Tech Recruitment Q&A: Romain Vigo Benia, Head of Tech at Livementor

Romain Vigo Benia first joined LiveMentor as a software developer five years ago. He’s evolved within the company and is now Head of Tech.

He’s in charge of leading the company’s technical strategy, improving the tech team’s work environment and mentoring newcomers. He’s also responsible for recruiting technical profiles.

As LiveMentor continues to grow and strengthen their teams, Romain shares his CodinGame experience and explains how he was able to find and recruit the developers he needed.

Romain Vigo Benia

Could you introduce LiveMentor? 

Sure. LiveMentor is an online training organization. We support project leaders – in all their exciting endeavors! 

We work with all kinds of people. For example, Aminata, excited to launch her e-commerce platform to sell the unique, handcrafted jewelry her aunt makes in South Africa. 

Or Marc, fed up with his 9 to 5, eager to start a freelance business so that he can spend more time with his family.

Or Agnes, passionate about baking, enthusiastic to create a “cakes and bakes” subscription box for parents who’d like to follow recipes with their children.

The people we support have projects, ideas, passions… but they don’t necessarily know how to launch a crowdfunding campaign, federate a community, establish a business plan. 

This is where LiveMentor comes into play. 

We offer specific online training and personalized support (with a LiveMentor “mentor”).

What does your tech team look like today?

Today, at LiveMentor, we work in cross-functional teams. 

The technical and product teams, for example, work closely together. In fact, Product Managers, Product Designers, Front-End developers, and Back-End developers interact on a daily basis. 

I currently manage six developers. There are also two Product Designers and two Product Managers. We’re opening a User Research department in the fall too.

The technical team is one of the most distributed LiveMentor teams. Our remote work policy allows us to work from almost anywhere. I’m based in Germany, and the rest of the team is spread out over several French cities (Paris, Aix en provence, Nantes, Biarritz, etc.). 

How many developers does LiveMentor recruit annually?

Last year we recruited 3 developers, this year we’re recruiting 5, and next year we’ll (hopefully) recruit a few more!

We’re not looking to recruit large volumes of developers, but we hire rare and skilled profiles on a regular basis.

What type of developer profiles do you recruit, mainly?

LiveMentor is, above all, a web platform. The architecture of the site is divided into Back-End and Front-End. 

LiveMentor

Therefore, we recruit Back-End developers (in technologies such as Ruby, Rails, PotsgreSQL, Redis, etc.) and Front-End developers (in technologies like Vue.js or Nuxt).

We believe in specialization, we don’t recruit Full-Stack profiles.

Before choosing to work with CodinGame, what tech hiring challenges did LiveMentor face, as a company?

Here at LiveMentor, each manager is responsible for recruiting his or her team. 

There are real advantages to recruiting your own team, but it’s very time consuming. I spend time evaluating candidates’ skills, interviewing them, introducing them to other team members… and that’s just one of my many roles! 

There’s also a real gap between the number of developers who enter our recruitment process and the number of developers who meet our technical expectations.

Today, candidates can come from a number of places. We’re present on several “traditional” networking platforms as well as on our own networks, we organize events, we work with recruitment agencies… so we receive a large volume of candidates. 

The problem is that these profiles are often both over-solicited (they’re already involved in five, six, seven, eight recruitment processes at the same time), and below our technical expectations.

Finally, we’re (very) aware the tech recruitment market is (very) competitive! We sometimes “lose” promising candidates and it’s always a real blow… It’s a disappointment for everyone involved. 

How long have you been using CodinGame Sourcing?

We started working with CodinGame at the beginning of the year (2021) and our first “CodinGame recruit”, Guillaume, arrived in March.

What made you choose to work with CodinGame? 

One of the things that influenced our decision was that the whole LiveMentor technical team already knew and liked the CodinGame platform (the developer website). They regularly log in during their off hours, or after work hours, to play games, solve puzzles, etc. 

We’ve also already taken part in challenges as a team, we’ve tested the new Coding Escape missions… As developers, we’re big fans of the platform.

Finally, the fact that CodinGame is so close to its developer community was very reassuring. We feel that there’s a synergy, and a certain technical standard.

What do you consider to be the main benefits of CodinGame Sourcing?

What we like about CodinGame, above all, is the relevance of the technical profiles put forward. 

We’ve had some pleasant surprises: very relevant profiles, different, a nice change of pace to what recruitment agencies usually propose.

We’ve met “problem solvers”, people who are technically talented, who like to “think outside the box”, to code in their free time, to train and hone their skills, to leave their comfort zone… You don’t come across this type of tech profile everyday! It’s a real breath of fresh air. 

We also particularly appreciated the support offered by the CodinGame team. They helped us get to grips with the platform, publish our job offers, etc. They were quick to follow-up and very helpful… Everything was up and running in no time.

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Nathalie Figuière

Nathalie Figuière

Nathalie is content manager at CodinGame. When she's not busy creating quality content for HR pros, chances are she’s watching Friends, baking, or snuggling her little grey cat, Moon.