When you're growing fast, people are everything.
The employee experience—hiring through to career progression—is critical to who you hire and how long they'll stay working for you.
In this episode of Support Insights, we tackle the best practices for hiring, onboarding and retaining a new team.
Our guest today is Luis Pinto, Director of CX at Remote.
Remote just raised $150m Series B investment round, and they’re going through a hyper-growth period—where Luis must hire fast and scale alongside new customers.
By the end of 2021, Luis alone will have added a further 60 customer success, customer service and CX professionals to his team—he's interviewing constantly and has a ton of unique tips for successfully building a team.
Hope you enjoy the episode!
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All the below text is paraphrased from the full interview.
Between March 2021 and August 2021 we more than doubled our headcount in both CX and the overall company.
As a customer experience team (which covers customer support, customer success and customer experience) our goal is to grow to 80 by the end of 2021. We're 20 now.
The first rule is to be best friends with your recruitment team. Work very closely with them. Once they know what you're looking for and who will fit into your team, they'll help you pre-screen and find the best applicants.
My second tip is to leverage your network. Most roles in the CX space don't require a technical background, you just need to learn fast. Anyone can be taught but you must look for people with the right drive, mentality, and most importantly a customer-centric mindset.
My third tip is to start an internal referral programme. If your employee experience is excellent like ours, your team will start to refer their friends and their network.
I have lots of tips, but a lot of spotting talent comes with experience. Firstly, I'm sincere and honest with every interviewee, so everyone is relaxed and open.
It's important that I understand the interviewee's trajectory in life and work, what goals they have, and that they align with the position and the company. From there, I see if they have empathy and there's some chemistry between us, that way I'll know if we will work well together.
To give a few specific examples:
One thing that's critical is to embrace your company culture, and teach it in every interview. When you truly understand your companies DNA, you can hire for it. DNA is hard to teach people.
Related podcast: How to build a customer-obsessed culture.
There are lots of mistakes you can make. Here are three I see often:
Firstly, it's easy to think that transmitting company DNA is only important in the interview process. We should be doing that every single day actually.
Secondly, as a hiring manager you should not put on a poker face and sell the company in the interview process. This only creates false expectations and that ends badly for everyone.
At the same time, and this my final point, remember you’re being interviewed as well by the candidate. Nowadays, especially in the technology space, it’s common for candidates to be fielding multiple proposals. So you have to beat a lot of competition.
It's not easy and you have to work on improving it all the time. When I started at Remote, the process was entirely different to what it is now—which shows how far we've come.
We do some great things. Every employee gets:
It is very face paced at Remote, so we do make it really clear in the interview process what to expect. We don't want any surprises, and that makes onboarding a smoother processes.
We're also building a robust internal knowledge base, too. In order to make some of onboarding self-serve.
It all starts with the very first interview, and then the interview processes and onboarding should be flawless.
As a manager, you need to ensure there is a strong human factor to employment. Remember, where you work and your job is a big part of life.
That person will talk with everyone, friends, family, their network. So don't make the mistake of thinking people don't speak to each other about their experience.
As a manager, you need to be available to listen whenever they need you. If not, you'll get a surprise when they quit—by that time it's too late.
Here are three more things to remember for retention: