8. May 2024

Growing Into Leadership: How Engineering Manager Flavio Found His Perfect Fit

Flavio and fellow engineers

Flavio has been an Engineering Manager at Personio since 2022. Based in Frankfurt, he has grown his team from two engineers to eight, all of whom work together on a mix of projects, mostly on the backend: Some services are directly customer-facing and others are used internally for other Personios to better leverage certain features.

Flavio’s role as an Engineering Manager is quite multi-faceted:

  • Technical component: Supervising the software architecture decisions inside the team, ensuring services are healthy, discussing opportunities for improvement, managing “Technical Debt”, and when time allows, even some coding.

  • People management: Ensuring the engineers are growing and have everything they need to thrive and be effective at their job, as well as analyzing processes inside the team and adapting if necessary.

  • Cross-team collaboration: Personio uses a concept called the “Triad”, where Engineering Managers like Flavio get to work side by side with a Product Manager and a Designer, ensuring each of their respective areas receives enough attention. This Triad communicates and shares feedback consistently to shape the direction of the product (and the team).

Team of Engineers in Zoom call
Flavio and his team during their weekly catch up meeting.

Finding the right fit at Personio

Flavio’s path to end up at Personio is an interesting one, as he first heard about the company six years ago from the perspective of an excited customer.

His girlfriend (now his wife) was an HR manager at the time who had pushed her company to start using HR software to simplify their processes. After analyzing all the options, she had selected Personio and started telling Flavio “all about this cool new software they were working with.”

As a software engineer, Flavio was intrigued by the Personio platform and asked her many questions to get to know it a bit more. “After some time had passed, she got a chance to go to Personio’s Munich office for a focus group. She had a great experience with the team and showed me all these amazing pictures of this nice-looking office – I must confess, I got a bit jealous!”

A while later, Flavio had made the decision to look for a new job and his wife suggested checking to see what Personio had to offer. “I found a position that spoke to me, then I saw the culture and values and immediately identified with it,” he said. “I knew right then and there that I wanted in.” 

Personios playing table tennis in Munich

Growing into a leadership position

Flavio originally applied for both Engineering Manager (EM) and Individual Contributor (IC) positions with Personio – but after speaking with him and hearing about his experience, his interviewers told him he could bring the most value to the team as an Engineering Manager. During his time in this role, Flavio has had the chance to grow into his position and continue improving his capabilities as a leader.

Engineering team event in Berlin
Flavio (left) coming together with his team for a team event in Berlin.

Looking back at how he got here, Flavio offered some great advice to other engineers – and leaders in general – who are trying to grow into their own roles:

1) Push yourself

“I tend to sweat a lot about pushing myself. Looking back, that was probably a good trait that kept me from getting too comfortable. My advice: Keep reading and learning, work to build bridges between the concepts you discover, and keep aiming to be a reference for others. Operate outside of your comfort zone, but beware of being too much outside of it since that can lead to a burnout. Know your limits and work on expanding them as well, it’s a marathon not a sprint after all.”

2) Take a wider view

“For engineers: Don’t worry too much about engineering languages and specific technologies. You should still take a shot at experiencing different paradigms and understanding their differences, but above all else, learn concepts and learn them well. These are technology-independent and will serve you in the long term.”

3) Prioritize transparency and fairness

“For leaders: Be transparent and fair. Allow people to be themselves, hear them out, and reciprocate by being yourself. This will get you 90% of the way with your reports and peers. The rest can be done by collectively working towards a better team.”

At Personio, leaders like Flavio have the support they need to continue growing, so they can help their own teams to reach their full potential. “I’ve discovered how important it is as a leader to never stop learning,” Flavio says. “Build on the shoulders of those that came before you, but don’t be afraid of doing it your way.”

Interested in joining a team like Flavio’s? Personio is hiring across many areas, including Product & Technology. Head over to our careers page to see open roles and apply!

Interested in joining Personio? Explore our open roles and find the right job for you!

Careers at Personio