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Breaking into Fintech: Here’s how to get hired at GoCardless

Sehrish Alikhan

Sehrish Alikhan

Reporter, Finextra

In our first Breaking into Fintech of 2023, we spoke with Luke Fossett, general manager for Australia and New Zealand at GoCardless, to discuss how candidates can get hired in the fintech field.

GoCardless is a UK-based company that offers online payment processing solutions to numerous international businesses, facilitating payments to be made directly and easily between businesses and consumers.

What top tips can you offer candidates looking to join the industry?

Fossett emphasises the fast-pace of the industry and the numerous avenues for growth.

“There are lots of routes into the industry,” he explains, detailing that employees can thrive in fintech by focusing on career growth in different forms and prioritising customer success. “At GoCardless, we have seen people start as a Sales Development Representative (SDR), travel overseas to expand into new markets, then pivot into product management. The diversity of the opportunities, especially at start-up and scale-up stage is an exciting one, yet at times needs to be balanced with some patience.”

Second, he encourages people to join the payments industry now: “We are seeing lots of new developments and innovations rapidly unfolding, such as PayTo’s rollout and adoption Australia-wide. It is really satisfying to feel like we are all working to shape these significant, industry-wide advancements, harnessing the new technology to help businesses take the pain out of getting paid.”

What does GoCardless want from their ideal candidates?

Fossett explains that GoCardless is always looking for team members who crave to learn, who question the status quo and are ambitious without ego.

In terms of the day-to-day, GoCardless values candidates that have a genuine, collaborative spirit, are focused on the quality of what they produce, possess a team-focused mindset, and a willingness to learn and question the status quo.

Fossett states that the three main traits that they look for in new hires to ensure success are:

  1. The ability to prioritise: “There is so much opportunity in the sector right now but in order to seize it, we need focus. People and teams that know how to dedicate our resources to the most important activities will really help us ‘move the needle’.”
  2. Collaboration: “We work with greater efficiency and effectiveness together. Teamwork is at the heart of what we do; one thing our people always tell us is how generous everyone is with their time at GoCardless, despite long to-do lists.”
  3. Passion and drive: “We thrive thanks to people who are ambitious, curious, love what they do, and are ready to deliver the results of their career. GoCardless is a place for anyone who wants to add some big achievements to their CV.”

He adds that going further, an ideal candidate would have a problem-solving mentality, tenacity, empathy, flexibility to drive definitive solutions, and a positive attitude.

What roles is GoCardless currently hiring for?

Fossett states that there are several new openings that will soon be listed at GoCardless that will be based in Australia. The company also has offices in London, Paris, Riga, and other international locations which are hiring in their marketing, data, design, engineering, product development, sales, and risk departments.

“As always, my advice is if you really want something, don’t wait for the role to become available. If you have got a deep interest in and passion for technology - or maybe you are a rockstar who has GoCardless on their hit list of ‘great companies to work for’, connect with me on LinkedIn and drop me a line.”

Why work at GoCardless?

Fossett highlights that GoCardless places major importance on diversity and inclusivity in their company values.

“As an industry, the payments sector is experiencing a huge boom at present and GoCardless in particular is uniquely positioned to succeed during this key period. The rise of account-to-account (A2A) payments has been the central contributor to this boom – and our expertise is unparalleled in this regard as we built the world’s first global bank payment network.

“We are also making a positive impact on the economy, allowing money to move quickly and efficiently, and allowing businesses to focus on what they do best without having to worry about being paid. The feeling of making an impact in a small company where cash flow is the difference between success and failure, or navigating and solving pains for very large corporations is a rewarding experience.”

The company also encourages employees to maintain their wellbeing and focus on their mental health with ‘GC Fridays’ that take place on a quarterly basis, which gives the entire company the day off. GoCardless also has an annual company offsite event, GC Live.

Fossett reminisces: “GC Live happens in London each year and some of my fondest memories at GC have been travelling as a team and then spending time with colleagues from all over the world.”

What can GoCardless do for you?

Fossett indicates that there are a range of training programmes available for GeeCees (GoCardless employees): “We offer manager training across our entire business because we want to be known industry-wide as having best-in-class leaders – but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Beyond training programmes, we also allocate skill-specific sessions in our L&D budget, which amounts to AUD$900 per person per year.”

Benefits offered at the company include private medical insurance through BUPA, generous annual leave, income protection, superannuation offerings, paid volunteer days for staff to work for causes of their choice, and a Work Away scheme that allows workers to operate overseas for 90 days per year.

“For example, one of our account executives, Phoebe Howlett, went and worked in Bali for three months following Melbourne’s period of extended lockdowns. We trust our employees to be able to fulfil their roles, no matter where they are in the world. We are big proponents of well-structured remote working policies as they’re a simple, effective way to offer employees flexibility and freedom – and it certainly makes us a lucrative place to work for talented people seeking a positive, supportive culture.”

Fossett adds that GoCardless also has employee resource groups to integrate new hires and in terms of parental leave, offers paid 12 weeks leave and 6 weeks half pay for birth parents or primary adopters, and 6 weeks of full way for partners/secondary adopters.

Tell us the success stories of GeeCees that have risen through the ranks.

“One of my favourite success stories is about our colleague, Jess, who is a Senior Lead in the Global Payment Partnerships team at GoCardless. Jess started out at the company in 2014 as a Hiring Coordinator when the company only had 35 employees. In 2016, she moved roles to become the Head of People. After two years, Jess moved on to become a Sales and Operations People Partner in which she worked on similar areas to her previous role, and spent some time setting up our People/Talent processes in our newly opened Melbourne office.

“Upon returning to the UK, Jess was supported by our careers coach and applied for a Global Payment Partnership Lead role. In 2019, Jess moved into the GPP team as a Lead and was then promoted to Senior Lead in 2021 due to her constant hard work, dedication, and excellent work ethic. In Jess’ current role, she looks after the schemes and sponsor bank relationships we have in Australia and New Zealand and our relationship with Wise as our FX provider. She is also currently working on our much-anticipated PayTo launch.

“Although HR and Global Payment Partnerships are very different aspects of our business, Jess had many transferable skills that helped her to adapt to her new role, most notably relationship management.”

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