For Employers

Turing co-founder and CTO shares how the advantages of AI can simplify the recruitment process for technical leaders and engineering managers.
For Employers

Turing Boundaryless Podcast: Answering the $1 Trillion Problem of Matching Talent with Opportunity & How AI Could Solve It

Turing Founder and CTO shares how the advantages of AI can simplify the recruitment process for technical leaders and engineering managers.

In the first edition of Turing Boundaryless Podcast, Turing Founder and CTO, Vijay Krishnan, digs deeper into the remote recruitment process and how AI could aid it. He also answers questions on building high-performing distributed teams. 

Krishna Vinod

Welcome to the first edition of the Turing Boundaryless Podcast. I’m your host, Krishna Vinod, Social Media Head at Turing. Today, we’re conversing with Vijay Krishnan, Founder and CTO of Turing.com, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, right in the heart of Silicon Valley. 

Vijay has worked in ML and AI for over 18 years in academia and industry. Today, we will be discussing the $1 trillion problem of matching talent with opportunity and how AI could help solve it. Vijay, please tell us more about your story and how you reached this point in your career—founding and leading technology for Turing. 

Vijay Krishnan

Thank you, Krishna. I have been working in the field of AI and ML for almost 18 years now. So, my TLDR would be: “machine learning researcher turned 2x AI entrepreneur,” maybe that’s the one-line version of it.

I started back in my bachelor days at IIT Bombay, where I studied computer science. I wrote some papers on the problems of text categorization, web search, and web spam detection.

I did that both at IIT Bombay and Stanford University and even when I was a scientist at Yahoo in the Bay area. My previous company made personalized content recommendations. So, what we did in our earlier startup was to discern people’s interests based on the content they consumed.

So we would build a very detailed profile of users and use that information to recommend other content they may like. So this, of course, involved a lot of deep user profiling and various problems like that. Our company got acquired by Revcontent, an ad-tech company where I briefly served as SVP of data science. At Turing, I run a lot of our AI and data science efforts related to data science for various classic business problems and the exciting problem of matching talent with opportunities at a global scale.

Krishna Vinod

Awesome. That is a fantastic introduction. What are typical things that go wrong in a distributed team, and how should one mitigate them?

Vijay Krishnan 

Yeah, great question Krishna. Your question also speaks of why remotely distributed teams didn’t happen earlier. It seems completely crazy to restrict your talent pool to a 10-mile radius around your offices when you could hire from the whole world.

But obviously, the world did not opt to move in this direction. And it is primarily because of a lot of factors. The big-ticket item is just that teams found it very difficult to hire at a global scale effectively. Well, and when I say hire, even that has different parts:

  1.  How do you effectively source talent on a worldwide scale?
  2. How do you effectively screen and vet talent at a global scale so that you ultimately have an excellent pool of talent to work with within your team?
  3. And how do you make sure that the collaboration itself is effective? 

One prevalent complaint I heard from engineering leaders in the Silicon Valley used to be something like this: “You know, I know it is less competitive and cost-effective, and I can hire in other parts of the world, but in the limited experience I’ve had, three people or five people in a remote location end up producing the same real value for me that one strong engineer in my office would do. So, consequently, what looks attractive at first glance does not turn into the value I was expecting of it.”

So why does remote work not generate value under these circumstances? I think a big part of it is Point Number One and Two. 

A lot of companies build a strong intuition regarding how to source in their local environment. But when it comes to collaboration, one has to be very deliberate about making that collaboration effective. In a local office, one does not need to think about this question very much. You see your developers daily. You can assume that they will mingle with others and develop more organizational context over time. Ultimately you want to replicate the same sorts of collaboration, value, and context that a person in your office would have. 

We have found some practices to be very good in this regard. One is time zone overlap. So at Turing, when any of our partner companies in the Bay area or the rest of the US, for the most part, hire one of our software developers, we always ensure that a software developer can at least overlap up to four hours or more with the company’s regular workday. 

This overlap is vital because without having enough opportunity to unblock, you run into many inefficiencies coming from pure miscommunication, partial context, and so on. But again, our experience has shown that something like four hours turns out to be very good and is almost as good as a full day’s worth of overlap.

Another thing we have seen to be vital is the effective use of video. When you are doing these kinds of cross-border video calls, reliable video calls become essential. Unfortunately, I still see so many companies where people do Zoom calls where everyone has their video off, and nobody builds any connection with anybody else. And such a thing is, of course, a disaster for collaboration.

Another vital thing is to have a process that nudges your remote team members toward over-communication. So there’s a particular ‘pass-it-on personality type that can function reasonably well in an office setting. Unfortunately, that requires some change in this all-remote world. One needs to over-communicate. A company needs to have a process to ensure that people talk with many other loosely related stakeholders and build a one-on-one connection with them over a video call. 

Krishna Vinod 

Great points, Vijay. Talking about culture, are there any points that you would like to add about building a unified company culture?

Vijay Krishnan 

Yeah, sure! Today, I don’t think companies pay enough attention to specific soft skills in the interviewing process. Instead, they do a certain amount of technical interviewing and nebulous culture-fit interviews.

In most cases, I don’t think they even have a precise notion of what they are looking for when they say culture-fit. So to make remote working more effective is a two-part thing. 

First: Technical leaders should interview for a lot of soft skills that become crucial to remote work.

And that should be an important part of the hiring equation itself. 

It is essential to test how good a person’s communication skills are. And when I say communication, I don’t just mean English fluency. I also mean matters to do with the ownership. Issues to do with being able to navigate ambiguity effectively. Whether a person is proactive enough to reach out to many different people in the organization to get certain things done, or if the person is relatively passive. 

Second: It is crucial to gauge whether a person can think in the objective or company scope, more broadly than merely the task scope. Going forward, this should be treated as a very vital hiring signal. Paying attention to the whole onboarding process is also crucial.

Additionally, there is ample room for something like virtual mixers. I’m looking forward to a product, which looks like the modern equivalent of the old-school chatroom. However, applied within a corporate context, people get a chance to be in a virtual party-like sense allowing people to mingle with others in different parts of the organization that they might not associate with generally. This type of association is vital to gaining a broader organizational context and becoming more effective. It also makes people feel more connected and prevents them from burning out.

Krishna Vinod

Excellent. Very, very valid points, Vijay. Now coming to AI and ML, you have a ton of experience. How do you feel the industry has evolved over the years? And, what is your advice for the future for companies and developers who wish to realize value with AI?

Vijay Krishnan 

Yeah, great question, Krishna! I’m listening to Kai-Fu Lee’s audiobook. I would recommend that to everyone. It’s called ‘AI superpowers,’ and it’s pretty interesting. So when I started in AI and ML, they could do quite well for email spam classification and a bunch of other problems.

But, this reboot of the neural networks via this deep learning revolution, if you will, in 2012, 2013 has sparked a lot of new interest in machine learning and opened up many new avenues. During my grad school at Stanford, neural networks promised a lot but didn’t do much compared to alternate methods.

With time, a number of the previous stumbling blocks got solved. Of course, all the other developments helped, like increased computing power, our ability to deal with non-convexity, etc. Despite this, the state of our understanding was still nebulous. 

To be fair, even today, many statisticians would still consider our understanding of why deep learning works so well to be quite nebulous. 

Today, the best I suspect we can do with deep learning is if it works exceedingly well, but we cannot prove any mathematical properties about it. But the fact is, yeah, there is no question that there were so many intractable problems with image understanding, video understanding, speech to text. I remember how primitive a lot of our machine translation methods were between languages and all that.

Effectively earning nonlinearities like this by deep learning has opened up a new range of problems and possibilities. These things have a lot of feedback loop effects. Once the world realized that this could be such a massive game changer and produce billions or trillions of value over time, that led to many feedback loop effects. 

Nvidia, formerly a gaming chips company, suddenly became more valuable as people started using GPUs for deep learning. Then, of course, Google, Facebook, and so many others began thinking of themselves as the AI-first companies engaged in massive investments in these areas, which enabled us to realize the potential in these specific areas.

