How Working Remote-First is Helping Build a Better Connected￼
February 17, 2022
Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes
From broadening the talent pool to improving the candidate experience, going remote-first has unleashed many recruiting benefits. Discover our new approach to talent acquisition, one with an elevated candidate experience and improved outcomes across the board.
Many people ask me if going remote-first has made it harder to recruit new hires. “If you don’t walk candidates through your beautiful office,” the thinking goes, “and if you can’t showcase the incredible Connected culture first-hand, wouldn’t that pose a real challenge?”
Surprisingly, it hasn’t. While we have to get creative in showcasing the people-first and values-driven culture that Connected has to offer (I’ll get to that below), going remote-first has made the recruiting process more seamless, enjoyable, and most importantly, effective for everybody including our candidates. Let me walk through the different ways remote-first has levelled up our recruiting abilities.
Broadening the talent pool
Let’s start with the obvious. By going remote-first, Connected can now extend its search for talent beyond the Greater Toronto Area to encompass all of Canada. Whether it’s designers, engineers, or product managers, we now have the opportunity of recruiting from emerging tech hubs all across the country, including Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, Winnipeg, Montreal and even expanding our footprint here in Toronto. Being remote-first allows candidates who otherwise couldn’t work at an office, have the opportunity to apply on equal footing with someone who could. All that multiplies the pool of talent by almost 10x!
But there’s a misconception that speed is the most desired metric in all of this. Of course, the likelihood of filling the technical requirements of a role increases proportionately with the number of candidates; I’d argue, more importantly, so does the opportunity to find that person who is the right fit. Connected is much more than the work we do, but the culture we created: a culture designed to provide the best employee experience, and one that our partners recognize as a contributing factor to our success. Which is ultimately, their success. So above the technical, we ensure cultural compatibility as a critical factor of all new candidates.
Increasing candidate availability
Historically, one of the biggest challenges in securing new employment was adherence to inefficient and time-consuming processes. I think we’d all agree that nobody believed your unchanging smile was in need of its tenth dentist appointment. So we reimagined these and optimized the candidate journey from initial outreach to signed offer, creating an experience that fits into the candidate’s life, not the other way around. This allows more people to apply for positions at Connected without having to disrupt their current employment or familial obligations. As a result, candidates no longer have to choose between their current employer and exploring an opportunity with Connected. Essentially, whatever we could do to make applying for a job at Connected easier, we did. From streamlined application processes with “quick apply” to removing unnecessary fields, our goal was speed and efficiency.
A more comfortable interview experience
There’s nothing like a “home field” advantage to give candidates some added ease. In my experience, when you interview someone from their home rather than an unfamiliar office with relative strangers, the majority are far more comfortable, making for an enjoyable candidate experience.
When a candidate feels more comfortable and confident, the better opportunity we have for assessment – not to mention they get to put their best foot forward. Interviews are stressful to some degree, no matter what, but getting a glimpse of how a candidate is when comfortable can be more insightful than any resume. Conversational is the goal, never confrontational.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Another advantage of hiring from anywhere in Canada is recruiting additional untapped talent from underrepresented communities across the country. We know diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences on teams have been a key driver in building better products. We’re excited that not only do we get to broaden our reach of a diverse candidate pool, but we get to expand our partnerships to support the efforts of trailblazing organizations like WomenHack in promoting equal opportunity in technology across the globe.
Expanding our co-op and internship programs
Expanding our co-op and internship programs
Our internship program holds not only a place in our history but in our hearts. Instrumental to our success, we’ve hired 30+ previous interns into full-time positions since inception. And a little known fact: there was a time in our early days when we had more Connected interns than full-time employees.
Going remote-first has also allowed us to form exciting new academic partnerships with schools across the country. No longer geographically restricted, we’ve begun mentoring emerging top talent, exposing them to the innovative products we build and creating long-lasting relationships with new generations of product practitioners.
In the end, and not without its challenges, a remote-first approach has improved the recruiting experience for both candidate and company. While it’s hard to assess the long-term impact given ongoing trends in the market like increasing resignation and attrition rates, we’re seeing a renewed focus from companies on their most important assets, their people. And for the employers doing it right, that experience needs to be accounted for and begin from the first outreach. As the timeless adage goes (not to mention countless studies reaffirm), first impressions can make or break a relationship and are crucial to forming good lasting impressions. So rather than understated, we take a more celebrated approach to the candidate experience.
And while going remote-first may have changed how we do things, it also taught us that the Connected Culture doesn’t exist within any physical space. It exists wherever Connectors are doing what Connectors do best – building better products. And one thing that will never change is that we’re always looking for smart, kind, reliable teachers and learners to join our culture as we continue to execute that mission.
Reece Fallon is Connected’s Talent Acquisition Director. You can read all about him here. And of course, don’t forget to check out our careers page to see if a role at Connected may be right for you.
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