“We love being one of your top customers and best customers. I think the reason that maybe Neo is a good customer, is that it’s working so well. Right? It is actually converting. It’s actually getting people here. We’re actually getting hires from it.”


Neo Financial – a Canadian fintech success story.  Recently valued at more than $1 billion after a series C funding round, the unicorn FinTech company hails from Calgary, Alberta.  


The Calgary tech startup is set out to disrupt the world of banking in Canada.  Neo offers Canadians a reimagined way of digital banking by building a unique, user-friendly app from the ground up.  They’ve been building the product for three years, and is one of the leading companies in the fintech space.


We chatted with Kris Read, Co-Founder and Head of Technology and Engineering at Neo, about how VanHack has helped them build a world class team of software engineers to power their innovative technology.


Watch highlights of the Neo Financial success story:  



A full version of the interview can be viewed here.

27 Software Developers Hired and More


“During the pandemic, it’s been hard. We’re pretty good at hiring, but it makes the pipeline and bandwidth even wider to help get even more awesome talent.”


Neo Financial has been growing rapidly due to their success in the Canadian FinTech space, with over one million customers currently using their product line.  To fuel this level of growth and product development, they’ve needed to scale their engineering team as well.


Kris oversees the company’s engineering department and is in charge of hiring a team to build products for Neo, ensuring that they have the talent to continue to grow.  They have over 150 engineers on their engineering team, over 300 people building various products, and over 650 employees at the company.  


In Neo’s partnership with VanHack, they’ve hired about 10% of their software engineers from VanHack – which adds up to 27 developers and counting.  More are on the way who are hired and currently going through the relocation process from various regions.


Developers Making An Impact on Neo’s Team


All of the VanHack hires that joined Neo’s engineering team have made a huge impact, shares Kris.  They’re taking leadership roles by mentoring other developers, increasing productivity by building tons of code, and representing Neo by networking with other professionals at meetups and events.


The majority of Neo’s mobile development team is made up of VanHackers who relocated to Canada as well.


Success from VanHack’s Hiring Events


“Working with the VanHack team has been really amazing. Every single interaction has been one where we feel like we’re getting special treatment.”


Having worked with VanHack since 2019, Neo has recruited their developers through many hiring events, some virtual and some in-person.  As an early stage startup, they were able to hire several candidates right away at the first in-person hiring event, Leap Calgary.  As our partnership progressed to mostly virtual events over the past couple of years, Neo continued to successfully hire developer candidates and make offers at every single event.


Kris and his team found the VanHack hiring events effective and productive, as there wasn’t a single event where they didn’t find someone they liked or made an offer!


More is Always Better


With the level of growth and expansion that Neo is going through, they are always having many open roles, and have had solid experience with hiring hundreds of people.


Armed with expertise in hiring and building a great engineering team, Kris believes that working with VanHack has helped them attract more diverse talent, people with different mindsets and a broader set of experiences.  It’s opened them up to taking chances on people that they wouldn’t have before.  


VanHack’s growing talent pool of close to 400,000 software engineers help make their hiring pipeline and bandwidth even wider to attract top talent.  For Neo, more is always better, not just because they have so many open roles, but because having more candidate choices is always better.  This not only applies to companies like Neo, but it makes sense for smaller companies as well.  Aside from candidate options from the local market, it’s incredibly valuable to also have the choice of choosing candidates from a global talent pool. 


“If you think you can probably find a candidate locally, wouldn’t you rather have a choice?  Wouldn’t you rather have a few more interviews?  Or look at a few more resumes?”


Do Something Really Different


We asked Kris for some hiring advice in today’s changing workplace – and he pinpoints it to differentiating your company from others.  As a tech employer, Kris believes it’s important to distinguish yourself in order to capture people’s attention. 


For example, if every company’s looking for a certain type of candidate, look for a different type of candidate.  If everyone’s looking to hire university graduates, then try recruiting from boot camps.  If every company is hiring remotely, then be the company that focuses on an in-office working strategy.  The key is to do something outside of the box and really different to gain interest, as opposed to following the trends. 


Build Your Diverse Tech Team


If you’re looking for software developers to add to your tech team, consider exploring international tech talent (if you haven’t already).  VanHack helps expand a limited and competitive software developer pool in a local market to a growing, diverse global community of close to 400,000 software engineers.  Our team does the hard work of vetting and ensuring they have certified English skills, and shortlists candidates that closely match your job requirements.


Whether you’re looking to relocate software developers to one of your office locations or adopt a remote-first working culture, VanHack can assist.  Our experienced Global Mobility team takes care of all the immigration and visa application paperwork if you aim to relocate software engineer hires.  We also offer partner solutions that cover foreign compliance and payroll services for remote employees, saving you time and resources.


Take a look around our talent pool of close to 400,000 software developers to see the candidates you can hire from (sign up for free to access their full profiles).


The average time to hire is 41 days for employers who partner with VanHack, with some even seeing their developers come on board in as soon as 2 weeks.  Discover how we can help you hire quality software developers, streamline your hiring process and diversify your team.


VanHack also hosts virtual hiring events where you can meet and speed interview dozens of software developers in skill-focused sessions.  Our popular speed interview sessions range from JavaScript, Mobile, Python, Ruby on Rails, Java, Quality Assurance, to PHP.  See our next hiring event here – it’s free for employers to join.


Watch the full version of the Neo Financial success story:


See 40 new senior developer profiles every 2 weeks and get notified about upcoming hiring events!

See 40 new senior developer profiles every 2 weeks and get notified about upcoming hiring events!

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