The pandemic has driven changes in virtually every area of your business—including hiring and onboarding processes. The in-person interview may become a thing of the past as developers discovered new ways to find the talent they need, but making a new hire feel like they’re a part of your team and your community may be more of a challenge.
Suvajit Gupta, EVP of Engineering at Appian, explains how developers can build new processes that result in highly skilled, diverse and strong teams.
How have the changes in work models and adaptations due to the pandemic changed how developers hire?
Gupta: Now that teams are distributed, the hiring process for developers has evolved. Access to top talent has increased but so has the competition to attract them. We thought COVID-19 would cause talent to pause on job searches, but given engineers’ ability to be successful remotely, it has continued to grow.
What are the best strategies for onboarding in a remote organization?
Gupta: The most important thing about onboarding is to create a community virtually that bridges the relationship between team members and communicates your organization’s values. This starts by equipping remote employees with the proper tools and resources they need, such as a new computer or webcam set up.
Then, it’s important to establish clear, consistent communication channels where important updates can be shared and new employees can bring up any concerns. Finally, create opportunities for new employees to connect with their coworkers, such as virtual coffee meet-ups, group lunch sessions, or even virtual board game competitions.
What advice can you offer developers as they grow their teams this year?
Gupta: There are three important things to remember:
- Community is critical. Our teams are used to engaging in various activities to forge lasting bonds and relationships that strengthen team performance. To continue this, we supported the community both in terms of time and resources beyond just normal work duties—from learning to community engagements, activities, and more. While we knew community was critical for developers, our teams surprised us by proactively creating alternatives.
- Giving back is important. Developers also want to feel a part of and give back to their geographic community. At Appian, we create the space for employees to connect, support ideas that come to us and have formalized partnerships locally like DC Central Kitchen to use our expertise to support local charities. But this model can be replicated anywhere.
- Be kind to yourself and your team. Finally, we need to remember that it’s been a tough year for everybody. People are resilient and have found silver linings, such as no commute, easier access to the outdoors, and more time with family. However, it has been challenging for certain populations, including those in isolation or juggling children at home while working and becoming overnight school teachers. In recognizing that, we’ve focused on additional supportive policies for those who worked from home.
How have you made new employees a part of your team during the pandemic? We’re anxious to hear your success stories!