Prisma: Finding Quality, Sustainable Hires

Prisma helps app developers build faster and make fewer errors. As an industry leader in their field, they needed high-quality hires from the most sought-after sources.


For the past year, ACELR8 has been working with Prisma, helping them hire a quality team of expert engineers and developers. In that time, our Talent Partners have worked with Martin Janse van Rensburg, Head of People at Prisma, collaborating on every hire to ensure their team is made of the strongest experts in the industry.

Over the course of a year, ACELR8 hired two people per month for Prisma. Everyone stayed, meaning that the ACELR8 team hired with the right culture fit in mind. 

What is Prisma? 

Prisma helps developers build apps faster and make fewer errors with an open-source database toolkit for PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQL Server, and SQLite. 

Prisma Before ACELR8 

“When I started working at Prisma, it (Prisma) was a shambles. I brought in a lot of stability and structure. Over time my role expanded, and we needed to keep hiring more people and better people. Prisma has no shortage of applications in the engineering field, but we want the best engineers.”

Martin knew he had his choice of high-quality talent, but the rate of expansion of the company made it hard for him to keep up. He and Michael Varley, our CEO, quite often meet, and so he posed the question to Michael: could ACELR8 help with his hiring strategy? 

“They were. And, luckily, André was available. Since then, André has hired many of the people considered our best engineers - from Facebook, Contentful, Google, IBM, and more.” 

Our Senior Talent Partner, Mark Muller, has also joined Prisma, helping them to hire their core staff. Estelle Bousses, their Engagement Manager, has been at hand throughout to help with every hire.

Why ACELR8? 

We were moving too fast and needed a solution immediately. I knew I could work really well with Estelle, and we had a great relationship. She is really compassionate and works through problems well, so I knew we would be able to solve our hiring problems in a matter of weeks instead of months.”

ACELR8 gave Martin and his team the freedom and resources to hire the right people at the rapid pace they needed.

“Mark has contributed suggestions in terms of process and practices that have been well-defined and thought through that look, at the very least, promising and the stakeholders are excited about them.”
The Value of Acelr8

Quality Hires

ACELR8 has worked with Prisma for over a year. In that time, on average, they have hired 1-3 people per month. On paper, this may not seem like a high number. But, as Martin explains, it’s the quality of these hires that makes them so important.  

“ACELR8 sources candidates that are difficult to find, difficult to vet, and difficult to hire. That is the skill ACELR8 brings.”

Martin explained that ACELR8 has hired the large majority of employees at Prisma. More importantly, everyone ACELR8 hired stayed. The retention rate for hires made is 100%, showing that quality and culture fit was the priority in their recruitment process. 

“I believe that the personality of the people hiring is going to be reflected in the hires. With top-class recruiters, you get high-quality hires.” 

Due to Prisma’s goals and work, their open positions are highly specific and require an extremely experienced professional in almost all cases. For Martin, this makes recruitment the number one priority of the business. 

“It is fundamentally important to me that our hiring is of a world-class standard and that our pipeline is filled with top-class talent. That is the number one priority of our company, and I’d sacrifice everything to ensure that’s achieved. It’s like a car: it could have a fancy stereo but if it doesn’t go, then it’s useless.”

This is the service that ACELR8 provides. By ensuring that Prisma’s pipeline is filled with the top-class talent that Martin needs, it allows the company to focus on other tasks and responsibilities, safe in the knowledge that their new hires will come in well-vetted and ideally suited to their position. 

The Results

Above and Beyond 

“We hired a VP of Engineering, and the VP decided that we needed to improve the gender diversity of our team. I was concerned that, because of the size of the talent pool available, it would restrict our hires. But, our Talent Partner, Mark, has managed to do this. He has found the best engineers from a smaller talent pool. The VP took a big risk in making this mandate, and Mark managed to make it work. He took the path of most resistance and made it work.”

The Talent Partners at ACELR8 use their experience and versatility to adapt to the task at hand - no matter the size of the company or type of hire needed. 

As a final note, Martin mentioned the idea of trust in recruitment:

“The trust is fundamentally important. If things were not going well, I would trust Estelle to learn how to restore things to working order again. If we had a Talent Partner that wasn’t working out, they would come up with a solution. If I do need someone, I know that they’re there.”

Martin knows that ACELR8 is invested in the hiring process, that they are taking the time to find a recruitment system that works. 

A conventional agency or contingency model does not always allow for this, and can lead to reduced quality in hires. With Mark, André, and Estelle all being embedded in the company, it allows Martin to focus on longer-term recruitment plans, safe in the knowledge that high-quality hires will continue to come into the company. 

If you’re looking for some guidance on how to improve the quality and equality of your hiring process, reach out to us

Like what we do? Then work for us. ACELR8 is always on the search for new talent to help us create a more progressive approach to recruitment.

Next-generation Node.js and TypeScript ORM
Prisma helps app developers build faster and make fewer errors with an open source database toolkit.