I work at Leadfeeder, a global SaaS scale up, which helps companies identify and engage with unconverted web visitor traffic.
My role is Head of Talent Acquisition - it’s a newly put together function and my remit is to ensure the team is well resourced, and has the right tools and strategic direction to support our exciting growth plans.
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
Right now we’re a lean team of three, with myself overseeing Talent Acquisition operations and strategy and two experienced Talent Partners splitting the company in two: Tech & Business.
Where are your teammates located?
I’m currently based in the UK and the Talent Partners are based in Sweden & Spain, respectively. We work closely with People Operations, we have one People Partner in the US and our Head of People is located in Finland.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
Employer brand & value proposition, resource management, headcount forecasting & planning, marketing our vacancies and culture, sourcing and screening the best talent, providing timely data & insights on TA, training & coaching hiring management on best practices and interview guidance, onboarding support...the list goes on!
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
Connection & Trust.
Connection - It goes without saying that it’s important to stay connected, to not lose the ad-hoc conversations and brainstorming that you get through being in an office. We stay connected on a daily basis through channels like Slack and we also have a bi-yearly teamweek, where we get together in a different location, to hear from our leaders and different teams and spend time with cross-functional peers. Our last teamweek was in Barcelona in October; it was my first teamweek at Leadfeeder and I came away from it feeling engaged and with a sense of belonging.
Trust - Working in a remote-first environment, our workers feel like they have a sense of control. We give our people autonomy over their working pattern and hours. This translates into a better work-life balance, with workers being able to spend more time with their families and, crucially, the company is rewarded back with greater productivity. There’s even several Digital Nomads at Leadfeeder, who have no fixed location; they travel from place to place for periods of time. That works for them and it works for us.
Strong remote cultures are built on strong connections. Strong connections are built with Hailey.
How do you make sure your team is happy and engaged in their work?
A remote leader has to understand that you are not in a room every day with your team, so there may be days where someone on your team is feeling down. This could be to do with work or something in their personal life but you may not know it. So if you’re hiding behind emails or instant messaging, you restrict the opportunity to truly know if your team is feeling happy and engaged.
Make use of video platforms, don’t go back and forth, message for message over a topic that can be discussed, whilst also adding a sprinkle of human touch and emotion to the conversation. Believe me, whilst GIFS are cool, they will never replace a smile.
Make sure you have frequent 1-2-1’s no matter how big your team is, and remember to simply ask the question itself and sense check if they are feeling happy and engaged.
Believe me, whilst GIFS are cool, they will never replace a smile.
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
Having a team working across different parts of the world and in multiple time zones, it can be easy to look at everyone’s calendar and accept that it’s just not possible to connect sometimes. However, you need to make the time, particularly for learning and development.
As a leader, you need to be looking ahead weeks and sometimes months in advance to make sure you work with your team to find time and place an importance on development and growth. This is something that often gets overlooked in a remote setting.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
Aside from our bi-yearly in person retreats in different locations we do all sorts of online activities and have a team budget for this. It can be anything from online escape rooms to watching a magician.
We start our Friday virtual stand-ups with a fun fact. This is actually something I’ve been doing for around 3 years, including my last company. It’s not a personal fun-fact; it can be anything, such as, “Finland has more saunas than cars!”
We recently started a short bi-weekly show & tell across the People & Talent team so we can learn more about each other's culture and interests.