Coalition Technologies Remote Company Q&A
Gabrielle Pitre, Recruiter - Interview with Remote.co
In a brief snippet, we’re an SEO and web design agency. To expand on that, we act as a full-service marketing agency that provides SEO, PPC, online reputation management, email marketing, social media, and web design and development services.
We incorporated remote workers into our staff very early on.
Absolutely critical. The best and brightest can be found all around the world, and it’s important for us to employ only the most talented individuals, no matter where they might be located. We want to work with the world’s leading, most passionate content creators, developers, designers, and SEO and PPC analysts. We can only provide the highest quality services to our clients if we’re willing to invest in the highest quality staff.
Too many to name, but briefly, remote workers bring cultural diversity, a wider range of experiences, and different viewpoints. When different viewpoints come together, that helps find new solutions that wouldn’t be possible if everyone was coming at a problem from the same background.
Remote work has been at the core of the company’s DNA since its inception. From the start, the company CEO saw the value in hiring outside of any geographical limits. By widening the scope of the hiring process, the company became a stronger organization from its beginning.
We communicate with the applicants through Skype. We like the personability of Skype calls to have a virtual meeting with the applicants.
When speaking with a potential remote team member, we convey our company culture as a whole. It’s important to let team members know that we desire and appreciate communications back and forth, not only between coworkers but between staff and management. We try to emphasize the importance of continuous communication and how easy it is to talk with other team members thanks to technology such as chat windows or Google Hangouts.
The entire screening process is completed internally. We use a system created by our CEO to screen candidates, including skills tests. We gauge the quality of the skills test to be sure the applicant can produce high quality work on the level expected by our clients.
Creating a healthy balance between trusting our team members to manage their work time and monitoring their activity. We have team members use time management software to track productivity and also as a method to be sure team members are staying on task. Creating that balance, implementing that oversight, is necessary not only for our internal operations but to let clients know we hold our team members responsible. At the same time, we don’t want our team members scared to step away from the computer for a second, and so we rely on productivity and team leads to make judgement calls if there are concerns about a team member’s time use.
It’s very important for new team members to feel connected to their coworkers, so a new hire buddy is always assigned to them from the start. Getting these new team members engaged from the moment they’re hired is critical. Higher levels of connection with their peers leads to higher work engagement, and work buddies really help with this process. They’re available to answer questions or just have friendly chats with new team members, which can make a difference between whether a new hire gets engaged in the company culture or feels distant. There are also frequent team meetings and company events that draw everyone together and help facilitate those personal connections.
The only equipment needed to work remotely for Coalition Technologies is a reliable computer and Internet connection. The computer should have a webcam and audio for video conferencing.
We have a generous leave accrual system and and we also have paid holidays. Coalition Technologies encourages a healthy work-life balance. We recognize that a healthy reward structure is an important part of motivating team members, and part of that structure includes giving people time away from work. Overworking only leads to declines in productivity, so we would rather have a refreshed staff than an overworked one.
Whenever possible, remote work should be an organic extension of the company’s personality and outlook.
Of course. Culture isn’t only a product of proximity, it’s a product of how you treat your staff. We know from studies that remote companies can suffer when team members start to feel distanced from their peers. However, if we’re engaging with team members every day, getting on video chat with them regularly, encouraging them to contribute their ideas, and continuously treating them with respect, the outcome will be a healthy company culture and a satisfied staff.
Invest the time and research into the benefits of remote work and don’t go about instituting remote work haphazardly. Develop a company culture that syncs with remote work. A successfully run remote organization can draw the best team members possible, regardless of where they’re located.
We offer some flexibility in work schedules so that team members can have somewhat of a normal schedule, but we also require work hours to overlap with other team members so everyone is available to communicate with other team members.
A combination of the perfect work environment and perfect coworkers. In a remote position, I’m able to enjoy my work from the comfort of home, but I also have continuous access to some of the brightest, most entertaining team members around. It’s hard not to appreciate them and the company for that opportunity.
Zapp: The Lightning of Empowerment is a book loved company wide. The author tells a story of change and awareness on a company and team level. Some of the main points include maintaining employee self-esteem, using active listening and responding with empathy, asking ideas in solving problems, and offering help without taking responsibility. We’ve implemented these ideas for our structure and company culture.