If the Personality Fits: How a Company can Boost New Hires’ Potential

Cultural differences
Different Skillsets
Hiring
Juniors
Team processes

12 November, 2018

Pedro approached the challenge of hiring very quickly with a high-standard, yet flexible approach that could meet new hires where they were at.

Problem

I had a position to hire a couple of software engineers to grow outside our country. At the time our company was moving from Brazil to a global landscape. Hiring in Brazil proved to be a good opportunity, such as being a vast country with 220 million people, low employment rates due to political issues and weak local currency against the American dollar. It also proved some challenges, such as lack of good education, which limited available source of engineers and English speaking professionals.

Actions taken

Our company culture has been built throughout many years. It is important to share how we allowed remote work to be a possibility within our company. At the time, some years before, we had no money and we were at an expensive city; we thought that great engineers would be all over the country, so we made an effort to make it work. We demanded responsibility (excuses are not welcome) but also we gave freedom to those performing well. During this timeframe, the first challenge was not technical, but cultural. We needed to find people who were flexible and were aligned with the product demands. We had pressure to hire and we did so, but the first hires were not fit with our culture. They were very good technically, but wouldn't document on issues or even work on the task management have deemed as priorities for the week / month / quarter. Some of these hires moved on. Other challenges included how to deal with deep introverts. My cofounder and I had this personality before; but working with customers and introducing the reasons why they wanted to do something allowed us, over the years, to become more friendly. We still introduce developers on weekly calls with customers so they can understand the requirements of where we are going to. We also boosted a new program, called InEvent Speak, for those that did not speak English to attend classes partially paid by the company. Our desire was to improve communications so they could prepare documentation for global customers

Lessons learned

Be flexible as a company when devising your strategy. Understand your current strengths and also weaknesses. Work with people on your goals and bring them together when making decisions. Even if your decision is not popular, explain why you are doing it and what is the vision for the company; it will strengthen your relationship with the ones who share the same vision and also shorten the cycle for those which are looking for other paths.


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