Back to resources

How to Hire, Train, and Align a Technology Team

Hiring
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Cultural Differences
Career Path

25 October, 2021

Maulik Bengali
Maulik Bengali

CTO at Ajackus

Maulik Bengali, founder and CTO of Ajackus, shares how he scaled his technology team from 18 employees to 80 within 18 months.

Problem

A short time ago, I had to ramp up hiring to scale my technology team. I struggled to find candidates quickly that were qualified and fit the culture of our company. I learned that candidates appropriate for our company might not be ready to jump on board with the rest of the team. So, I had to create a training process that enabled new members to close the skill gap. With a team of less than 20, we hadn’t had any previous decision-making or onboarding framework. This created a conflict of aligning my team to our business and product goals. I needed to provide exemplary technical leadership and engineering metrics to measure the new team’s success.

Actions taken

In order of priority, I developed a hiring process before our company began interviews. It was essential to plan for the roles that needed to be filled, as I found it troubling that many different countries have different transition times from position to position. For example, the United States requires two weeks to transition out of a role, whereas India can take three months. Keeping this in mind, I focused less on the candidate’s interview but on the candidate deciding whether the company would be a good fit in the hiring process. Visibility was essential for the candidates to understand what our company stands for.

We rethought our marketing strategy to advertise our opportunities. I wanted the company to be effective for new members to join. This was a struggle since we are a tech agnostic company and would hire anyone that worked on any platform. We evaluated systems to complete this process and created an approach where the interview largely remained the same, except for pieces related to specific technologies. Our approach was primarily focused on candidates being the right fit. It was less important to have the core skills than the right values, and we would be transparent about this from the start. Our company could always train new core skills; however, teaching new attitudes would have been more difficult.

I believe that training is required for everything. Understanding the company, business structure, reporting structure, stakeholders, and communication, were all important topics that our training focused on. We created an initiative where new members would be assigned a buddy that worked closely with them. The buddy would work on the same projects with new members for two to four weeks. The buddy system improved our new members' skills and independence when they developed their own features. We also worked to establish feedback loops that provided actionable feedback in a short time. This benefited our training process and helped new employees be accountable for their work early on.

The last challenge I overcame was producing a transparent career ladder and compensation bands. I wanted my new team to have clarity on long-term growth and career trajectories. This was directly related to the compensation structure, as I wanted all of my employees to be paid fairly. It took two quarters to create a system that was as transparent as possible that new members would understand and respect.

Lessons learned

  • It is essential to train your talent acquisition team to be your company’s brand ambassadors. When your candidates can feel the company's culture through its members, they can communicate more effectively and be candid about their values.
  • The training process revolves around experimentation. Therefore, it is vital to test your methods with trial and error, and when you succeed, reinvest that talent within the organization.
  • Have patience when designing a career ladder or compensation scale for your company. It is vital to understand each role and its expectations to create a just and fair structure. I recommend taking time to enable your senior engineer leaders to motivate the team towards growth.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

10x engineer or 10x impact?

26 May

Hiring 10x engineers is hard for most companies. It’s a tough battle out there for talent. So how should most companies approach building their team?

Building A Team
Leadership
Hiring
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Vaidik Kapoor

Vaidik Kapoor

VP Engineering - DevOps & Security at Grofers

How to Streamline Your Recruitment Process for Quick and Effective Hiring

26 May

Philip Gollucci, Director of Cloud Engineering at CareRev, describes a new method for hiring in a market climate that favors candidates instead of recruiters.

Scaling Team
Building A Team
Hiring
Philip Gollucci

Philip Gollucci

CEO/Founder at P6M7G8 Inc.

How to Maximize Employee Retention in Engineering Teams

25 May

Vimal Patel, Founder and CTO at iMORPHr, shares how he retained all of his employees since beginning his software development company in 2019.

Building A Team
Company Culture
Hiring
Retention
Psychological Safety
Vimal Patel

Vimal Patel

Director of Engineering at iMORPHr

Hiring a Data Team With a Stubborn Manager

24 May

Liz Henderson, an Executive consultant at Capgemini, shares her experience hiring a data team with a manager who was difficult to work with.

Managing Up
Building A Team
Conflict Solving
Hiring
Data Team
Liz Henderson

Liz Henderson

Executive consultant at Capgemini

Managing Culturally Diverse Remote Teams

11 May

Tom Hill, Engineering Manager at Globality, Inc., shares how he works with a culturally diverse team based within a thirteen-hour time gap.

Scaling Team
Handling Promotion
Remote
Onboarding
Hiring
Cultural Differences
Tom Hill

Tom Hill

Engineering Manager at Torii

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.