Welcome to our new blog series: Inside Careerminds!
Once a month we will take you deep into the Careerminds think-tank so you can get to know one of the creative geniuses who help our company continuously grow.
Who's up first?
Meet Paul Sanders, Our VP of Technology.
I met Paul almost two years ago at a company offsite in Philadelphia. I was instantly drawn to his quirky sense of humor, his creative way of thinking, and how friendly he was with everyone he met.
Which is why I'm so excited to have the opportunity to introduce him to you all! And, to do so, we asked him a bunch of questions. Enjoy!
An Interview With Paul Sanders
Aley: Tell me about your background. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? What were you like as a kid? Bonus if you have a picture!
Paul: I was really cute as a child - what happened?!
I grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they did well with what they did have. I spent a lot of time at the beach.
I was a unique blend of skater/surfer/barefoot mixed with a southern heritage. My parents are from NC and GA, so I had a deep southern upbringing.
Everything was always about manners, biscuits and gravy, 'yes' or 'no' ma’am, and being polite.
Because of where I grew up, I still love the beach vibe. It’s still in me. I’m always barefoot, I never want to have normal clothes on, and I always want to sit criss -cross applesauce while I do work.
After my beach childhood, I went to Old Dominion University. I picked up some freelance website jobs from friends in NY.
Pretty cool - I actually managed the Four Seasons websites during this time.
But that was really my intro into this world. I stopped going to college and just became a software guy.
I started my own company with a friend after a while. I had a unique combination of of design, database, and development skills, which really helped me grow the business.
This is unique because software professionals usually only focus on one thing. So it was a big differentiator.
Aley: How did you end up at Careerminds?
Paul: Careerminds is actually being run on a software that I wrote. I met Raymond (our CEO), and started working in a contract role to help manage the tech.
And then in just the past year I got hired on in a full-time capacity to be the VP of Tech and manage our platform.
Aley: What is your 'why’ when it comes to working at Careerminds? What passion motivates you?
Paul: My motivating factor is innovation, and the team here is really ambitious and innovative.
It’s so much fun to be with a company that thinks in that way. And to be creative in how we lead the industry.
And, on a broader level, I’m motivated by how software can impact the world. I really care about simplicity and minimalism. I love to improve the usability of something to help the user. I love to make things beautiful. All of this just makes me feel good.
Aley: What advice would you give to people looking to be a tech leader in the HR tech space?
Paul: Build your processes, and then iterate on them. You should even have a process to make sure that you’re being iterative. I’m blowing your mind right now, right?
There should never be an emergency. There should already be a process in place to fix things when something goes wrong. And there is always the possibility to improve on that process to fix your overall product.
Also, don’t feel bad when something goes wrong, a million things can go wrong. If you have documentation in place, you can find the point where it goes off the rails, and figure out what to do in the future.
Aley: What is your secret weapon/ superhero strength?
Paul: So, I’m good at a lot of things, but I’m not really amazing at one thing. I would say that my biggest superpower is that I can sit at a computer and work for 14 hours straight if I have snacks.
So be prepared for all the dishes and crumbs everywhere!
Aley: Thanks so much for letting us interview! I’m excited for everyone to get to know you.
Paul: Thanks for interviewing me, it was great!
Stay tuned for more interviews and videos with our wonderful team members!