LendInvest is a UK-based asset management platform for property finance. They provide specialist finance to property investors and developers, and opportunities for individuals, corporate institutions to invest in property-backed loans.
We caught up with Stephane Mehmet, Talent Acquisition Manager at LendInvest to find out about the problems LendInvest is solving, some top people and talent tips and why they chose Zinc as their background checking provider. Keep reading for some great tips on company culture!
What does LendInvest do?
We’re a non-bank property finance platform. We currently offer a range of short and long-term loan products: bridging loans, development loans, and buy to let loans. On the investment side of the business, we have an asset management platform that facilitates our investors from global banking partners, to institutional and individual investors, so we're a hybrid lender/asset management business.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at LendInvest?
I am the Talent Acquisition Manager here at LendInvest - I look after the talent function across the business, this includes tech and commercial. We’re currently at a headcount of around 200 people. The Talent team consists of one Talent Acquisition Partner and a People and Talent Assistant shared across the people and talent function. My role includes hiring, talent strategy and operations as well as other talent projects across the business.
I am involved in the hiring plan for the business and I am very engaged with key stakeholders and hiring managers, providing a streamlined hiring process across all functions, hiring training, upgrading of our careers site, and implementing a new background checking provider, Zinc!
What are your top HRtech tools & why?
Slack is great - it’s completely disrupted the old email back and forth. It's much more dynamic. You get a much faster response and I find it more collaborative since they've added new features like huddles, and integrations with google hangouts and google calendar. I'm getting less and less correspondence through email as a result. It’s quite easy to interact with more than one stakeholder at the same time and provide updates in a timely manner. It allows you to keep track of what you're doing by adding reminders and notifications.
We also use Workable. They’re one of the top ATS systems that I’ve used in terms of usability. It’s very easy for a business of our size to manage and keep track of the acquisitions we have. We’ve added a lot of automation to our hiring process that has been key to us being consistent and objective across our hiring, providing a superior customer journey for candidates.
What one piece of advice would you give a talent professional joining a fast-paced scaleup?
Firstly, to be ready to join a business that is fast-paced. You need to be super organised and sharp in terms of how you prioritise your hires. You have to have excellent communication skills, sometimes over-communicating with stakeholders to make sure, especially in this remote world, that nothing gets lost in translation, there are clear instructions to work out your processes at each stage in the most minute detail.
It sounds silly to go into that much detail at the beginning but if you do it properly, you end up making sure you're covering many of the bases that you don't miss moving forward along the process. It's important to align the commercial interests of the business with your hiring plan and prioritize accordingly.
What’s your take on remote hiring, remote onboarding, and remote working at LendInvest?
We have been hiring remotely and onboarding remotely for the past 20 months. As a business operate a more hybrid working model. There has been a shift in mindset in terms of onboarding and working remotely. The attention to detail becomes even more important when it comes to making sure new starters have the right equipment to start with within the right timelines, understand the agenda from a timeframe perspective, and to be clear and transparent with what they should expect when joining.
When you are onboarding and inducting candidates, going into more detail than you normally would do if they're in the office is even more essential, because of the fact that they're not getting to see the cultural environment in person. So there's more to do and more emphasis on understanding the culture of the business more deeply.
What resources do you use to find qualified candidates?
We mainly use LinkedIn as our key sourcing tool. We also have many referrals across the business, which has been a key driver in finding really strong hires for the business.
What makes the culture at LendInvest great? Any tips?
One of the key factors is transparency. We are very transparent internally about what the mission of the business is commercially, what our targets are, including what each individual team member needs to do to contribute to those goals. It's a very inclusive environment where people are collaborating seamlessly and feel like they're contributing to the overall goal of the business. Aligning everyone’s mentality is very key to maintaining a strong work culture.
- We also have a lot of fun with social activities that are all optional and allow individuals to bond and build deeper relationships with their colleagues across the business. In the last 20 months many of these socials have been conducted remotely, including weekly yoga classes, LendInchef events, which involve individuals in the business volunteering to teach the rest of us how to cook different cuisines live. Recently we had a pizza making session with everyone logging in from their kitchens. This was great fun. We have also participated in murder mysteries (hilarious) and painting classes (challenging), learning all the little nuances of how to mix colours and paint different backgrounds. We also put on remote rum and cocktail nights, just to get people socialising and having a laugh. When we were in the office we put on weekly games nights including many different popular and sometimes unpopular board games :).
- Pre-covid we offered free lunch on a Friday, we’d order from a different cuisine every week; one week it would be Indian, the next it would be French and the list goes on - it was a great way to bring everyone together. While we were eating, we'd have a weekly Brown Bag event, which would include monthly company updates, or inviting outside guests to give a presentation. We've had an economist talking about the economy, a chiropractor talking about your back health. We also have members of the team talking about what they're up to within their departments as well as what they've been doing personally, including showcasing personal interests outside of work. We always really try to get people to open up and get to know each other on a personal level to really enhance the culture even further. Whether this be during work, or at work functions like our summer and christmas parties.
What problem(s) did you face before using Zinc?
We wanted to automate the process and take a lot of the administrative work away from us as people and talent team in order to free us up to do more strategic things within the business.
Why did you choose Zinc?
We spoke to a number of providers and I was sold on the product and liked that cutting edge tech Zinc was using. We tested the product first and it was very seamless. We had some really good experiences from our side but we’ve also asked the candidates what their experiences were and they felt the process was very seamless as well. So that gave us the confidence to bring Zinc on board permanently.
What results did you achieve by using Zinc? How much time did you save?
Zinc has been a huge time saver. Although I still go into each profile to make sure everything is there, the overall process has been relatively seamless and we’re saving a lot of time on administration by using Zinc so it’s something we’re looking to keep moving forward.