I do not doubt that we will continue to realize many advantages of AI and ML in the coming years. 

So today, there’s this very simplified narrative, which I suspect many developers and even companies buy into. The narrative is that all the machine learning methods have become commodities, and AI can behave like a magic wand. And so, you don’t need any high level of competence as a software developer to get there. 

And now you think all you need is a lot of data and some regular software developers to start producing cutting-edge AI technology. I believe this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

[With ML] Your degrees of freedom are just very high, and it is very limiting if you, as a developer or company, don’t understand the underlying mathematics and your choices. It is rarely like a simple challenge on Kaggle—this popular website that does these data science competitions—where your problem is very bounded. They give you a dataset. Everyone already knows that one of these five or ten methods will work. Maybe there’s some minor tweaking you can do. And virtually almost everyone gets the best result. But that is not how real-world machine learning goes. There are just too many degrees of freedom in a bunch of different spaces.

The other thing is certainly your various choices of modeling options. What do you do? Do you choose to get more data labeled? What would be the likely impact of various things? Again, I think not understanding the underlying mathematics gets you very crippled under that circumstance.

It is important to go deeper into mathematics and look at it from a 20,000 feet level. I see many industry machine learning efforts where these two things don’t get done adequately, and the technical leaders suddenly realize they are falling behind. They have to invest a lot in AI. They build out teams, but they fail in these two key areas. And consequently, they have wasted efforts and failed projects.

Krishna Vinod 

Awesome. That is quite insightful, Vijay. So, now I have a follow-up question: What are some use cases and advantages of AI and ML at Turing. And, what does the future hold for AI and ML applications at Turing?

Vijay Krishnan 

Good question. So, first of all, we are an obsessively data-driven company.

Our ratio of data scientists to software engineers is something like one to two, which, I think, would be unusually high here based on what most companies do. I believe in most companies, for every 20 software engineers, they may have one data scientist.

I would split Turing’s machine learning and data science activities into two parts. The first would be business analytics type of use cases.

However, a big chunk of our efforts goes into evaluating software developers, better profiling software developers, and matching software developers. I’m sure many people have heard companies talking about precisely this in the context of the resume matching to jobs, for example.

However, at Turing, it goes a lot deeper than this because the resume is a tiny piece of the signal for us. Instead, we rely heavily on developers’ performance in our various tests. This process tells us about the developers, strengths, past projects on Turing with multiple customers of ours, etc.

Here, we have a lot of data regarding what predicts success and what is a waste of time and doesn’t give us much. Since, when we are trying to build a compelling profile of a developer, we are trying to ask the simple question: “How do I make every minute count. How do I make sure I don’t waste the software developers’ time, and every minute I spend assessing them gives me some very material information about them?”

Many people’s initial reaction is to think about Turing’s matching and ranking problem as similar to a Facebook or feed ranking problem or a Google search ranking problem. But it is not quite the same thing because the value of generating one specific, good feed ranking is not very high.

In Turing’s case, this is not entirely true. Here, we are engaging in an activity, which is at least, I would say, conservatively somewhere between a hundred thousand to a million times as valuable as one feed ranking on Google or Facebook. 

The economic impact of putting the right developer in front of the right job and the resulting value that a company can realize over the coming year or 18 months is very, very high.

So, in a sense, our matching system serves as a ranking system and a sort of GPS for people in our operations team to tell them precisely what new information we need to collect and from whom to make a more informed decision.

Krishna Vinod 

That was insightful, Vijay. So, now, really coming to the question that everyone’s been waiting for. What is your take on the $1 trillion problem of matching talent with opportunity, and how do you feel the advantages of AI could help solve it? 

Vijay Krishnan 

Yeah, I think the recruitment process becomes particularly more complex in this remote-first world.

So in the old world, if you will, where all hiring was local, arguably the problem itself is less complicated. And, while AI and ML could help improve things somewhat, the opportunity is just not as big.

Let’s take the old-school recruitment process where technical leaders in Palo Alto wish to hire a full stack developer with Node and React expertise within a five or 10-mile radius of Palo Alto. Now, this automatically shrinks the pool down to the people with those specific skills, who live within the particular area, and who are also available/ interested in the specific job, which invariably ends up being a relatively small pool at any given point in time. 

In areas like Silicon Valley, it ends up being the case. Not because there are not enough developers, but because it’s a tight labor market. So, if you have ten candidates to choose from, there’s not a ton that AI and ML can do at that point. On the flip side, if there is one software company within a ten or a twenty-mile radius of where developers live, their interests or ideal job don’t matter. Similarly, if there’s one software company within a five to ten miles radius, that is where people are probably working, and AI and ML can’t do a ton for you.

But the recruitment process completely changes in this remote first-world. Today at Turing, we have software developers from more than 10,000 cities across 140 countries worldwide. Once you relax these location constraints, that changes the game completely.

At Turing, there are possibly between 10,000 to 50,000 possible developers we could match for that specific job for every job opening. This statistic is for an average job. Of course, there are particular jobs with rare skills. But again, given the large size of our developer pool, more than 700,000 strong, there’s always a very, very sizable number of developers there. And on the flip side, there are hundreds of jobs they could be matched to in any given month for each developer.

So, here, the novel opportunity in the recruitment process comes because we generate certain kinds of win-win outcomes that the world has never seen before. The whole idea is about maximizing the extent to which work translates into value. 

Krishna Vinod

That’s amazing. So what I’m getting is that with the help of AI, we can turn this trillion-dollar opportunity into a win-win for both developers and customers?

Vijay Krishnan 

That’s exactly right. We have seen how much value a company can unlock due to increasing the sphere of effective collaboration itself.

I’ve read certain economic writings that talk about the early 20th century and the impact of the automobile on increasing the radius of people’s job opportunities. When the radius of job opportunities expanded from two to twenty miles, it was a game-changer. But now, imagine expanding the area by a factor of a hundred. Presumably, such a thing would increase job opportunities 100X. Now, consider what happens when you grow that to the diameter of the planet? So, yes, absolutely. 

Krishna Vinod

Awesome. So now, coming to the final question, Vijay. What does the future hold for Turing as a company, and how will AI help shape that future?

Vijay Krishnan

Right. So people think specifically about Turing’s rise amidst the pandemic. But the fact of the matter was that we were growing very rapidly, even pre-pandemic. The pure talent shortage in the recruitment process, economic pressures, and the high cost of living in various urban areas were nudging the world in this direction, but probably, not as fast as the pandemic did.

Ultimately, even in a post-pandemic world, boundaryless teams will make for a happier and healthier society with a lower carbon footprint where people do what they love. 

Ask your grandparents if they loved their jobs. They would probably say no. The purpose of a job is to earn money, which was the case with most of society. Now, a more significant percentage of people are in jobs that they love. Imagine extending that to the world itself. It’s also inspiring to create a level playing field for our talented software developers all over the world and give them the same exposure and the opportunity to work on projects of the same complexity as their Silicon Valley counterparts. These opportunities eventually allow them to grow much like their Silicon Valley counterparts. 

The biggest bottleneck to technology advancement today is the shortage of talented software developers. So, at Turing, it is exhilarating to be at the forefront of both—helping technology advance a lot faster than it would have otherwise and exposing the world’s software developers to the most exciting opportunities there are.

Krishna Vinod

Amazing. Thanks, Vijay. That was very insightful and a great discussion overall. 

Watch the complete video.

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By Sep 20, 2021
Technical interview questions for hiring teams.
For Employers

Former Amazon VP on Conducting Effective Technical Interviews

Neil Roseman shares insights on how to conduct in-depth technical interviews. Smart technical interview questions & a good hiring team are essential, he says.

Neil Roseman, former Technology VP for Amazon and Zynga, believes that most recruiters make hiring decisions based on basic credentials, GPAs, Ivy League college educations, and even SAT scores. But hiring a candidate involves a lot more quizzing them on technical interview questions.

Roseman has interviewed hundreds of candidates. He believes that you should carefully plan each step of the interview process to elicit detailed information on skill sets, actual accomplishments, cultural fit, and leadership potential. He also says that recruiters should make it easy for candidates to have open dialogues about their job experience and routines.

