People before product: Enova's CTO weighs in on how to build a tech team

People before product: Enova's CTO weighs in on how to build a tech team 610 407 C-Suite Network

As CTO of a technology company with more than 1,200 employees, John Higginson has no shortage of meetings to attend. But the one kind of appointment he never turns down is the opportunity to meet with a candidate for his team. To him, having a two-way conversation with a prospective Enova employee is one of the most productive things he can do to make a difference for the organization.

We spoke with Higginson to learn more about what Enova is working on, and what it’s like to be a part of the team. The conversation covered the company’s mission, its culture and how it works to promote diversity on its tech team.

What does Enova do?

We develop technology that makes it easier to apply for, get and service credit. We mostly focus on the large segment of the population that doesn’t have access to traditional credit through banks, either because they have no credit history, or whether they have had credit issues in the past. It turns out that there’s a large need for credit in that space, and that a lot of those people are good credit risks. We’ve built our business around finding out who those people are.

Now we’re also licensing that technology out to other companies that need to make credit decisions, whether they’re lending out money or selling appliances, cell phones or insurance.

What goes into making those decisions reliably?

When we started the company, most lending was still done in person. To move that process online, we knew we needed to do two things really well: we needed to gather information in a way…