Remote Work At GOhiring GmbH
* As of July 2022
GOhiring GmbH Remote Company Q&A
Uta Sommer, Cofounder - Interview with Remote.co
What does your remote-friendly company do?
GOhiring is a growing B2B SaaS company that empowers thousands of customers to make data-based recruitment decisions. We are a team of 20+ handpicked people. We believe in great software, kindness, automation, and data-driven recruitment. Digital-first is in our company DNA. We’re learning and growing with one another through collaboration. As a team, we always come through. To keep that strength, we want to grow carefully—at the right speed and with the best people.
How important is remote work to your business model?
We are building a complex digital product and want to implement this aim for digital transformation in all processes, which of course includes how we work. We want to reflect our aim for digitalization to our customers, employees, and partners. Working remotely is one important aspect that has to be considered here.
What do you consider the biggest benefits of a remote workforce?
More efficient hiring process for both sides, the employer and potential employee. Additionally, we have the means to look for talented individuals outside the reach of an office, meaning that we can work with great people in different places.
Our employees benefit from remote work in terms of flexibility, which creates a more relaxed working environment, especially for employees with children that have to be picked up.
What were the main reasons to integrate remote work into your workforce?
Since the founding of GOhiring, we were a #remotefirst company, all structures and processes in our company are built on remote work. We want to offer our employees to be free in their choice from where they work to enable them to be as productive as they can. Of course, we also want to give them opportunities to travel, etc.
How do you convey your remote culture in the recruiting process?
We value team fit as most important and, therefore, have set a high importance on figuring out how every person fits into the team. Actually, the team decides who joins and who does not join in the end. By putting that much emphasis on the team fit, we already have the building blocks for our culture, which emerges through each one of us.
What is your hiring process for remote workers?
We only hire remote workers, so there is no different approach. Of course, we conduct interviews online using different tools. For student positions, there is another twist that we implemented around a year ago: instead of a first personal interview, we ask the students to record a video of themselves, answering questions. Here, we don’t require super fancy videos—it’s about the people and not the video in the end. By asking for a video, the students can pick a time frame that suits them best, and we can always come back to the video.
How do you conduct onboarding for remote workers?
We use Trello boards for the onboarding—every new member gets their own onboarding board, which can be continued as a personal board after the onboarding. Within the board, there are several cards for sessions with team members who explain how things work at GOhiring. Through this process, our new members learn and meet their team members at the same time. To make sure everything is going well, there are check-ins with the team throughout the first weeks.
Do you organize remote team retreats?
Yes, we go to a company off-site twice a year. The off-site is a mixture of team sessions, presentations, working together, team activities, and hanging out and getting to know each other even better.
We have some specifications for locations. For example, to have a stable internet connection to be able to work and also stay in contact with team members who cannot join the off-site. We also pay a lot of attention to having a big communal space where we can work but also hang out together.
What elements are key to successful working relationships with remote teams?
A close collaboration and safe environment. We use Slack to communicate and greet each other in the morning. All of the content on Slack is accessible for everyone in the organization, there are no “hidden doors” that can only be opened by certain persons, like the management. During team meetings, we like to not only talk about work-related tasks but also update each other on personal aspects to get to know each other better and create a sense of belonging.
- “What are your best strategies for remote meetings? (frequency, video vs phone, overcoming technical issues, building friendly rapport, etc.)
- What are some of the most effective ways your remote team communicates with one another?
How do you keep remote employees engaged and feeling part of the bigger picture?
We use different tools, such as Slack and Trello, to actively communicate with each other. We also have monthly business update meetings where all employees can see the progress we are making with everyone’s impact. Within our organization, we implemented a support system that is rooted in every employee, which means that everyone is helping each other, which keeps the communication between people going and creates a sense of belonging.
Can a remote-friendly company have a healthy culture?
Yes! Within our hiring process, we put a lot of emphasis on the cultural fit of potential employees and therefore have a pool of people with great values that match with the company values in our team. We are constantly improving our processes to nourish our culture and make sure everyone feels like a part of GOhiring.
Also, we like to meet in person twice a year on our company off-sites and enjoy some quality time together.
What advice would you give to a team considering to go remote?
Companies should not underestimate this task: a few laptops won’t do it. It needs a profound change in the way of working and culture. It would be good to start a prototype with a small team. This is better than changing the entire company “by decree.” In my view, the HR department is a good choice as a “specialist department for work culture,” and also as a future multiplier for a modern form of working. This must come from the bottom up, be permanently reflected upon, and then spread throughout the company.
What challenges have you encountered building a remote team?
We like to think that we have an advantage since we built the company remotely from the beginning and did not change to working remotely. By starting as a remote-first company, we knew what to expect from future employees. However, we also never stop learning and keep improving every day to make our workplace as good as possible for every single (new) joiner!
What has changed about how your remote team operates?
Software is evolving and so are we. We always keep an eye on the latest developments and are always happy to try out new things that can potentially make our lives even better.
How does your team address different time zone challenges?
Most of our team members are located within a four-hour time difference, which can easily be dealt with within the teams themselves. When team members are traveling, we find solutions to overcome certain time differences together. There is nothing we cannot find a solution for. 🙂
What are the biggest benefits of being a remote worker?
Doug, Software Engineer, located in Paris: “Living anywhere. Fitting work around life and not the opposite. Singing while I work, loudly and badly.”
Julia, Digital Customer Service Manager, Regensburg: “Flexibility, not having to put on pants in the morning if I don’t feel like it, taking an awesome job without having to leave my city.”
Where is the best or worst place you’ve worked remotely?
Rike’s best one: coworking in the Brazilian jungle, surrounded by monkeys!
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