In this blog, Roseman explains how he builds interview processes from top to bottom to construct an effective organization, regardless of size or resources:

Carefully probe resumes

While screening resumes, Roseman keeps an eye out for areas where he can push candidates. “I always look for things where they have a measure of their success, especially if they make comparisons or use percentages. For example, [something like] I grew revenue by 50 percent or decreased downtime by 30 percent,” he explains.

Rather than merely being an observer, you want to know what the applicant actually did in their previous roles. Even the most successful company has a divide between those who get the most done and those who don’t. So, you need to try and figure that out during an interview. According to Roseman, this serves as a litmus test for how well they understood their role in the previous organization. 

Applicants may think it sounds nice to say things like: “I increased system availability by 50 percent.” However, if you’re interviewing someone for a system engineering position, for example, you need to know what, exactly, they accomplished. Roseman says that most of the time, when high-level assertions like these appear on resumes, it’s likely that the person hasn’t done them or was only a participant and knew very little about them. On the other hand, top applicants can always explain and back up their statements, irrespective of how in-depth your investigation goes.

Craft smart questions

Drafting good technical interview questions is vital. Hiring teams can refer to interview experience content on platforms like Glassdoor and Quora for inspiration.  It’s perfectly acceptable to borrow questions from these sources as long as you customize them, suggests Roseman.

Later, your entire team can brainstorm why you should ask a particular question, what the perfect answer will be, and even if the question is already on the internet, will it be fruitful to delve deep?

Roseman is particularly fond of questioning engineering applicants on product design. He says that great engineers should be more than order takers; they should be actively involved in product creation. Moreover, design questions can also help you learn more about how someone thinks. Drill applicants on previous products they’ve worked on and ask them to create a short portfolio management program to get to the heart of their competency. Depending on the role, you may also ask the candidate to elaborate on a more generic design challenge such as ‘design an ATM/Elevator for blind people’ or something more technical.

Assemble a strong hiring team

The hiring team you put together will determine the quality of the individuals you hire. Unfortunately, many businesses do not devote sufficient resources to preparing current employees to conduct peer interviews. Failure to do this is a grave mistake, according to Roseman.

Every hire necessitates careful consideration. Hence, leaders must train interviewers and examine their decision-making processes. 

In addition to this, the feedback given by the hiring team should be concise and conclusive. Roseman says that it is vital to keep two things in mind: 

1) You’ve wasted your time, the company’s time, and the candidate’s time if you can’t provide detailed feedback

2) If you get to the end of an interview and all you can say is: “Yeah, I kind of liked them, I think they’d be good,” you’ve, again, wasted everyone’s time

Generic answers lead to ambiguity among team members, so be precise about what you like and don’t like in a prospect.

Here’s a distilled list of the hiring rules mentioned above:

  • Start with a proper introduction to alleviate everyone’s nerves
  • Scour the résumé to understand the candidate’s experience
  • Don’t use applicants to “test” new questions. A set of predetermined questions can help your hiring team recognize excellent responses right away
  • Give plenty of time to code! This coding step is frequently overlooked
  • Investigate algorithms, data structures, code organization, and ease of use
  • Make a design inquiry. Examine how people think about the big picture

Your job as a recruiter is to evaluate a candidate’s talents, fit in your company’s culture, and future growth potential. Remember, you are a spokesperson for your company, and you must demonstrate the company’s ideals.

Are you struggling to vet software engineers/developers on your own? Turing can help. Turing’s automated platform lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Access a talent pool of the top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone. There’s no risk. Turing offers a free two-week trial period to make sure your developers deliver to your standards.

Read the complete article.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

 

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By Sep 17, 2021
Engineering Recruitment: Stripe's Former CTO on How to Get the Best Talent For Your Company
For Employers

Stripe’s Former CTO on How to Get the Best Talent for Your Company

Are you planning to hire software engineers or developers for your company? Take a look at how you can make the process more efficient and hire the best talent in the industry.

Hiring the right candidates for an organization is a challenging task. Greg Brockman, the founding engineer and former CTO at Stripe, a well-known engineering team in Silicon Valley, shares how the organization has been able to attract and hire the best software engineers through the years.

Here are the key takeaways:

Choose the right hiring channel

Stripe has four hiring channels. The first channel is Referrals. The organization has recruited some of its best talents through its referral system. Brockman says if you can tap the network of your first ten hires, you have broader chances of meeting some talented candidates. So get your engineers to list down the best people they’ve worked with and get them to work with you. 

The other two channels are Inbound and Outbound. If you are looking to create a developer-focused product for the Outbound channel, you will have to look around you. Analyze the community and choose what’s best for your business. “Be sure to create stimulating events for this community as it will help you identify the most promising individuals,” he adds. The Inbound channel includes the people who try their luck by emailing you after going through your careers page. 

The last channel is Recruiters. This channel sends a lot of people your way when you’re hiring. However, they’re not the “A+ talent” you’re seeking. And hence, Brockman says that one can have a hard time sourcing the right candidates through this channel.

Build a brand so that great people get convinced to join your company

When you’re marketing a product or service, you do it in such a way that makes people want to buy from you. The same goes for recruiting good people. You will surely come across talented individuals who are already in demand in the market. The best way to get them to join your company is to build a brand that resonates with their aspirations. The right candidate should be confident that you are building something big, and they’ll be happy working with you. 

Brockman also emphasizes transparency. A candidate will want to know about the company’s work culture, finances, and much more before joining. So, he suggests that employers should be as open as possible during the hiring process as it will help boost the candidate’s trust in their company. 

Focus on distinguishing Great from Good

Hiring someone just because they have worked in Google previously does not guarantee a good fit for the job. Brockman reveals that Stripe has had a bad experience every time they’ve made assumptions about someone’s ability. 

Hence, the organization prefers getting references from people they already know.

In addition to this, Stripe uses a collaborative hack project — prepared in advance to ensure that they’re well suited for someone’s interests and skill set. 

Hire people, not just the skill-set

If you plan on hiring someone, don’t hire them just because they have the skill-set you need. Instead, analyze whether the person will fit into your company’s work culture. Stripe uses ‘The Sunday Test’ for this. If a person is in the office on a Sunday, will it restrict you from coming to the office and working with them? If the answer is yes, the candidate is not suitable for your company’s work culture. 

Keep in mind that the first hire in any department is crucial for the success of your company. That person will be responsible for building a team and inspiring the members to work with them, explains Brockman.

Last but not least, he adds that recruiters should trust their instincts. If you think a person might not be the best candidate for the role you’re hiring, you, most probably, are correct.

To sum up, recruiting the best talent is all about using the channel that works best for you, learning to distinguish exceptional from good, building a brand so that the right people feel compelled to work with you, and trusting your gut. With these practices, you can ensure that you hire people that align with your organization as a whole. Brockman concludes that these practices may lengthen the whole hiring process at times, but, in the end, the results will be fruitful. 

Read the complete article here.

Are you struggling to vet software engineers/developers on your own? Turing can help. Turing’s automated platform lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Access a talent pool of the top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone. There’s no risk. Turing offers a free two-week trial period to make sure your developers deliver to your standards.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

 

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By Sep 16, 2021
Four Strategies That Helped Facebook Navigate Organizational Change Post-pandemic
For Employers

Four Strategies That Helped Facebook Navigate Organizational Change Post-pandemic

Inspirational leaders from Facebook share key insights about navigating organizational change post-pandemic

Growing organizations need inspirational leaders to steer them towards success post-pandemic. According to Facebook’s engineering leaders, flexible work hours, greater empathy, and communication can help organizations guide their teams through this phase. 

This post dives into the key strategies that helped Facebook cope with organizational change amidst the pandemic.

Key takeaways:

Embrace empathy and personalized communication 

Leaders must be more empathetic towards their team members to build a sustainable work culture and ensure high productivity. 

