I am the Sr. Manager, Recruiting at ZeroCater and I serve as the talent acquisition department head and I oversee our Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. Our company is headquartered in San Francisco but I am based in Austin, TX.
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
Currently, we are a small but mighty team of 5. There is myself and I have 4 recruiters that report to me.
Where are your teammates located?
Half of my team is based in San Francisco and the other half is in Austin.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
My team is responsible for all hiring and building amazing teams within ZeroCater.
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
The top one I would say is communication and from there lie many different facets. There needs to be the right amount of communication so keeping people in the know, checking on others to see how they are doing and also being very mindful in our communication to others. Tone of emails and messages don’t always come through the same as they do on a call or video and just being thoughtful. I think the biggest though is communicating your appreciation for the work others have done so they will know what to replicate in the future.
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?
We do weekly check-ins and a weekly team sync but I am constantly checking in with my team to see how they are doing and how things are going. I take a genuine interest in their work and let them know how it’s contributing to the greater goals of the company. I also ask them if they are happy and if there is anything I can do to make for a better workplace. I listen and try my best to give them new challenges to work on. I usually close those conversations with appreciation and letting them know they are a valuable member of the team.
I am constantly checking in with my team to see how they are doing and how things are going. I take a genuine interest in their work and let them know how it’s contributing to the greater goals of the company.
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
Not getting to have the human interaction that humans need. I do think in person activities can help you bond more. In recruiting specifically, I do think candidates can miss out on the connection to interviewers as well and more so when there might not be a strong wifi connection. For our company specifically though I would say it’s having the meals together AKA water cooler talk. We still have a fun culture but it’s so much more to be able to have a candidate stay for lunch and enjoy a ZeroCater meal at ZeroCater and really envision what it’s like to work here and experience the product first hand.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
We have done virtual happy hours as a team. As a company our HR team put together a really fun virtual holiday party with an illusionist and I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first but it was really fun and entertaining.
When we did in person events I would always let my team choose but would come up with a few different ideas. We have done an aerials class, cooking classes, and even got manicures and pedicures with our monthly team budget (together of course).
The funnest or funniest I remember is with my team in SF. We went to a VR challenge and one of our team members' equipment was having a glitch and it looked like she was doing these super crazy dance moves that aren’t even humanly possible. I could not stop laughing and it went on for about 10 minutes. I am not sure if the zombie killing or funky dancing was more entertaining!
We play some games at our weekly company All-Hands. I usually created trivia games around some of the D&I holidays as a fun way to celebrate and learn about diversity without making it feel forced or like a class. Our company is competitive and likes to have friendly competition especially when we play the game “Name that tune.” What’s great about it is that we can add a theme to it. For example, during Pride we used a Pride playlist from Spotify and had a pride-themed cookbook for a prize. They also really like Jeopardy and I found a jeopardy game generator. I will even dress up as Alex Trebek.
Being that we are a food company I usually like to pick ones centered around food. I will also do some questions around things we might not know about you or something related around a near holiday.
Products & Tools
Not at the moment. We do a 10 spot all company icebreaker each day on slack. We are looking into some companies like ClassBento and 10spot to do individual team events.
Resources for remote leaders
I think books are great and I like to get recommendations from my friends and mentors and also share mine with others. I also like to follow certain people like Simon Sinek and other DEI enthusiasts like Jennifer Brown and read up on different articles whether it be leadership or even recruiting specific topics. I never want to get siloed and I think you have to be especially mindful of that the longer you are with a company.
Make your company a great place to work
"Adding Hailey has been by far the lowest effort, highest impact thing we’ve done to bring our globally scattered team together!" - Mary Grace Reich