How To Manage Three Remote Offices

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How we recruit at RES Software

First appeared on RES Software blog.

What is your company’s most important asset? Source code, patents, hardware?

At RES Software, we believe that our most important assets are our employees. We value their knowledge and experience, the energy they bring to the office, and their commitment to build great products that enable our customers. A good book the highlights this mindset is Good to Great by Jim Collins.

RES Software is expanding its customer base globally and successively growing in size. To keep up with momentum, we need to hire technical experts across various departments and locations. With employees representing our most important asset, you can understand that recruitment is also one of our most important processes, especially when it comes to our research and developments team as well as other critical technical roles. We field a lot of questions from applicants about our recruitment process, and as the Senior Director Software Development, I’m more than happy share the steps we take when building our team.

  recruitmentRecognize the Value in Recruitment – We have three full time recruiters with additional intra-departmental resources. We continually review our recruitment process to ensure we hire the right people, for process efficiency, and that it is an enjoyable experience for both RES Software AND the candidates.

job-descriptions-stand-out-150x150Stand Out with Job Descriptions – You know those job posts that just sum up the required skills, knowledge, experiences and education level. Well, every company wants flexible people, with a beyond 9 to 5 mentality, that are open, honest, transparent and good communicators. Our job descriptions should give you an impression of the job leave talented individuals interested in the RES Software opportunity.

 

Dont rush

Do Not Rush Recruitment – The recruitment process can take at least three interviews, including a workshop or work sample. If necessary, we will invite applications for additional interviews with extended members of the RES Software team. It is important for both the candidate and RES Software to make the right hiring decision. Our team realizes that candidates make the decision leave their current jobs and invest in a new career opportunity. We do not want to find out after a few months that it is not a good match, so it is important for us to invest in making this decision a success.

In the first full interview, our aim is to introduce candidates to the RES Software culture. We talk about our products, processes and most importantly, our people. We also want to get to know our candidates’ experiences, what makes him/her feel proud, existing career accomplishments, and most importantly, their potential. We conclude these interviews with the takeaway statement, ‘Do you think there is a match with you and RES Software?’ We will do the same thinking. After a few nights of good sleep, we connect to see if there is mutual interest for a second interview.

The second interview is often with a technical/functional team lead and a senior person from a peer group. This interview focuses on whether the candidate has the right skills or potential to do the job as well as serves as an introduction of the candidate to their peer. Do they see each other working as a team in the future? It is very important to be able to build a personal relationship with team members. Projects are successful when team members are willing to go the extra mile for each other. Once completed, both RES Software and the candidate should again reflect on the second interview. If both are positive, we will plan a workshop or skills assessment.

I think that I am a great football player (soccer for my American friends) as I often win against my kids (although it is becoming harder to win nowadays). Would you just believe me and offer me a position as striker on the first team of Barcelona or would you see me play a few games first? I would suggest seeing me play first, if I were you. In football, there are scouts who do research before signing a new player. Since we don’t have scouts, we do a workshop to find out if the candidate can fill a particular role.

The first question we often hear before a workshop is, “How can I prepare?” The truth is that you can’t and shouldn’t. We expect candidates to be themselves and we will do the same. He/she will get one or more assignments but there is no right or wrong answers. During the workshop, he/she will get to know RES Software better, meet potential team members, and attend a daily scrum (where applicable) and have lunch with the team. We are still trying to get to know each other better.

We should again sleep on it before making a decision. Candidates should feel confident that they will enjoy working at RES Software and we should believe that we could give the candidate a great career experience.
work happy

When both RES Software and the candidate are confident there is a match, we make a job offer. If necessary, we will plan a meeting to discuss any questions or remarks. When the candidate accepts an offer, we feel ecstatic because we are able to grow our team with a great new colleague.

As we are fine-tuning our process, we are also flexible. If we feel we need to change the order of the interviews and workshop, we will do so immediately. When we, or the candidate, would like to have an extra interview or get more information we make sure this happens as soon as possible. The process described above is not a goal; it is a method to helping us find great new colleagues.

Unfortunately, sometimes the candidate may decide to cancel the recruitment process or not accept our job offer. We will always respect this decision and take this as an opportunity for us to learn and better our process. Why did the candidate cancel the process? Did our job description not match with the actual job, was our job offer not good enough, or did the candidate realized RES Software is not a match for their career and goals?

Our goal is to leave every candidate feeling satisfied and an ambassador for RES Software. No matter the reason that people do not join us, we hope they will tell their family, friends and maybe even colleagues that RES Software is a great place to work!

Technical Recruitment

This blog post first appeared on blog.res.com, http://blog.res.com/2014/04/25/technical-recruiting-res-software.

What is your company’s most important asset? Source code, patents, hardware?

At RES Software, we believe that our most important assets are our employees. We value their knowledge and experience, the energy they bring to the office, and their commitment to build great products that enable our customers. A good book the highlights this mindset is Good to Great by Jim Collins.

RES Software is expanding its customer base globally and successively growing in size. To keep up with momentum, we need to hire technical experts across various departments and locations. With employees representing our most important asset, you can understand that recruitment is also one of our most important processes, especially when it comes to our research and developments team as well as other critical technical roles. We field a lot of questions from applicants about our recruitment process, and as the Senior Director Software Development, I’m more than happy share the steps we take when building our team.

