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Conversations with the Crew: Meet Kate Greentree

by Rachel Murray, 08 August 2018

We’ve been keeping her to ourselves for the last fortnight, but finally it’s time to introduce you to one of our new starters; meet Kate Greentree.  She joins Ally Mitchell and Gracy Carey as part of the 101 Ways’ Talent dream team.

Keen to know more about the Surrey native, I sat down with Kate to talk recruitment, the future of tech and what she wants to call her not-yet-purchased sausage dogs (Salami and Chorizo FYI, or Mimi and Rizzo for short). Because who better to tell you about her passions, party anthems and potential pets than the woman herself…

Hi Kate, how’re you?

Good thanks. A little bit cold because the aircon is too high, but otherwise good!

So let’s get straight to it – what’s your role at 101 Ways?

I’m a Talent Specialist – it’s like X-factor but less glamorous. I spend my day talking to engineers to see who’s going to be a good fit for the 101 family. I suppose it helps that I’m a chatterbox.

What did you do before we swept you off your feet?  

I studied Politics and French  at Cardiff University. I initially wanted to be a political journalist as my family work in radio. However when I did my internship at LBC,  it was at the height of the News UK hacking scandal and it seemed too cut-throat for my liking so I decided to change career paths.

I used to work for a startup recruitment company; I was the twelfth person they hired and the only one recruiting technical people. I worked primarily with other startups who were doing cool things like AI and machine learning.

What made you want to join the awesome, super duper, 101 Ways crew?

I came across 101 Ways during my time as a recruiter and got to know them quite well. Everyone I spoke to always had good things to say and everyone looked so happy on the website, as clichéd as it sounds, I wanted to be happy too!

What excites you most about the move?

It’s so nice to be at a company that puts people at the soul of everything it does. I’ve only been here for two weeks and yet feel part of the furniture; they’re letting me do my scrum master training in the next month!

Tell us a fun fact that no ones knows about you (they will now so keep it clean!).

I was a DJ at university and had my own radio show with a friend:  ‘The JB and KG Show’. It was a big hit; I love a bit of disco and house. Oh, and I can fake sneeze on demand. (I can confirm she does this three times to prove it; it sounds real and ever so slightly freaky).

What do you look for when you’re hiring people?

I have a basic technical understanding so for me it’s about making sure someone is a good fit for 101 Ways in terms of their approach to engineering (agile and product-focused) and their values. They have to be technically very strong but also culturally suited – it’s about finding people who have the ‘whole package’ and that’s really hard when demand currently outstrips supply.

I can tell very quickly from speaking to someone whether they are going to be right for us. Although I’ve only been doing recruitment for three years, I’m instinctive and always trust my gut.

What do you think the challenges are going to be, both in your role and the wider industry?

For the company – staying true to our values and keeping that ‘like-mindedness’ as we scale. In terms of the wider industry, it will be interesting to see the impact of Brexit on the technical talent pool, which is already candidate short.

What three things about your personality make you a good fit for 101?

Bat sh*t cray cray*? Wait that’s four. Okay, I’d say I’m open, fair and a dog-lover (necessary at our HQ).

*(Certifiably nutty for those who don’t speak ‘millennial’).

What technology are you most in interested in?

I’m not just saying this, I’m a bit of a geek – I read about new tech in my spare time, particularly AI which I find so interesting like Google Deepmind. What they’re teaching computers to do is incredible, but sometimes scary, like the company Nectome who are trying to develop a process that preserves a person’s brain and uploads their memories to the cloud. They want to work with terminally ill patients, but essentially they’d die earlier undergoing the process which has ethical and legal ramifications.

What would you say to a young person going into tech now?

I’m jealous! The world of tech is illimitable.

I feel very strongly about women in tech and although the industry is changing, we need to do more to communicate to young girls that those barriers are coming down and that despite perceptions it’s important now more than ever, that they pursue those career paths.

Also, being an engineer no longer means sitting in an office on your own all day. Huge, cool companies have engineering teams – you just need to find the right place for you and with the amount of startups popping up there really is something for everyone.


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