Hire Smarter: Dubai Blockchain Center CEO Dr. Marwan Alzarouni On Building A Team For Your Startup

Hire Smarter: Dubai Blockchain Center CEO Dr. Marwan Alzarouni On Building A Team For Your Startup
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Hire Smarter: Dubai Blockchain Center CEO Dr. Marwan Alzarouni On Building A Team For Your Startup

If you’re going to an interview with Dr. Marwan Alzarouni, expect to be shown a picture of a brick and have your inner state of mind questioned.

The CEO of Dubai Blockchain Center isn’t interested in you talking about how creative or enthusiastic you are, he’s going to test it to see if you can walk the talk.

“We use that as a question in our hiring process,” Dr. Alzarouni said. He was speaking at session 7 of the Dubai Startup Hub’s Networking Series at Area 2071 in Dubai on Wednesday. Dr. Alzarouni  is also founder of OTC Supply. He was joined by Mohamed Alsharid, Senior Project Manager at Smart Dubai, and Mohamed Amine, co-founder and CEO of VUL9 Security Solutions.

“We show them a concrete block and we ask people ‘what is that and what can you do with it?’. Most people say it’s a brick. Most people say we can build a house, a damn or a building. If you ask an engineer he will tell you what kind of building. If you ask ministers, they ask you how big is the brick?”

Some have even asked him how much the brick weighs or whether it’s hollow from the inside. But he’s not looking for a question in response to his question.

“What we were actually looking for is for people who don’t think of the brick in a building kind of a scenario,” he hinted. “For hacking, for blockchain, first we want a creative person. The second thing we look for is what will you use the brick for?”

 

Most importantly however, the CEO’s top criteria is “peace”.

“What we look for in hiring is peace,” he said. “It’s a very seldom looked for feature… people don’t look for peaceful employees. (But) In the office there can be a lot of time and energy wasted on people clashing with each other, especially if we’re a new team.”

Dr. Alzarouni shared an incident where a new employee was hired against his advice – and on his first day at work, the employee told another that he didn’t like two of the team’s members.

The employee went on to spread rumours and wreak havoc across the company’s culture.

“He disrupted the whole organisation… one guy!” Dr. Alzarouni recalled.

“So peace is very, very important. You need to find people who are peaceful and and can work together, (and) even if they’re frustrated they can find inner peace. That’s very important for the sustainability of a business.”

By Megha Merani

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