and other roles for ventures that are getting carved out.

Elisa: Exactly. Also, we are very excited to offer internship opportunities for entrepreneurial-minded students within one of our ventures or one of our departments. We are providing the possibilities to learn hands-on, either while helping build one of the ventures that we are working on or by getting exposure to investment management practices.

What are the qualities we are looking for in a candidate?

Elisa: I personally love that no Sparrow is the same. Something that is very important for us is that, while we are overall a diverse group of people, we share the same values and strive towards reaching the same goals. So, when we are hiring, we are looking for future Sparrows with a cultural fit, this includes for me amongst many aspects that they can and need to be brutally honest, passionate, entrepreneurial, data-driven yet being humble at the same time.

Marco: We really want to attract hungry and driven candidates that bring in a get shit done mentality and like to get their hands dirty. With this, I mean that we do not look for people who are just there for the glamour and cool look of graphs and presentation, which is out there a lot of, but moreover ready to put in the dirty hands-on work that is required to build and scale a startup.

How does the typical application process look like and who is involved in the hiring process?

Elisa: Just as everywhere else, there are different stages to complete during the hiring process. Initially, if we see a match for an applied role, we, meaning Marco and myself, want to get to know you and for you to get to know us. After that, there will be a next step which is around the job-related fit. One meets here usually a subject matter expert, allowing them during this technical interview of the application process to gauge the job skills for the position and for you to get a better understanding of what the job would entail. Finally, there is an on-site visit to the office for physical meet-ups and a case interview. This includes seeing the office, work environment, meeting other Sparrows, and tackling during the interview a challenge, similar to what you would find in your daily work. 

Marco: For us, it is really a two-way street: All steps of the application process are laid out to be seen on eye-level. While we, of course, expect you to be prepared, we want to get to know you as a person – so ask questions. It is about and needs to be a fit for both sides. You have the chance to see and decide: Is this what you expected? Is the job the right one for you? Is our company a place where you see yourself? Do you want to become part of team Sparrow?

What makes Sparrow Ventures for you different from other companies?

Marco: What I really appreciate about Sparrow Ventures is that we live a non-hierarchical culture where best argument counts and performance - not politics - brings you further.

Elisa: Completely agree with Marco. Following up on this, our values and no politics really empower people to bring their best ideas and be able to execute them. The ability to continuously be able to say: “I thought about this, have done this and it made an impact” is what I think makes Sparrow Ventures different.

How would you describe the culture?

Elisa: Fun, driven, collaborative: everyone brings in so much knowledge and experience and at the same time is ready to learn from one another. Humble is the main word that stands out for me.

Marco: I like the fact that work is not just work. Colleagues are not just colleagues. It is more than that. We find things to do together not just in relation to work but beyond office hours. From sports during lunch breaks, to gatherings for dinner and drinks or activities such as laser tag or going away for a ski weekend. All Sparrows are also people I want and like to share my free time with. This is special for me and not something you can take for granted or simply find somewhere else.


Learn more about our values and hear from other Sparrow’s about our culture here.


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