We are more than happy to start our 4th season. We have an outline of all events we will do, of course finishing with a big bang of SOSU 2020!
This season we wanted to talk on topics that are important but left uncovered until now. We were very happy that Evelin agreed to have the opening event in her home — in Toggl’s office to cover the topic, that’s quite rare in Estonia- life of a fully remote team.
Starting off with a huge thank you, it was very humbling to see that tickets “sold out” in around 10 minutes. Starting this season with seeing how interested our recruitment community is of these events, is deeply humbling. If it wasn’t for this, we wouldn’t exist :) Also special thank you for those who couldn’t make it, but gave up their seat before the event for someone else.
Now going on to the event.
What does the fully remote actually mean?
You read correctly my first paragraphs where I mentioned us meeting in Toggl’s office. Space does exist in Estonia, but its empty most of the time. Toggl is an Estonian company that decided to go fully remote after being a regular company where people worked in offices. There are different variations to “remoteness” either if it is working remotely while traveling, working remotely to a company overseas or working in a company with no physical place where everybody is remote.
For some, staying away from your people is quite hard for a long time and will start to miss that real people interaction (I’m definitely one of those), but most of the meetup, we all did feel like working fully remote is a dream job. You are in charge of your time — when you work (of course letting your team know about your time availabilities) and where you work at. There’s plenty of coworking spaces to choose from, Evelin’s favorite being Springhub where we had an event last season.
This also means all the other things — if you have company traditions about having lunch altogether or grabbing a few drinks after work or even- let’s say you invite people for a meetup, you would actually have to worry about what happens to the leftovers. Your common space is the Slack workspace, but chances are that you won’t have enough real 1:1 time outside of the company events.
Recruitment in a fully remote company
We all have those managers who prefer to have a coffee with a candidate in the office, so they could “really get to know the person” and even if it’s more efficient to meet over a video call, it’s uncomfortable to dive deep into the person while you’re actually staring at the screen.
Let's go into the daily life of a recruiter who’s working in a fully remote company. You would not want to use places like local job boards that limit your candidate level, neither do you want to put your money on Linkedin where you can’t put an option of “remote” to a location tab. You would want to stick do your guns on social media, company’s employer brand and all those nice remote job boards. At the end of the day, you will receive at least a couple of thousand candidates. What?! Yes, candidates are easy to come so sourcing is not in your job description (take a moment here — will you miss it, or will you be relived?) ;) It also means that you don’t really need to build a talent pool or have an ATS — that’s based on Toggl’s experience and they have a nice strong team with them already.
The hard part is not finding the candidates, it is choosing them. Toggl has figured out a great way for it — they actually built a product in-house that you might know under the name Hundred5, now renamed to Toggl Hire. This means — you would have to come up with good questions to help understand what candidates are worth the time and which you can just send an automatic (yay) sweet letter of no thank you.
Toggl candidates will then go through video interviews,test tasks where they will already have real tasks with real team members to interact with. Topping it off with a paid trial week to see if a person would really like to work at Toggl and can really do a fully remote job.
Some quick facts about if you were a recruiter in a fully remote company, what would your life be about, based on Toggl:
- No need to have the hard talk around salary expectations — you would showcase them out already on the job add so candidates know what it would be, already before applying
- The world really is your oyster. With fully remote, you could have people applying to your jobs from every corner of the world. And of course, this means even greater quality
- You would need to document your work. Everything in the company has to be well documented so people could jump into a topic, let’s say as they would next to the water cooler in the office, and get an idea of how things work.
- The good side is that if you document your job well, you discuss your day to day questions with your colleagues on Slack, you can let go of all those numerous meetings.
- You might open your Slack in the morning and discover that someone in another time zone did a really great joke around 7 hours ago and you now have a challenge in front of you — to figure out if it would be awkward to go in and say “haha” now?
- You really have to be good in your written communication. If what you’re saying maybe understood in a wrong way or your tone seems a bit off, it might cause some issues to the person on the other side of the screen, who doesn’t know you that well and wouldn’t understand that instant that it’s just your wild Estonian sarcasm
- Once a week, you would have a great time to meet everybody on a video call — company meeting! In other times, having a quick call is always in the question to understand your colleagues better, of course, if the time zone is to your favor.
These were some of the things that stuck with me from the event, but there’s a lot more that didn’t make it to the print. It was such an enjoyable event with so many real honest stories which was the feedback you told us on the door as well. There were so many questions and topics so it was hard to pick and choose the ones to have over here :)
Thank you, Toggl for having us!
Few afterthoughts for those interested in the area
- Evelin also announced a Toggl Hire e-book that will shed more light into day to day life
- Also, check out her Medium articles
- Evelin also gave us some great book recommendations: Remote, The year without pants, Rework
- I’ve also had a great chance to hear about GitLab’s recruiter on stage and was thrilled to see their well-documented company info publicly on the web. I would recommend checking this out as well. Here’s their recruitment section.
Would you see yourself as a fully remote recruiter? Answer in the comments section :)
We would be happy to hear your thoughts and ideas on this topic as well in the comments section! And see you all on our October event with Jan Tegze. Meanwhile, do check us out on Instagram and Facebook.