How do we make sure we hire the right people?

Recognize the Value in Recruitment – We have three full time recruiters with additional intra-departmental resources. We continually review our recruitment process to ensure we hire the right people, for process efficiency, and that it is an enjoyable experience for both RES Software AND the candidates.

Stand Out with Job Descriptions – You know those job posts that just sum up the required skills, knowledge, experiences and education level. Well, every company wants flexible people, with a beyond 9 to 5 mentality, that are open, honest, transparent and good communicators. Our job descriptions should give you an impression of the job leave talented individuals interested in the RES Software opportunity.

Do Not Rush Recruitment – The recruitment process can take at least three interviews, including a workshop or work sample. If necessary, we will  invite applications for additional interviews with extended members of the RES Software team. It is important for both the candidate and RES Software to make the right hiring decision. Our team realizes that candidates make the decision leave their current jobs and invest in a new career opportunity. We do not want to find out after a few months that it is not a good match, so it is important for us to invest in making this decision a success.

The Getting to Know Each Other Phase – Interviews

In the first full interview, our aim is to introduce candidates to the RES Software culture. We talk about our products, processes and most importantly, our people. We also want to get to know our candidates’ experiences, what makes him/her feel proud, existing career accomplishments, and most importantly, their potential. We conclude these interviews with the takeaway statement, ‘Do you think there is a match with you and RES Software? We will do the same thinking. After a few nights of good sleep, we connect to see if there is mutual interest for a second interview.

The second interview is often with a technical/functional team lead and a senior person from a peer group. This interview focuses on whether the candidate has the right skills or potential to do the job as well as serves as an introduction of the candidate to their peer. Do they see each other working as a team in the future? It is very important to be able to build a personal relationship with team members. Projects are successful when team members are willing to go the extra mile for each other. Once completed, both RES Software and the candidate should again reflect on the second interview. If both are positive, we will plan a workshop or skills assessment.

Trying the Job First Hand

I think that I am a great football player (soccer for my American friends) as I often win against my kids (although it is becoming harder to win nowadays). Would you just believe me and offer me a position as striker on the first team of Barcelona or would you see me play a few games first? I would suggest seeing me play first, if I were you. In football, there are scouts who do research before signing a new player. Since we don’t have scouts, we do a workshop to find out if the candidate can fill a particular role.

The first question we often hear before a workshop is, “How can I prepare?” The truth is that you can’t and shouldn’t. We expect candidates to be themselves and we will do the same. He/she will get one or more assignments but there is no right or wrong answers. During the workshop, he/she will get to know RES Software better, meet potential team members, and attend a daily scrum (where applicable) and have lunch with the team. We are still trying to get to know each other better.

We should again sleep on it before making a decision. Candidates should feel confident that they will enjoy working at RES Software and we should believe that we could give the candidate a great career experience.

We Found a Match – The Offer

When both RES Software and the candidate are confident there is a match, we make a job offer. If necessary, we will plan a meeting to discuss any questions or remarks. When the candidate accepts an offer, we feel ecstatic because we are able to grow our team with a great new colleague.

As we are fine-tuning our process, we are also flexible. If we feel we need to change the order of the interviews and workshop, we will do so immediately. When we, or the candidate, would like to have an extra interview or get more information we make sure this happens as soon as possible. The process described above is not a goal; it is a method to helping us find great new colleagues.

Unfortunately, sometimes the candidate may decide to cancel the recruitment process or not accept our job offer. We will always respect this decision and take this as an opportunity for us to learn and better our process. Why did the candidate cancel the process? Did our job description not match with the actual job, was our job offer not good enough, or did the candidate realized RES Software is not a match for their career and goals?

Our goal is to leave every candidate feeling satisfied and an ambassador for RES Software. No matter the reason that people do not join us, we hope they will tell their family, friends and maybe even colleagues that RES Software is a great place to work!

Every candidate should become an ambassador…

At our company we are looking for new colleagues. We have already spoken to many candidates and unfortunately rejected most of them. We believe you should always try to find right people. We can teach new colleagues how we test, how we deliver support, how we develop software but we it’s very hard to change the people themselves. Finding the right people is also mentioned in the book “From Passion Capital: The World’s Most Valuable Asset” and in the book “Good to Great”.

RES Software is not a very well-known brand name in the software development community in the Netherlands. Dutch Developers, Testers, Technical Writers don’t know that RES is a great company to work for. The people working at RES are ambassadors and wherever they can, they explain why RES is such a great company to work for.

During the recruitment we go beyond the standard questions. We ask really hard questions about a personality test. We have a workshop that takes half a day and really challenges the candidates. The recruitment procedure is hard work for candidates. Additionally, we try show during the recruitment that it is also a great experience to work for RES.

When we reject people they all give as feedback they understand the decision, find our recruitment procedure very professional and experienced that RES is a great company to work for!

The last months we have rejected several candidates, for different reasons (lack of knowledge or not the right people) or some accepted another job offer because they had not much affinity with our products. However, what is important for us is that they became ambassadors for RES! When they see or hear the name RES, they know and will say it is linked to a professional and great organization to work for.

A good recruitment process is important to find the right people. However, an important sub goal is to make sure everyone who applies for a job and is rejected becomes an ambassador for RES Software.