Inside Shield AI: How We Hire the Best
Written by Andrew Dimitruk, Head of Talent
I love my job because I spend all day seeking out and speaking with amazing people and finding them their dream job at Shield AI. We’re looking to build a truly diverse team, both in terms of our teammates’ backgrounds and levels of experience. We want talented teammates from a broad variety of backgrounds who know how to think about and solve ambiguous problems, even if they’re outside their specific arena, and experts who want to grow their already extensive knowledge and push technology’s boundaries. We want people who care deeply about why we are driven to do what we do. Shield AI sits at the intersection of AI and autonomy driven by real-world stakes. We want to find talented people driven both to define the state of the art and to solve real-life challenges.
Our team members came to Shield AI from a number of different paths. What unites us is a shared desire to continuously test ourselves and to create a lasting company driven to achieve our mission.
Take my own case: I loved my job at McKinsey. I got the chance to work on some of the most interesting and pressing challenges facing our clients alongside amazingly talented colleagues. So why in the world would I leave? Like so many who have joined our team at Shield AI, what drew me here was our mission, our values and the chance to work with some of the world's leading experts in AI, robotics and autonomy. I ultimately left the comfort of a job I enjoyed for a mission I was deeply passionate about, the challenge of a place where I knew my limits would be tested and a company where I would be surrounded by teammates who would inspire me each day to learn more, to push harder and to be better. It is a decision I’m glad I made!
My story is one example of how we think about who we recruit to join the Shield AI team: We want people hungry to be great and driven to solve. We can train and build and nurture talented people when it comes to specific skills and focused knowledge. What we can’t teach are determination and grit.
At Shield AI we look to create an environment where truly exceptional talent can flourish. We find these people across all sectors and stages of their careers. We then help them to see how they could contribute in this role and the next and the next. We know exceptional talent never wants to stop learning and growing.
As a result of our thinking, we made several practical adjustments to our recruiting processes:
We adjusted our job postings to have less restrictive requirements; the goal of job postings should be to attract and excite talented people.
We refreshed the way we interview candidates to spotlight the individual’s strengths, see them in their element and then to ask only a few open-ended questions (and then keep quiet)! This allows us to better evaluate a candidate’s true passion (which often hints at areas of raw talent and growth potential).
We redesigned the way we evaluate candidates, with a focus on discovering areas the candidate has the desire and capability to grow and where that matches our growth trajectory.
We have just begun evaluating the full impact of these adjustments. But our focus on potential is instrumental in building on the successes we have already achieved with a mission-driven, a world-class team focused on excellence and motivated by the technology, the mission, and their teammates.