According to Mudit Goel, Director of Engineering for Real-Time Communications (RTC), everybody has a different situation at their home which we must not forget. “I’ve seen kids pop into the middle of a meeting to hug their parents. I’ve seen fire alarms come through, and I’ve seen a person I was talking with attacked by fire ants! We all have to find ways to work with others’ constraints,” he explains.

Jerome Pesenti, VP of AI, agrees: “As leaders, we need to show a lot of empathy for what people are going through and allow everybody to have as much of a normal life as possible, given the circumstances. Being mindful of what teams are experiencing is the key to staying calm, offering guidance, and showing support.”

Lead by example, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help

Jerome further adds that it is essential for leaders to live by example. “Many leaders on my team and across the company have shown that they need to adjust their regular schedule. We need people to find balance in a new and sustainable way. Find what works for you and makes you most productive,” he shares.

Surupa Biswas, an Engineer Director of Facebook’s Developer Infrastructure Group, agrees with Jerome. She says it has been quite a revelation to see people accept help from all corners of the company, and she too has taken to it. Biswas adds: “Facebook has such a big company growing on all fronts; still, all of us here feel like we are a part of a big team working together.”

Fierce prioritization in the face of uncertainty

Prioritizing relevant work and linking it to a core mission can help teams stay motivated. Focusing on business goals for organizational change will not be enough to help teams adapt. Leaders should balance both—empathy and inspiration. 

Ning Li, VP of Engineering of Facebook Apps, says while it is essential to address new challenges, leaders focus on what is critical in the moment. According to her, it is okay to cancel certain projects as long as you focus on what’s relevant. 

Li elaborates further: “For example, our team’s pivot to support small businesses is crucial right now. We’ve reprioritized our work, so our services run well for the businesses that need them. This stays true to Facebook’s mission.”

Share and utilize productivity insights

Sharing and utilizing productivity insights helps employees who are starting in an environment that is new to them. Engineering leaders should also test and sharing productivity hacks alongside their teams.

Goel also shares how leaders can learn from their teams. “Many people are facing similar challenges, and we’re all learning from each other. We tell each other about the different things we’re trying while working from home, and we talk about which one’s work. We also discuss the specific problems we’re facing and share how we’re overcoming them,” he explains. 

For Biswas, creating a new schedule has been very helpful. “I try to have all of my critical meetings between 8:00 am and noon,” she adds. That way, she has more time throughout the day for her personal activities. 

Not just Facebook but organizations worldwide are experimenting with novel management practices to adapt to a distributed workforce. As more and more organizations shift to remote work culture, leaders need to develop new ways of empowering their team members. Most importantly, they need to understand that the future of work requires a flexible, high trust, inclusive and compassionate culture.

Read the complete article.

Are you struggling to recruit skilled software developers since the pandemic? Turing can help. Turing’s automated platform lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Access a talent pool of the top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone. There’s no risk. Turing offers a free two-week trial period to ensure your developers deliver to your standards.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

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By Sep 6, 2021
Best Strategies to Reduce Unhealthy Employee Attrition
For Employers

Greenhouse CTO Shares How to Reduce Unhealthy Employee Attrition

According to Boufford, organizations shouldn’t aim for zero regrettable employee attrition but implement strategies to reduce the unhealthy turnover rate.

A high employee retention rate has many tangible benefits, including an experienced workforce, lower recruitment and training costs, etc. However, zero regrettable attrition should not be an organization’s only goal. According to Mike Boufford, CTO of Greenhouse, analyzing the reasons behind healthy and unhealthy turnover is more important than aiming for zero regrettable attrition.

In a recent blog post, Boufford shares three strategies designed to reduce regrettable employee turnover:

Foster a culture of open communication and respect 

Lack of proper communication is one of the prominent reasons why employees quit their jobs. Therefore, you must cultivate a culture of openness by discussing the company values with your employees. Open up conversations about the organization’s compensation philosophy with them. This way, the employees will feel a strong sense of belonging in their organization.

In addition to this, studies affirm that employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. And thus, providing learning opportunities can show your employees that the company values their personal growth. This encourages them to remain committed to the organization.

It is equally important to build a culture of respect in the workspace; work proactively to show that bad behavior is not tolerated in the organization, according to Boufford.

Replace ‘regrettable’ with ‘healthy’

When you focus on the regrettable attribution metric, you are more concerned about the number of people leaving rather than the reason why they are leaving, Boufford explains. Regrettable attrition is a poor proxy for gauging your employees’ satisfaction and loyalty. It obscures workplace issues that need your attention, he adds.

“There are healthy and unhealthy reasons for turnover — that’s where our focus should be, instead of simply on deciding whether or not the company mourns their departure,” says Boufford. He shares a few pointers to encourage a healthy turnover. Specifically: 

  • Make it clear to your employees that it’s okay to consider other opportunities for their careers. 

  • Show them that you are genuinely committed to helping them achieve their career goals. 

  • Talk about your own ambitions and, in turn, encourage them to be vocal about their future plans. 

  • Help them identify and examine new opportunities.

Most importantly, handle resignations with respect and grace. Ensure you part on good terms.

Develop a framework to analyze the turnover

There are several reasons why employees may consider quitting, according to Boufford. The CTO also adds that a detailed framework that analyses the causes of employee turnover can help you take the necessary measures to reduce it.

He shares a sample framework to identify a few healthy and unhealthy causes of turnover:

Healthy Causes:

  1. They’ve found a new passion and need to devote their time to pursue it.
  2. They’ve found a better opportunity to advance their career.
  3. They want to do something on their own.

Unhealthy Causes:

  1. They resign to join a competitor. 
  2. They feel like they were mistreated or have issues with the team dynamics.
  3. They don’t feel like they’re learning anything new.

Strong employee retention has significant benefits, but it pales in comparison to the advantages of fostering healthy company culture, according to Boufford. A company with solid values assures that people stick around, not because they haven’t found a better opportunity, but because they want to. And thus, if you take steps to cultivate healthy behavior, a high employee retention rate will be just one of the many benefits your organization sees.

Read the complete article. 

Are you struggling to recruit and retain skilled and experienced remote software engineers who are adept in technical and soft skills? Turing can help. Turing’s automated platform lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Access a talent pool of the top 1% of 700K+ developers who work in your time zone. There’s no risk. Turing offers a free two-week trial period to ensure your developers deliver to your standards.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

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By Sep 4, 2021
Amazon Leadership Principles for Building an Invention Machine
For Employers

Amazon’s Success Formula for Building an Invention Machine

Amazon explains how it drives invention through the following leadership principles: single-threaded leadership, working backward, and uniform mechanisms.

Amazon’s success story and customer-centric approach are well known.  Colin Bryar, former Amazon VP, and Bill Carr, ex-Amazon VP of digital media, dive deeper into the pillars of Amazon’s success in their book, ‘Working Backwards.’ The book reveals that the e-commerce giant’s success cannot be credited to a single practice but to the system that Jeff Bezos and the leadership team have created along the way. 

Let’s take a look at key takeaways: 

Innovation takes time

If you want to build a product that is not your core business, you cannot just brainstorm a quick idea and put it out for the public. For example, AWS grossed $10billion in just four years, but it took around 18 months before engineers started working on codes. According to Carr: “More so than most companies, Amazon thinks about creating value for customers, focusing specifically on how they can create unique and distinct products.”

Colin adds: “Moving fast isn’t about moving quickly, throwing stuff over the fence, or launching it in an app to see how it sticks. Instead, stopping to think about the value you’re trying to create for the customer and the problem you’re trying to solve is essential, especially when you’re moving into a brand-new area.” 

If you are building a company or as Bryar likes to call it, the invention machine, you need to analyze what your customer needs and if your product will be of value to them. 

Focus on what customers want and not what you can provide

Most business schools teach how to build a business around your skillset. But Amazon takes a different approach.

The organization had $5 billion in revenue back in 2004. Despite the massive figure, Bezos invested in digital media, seeing iPods’ growing popularity. In addition to this, he pulled Carr and his boss, Steve Kessel, off the physical media business and instructed them to focus on digital media. 

