Vice President of Engineering at Petal
VP of Engineering
NYC OR REMOTE
The Petal mission
At Petal, we’re using fresh thinking and cutting-edge technology to make credit honest, simple and accessible. We use machine learning to analyze more data in our credit decisions, which means more people qualify, even if they’ve never had credit before. And we use behavioral science and smart, intuitive design to offer a simple, customer-centric product that’s engineered to achieve better financial outcomes — with straightforward terms and no fees whatsoever. The result is an exciting new approach to credit that has the potential to radically expand credit access and improve the lives of millions of consumers, shaking up a trillion dollar industry in the process.
To do this, we’re bringing together exceptional talent from across disciplines and industries to shape the future of financial services and improve the lives of our customers in a meaningful way.
At Petal, we’re looking for people with kindness, positivity, and integrity. You’re encouraged to apply even if your experience doesn’t precisely match the job description. Your skills and potential will stand out—and set you apart—especially if your career has taken some extraordinary twists and turns. At Petal, we welcome diverse perspectives from people who think rigorously and aren’t afraid to challenge assumptions.
We’re looking for an inspirational technical leader ready to reinvent consumer finance. A successful candidate has significant people management experience, sharp business acumen, big-picture strategic vision, an innate collaborative style, and strong technology fundamentals. And since Petal is still a fast-growing startup, we’ll need someone with a track record of building something from nothing—hiring, developing processes, and reorganizing to fit business priorities.
The VP of Engineering is the leader of the Engineering team and convenes the resources, maps out the approach, and oversees the technical execution of the company vision and product roadmap.
Key areas of responsibility:
Develop a compelling technical vision
- Develop a compelling and strategic technical vision and determine how engineering will contribute to achievement of the company vision and goals
- Help engineers understand why their contributions are valuable and how they tie to business impact
- Innovate and disrupt; push the boundaries of what is possible in the financial services industry
- Embody and evolve the Petal engineering culture as the team reaches scale (from 30 to 75+)
Build a world-class Engineering organization
- Plan and build the team’s capabilities
- Develop the 2-3 year vision for the team, and translate this into viable 6-12 month plans and roadmaps, working closely with Product and the larger Leadership Team
- Determine necessary headcount/skills/structure to achieve current and future goals
- Recruit at a world-class level—actively network, reach out to candidates, and conduct other activities to attract top talent
- Coordinate closely with people/recruiting team on hiring strategy
- Lead the development of interview process for ICs and managers alike Instill a hiring culture on the team, including adhering to the hiring process and maintaining a high bar
- Build an Engineering employee brand: speak on panels, encourage Open Source contributions and blog posts about non-proprietary aspects of our technology architecture and usage
Manage the Engineering organization
- Manage / coach Engineering Managers and other senior engineers
- Ensure everyone on the team has the resources and opportunities to learn and grow — formal/informal training, mentorship, stretch goals, attendance at conferences
- Create and apply engineering-specific development expectations; use these to provide regular feedback
- Reorganize and effectively manage change as needed to best fit with the business needs
- Collaborate with Chief People Officer on compensation and employee rewards
- Manage team dynamics and employee relations issues and be accountable for resolution
- Develop the staffing logic and execute it, factoring in engineering preferences and professional development
- Instilling norms, cultural values (i.e. psychological safety) and leading by example.
Drive engineering team execution / delivery
- Achieve results and hold teams accountable to deliver on their own goals
- Regularly evaluate team structure to ensure the organization can move quickly
- Devise methods to measure output and effectiveness week over week and present findings and bottlenecks
- Inspire and motivate the team to strive for excellence
- Develop and promote processes which ensure timely delivery of products
- Fill in the blanks and verify that the engineering team has right tools, technology, and processes to build quality, scalable and reliable systems
- Codify and disseminate best practices (i.e. testing, code reviews, pair programming)
- Innovate and experiment to optimize team output
Collaborate with other department heads
- Represent the Engineering team as a member of the Leadership Team
- Communicate plans, challenges, and updates to other functional heads
- Seek to understand challenges facing other departments or the company at large and provide input, advice and/or possible solutions
- Nurture Engineering’s strong relationship/alignment with the Product team
Characteristics of a successful candidate:
- 10+ years of experience, with a strong track record of success in great companies: been consistently promoted up the chain of responsibility, ideally at multiple companies so they have more than one perspective on technical leadership. Experience in financial services/technology or other highly regulated industry would be helpful.
- Produced at scale: built and delivered products that have scaled in the marketplace with a proven track record of shipping high quality products on tight timelines; designed and executed processes to make this happen
- Humility and empathy: made mistakes—even very public ones—and can speak openly and humbly about what happened and how the problem was solved
- Business-minded and collaborative: spent time working across an entire organization, and built relationships to understand the ins and outs of the whole business
- People management / coaching: recognized and helped recruit amazing people, learned how to effectively manage non-performers, views feedback as a gift, has courage, and developed their team members into successful leaders in their own right
- Inspirational followership: speaks externally on a regular basis to help build the brand of a company or product; has a ready roster of high performing engineers who would quit their jobs to work for them
- Naturally effective communicator: structured, clear, great listener, can boil complex concepts into straightforward ideas; also knows whom to involve, when, and how
- Strong technology fundamentals and the ability to make high impact decisions about the long term viability/scalability of technical solutions. Communication via system design diagrams and ability to toggle between breadth and depth
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