Employee Spotlight: Maura Coyle, Talent Lead

On a regular basis, we talk with our team members about their experience working at Canoe, and their future goals and aspirations. This week, we spoke with Maura Coyle, Talent Lead.

Tell us about your role at Canoe. What’s your day-to-day like?

Part of what makes my role here at Canoe so exciting is that no two days are the same. Some days are very recruiting-heavy, which include drafting job descriptions, conducting interviews, reaching out to potential candidates, making decisions with hiring managers, and negotiating offers. Other days are focused on employee performance management, creating and executing employee trainings, drafting policies, and establishing processes. While parts of my role require me to be very “in the weeds” and hands-on, other parts are discussions considering talent strategy and culture development as Canoe grows.

What’s the most challenging part of your role? Why?

A startup is exciting, but it’s also fast-paced! What you thought was going to be your number one priority in three weeks’ time can often shift. Being agile in your plans and flexible in your goals is key. In this environment, I am often doing many things for the first time, and building the approaches or processes that we’ll rely on in the future. Diving into research and getting creative in approaching certain challenges is required in order to be effective.

From a recruiting standpoint, the market has never been hotter, especially in software development. This requires not only extra effort in all parts of the sourcing and interview process but also a continuous and critical examination of that process to decide if anything should be tweaked to improve efficiency. It’s not a role where you can sit back and take direction, which is both challenging and the reason why I enjoy it.  

What’s your most memorable experience at Canoe so far?

Given my role, it’s probably not surprising that the experiences that stand out for me involve our people. In May of 2021, we got together outdoors at a bar in Brooklyn. It was the first time many of us had seen each other since March 2020. Between March 2020 and May 2021, we hired about 20 new employees, so many of the people who I was with that day were both people I knew very well but had also never “met” in person. It was great to see people come together for the first time in a long time, and you could feel that everyone else had missed being together as well. 

Why should someone choose to work at Canoe over other companies?

It’s a question I get a decent amount of the time in interviews, and it’s a great one to ask. Everyone seems to be hiring right now and many candidates have their pick of employers in ways we haven’t quite seen previously. The answer I tell interviewers is a combination of the growth opportunities presented to you when working at a startup, as well as the quality of the people here at Canoe.

Being on a small but growing team stretches you professionally in ways that are challenging, exciting, and unmatched in how much it can expedite your career growth. The experience I’ve gained at Canoe in two years is probably equal to that of about 5-6 years at a larger company. The people at Canoe are hard to beat. This is a team of people who are each individually determined, sharp, and driven, but there is a humility that accompanies this. Our people continuously prove that they are not afraid to ask questions, solicit feedback, or help one another out if needed. This combination of individual drive and genuine collaboration makes it a team primed to be both productive and supportive. 

What are some of the characteristics you look for in hiring for roles at Canoe?

We look for people who can continue to champion what we have here at Canoe (this can present itself in various ways when we speak to people in interviews). We look for driven individuals who thrive in challenging and fast-paced environments, enjoy working with teams, and are motivated by the opportunity to create something new. Canoe’s core values highlight this: Client First, Be an Owner, Excellence, and Win Together. We look for people who take initiative, constantly challenge themselves to improve, and will work alongside our team to best serve our clients. One of the best parts about my role is being able to talk to hundreds of job applicants and have a chance to see how they put their own unique twist on these values.