This management decision led to the birth of the Kindle. The device was not outsourced but built in-house. The device solved a critical problem: easy access to e-books. It took three years for Kindle to launch, but over time, Kindle became a go-to device for book readers with a collection of more than a million books.

Single-threaded leadership

Amazon believes in being stubborn on the mission but flexible on the details. The company has an approach of single-threaded leadership. The system suggests that a person responsible for one product should not have to worry about anything else. 

One example of this approach in action is Amazon Prime. Jeff Wilke, former CEO, Amazon, made one of his strongest VPs step down from a huge role in operations to focus solely on Prime. After this change, the whole team was in place, the team finalized the product, and launched the program in just a matter of months. 

Start from the end

Usually, companies brainstorm on an idea, make mockups, test the products, and launch it to the public. This process can have two outcomes: The product can be a huge success or a dud failure. 

Amazon believes in the building by working backward. Rather than spending time conceptualizing a product, it starts with the customer. The team drafts a series of press releases, conducts surveys, evaluates the responses, and builds the product around the answers. Then, they create a roadmap and assign tasks accordingly. 

Similarly, Amazon emphasizes spotting the potential hurdles earlier in the development process. Bryar says that it’s much cheaper to address a set of questions upfront than to counter the issues at the production stage. 

He lists down a few questions that leaders should ask themselves before starting on a new product: 

  • How well can the product scale?
  • What are the key areas which can cause the failure of this product?
  • What amount of failure is acceptable?
  • Is the product reliable?

These questions can help leaders understand what can hamper the growth of their product and what can help it succeed. 

Intentions don’t work, mechanisms do

Bryar reveals: “When we ran into an issue or a problem, Bezos would always ask, ‘Do we have a mechanism in place, so it doesn’t happen again?” And hence, Amazon builds mechanisms to overcome challenges. It uses the ‘5 Whys’ method to find the root cause of the problem, just like Toyota. 

According to the method, it usually takes five ‘Whys’ to reach the root cause of an issue. Then, when a counter-measure becomes apparent, you follow it through to prevent the issue from recurring. Finally, leaders can go a step further using a sixth, seventh, or even eighth ‘why’ if the problem is too complex. 

Another mechanism that the organization borrowed from Toyota is the ‘Andon Cord.’ This method consists of a pull cord that workers can activate to stop the production and warn management in case of a significant issue. Similarly, if multiple customers face the same problem with the same product, Amazon pulls the Andon Cord on the product until they fix the problem. 

In addition to this, Amazon believes in measuring the metrics that matter. To boost output, the organization closely monitors customer satisfaction, average delivery time, number of orders, new items in stock, etc. 

The e-commerce giant has launched various products since its inception, all of them highly successful. Leaders often look at the bigger picture when growing a company. However, the executives at Amazon prefer diving deep into the details of the business. As Bryar says, “Deep diving is not micromanaging – it’s staying on the top of the details of your business.” And thus, Amazon keeps its horizontal array of businesses afloat using its own set of carefully curated strategies. 

Read the complete article. 

Excellent engineers are intrinsic to incredible inventions. Are you looking to hire skilled software developers to scale your team? Try Turing. Turing is an automated platform that lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Firms can hire from a talent pool of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone.

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By Sep 3, 2021
Andrew Ng on AI adoption and artificial intelligence stocks
For Employers

Coursera Co-founder Andrew Ng Shares Why Leaders Should Invest in AI

Andrew Ng shares why tech and big data companies should transform their business operations through AI and invest in artificial intelligence stocks. He also talks about the rise of artificial intelligence jobs.

AI adoption has gained traction in the past few years, disrupting almost every industry. But implementing AI-based applications can be challenging. AI pioneer, Founder of the Google Brain Team and Landing AI, Former Chief Scientist at Baidu, and Co-founder of Coursera, Andrew Ng, recently shared how companies can adopt AI to transform their operations. 

Here are the key takeaways:

Brainstorm projects and start small 

Ng recommends companies start by brainstorming a list of at least half a dozen projects that can use AI rather than diving into just one. Next, he suggests a review of all the possible projects from a technical and business diligence perspective. After a few weeks of analysis, Ng says leaders can pick one or two worthwhile projects and commit to them. The AI pioneer recommends leaders start with small six-to-12 month goals instead of trying to accomplish an expansive vision. 

Ng also recommends starting with a small team and then building it up gradually: “Start with a machine learning team of around five people. That teaches you the early lessons you need to build a bigger team.”

Shift your mindset from big data to good data

The Coursera co-founder says companies need to shift their focus from big data to good data. “If you have a million images, go ahead, use them. But there are lots of problems that can use much smaller data sets that are clearly labeled and carefully curated,” he explains. 

Ng adds: “When you have millions or a billion users, you can have that noisy data and just average it—the learning algorithm will do fine. But if you are in a setting where you have a smaller data set—say, a hundred examples—then this type of noisy data has a huge impact on performance.”

Don’t wait for your data to be clean and perfect

Ng explains that engineering leaders waste a lot of time in waiting for their data to be pristine. CEOs and CIOs often complain that their data’s a mess at the moment and that they’d build a great IT infrastructure in the next two years. To that, Ng says: “That’s a mistake. [Organizations] shouldn’t do that.”

The AI scientist points out that no company—not even the tech giants—have immaculate data. But that’s okay. “Spending two or three years to build a beautiful data infrastructure means that you lack feedback from the AI team to help prioritize what IT infrastructure to build. It is about starting an AI project with the data you already have that enables an AI team to give you the feedback to help prioritize what additional data to collect,” he adds.

AI isn’t just for the tech giants; startups can leverage AI too

Ng remarks that large corporations usually get all the media attention when it comes to AI. However, there is a lot of space for smaller organizations in the industry. 

“I’ll just mention a couple of gaps that I find exciting,” he continues, “Today, building AI systems is still very manual. You have a few brilliant ML engineers and data scientists who do things on a computer and then push things to production. There’s a lot of manual steps in the process. So I’m excited about ML ops as an emerging discipline to help make the process of building and deploying AI systems more systematic.” 

He further adds that there is a lot of room for automation in day-to-day business problems—from marketing to human resources. 

Start making investments in AI 

Ng suggests that the next wave of AI will transform industries. It will disrupt everything—from manufacturing, agriculture, transportation to healthcare, according to Ng. Consequently, he says, now is a good time for CEOs and CXOs to think about how AI will affect their industry when it becomes pervasive.

“AI is causing a shift in the dynamics of many industries. So if your company isn’t already making pretty aggressive and smart investments, this is a good time,” suggests the AI pioneer. 

Embrace AI but ensure that your business is people-led

The AI scientist says that ‘AI is automation on steroids.’ Going AI-first might be great for a research lab but not for the business—businesses should not be AI-led. “If I go to a team and say, “Hey, everyone, please be AI-first,” it tends to focus the team on technology. In terms of how I execute the business, I tend to be customer-led or mission-led, almost never technology-led,” he adds. 

Artificial Intelligence is altering businesses at a rapid pace and will soon become ubiquitous. Most experts agree AI has the potential to drive tremendous economic growth. The technologies that enable AI, like development platforms, processing power, and data storage, are becoming affordable. As these technologies continue to mature, companies that have yet to adopt AI will feel the pressure to do so to stay competitive. As Ng says, the time is indeed right for companies to capitalize on this highly disruptive phenomenon.

Watch the full video.

Read the complete article.

Are you looking to scale your engineering team through AI? Turing can help. Turing’s automated platform lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Access a talent pool of the top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in your time zone. There’s no risk. Turing offers a free two-week trial period to make certain your developers deliver to your standards.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

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By Sep 2, 2021
Turing CEO Jonathan Siddharth Explains Why Silicon Valley Companies Are Shifting To Remote Work
For Employers

Turing CEO Jonathan Siddharth Explains Why Silicon Valley Has Moved to the Cloud

Silicon Valley companies are hiring for remote software developer jobs. Turing CEO explains the reasons behind the rapid adoption of remote work policies.

