Meet our new MD - Dan

It's a really exciting time for IRIS as we welcome a new leader at the helm. Today, we're thrilled to introduce you to Dan Hoff-Rodrigues, our newly appointed Managing Director of IRIS. 

With a wealth of experience in recruiting for product teams and a new perspective, Dan brings a fresh energy to IRIS, and we can't wait for you to get to know him better!

From insights on industry trends, to his personal inspirations, today, we’re stepping into his world.

Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming our MD at IRIS. What inspired you to take the reins? 

I think the most important thing about taking the role was the challenge. IRIS wanted a new direction, and the management team wanted to look at how we could infiltrate quite a competitive market.

But alongside that really was the values. I think my previous business shared identical values and community was a big factor of that, and I love the way IRIS defines community as an organisation. 

Taking a new job is always an exciting venture. What excites you the most about working at IRIS?

When I first spoke to the team at IRIS, I was most excited about the collaboration and the people piece.

It's obvious that as an organisation, and as a group, IRIS treats people really well internally, but the way IRIS takes customers on a true experience, I think, is a real factor in my excitement too. 

Moving forward, I think innovation, always looking at the next thing, how we’re going to innovate and implement, and what new things we want to do is what makes me most excited. 

What are your goals for IRIS? 

My short term goals are to build the IRIS brand and to be known. I think it's about how you're going to be known quickly as a brand.

I want our audience to know that IRIS are keen to work for customers and understand truly what their goals and their outcomes are, in order to meet and build the right talent strategy to meet those outcomes.

In terms of long term goals, I want IRIS to be the go-to product talent specialist. So, if you need to build and scale your product team, instantly you think IRIS. 

You’ve worked in talent acquisition for many years. What did you see in IRIS that sets us apart from others? 

Community and knowledge.

It's very rare that you're in a product development company whilst also recruiting for product people. Not only have IRIS got direct access to a product community built over 17 years through our sister companies Canvas and 383 Project, but we’ve also got the expertise, and know how a product company is run.

For IRIS, it's not just about finding the right people, it's about knowing what goes into building a product team and the experiences of those people to get the best fit for candidates and companies.

You talk about the importance of a great experience for clients and candidates. How do you build those strong and lasting relationships? 

Through being genuine and through being transparent. Those two core things are what I think builds strong relationships and trust. 

In order to build trust, you need to be able to be real. Being transparent and asking the right questions is one thing, but also being genuine - I think that's how candidates and clients will build those relationships.

I treat a talent journey and the recruitment process a bit like a marriage and a matchmaking service. If you don't truly understand both the client and the candidate, that match is not going to be right. 

What trends and innovations do you think will shape the future of product talent acquisition?

I think the innovation that will shape the digital product market in the future is definitely going to be around AI and immersive technology. 

That’s especially true if you think about things like product roadmaps, and the ability to map out customers' problems through whatever medium there might be. 

It'll be really interesting to see how that can be done immersively, through not just AI and machine learning, but also through things like AR [Augmented Reality], and how you could take that customer on an amazing journey through the eyes of an Oculus or a VR headset. 

In your experience, what are you finding are the top challenges facing the product talent acquisition industry?

I think the top challenge facing product talent acquisition at the moment, for me, is a lack of knowledge in two key areas.

The first area would be education and entry routes into product. People that are looking to get into product often don't have the right career advice on what that entry might look like. 

Secondly, clarity on what product teams mean to businesses. Most businesses have different viewpoints on what ‘product’ actually means. You could work in a scaleup or a startup where the definition of product is different to that of a larger corporate business, for example. The challenge is just finding consistency amongst businesses.

For those looking to be inspired in product or talent acquisition, are there any industry leaders, books, or podcasts that you can recommend?

Podcasts or books that I would personally recommend - and they're endless! - for me, they’re always about productivity. I listen to a lot of productivity podcasts and how to get that time to focus to ensure that a task is done efficiently, as opposed to quickly.

In terms of apps, I am always keen on what productivity apps I can use that help ensure my time is more organised. Basically, when I’m doing a particular task, I’m very laser focused on getting it done. 

What are your hobbies, interests, and how do you spend your time away from work?

I seem to watch really trashy TV! So at the moment I'm trying to juggle Love is Blind and Married at First Sight together with Only Murders in the Building.

But, I do also listen to a lot of podcasts, such as the High Performance podcast, and also listen to a lot of terrible, terrible sports podcasts to do with my favourite football team, Arsenal.

Wow - a really eclectic mix of TV and podcasts! In a busy role like yours, how do you manage your work/life balance?

I don't use the word balance, but I think it's all about checking out. I don't think anyone really has a work/life balance if they need to get things done, but I think it's being able to be present. 

I've got three young kids, so I make a rule of having my phone well away from me, stopping me being able to check emails or respond to texts and being able to be fully present in the moment, whatever that is. It's usually involves building dens, making Lego, or making slime, which is a personal pet hate of mine

After our Q&A session with Dan, it's pretty clear that IRIS is gearing up for an exciting journey ahead!

We know that Dan’s passion, expertise, and forward-thinking will inject some serious mojo into our processes, and we're absolutely chuffed to have him steering IRIS in the right direction. 

Get in touch with Dan

Do you have questions about your career path, job opportunities, or hiring strategies? Are you curious about how IRIS can help you achieve your talent acquisition goals?

Whether you're a talented pro on the hunt for your next product role or a company looking to snag top-tier talent, we're all ears.

To get in touch, drop us an email or fill in our contact form.

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Hannah Lockey-May

11th October

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