Both my parents immigrated to the United States – my father from Israel, my mother from Brazil. We grew up believing that the ticket to success was excelling in the American education system, and I threw myself into this mission. We weren’t wealthy, and my mother was hell-bent on getting me into the best public school programs. I, however, had other plans.
When I was 14 I learned about a historic boarding school, Phillips Exeter Academy. I applied on my own, thankfully receiving financial aid, and decided to embark on a journey to a much colder climate (I grew up in the San Fernando Valley!) It was quite a culture shock. Exeter was a tough environment, but I learned how to debate and think through difficult problems. I use the skills I built there to this day.
I’ve been interested in relationships and what motivates human behavior from a very early age. I was precocious, and I always had 100+ questions on why kids were acting a certain way. Why were social hierarchies established so young? Why did some of my classmates feel at ease when solving math problems, but get them on the playground and they weren’t able to hold their own? Why were adult conversations so much more interesting?
I wanted to learn more about the human brain, so at Brown I studied Cognitive Science and Psychology to feed this interest from an academic perspective. I completed a thesis in abnormal visual development as a signal for autism. I considered getting my Ph.D. and focusing on human developmental research, but I decided I wanted to make a more immediate impact on something faster-paced.
After college, I listened to my gut instinct and moved to San Francisco. I lived with two incredibly smart and well-connected humans – one was the founder of various startups, the other was building recruiting software. Every night we would gather in the living room and discuss the problems at work in depth. Though I wasn’t yet in tech, I realized that every problem they talked through came back to people. Finding the best people, keeping them happy, developing them – this was the cornerstone of building a great company.
I had a lightbulb moment – recruiting is applied psychology at a faster pace. It seemed like a perfect fit for me.
My recruiting experience before Amplify has been focused on early-stage startups. I was the first recruiter at both Mattermark and Segment, and I spent time at Instacart. I chose to focus on tech recruiting because I think it’s especially challenging and competitive. My favorite problems to solve are greenfield before there is a fully formed recruiting motion. I especially like figuring out how to define a unique early brand, and how to set up processes that will allow you to win as you scale.
My job at Amplify is to help our founders hire in a way that will make the biggest impact on their business. I help founders recruit from zero to one, and establish a solid foundation so they can avoid messy people-related problems down the line.
Recruiting never ends because it involves people, and people are complex. Most of the big decisions happen in the middle of the night, on weekends, or on holidays, and there’s usually a lot of emotion involved. My goal is to be a partner that founders can lean on no matter what. There is no problem we can’t solve (or find the right person to help us!)
Amplify is hyper-focused on being the best firm for early-stage, technical founders. Rather than trying to knock down every bowling pin, we stick to our niche. Having Amplify on your board means you’re getting a very specific, deep level of support — something bigger firms can’t offer.
With any recruiting-related dilemma, keep coming back to how it will impact your business. If you let go of all the noise that can come up when making decisions, focusing on business impact will never lead you astray.
Figure out what makes you weird and lean into it. Find your authentic voice early and differentiate your brand from the start. Everyone is sending the same message and toting similar values; in order to succeed, you must find a way to tell your story so that it shows what makes you uniquely you.
Remember that the decisions you make as a leader affect people. If you promote people with no coaching, it affects their teams. If you modify a benefit, it can affect someone’s family. If you hire someone for a role that doesn’t fit, the company as a whole will suffer.
Hire for the long and medium-term, not the immediate. Figure out your plan before you run loose into the wild world of talent and people.
I’m constantly learning and trying to better myself. I am currently focused on improving my personal finance skills (I’m learning from the Amplify team as well!). I love the widely appreciated things in life like spending time with friends and family (people person to the core), drinking wine, eating great food, and petting Golden Retrievers.