The pandemic drove a rapid — and in many cases, unplanned — shift to remote work across the world. Many Silicon Valley companies have realized that there are significant benefits to keeping teams remotely distributed. In a recent TechCrunch post, Jonathan Siddharth, CEO, and co-founder of Turing elaborated on the reasons behind this shift. 

Here are the key takeaways:

Every company is now offering remote jobs

“Silicon Valley may still be the best place to start a company, but if you’re a founder, it’s now financially reckless to scale your company in the Bay Area. Boundaryless companies are now the new normal — and this transformation calls for a new way to build companies with a globally distributed workforce,” noted Siddharth. 

He highlighted the three factors responsible for this change:

Hiring remote talent is easier and often economically advantageous

The last few years saw an abundance of remote talent. “Accessibility to online courses through MOOCS like Udacity has democratized access to high-quality education, resulting in more talented and well-trained individuals all over the world. At the same time, competition in Silicon Valley has made it increasingly costly and time-consuming to recruit talent,” Siddharth explained. 

Owing to these factors, hiring candidates with Silicon Valley level skill-sets from a diverse talent pool is becoming more commonplace.

Co-located companies find it hard to attract and even harder to retain great people

Interest in remote work remains high. In fact, many people are willing to forego a pay raise to work remotely. Consider: Blind’s survey of 3000+ employees from the largest US companies—including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft—found that 64 percent of respondents chose permanent remote work over a $30K pay raise. 

SaaS tools for remote teams have evolved through the years

Efficient and easy-to-use SaaS tools have contributed significantly to the rise of remote teams. “Tools like GitHub, Slack, Zoom, Trello, etc., have enabled distributed teams to efficiently collaborate across time zones and boundaries, bringing them on par with co-located teams. Additionally, they’ve enabled employers to hire the best talent from anywhere in the world,” Siddharth said.

Challenges stopping companies from going remote-first

Siddharth highlighted three obstacles that can prevent companies from running remote:

It’s difficult to find remote, Silicon Valley-caliber talent for software developer jobs

Cheap, remote talent is abundant in the market. “You can go to several open labor marketplaces and bid for developers or, you can find a dev shop. The problem is quality because, in many marketplaces, there is no vetting,” noted the Stanford alum. And thus, although it’s easy to source average developers, it’s hard to find brilliant, highly experienced talent, Siddharth explained.

Evaluating global candidates is tricky 

Vetting remote talent to determine the right match for a company’s needs is difficult. Traditional CVs offer hiring managers little real insight into their actual skills and qualifications. In addition, CVs typically don’t provide information about the quality of schools the candidate attended or little-known companies for which the candidate worked. 

Said Siddharth: “If you’re hiring a developer from Sao Paulo, Brazil, you won’t see Stanford or Berkeley in her educational experience. What’s the Stanford of Brazil? You won’t see Google, Facebook, etc., on a resume either. The individual you hire could be your next 10X engineer, but it’s hard to determine the reality based on a resume alone. Without deep knowledge of companies and schools in a particular region, it can be hard to recruit efficiently.”

Managing a remote team is difficult

Companies transitioning to a remote-first paradigm often find it difficult to manage and operate distributed teams. Ensuring efficient communication across time zones is often a big challenge. Consequently, it isn’t easy to ensure that remote developers are working on what’s most valuable to the organization. 

“The nuts and bolts of running a globally distributed team are not easy. It’s painful to manage international payments. It’s complex to handle Global HR correctly from a compliance and worker classification perspective, and it’s pretty challenging to stay fully compliant with international labor laws. For these reasons, we see the birth of the Deep Talent Cloud,” Siddharth said.

How can an Intelligent Talent Cloud help to hire a software developer online?

A Talent Cloud is a category of organizations that spin up teams in the cloud with just the push of a button. 

They are vertically focused 

Siddharth explained the advantages of a deep talent cloud over a labor marketplace: “Unlike a labor marketplace, an intelligent talent cloud is vertically focused and precise, making it capable of delivering candidates that have been rigorously evaluated for each specific industry/vertical. Deep talent clouds are often SaaS-enhanced to offer additional value to both sides of the marketplace. For example, Turing is an intelligent talent cloud focused on software developers as a vertical. There are very effective talent clouds being built for other verticals.” 

Intelligent Talent Clouds go beyond connecting two sides of a marketplace

Thin marketplaces worked fine for office-based organizations where remote work was the exception. Siddharth outlined why: “Labor marketplaces do very little beyond connecting the two sides of demand and supply. They are not tailor-made for a specific vertical. Instead, they are suitable for small, gig-based work that’s relatively low stakes. Today’s remote-first era needs a Deep Talent Cloud that goes well beyond simply connecting both sides of a marketplace.”

A Deep Talent Cloud may offer other features such as: 

  • Supply vetting
  • Demand vetting
  • Collaboration tools 
  • Security controls 
  • Training/upskilling
  • Supply Credentialing 
  • Community
  • Financial Services, 
  • Insurance
  • Payments 
  • HR Services 
  • Tax assistance
  • Industry-specific perks

They are SaaS-enabled

“Companies such as OysterHR, Remote.com & Deel are examples of companies that offer excellent SaaS solutions to solve problems like global HR, payments, etc. Collaboration tools like Miro, Mural, etc., make remote professionals more efficient. There are also vertical-specific SaaS tools like Invision that make design collaboration more effective,” he noted.

Siddharth concluded that the shift to remote is more than just a post-pandemic phenomenon. He stated that we are entering the golden era of remote work. As a result, remote-first companies have an unfair advantage over their competitors in hiring, retention, speed of execution, and financial efficiency. To be competitive in this new reality, employers must update their office-based processes to enable the new remote work culture. Fortunately, there is a growing landscape of companies developing cloud-based tools that will help them get there. 

Are you looking to replace your traditional, on-premise engineering recruitment system with an efficient cloud-based one? If yes, check out Turing. Turing’s automated platform lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Turing lets employers access a talent pool of the top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in your time zone. There’s no risk. Turing offers a free two-week trial period to ensure your developers deliver to your standards.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

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By Sep 1, 2021
Google's Project Oxygen shared five traits intrinsic to engineering management decision-making, team collaboration, great technical skills, result-orientedness, etc.
For Employers

Want To Become a Great Engineering Manager? Here’s How Googlers Do It!

Google’s Project Oxygen shared five traits intrinsic to engineering management: decision-making, team collaboration, great technical skills, result-orientedness, etc.

A few years ago, Google came up with a hypothesis that managers add nothing but an extra layer of bureaucracy to its system. The organization tried to prove the same with Project Oxygen. Quite contrary to the expectations, the analysis revealed that managers were intrinsic to Google’s success. 

Based on these findings, the tech giant identified five essential characteristics that make up for a great manager:

They are good at coaching and decision making

The command and control style of leadership is no longer effective. The most efficient managers act and think like coaches. They don’t solve problems on the spot but use them as examples to enhance their team’s problem-solving skills. Good managers know that they’re facilitators and not problem-fixers. They consistently share their knowledge with the team members so they can grow professionally and develop leadership skills. 

The absence of solid decision-making can paralyze an organization. And thus, great managers are excellent at making decisions and executing plans. They weigh their options carefully, but once they come to a decision, they stand behind it diligently.

Don’t micromanage. Do create an inclusive environment

Great managers do not micromanage employees but empower them to take control of their projects. Such empowerment gives employees the freedom to explore and learn from their experiences. Research shows that empowered employees have higher job satisfaction than others. Moreover, managers who empower others are seen as more influential and inspiring by their subordinates.

All employees want to feel a part of the broader team mission. And thus, high-performing managers strive to create an inclusive environment where anyone can ask a question, experiment, and propose a new idea. Such managers promote team cohesion through empathy, and they exhibit genuine concern for their team members. They are actively engaged in their employees’ success and happiness at work

The best managers are good at communication and collaboration

Effective communication is intrinsic to high-performance management. Often, managers lose sight of this and fall prey to a top-down approach. Great managers don’t just give directives; they communicate performance expectations to employees with utmost clarity. This way, every team member knows their roles and goals in the organization. Beyond this, great managers listen to their team, accept feedback, and implement it wherever possible. 

