Last year I interviewed Quang Pham, founder of the SaaS company upbase.io
He is a Vietnamese developer who lived in the west for most of his professional life. He came back to Vietnam to recruit engineers for his startup.
These are the notes from an interview I did with him in 2023. Watch the longer version on YouTube.
- They can do everything.
Hiring through relationships and meetups.
Great engineers always have options. They are not on linkedin.
Starting with freelance work before offering full-time positions.
The inefficiency of traditional HR in finding good talent.
Ask them difficult questions in a conversation right away
- they know English now. No middle management needed. They can talk directly with the client
- Once you find someone, you can hire their friends as well
- Yes, but harder.
- Insert an easteregg in the job post. Else you won’t get good talent.
- The significance of evaluating problem-solving and research skills (e.g., effective Googling).
- Overestimation of abilities by developers and the “Title Inflection” issue.
- Differences in work estimation and time management.
- Cultural attitudes towards authority and decision-making in Vietnam.
- Encouraging a culture where it’s safe to fail and learn.