Spotlight on Engineering Team Building: Lessons learned from Algolia


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code



Team building is top of mind for any start-up founder or exec. Recruiting and retaining top talent is even more challenging for software engineers.

To get an insight into how successful start-ups approach team building, we spoke to Sylvain Utard, employee number 1 and VP of Engineering at Algolia, an Accel portfolio company. Algolia is transforming the search and discovery experience that businesses can offer their users online, managing over 50+ billion search queries a month for enterprise customers including WeWork, Zendesk, Twitch and Stripe. Algolia has been doubling YoY since we invested in 2015 and has now more than 300 people, including 90 engineers.

We asked Sylvain to share his secret tips with us.

How do you attract talent as an enterprise start-up?

Sylvain: Because we don’t have the visibility of a consumer brand or a well-established enterprise company, we focus on what differentiates us. The first is culture. From the very beginning, our founders Nicolas and Julien talked about building a culture-first company, and for us it provides a way to both attract and assess candidates. 

The second is to demonstrate the reach of the product. Almost all of the tools, especially technical ones, that engineers use are customers of Algolia. That is a very powerful statement.

How do we get these messages across? We make sure the hiring managers are involved in the entire recruitment process, from sourcing candidates and selling the company. Not only does it ensure that we get across what the company is (Read more...)