In a remote business world, collaboration skills are a top priority. Lack of collaboration can hamper a team’s productivity. Great managers know that their team is not an independent unit, and thus, they always find ways to collaborate across teams to enhance the overall output. 

They are productive, results-oriented, and have a clear vision

Great managers make productivity a priority—they are efficient delegators and contributors. They consistently measure results and keep the processes to a minimum by equipping employees with productivity-enhancing tools.

Efficient managers have a clear vision for the organization. They have clarity on the goals and objectives required to get there. Most importantly, such managers include employees in the strategy and vision-building process instead of imposing it on them. As a result, these team leaders foster commitment instead of compliance and lead the team towards a shared vision of success. 

The best managers have critical technical skills and promote career development

Managers increase their credibility when they practice what they preach. As a result, Google believes that great managers have expertise in the same technical skills their employees must possess. This way, they can guide them through tasks and remove roadblocks. 

Lastly, the best managers care about their employees’ careers and growth as much as they care about their own. They provide consistent, constructive feedback to their team members to help them achieve personal and organizational goals. They contribute in ways that help employees thrive in the organization.

Great managers bring out the best in their team members. But being a great manager is so much more than just managing and delegating tasks—it’s a continuous learning process. It is about mobilizing employees, identifying and developing their skills, and channeling them to meet organizational goals.  Most importantly, becoming a great manager is about becoming a great leader and driving other employees towards excellence.

Read the complete article.

Are you struggling to hire skilled and experienced remote software engineers who are adept in technical and soft skills? Turing can help. Turing’s automated platform lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Access a talent pool of the top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in your time zone. There’s no risk. Turing offers a free two-week trial period to ensure your developers deliver to your standards.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

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By Aug 26, 2021
Hiring Managers Should Know This Before Hiring Top Talent
For Employers

The Key to This Twitter Manager’s Interviewing Approach? Clearly Defined Rubrics!

A set of clearly defined rubrics can make the hiring process much more consistent for hiring managers. Twitter’s Software Engineering Manager reveals how.

As a hiring manager, one should have a set of rubrics for the interview process, says Mallika Rao, Software Engineering Manager at Twitter. A well-structured set can help you to hire great talent. In the absence of defined rubrics, people default to their own criteria to assess candidates.

Rao goes further by elaborating her approach to hiring:  

Clear rubrics make the hiring process more uniform

Rao believes that well-defined rubrics make the hiring process consistent. “If you have the rubrics and the call structure in place, and you know how you’re going to sell the vision, goals, or inflection points in the product, you’ll be able to get a lot more out of that call,” she explains.

Rao also says that candidates should have a good idea of the team before they go on-site. “Leaders and hiring managers,” she says, “should provide candidates with relevant information and get them excited about the team.” 

Managers should be mindful of the levels they’re hiring for

For example, software engineering has various levels, software engineer 1, senior software engineer, etc. Leaders need to tune their questions for each of these levels carefully. Before the interview, they should mull over points like: Do they have a variety of questions for different roles? How do they level them? How do they write reviews? 

Setting the correct expectations and calibrating the panel that can evaluate candidates for each level is equally important. “If the company is in a position to think about it, topgrading can be a good idea,” Rao adds. Topgrading is a 12-step hiring process designed to identify top talent from a pool of candidates for a particular position, even before hiring managers have had a chance to see them in action. Unlike standard behavioral interviews, topgrading helps make informed and evidence-based recruiting decisions rather than solely basing them on job applications. 

As a leader, you must develop an interview process that gives you strong signals about the candidate. Then, once you have the cues, make your decisions using the rubric. “It goes a long way in having quick huddles to decide with the interview team if it’s a hire or a no-hire. It really helps the candidate and the team,” Rao explains.

At times, it is okay to override decisions

In an effort not to upset others, leaders might avoid tough decisions. Unfortunately, these delays do more damage than whatever fallout leaders are trying to avoid. 

On a similar note, Rao says that it’s okay for managers to override decisions. Even when the team says ‘no’ democratically, the manager might have good reasons to go ahead and close the hire; they might know something the team does not. However, managers need to keep in mind that they have limited matchsticks to burn. Their decisions can impact the team’s trust. And so, they need to be conscious of how they’re making decisions and keep the process as organized as possible. 

Managers must understand that hiring is not a general solution. Depending on the organization or vertical they are hiring for, they need to employ different hiring strategies. Though being mindful, flexible, and unbiased help, managers must be clear about what they’re looking for in a candidate. In addition, leaders should know the expectations of both the candidate and the organization well before making any hiring decision. 

Read the complete article.

Are you struggling to hire skilled and experienced remote software engineers? Turing can help. Turing’s automated platform lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Access a talent pool of the top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone. There’s no risk. Turing offers a free two-week trial period to make certain your developers deliver to your standards.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

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By Aug 24, 2021
Software engineering companies work culture
For Employers

Netflix, Facebook, GitLab, Basecamp, and Buffer Swear By These Workplace Values

Freedom and transparency lead to greater employee engagement in software engineering teams. Tech companies have molded their workplace according to these values.

A good work culture gives equal growth opportunity and voice to every employee. Daniel H. Pink, a renowned author, who has penned several books on workplace culture, says that employees are happier and more productive when they have autonomy, mastery, and purpose in their work. Successful tech companies across the globe have modeled their culture, keeping these principles in mind.

Let’s take a look at five such companies: 

Netflix: freedom and responsibility go hand-in-hand

Netflix has a unique engineering culture where every developer is accountable for what they write— they run their program and fix issues if any. As a company, Netflix is known for the freedom it gives its employees.

In addition to this, the online streaming platform has no policies on vacations or clothing. Employees take as much leave as they want; the company doesn’t keep track at all. 

Netflix hires people based upon nine values: Judgement, communication, impact, curiosity, innovation, courage, passion, honesty, and selflessness. It believes that when responsible people get freedom, they thrive on it, supporting a culture of creativity and self-discipline. 

GitLab: praise in public, criticize in private

GitLab follows a ‘dogfooding’ process. The employees at the company use their products to see whether they’re useful in real-life situations. What’s more, the company doesn’t overlook boring ideas when they come to the table. On the contrary, it cultivates boring ideas because it believes they result in easy maintenance. 

In addition to this, GitLab envisions a workplace where caring for others is a priority. As a result, the remote-first organization ensures that all employees share positive feedback publicly and relay negative feedback in the smallest setting possible. GitLab also believes in creating a culture of diversity, inclusion, and belonging where everyone can thrive. 

Facebook: adapt and improvise

Facebook believes in ‘releasing fast, failing fast, and learning fast.’ So, taking inspiration from Mao Zedong, the social media giant created a ‘Little Red Book’ that contains the core values that drive the company. For example, one page from the book reads: “If we don’t create a thing that kills Facebook, someone will.” And thus, the California-based company motivates its employees to be a part of their fast work culture, knowing that greatness and comfort cannot coexist.  

Another page from the book reads: “There is no point of having a 5-year plan in this industry. With each step forward, the landscape you’re walking in changes.” Subsequently, the organization believes in creating and working towards 6-month plans based on its vision for the next 30 years. 

Buffer: transparency is the key

Buffer is on a mission to thrive through transparency. All the insights related to revenue, salaries, code, etc., are open to the public on Buffer’s transparency page. One can also look at how its employees’ wages are calculated and give feedback for the same. Buffer even reveals how it spends its earnings. The company states that for every 10$ dollars you pay, just $0.46 is the actual profit. 

Apart from this, the organization is keen on celebrating diversity. It maintains a diversity dashboard that lays out all its employees according to their gender, ethnicity, language preferences, and much more.

In addition to these values, Buffer promotes positivity and self-improvement and encourages its employees to work smarter and not harder. 

Basecamp: work-life balance is essential

Basecamp bases its core values on excellence, experimentation, honesty, and kindness. The organization has less than 50 employees to reduce complexity and promote efficiency. In addition, it nurtures a culture of charity and encourages its employees to give back to the world.

