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How to Successfully Hire a Team in the Remote World

Alignment
Remote
Company Culture
Hiring

22 April, 2022

Jay Dave
Jay Dave

Sr Director Of Engineering at Synack

Jay Dave, Sr Director Of Engineering at Synack, explains how he overcame the hiring struggles while transitioning into a remote environment.

How the Remote Environment Increased Hiring Difficulties

The past year has drastically changed hiring procedures, moving everything into the remote environment. As workplaces slowly shift into a more ‘normalized’ spectrum, team members can choose what days they work in the office or remotely. Both sides have benefits, as in-person collaboration is superior and remote working allows for more flexibility.

Depending on the company, individuals may not have the proper tools required to work as effectively from home. There is another pitfall here because, without the correct resources, team members work remotely but in a fashion similar to the office. The questions circling here are:

  • How to identify these issues?
  • How to encourage team members to be proactive about their work environment?

Making Hiring More Successful

More Flexibility:

I’ve found that hiring has been incredibly difficult as companies have transitioned to be completely remote. It allows potential employees to be located anywhere and work almost anytime. Taking advantage of classic hiring practices such as a former recruiter, a hiring agency, or LinkedIn is still advised, although many of these titles only work within a specific field.

Opening the door to more talent also brings out bias within many companies. The location of candidates can present inequalities, meaning leaders need to focus on technical skills over everything else. The way I’ve searched for talent, assessed technical skills, and worked through onboardings has changed since the remote environment allowed more flexibility.

Recruiter or Agency:

Ultimately, my company decided to hire an agency over a recruiter. Even though external recruiters are usually successful, they have access to my company's same talent pool. We ended up picking a vendor that had a footprint all over North America, allowing our company to have a wide range of talent while working in a similar time frame.

We set a goal with our vendor, telling them that we would use them for ten more if they hired us, ten initial employees. The vendor was more incentivized to work with our company by setting this goal. The vendor did most of the initial leg work, conducting interviews and assessing their technical skills; from there, we stepped in to decide on company fit.

One of the things that my company had to do was set aside two to three hours per day for interviews. We needed to set up a well-written problem statement before each interview so both parties understood the goal of our interview.

The Onboarding Process

  • Once an individual was part of our team, we set up specific tasks for new team members to accomplish. We tried to get these individuals up to speed within a week or two to understand the full scope of their position. We used a basic onboarding template and set up a daily checklist combined with a buddy, so they had someone to rely on if they were to get stuck.
  • I applied a check-in system where I would meet with a new team member one week, one month, and one quarter after they joined the team. This was to ensure that the individual was growing and see if I could do anything to support them better.

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