August 27, 2019
September 8, 2020
How to Build Out a Product Team From Scratch
July 9, 2019
September 8, 2020
Helping Ada Health change the healthcare industry
Many people were forced to switch to fully remote work due to the ongoing health crisis caused by the outbreak of COVID—19. For us at ACELR8, it meant not only helping our clients with adjusting to the challenges of remote hiring but also keeping our amazing community of Talking Talent running. Yesterday, we hosted our very first webinar with the founders of Hotjar, Next Matter, and RemoteMore focused on building remote engineering teams.
Our first speaker, Marc von Brockdorff, is a Co-Founder & Director of Engineering at a company called Hotjar that created a set of tools for optimising websites' usability. He and his company have been fully remote for over 7 years.
‘Hire engineers with a high level of self-discipline, great communications skills and a bias for action. In remote environments, it is easy to procrastinate [...], so you need engineers who want to get work done.’
Here are some takeaways from Marc's presentation:
Next Matter is an early-stage, remote software company that develops a digital operating system for businesses. Jan, combining his passion for business and technology, is building a fully-remote team at his company.
‘You need to focus on the individuals and set the bar high for that individual. That is the only way you can build a system with individuals that work well, the rest will fall into place automatically.’
Here's a summary of Jan's talk:
Our last speaker was Boris Krastev, Co-Founder of RemoteMore, a company that empowers businesses and people in tech to work remotely together. He manages and builds teams spread out over the globe, with the belief that great talent can come from everywhere.
‘Set up your process right, start small, keep iterating and reach world dominance, with people in many organisation all around the globe; you can do great things.’
Here's what Boris had to say:
For some practical tips:
Challenges of working remotely highlighted by Boris:
We finished the webinar with a Q&A session where all of the attendees were able to ask the speakers their questions via the chat.
Marc: Finish onboarding as fast as it's possible. At Hotjar, they want their new engineers to deploy their first line of code during the first day.
Jan: Make sure that everyone comes into the office for the first week so that you can get to know each other. At Next Matter, everyone who joins the company has to create their own onboarding plan, with a clear plan of what they will have done by their first week, the first month, and three months into working in the company.
It’s your responsibility that you’re operational after the first week.
Boris: At RemoteMore, they ask everyone to draw a graph of their life experiences. The ups and downs show what the person has been through.
Jan: It gives you much more time to build things. It's also valuable for the clients, who can get help no matter what time of the day it is.
Boris: Working remotely brings freedom. It allows you to find talent outside of your location and cultural circle.
Marc: The biggest benefit is in hiring — it opens you to a much bigger talent pool. It also makes the company more optimisation-driven.
Jan: You need to make a choice between onsite or remote, you cannot have a combination of two different setups. So even if you have a team onsite, you should go for fully remote setup, so communications are clear and concise for the whole team.
Marc and Boris: Mimic the remote processes for the onsite team.
Boris: Move your communication to a tool such as Slack and digitise all of your processes.
Marc: Start slow. It will take some time to get things right. Also, have weekly syncs on the progress of switching to remote.
Jan: Be mindful that you’re switching to remote and everyone is aware of that. It’s more than just changing processes — it’s changing the work environment for everyone in your company.
Boris: Keep everyone socialised. Find online activities that will help your team stick together. Also, clearly define the outcomes of one's work.
Jan: Make sure that everybody and all of the leaders have the toolkit to go remote. Get the toolkit right and then cascade it to the rest of the company.
Marc: It’s good to acknowledge that individuals perform differently. Try something like the user manuals to outline how to work with an employee.