Dan has always been an eager, self-starting person who doesn’t wait for reality to come to him, but is intent on creating the reality he wants. Originally from Brazil, Dan began his career at just 16 years old. After finishing an online speaking and writing course, he went to his local supermarket looking for administrative work. The owner led him through a corridor, knocking on a series of different department doors asking if they needed help, and that’s when the door to Dan’s Human Resources career opened. Literally. Three months later, he was screening CVs and prepping for interviews, and saved enough to pursue a college degree, making him the first in his family to do so. 

Read below to learn more about Dan’s focused journey of discovery in the field of recruitment.


WeAreKeen: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Dan: I asked for advice about what to study in college, and was told that Psychology might be a good route, as it would help me with a career in HR and Recruitment, so I pursued that. My first experience working for a large company was with Walmart, where I learned the A to Zs of recruiting operations. Then I moved on to a smaller start-up, and afterwards, for my biggest challenge, I opened a recruitment agency to work for clients in Brazil and Argentina. Three years later, already with a team of nine recruiters, I sold it. I then joined a tech company in Brazil with a branch in the USA. After a year and a half, I finished my second Master’s Degree (one in HR, one in Business), and decided to move abroad. That’s how I found myself in Amsterdam. 

In my personal life, I really enjoy discovering things. One of the reasons my partner and I chose Amsterdam is because it’s a hub for exploring Europe, and that’s important to us.


Why did you decide to join WeAreKeen? 

I had experience working with companies of varying sizes and was working at a company that I thought had a fantastic work culture. But when I met with Keen and got to know the company through their hiring process, I realized they were thinking differently when it comes to people. I could feel that they cared, right away. So I knew I’d be welcome. 

The other part was business-related. Working for WeAreKeen would give me good exposure in the international market, as I could work with multiple companies throughout my time here, rather than just one, which would be limiting.


Tell us about your growth so far at WeAreKeen.

When I was interviewing with Annemarie, I was upfront about wanting to be in the field to gain experience and exposure, so that when I would eventually transition into a managerial role I would be able to empathize with my colleagues and understand the markets. I joined as a Senior Recruiter, then a few months later I was promoted to Talent Lead, and now I am leading an amazing team of two here at Keen. I also have two clients of my own - Backbase and Adyen.


Tell us about the company you're working at and your role there.

At Adyen, I was hired as a Senior Technical Business Partner. That means we aren’t just there to be hands-on with the recruitment process, but we contribute on a strategic level through hiring data and implementing projects. Adyen is a Dutch fintech payment gateway platform that services large companies - Uber, Spotify, Netflix, eBay, etc. We have grown the recruitment team from 6 to 31 in just a few months, and we are in a moment where we need to create scalable processes, and scalable successes - and I want to make sure I am helping create something that doesn’t just succeed once but can be replicated over time.


What does being an Embedded Recruiter mean to you?

It’s the next step for me in my career. The exposure as an Embedded Recruiter is the same as if you were a freelancer, but you build better personal connections in-house.


Do you see a difference between an embedded recruiter and an in-house recruiter?

Depends on the client. Conceptually, yes. An embedded recruiter can experience and discover things at a faster pace because in a short period of time you can join many different companies and learn from the different cultures. The speed of learning is higher. As an in-house recruiter you’re looking for something other than new challenges.


What do you enjoy most about being an embedded recruiter?

Exposure, networking, and different challenges.


What’s the best advice you would give your fellow embedded recruiters to succeed on a project?

Considering the market here, I would say be ambitious. Jump into a new challenge, discover something. Do not be afraid of wanting more for your career. Go for it. I’ve met a lot of people with incredible hard and soft skills in this industry who were easily left behind because they were outworked by people more ambitious. Don’t let the market tell you when to go for it - do it for yourself!


Tell us about your day-to-day work experience.

Usually Mondays I have all my team meetings. We discuss projects, expectations, unblock any challenges the team is facing. Tuesday through Thursday are generally spent interviewing, sourcing. Friday I am managing Keenies and working on side projects.