Coinbase Voices is a collection of employee stories that highlight the expertise of our Coinbase team and share their journeys into crypto. In this post, Senior Recruiting Manager Carolina Verdelho discusses her experience as an international recruiter and how she uses it to help shape the future of Coinbase.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a Senior Recruiting Manager. What are the requirements of your job?
I’ve been in the recruitment industry for over 15 years and have always worked with technology companies. My career began in Brazil, working in traditional technology like Dell and Oracle, hiring people from all over Latin America in technical, sales and business positions.
My first language is Portuguese, but because I got to know other countries from the start, I also learned to speak Spanish and English. I wasn’t expecting to get hired at first – in fact, this was my last choice for jobs. Now, don’t even think about taking me away from him! This is what I love.
What prompted you to work at Coinbase?
I worked for about nine years at Facebook when I decided I needed something new. One day, I was talking to a friend and she shared that I wanted to do something different, but I didn’t know what that was. He noted that when I joined Dell, the company was going into retail, and when I joined Oracle, it was launching software as a service. When I joined Facebook, no one knew what social media would be. I joined at a pivotal time in these companies’ travels. He said, “I think you should do it again.” He works for a blockchain company and suggested that I try the crypto environment. I wasn’t sure, but I started doing some homework and changed my status to to open on linkedin. To my surprise, someone from Coinbase contacted me, along with five other crypto companies. I thought, maybe my friend is right – maybe it’s for me. From there, I started talking to the folks at Coinbase and learning more about what the company had to offer.
Candidates often ask me during interviews: Why did you decide to leave Facebook and join Coinbase? I find myself giving the same answer I gave when I joined Facebook nine years ago. At the time, it was a company with 4,000 global employees. I remember the Vice President of Engineering asked me why I wanted to join, and what I thought the company would be like in five years. I told her, “I don’t know what this company is going to be in the next five years – which is exactly why I wanted to join. I want to help build it.” It’s the same for Coinbase – I don’t know where we’ll be in five years, but I want to help us get there.
What project are you working on in the next 60 days?
My role has changed quite a bit since I joined Coinbase in May of this year. I wear three different hats: I run an eye recruiting team of engineering directors in the United States; I am helping stand up recruitment efforts in Latin America, including Brazil and others; And I do the same for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in the UK, Ireland, Israel and others.
Internationally, we started everything from the beginning – hiring recruits, finding agencies that would help us, creating a system for how to recruit in each country. We’re in hyper-growth mode, and it’s an exciting time to be here – especially on the recruitment team.
What does working for a remote company look like first? What advice would you give to someone considering this?
I was on Facebook when the pandemic spread and everyone was away, and later I had the opportunity to work from home full time. When I was looking to join another company, it was one of the mandatory requirements for me.
Telecommuting allows me to balance running the household – husband, kids, and dog – while also working and being as available as possible. It doesn’t make sense for me to commute 30-40 minutes in the car when I can do something productive, like support my team or find a solution to a problem. Working remotely is the best use of my time.
I also love that we have a lot of tools that help us interact with each other. We use Slack and Google Meet to communicate, so I never miss meeting people. I think I know people better now in this virtual environment than I did face to face. I get to know more about them and really talk to them instead of just seeing each other in passing.
The only advice I would give people is to set boundaries. I make sure I have a dedicated workspace where I can focus 100% on what I’m doing. When I’m there, my brain realizes I’m working. Then, when I’m done and it’s time to be with my family, I can close the door and unplug from work.
Finally, just because I’m on the computer doesn’t mean I’m available anytime. If you don’t set boundaries up front, things are going to be tough. Take the time to be with your family, take care of yourself, exercise, read a book, go for a walk – and breathe the fresh air. It’s important to make time in your day to recharge, and then start working when it’s time to work.
What does it look like on a remote plane?
I had a really hard time in the first two days at Coinbase – it was hard for me to understand what was going on. I said to my husband, “What did you do?” He reminded me that I had been in a company for nine years and that things would be different now. In the following days, people were very open to supporting me, explaining things, and helping me understand why we did things the way we do here.
I think remote enrollment is somewhat of a challenge because you are opening a different computer in the same place you were working the day before for a different company. After a few days, I started getting acquainted – I think giving time to acclimate to the culture and providing access to resources makes a big difference. I had a great friend who helped me on the plane and was always available and checking up on me. It was a complete game changer.
What do you value most about Coinbase culture? What do you think distinguishes it from others?
I took a leadership course a few years ago, where the teacher said that we should hire people not just by their skills or experience, but according to their values, and that a person’s values should match those of the company. Before interviewing with Coinbase, I read the values and asked myself if I could work and act according to them. The answer is a huge yes.
There is a cultural value here that is very important to me: Act like the owner. It may be because I drive a lot of things to international expansion, but I firmly believe that I shouldn’t expect or wait for others to take an interest in something for me. I must own it and ensure its successful completion.
I think what sets Coinbase apart from me is the winning combination of a solid business foundation, a very strong leadership team, and the spark of hyper-growth. You don’t find this often. Being able to join this company and put your stamp on this growth and say, “Hey, I was the one who did this, who moved this needle or helped launch this initiative,” is a rare and exciting opportunity. Coinbase also gives people the responsibility and accountability to move the company forward – everyone feels part of something bigger than themselves, and that’s something I love.
Tell us something about you that we won’t know from your LinkedIn profile.
Something a lot of people don’t know is that my first job was working for a video rental store, Blockbuster. I was watching a documentary about the company a few weeks ago and rethinking everything I learned in that experience: how to listen to people, how to connect with people I don’t know, how to offer my help and manage expectations. I learned a lot from that experience, and I’m very grateful.
I can also say that I learned a lot from my hiring experience there. I got away thinking, How can I do better for people? How can I respect their time and feelings? Being a part of this process may have helped shape the recruitment professional I am today.
Coinbase Voices: Why I decided to work in crypto was originally posted on the Coinbase blog on Medium, where people continue the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.