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Daniel Brennan, Chief Legal Officer at Dataiku

Daniel Brennan, Chief Legal Officer at Dataiku

September 20, 2023

How does your thought process around hiring change in a down market? Growing the Legal team thoughtfully and responsibly is a big part of my job in any market. Decisions about when and whether to hire always comes down to the needs of the business at the time. During a down market, Legal teams generally have more hiring and spending constraints, so it’s important to think critically about whether the business need can best be met in both the near and long term with outside counsel support or with a new hire. If the need is one that I expect to be significant and sustained, then I typically make the case that the business is better served with a new hire on the Legal team. That said, we have built strong outside counsel relationships that are always at the ready to support us as issues arise.

How do you best prioritize the needs of your legal team and business constituents with constrained resources? The Legal team is here to serve its internal clients and protect the company. We continually seek to prioritize work demands based on both business impact and risk. Obviously higher business impact and higher risk get higher priority. We also look for opportunities to provide self-support guidance to our clients for certain lower risk requests to better enable us to focus on higher value work with the limited resources we have. And clear communication and expectation setting with our clients is always important to ensure alignment.

Can you provide job seekers a few tips on how to best position themselves in a candidate-heavy, job-limited market? One great way to stand out is to find a way to convey how you see yourself connecting to the company, its products/services, purpose and culture. I actually read cover letters when they come across.

Providing representative examples of the kinds of issues and problems you’ve addressed and helped to solve is very helpful to a hiring manager. The more non-confidential objective data you can include the better, as it assists hiring managers with understanding the scope of your experiences and organizational impact in prior roles.

If you are applying for a manager role, it is important to share context on your people manager experience and approach.

Has this ever affected you personally in your career? Do you have any inspiring stories to share about how you (or someone close to you) has navigated finding a job in a down market? Engaging in a job search can be stressful no matter what the circumstances, but doing so during a down market is especially challenging. My best advice is to try to step back, think about what kinds of new opportunities would help you meaningfully grow and develop your career, and hone your job search approach to focus on those kinds of opportunities. You will never regret taking the time to land the right next role.

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