Hello; my name is Michael Jones Jr., and I am the Director, Talent Acquisition and Diversity Equity Inclusion. In my current role I am responsible for providing leadership of our global talent acquisition functions through development and implementation of talent acquisition strategy across the organization and oversight of the talent acquisition function. I work day in and day out with internal and external stakeholders including the different point of contacts with verticals and departments and other organizational leadership, while also being able to identify resources and creating internal staffing policy and workflows to support the global talent pipelines needed to support our rapid global expansion efforts and the deployment of a well-qualified and diverse workforce. I also lead our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts where I oversee and implement organization wide strategies and practices to advance the organization's diversity, equity and inclusion goals which consist of the designing and implementation of initiatives, policies, programs and projects that are related to the recruitment, development, retention, advancement, and education of Xometry's staff.
How big is it?
I currently lead a team of four recruiters that recruit for all aspects of our business ranging from technical and product positions as well as positions in marketing, engineering, legal, people operations, sales, project management and supply chain as well. We also have an excellent recruiting coordinator who handles special projects and a lot of the administrative, logistical and correspondence type work that plays an integral role in our onboarding process as well. I am looking to add an additional 6 recruiters both non technical and technical to round out my team to 10 people we are hiring!
Where are your teammates located?
My team is located right now currently out of our offices in New York City, Lexington, KY, Rockville, MD and Bethesda, MD! I would love to add people in our Los Angeles and Philadelphia markets and also obviously add to where we have current and existing team members!
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
Our talent acquisition team is responsible for identifying, acquiring, assessing, and hiring candidates to fill open positions within our company. Employer branding, future resource planning, diversifying a company's labor force, and developing a robust candidate pipeline are the cornerstones of our talent acquisition strategy and team as well. Within our campus recruiting efforts also sits on Annual Summer Internship Program which is a 15 week paid internship program.
A strong remote team culture matters I think way more than people understand or even actually think about. Good communication and trust are essential to a strong remote team culture. Our team does a great job communicating with each other. They help each other and I find that because we have been forced to be remote we cannot just go into offices or at one point were confined to no or limited travel so we have been able to be an even better supportive team.
Strong remote cultures are built on strong connections.
Strong connections are built with Hailey.
So for me it goes back to communication and trust. Even when we are separated we have to trust each other to know that one we are doing our work and getting it done efficiently but then also that we are communicating so that there are no barriers or breakdowns to success along the way. I try to be as brief as possible with my communications but also as clear as possible so that I am not bombarding the team with messages. But on a more personal level I try and stay connected through communications with them, I try to show my employees that I care when life comes about, I do my best to listen and always provide feedback and also ask for feedback, I do the best to keep them in the know and do whatever I can do support them, set them up for success and give them the tools to succeed! I try and do my best to emphasize that everyone plays a vital role in the success of our business. Without our team finding the right people we have no company so their success is all of our success.
I try and stay connected on a more personal level and try to show my team that I care when life comes about. I do my best to listen and always provide feedback and also ask for feedback. I do the best I can to set them up for success and give them the tools they need to succeed!
The biggest challenge early on was motivation right, because in the office you have the human interaction aspect of understanding who is thriving and who needs help. Communication was tough at first just being able to manage that as well as decision making and maintaining goals and keeping workload manageable, performance high and making sure that communication is consistent and alignment is present! I have an amazing team, Xometry and our employees are a great place and great people and through consistent communication, building trust, and getting to know each other more it was able to help me be a better leader!
Team building both on my team and in the company has been crucial. At one point our company was getting together weekly for what we called People Ops and Chill Games, we played ispy, jeopardy, wheel of fortune, bingo and other games to just allow people to get away from the business for even an hour and have some quick and easy fun. It was quality time without us even knowing it. We also have created investment days where we invest in our business and functions and have working sessions in real time to improve. Yes, we have done happy hours, who doesn’t appreciate a good happy hour!
I don’t actually but this is something that I should do. My ice breakers are actually just informal water cooler conversations over zoom, so I guess I actually do use ice breakers but not in the traditional way of let's play a game type of a situation!
I learn from my colleagues and peers both in and out of the people operations space. It has been helpful to learn from others both in and out of the industry as well as field to understand what has worked for them and what also has not worked for them but also keeping in mind that everything and nothing is a one size fits all approach as we navigate what work and doesn't work as we seek to identify, engage, attract and retain in the middle of a pandemic.
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