One of the organization’s areas of focus is employee happiness and health. Supporting this concept, Basecamp has summer hours from May 1 to August 31, during which employees observe a 4-day work week from Monday till Thursday only. The company also provides a monthly fitness stipend, massage allowance, and a community-supported agriculture allowance encouraging employees to buy local produce. Similarly, it encourages its employees to have a maximum of 40-hours of work per week and 8-hours of sleep a night.

A strong work culture ensures that good talent is appreciated and retained in the workplace. Freedom, responsibility, transparency, employee well-being, and giving back are some of the significant pillars of the work cultures of some successful companies across the world. Taking inspiration from these values, organizations can build a culture that promotes organizational and employee growth. 

Read the complete article.

Are you looking to hire skilled, pre-vetted remote developers that will align with your work culture seamlessly? Turing can help. Turing’s automated platform lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Firms can hire from a talent pool of top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

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By Aug 23, 2021
Strong Team Culture
For Employers

Want to Hire the Best Tech Talent? Build the Best Culture First.

Target Corp’s Senior Engineering Manager reveals three characteristics that make for a strong team culture: employee empowerment, appreciation, and trust.

In the last few years, there has been a sharp increase in demand for developers capable of providing solutions to complex software problems. As a result, organizations face an uphill battle as they try to recruit the most skilled technical talent. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for software engineers in the US will exceed the number of available developers by at least 1.2 million by 2026. 

Hiring great engineers is destined to become even more challenging. So how can organizations recruit the tech talent they need? One way, says Kate Wardin, a Senior Engineering Manager at Target Corp, is to build a solid software team culture that engineers will love.

Kate goes further by highlighting three engineering characteristics that make a software culture standout:

Remove roadblocks and empower your team members

Remove delays in projects as they lower both—motivation and productivity in teams. Encourage developers to suggest ways to make the workflow as fluid as possible. Spend time and energy to identify the painful processes that cause friction in work. This process can be as quick as asking your teammates, “What would make life easier for this team?” Act on their feedback immediately, and allocate appropriate budgets and time to fix the issues. 

Often, employees on the front lines are not involved in decision-making. Failing to solicit team-member input can be a very costly mistake, according to Wardin. Hence, it is essential to reach out to every team member to understand their ideas and perspectives. Build practices that amplify the voices of your team members. Ensure that you take decisions at the level where the best information is available. 

Share credit, take the blame, and put engineers first

Wardin recommends ‘creating a culture where employees advocate for one another, share praise for their peers’ accomplishments, and remain loyal to one another as they recover from issues.’ She explains that this will create a sense of inclusion and community among team members. 

As for taking the blame, bring an all-hands-on-deck mentality to fix issues during the production process. Focus on fixing the problem: Which tools, systems, or monitors can you introduce? Refrain from finger-pointing at all costs. Ensure that your employees don’t feel devalued in the process of delivering a solution. Create a no-blame process that encourages your people to spend their energy building superior technology.

Embrace vulnerability and build trust

Allow your employees to be vulnerable and make mistakes by setting the right examples. This practice will enable them to learn and grow through the process.

Trust is an essential characteristic of happy teams. There are two types of trust that you need to build within your team: affective and cognitive. Wardin explains: “Affective trust is ‘trust from the heart’—that sense of empathy based on feelings generated by interactions. Developing trust can be as simple as encouraging people to share stories about their life outside of work. Cognitive trust is trust from the head”—it’s your confidence in one another. You can develop cognitive trust by encouraging transparency and acknowledging areas where you tend to mess up.”

It is equally important to trust employees with their decisions and develop an open culture for better participation. Finally, focus on fostering an inclusive and psychologically safe environment for every person on your team.

We are at a pivotal point that demands organizations adapt to their employees’ needs and not the other way around. Recruiting and retaining the best talent will require employers to invest in their team’s culture just as they would invest in any other business asset. Therefore, engineering leaders should be relentless and consistent in their pursuit of exceptional engineering practices. Most importantly, they should articulate their intentions clearly and share their passion for improving the team’s culture with the team members to follow suit.  

Read the complete article.

Are you struggling to hire skilled and experienced remote software engineers? Turing can help. Turing’s automated platform lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Access a talent pool of the top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone. There’s no risk. Turing offers a free two-week trial period to make certain your developers deliver to your standards

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

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By Aug 16, 2021
Creating personal branding is necessary for individuals as well as companies
For Employers

Here’s Why Tech Companies Should Not Ignore Personal Branding

Personal branding helps engineering companies establish themselves as thought leaders in the field, create a loyal audience base, and build a solid network.

Do you fear that creating a personal brand as an employee will affect your job? Or are you an employer who doesn’t want employees to build their brand because it might not align with the company’s culture? This post will help you address these concerns. 

Anjuan Simmon, an engineering leader, and public speaker has created a guide on why and how organizations should incorporate personal branding into their culture. 

Here are the key takeaways:

Show your work and scale your brainpower

A quote from Simmons’ Twitter thread reads: “One reason I started speaking at tech conferences is to “show my work” and try to portray the thoughtfulness and deep understanding I have about working in software development.” The public speaker emphasizes that this way, you can present your skills in front of a larger audience and enhance your communication skills in the process. 

Simmon also states that it’s essential to create a backup brain that can act as an automatic responder for queries that come your way. In his case, the backup brain is his blog. People can learn about his work and areas of expertise through his blogs. 

Don’t miss free training and create a more comprehensive recruiting network

Simmons says that when you sign up as a public speaker, you learn about various technologies from people using them or who have created them. You get to learn about what is working in the industry and what improvements you can make. You also gain insight into the innovations going around— all of this, at no cost whatsoever! The engineering leader turned speaker has attended many seminars and has been able to bring some good ideas to their company. This way, personal branding efforts can aid company growth. 

He recalls one such instance: “I attended a conference where an engineer discussed how they use a sponsorship spreadsheet to document the ways they support every engineer at their company. I loved the idea and presented it to my boss, and she empowered me to implement the same at Help Scout.” 

What’s more, such events can also help you land good talent for your company. “I’ve always got my hiring manager hat on at conferences. I meet all sorts of people looking for new opportunities, and I’ve placed roles based on people I’ve met. It’s increased my pipeline tremendously,” Simmons explains. 

How to develop a talk that can enhance your branding?

People don’t like robots speaking in front of them, no matter how interesting the topic. Simmons suggests that you should develop a funny and friendly talk so that the listeners can relate to it. Make it as factual as possible. He also suggests using relevant and engaging images in the slides to ensure accessible content consumption. This way, you will be able to convey your message without losing the attention of your audience. 

The engineering leader also takes inspiration from the stand-up world. He believes that every speaker should understand and analyze their audience before going ahead with any session. A joke that works on one set of the audience might not appeal to the other. And thus, it is crucial to tailor your pitch according to the audience present.  

Put it all together and practice

Good things take time. Learn from your experience and mend your mistakes. Identify what worked and what was not in your favor. Focus on creating a brand that is a reflection of your work. 

Simmons recalls his experience where some companies he had worked with were not in favor of personal branding. He firmly believes that if a startup is reluctant to have their employees establish themselves as a brand, they are missing a huge opportunity. “Over the past five years, most companies I’ve worked at were very small. But I’m on the speaker list next to people who work at FAANG companies — it lends credibility to be out there, flying your startup’s flag,” he explains. 

Company executives need to be openly supportive and vocal about employee engagement in personal branding. This practice helps employees know that they are part of a work culture that supports organizational and personal growth. Most importantly, personal branding through public events can significantly augment an organization’s credibility. It can also help organizations establish themselves as thought leaders in their fields, create a loyal audience base, and build a solid network of influencers to grow their business. 

Read the complete article.

Want to rise as an engineering leader in your field and boost your team’s performance? Turing can help. The company’s automated platform enables you to hire and manage remote software developers vetted for a Silicon Valley standard with just the “push of a button.” With Turing, companies can hire from a talent pool of top 1% of 700K+ developers with excellent technical and communication skills who work in their time zone.

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By Aug 13, 2021
Former DataCamp Engineering Manager explains why effort-reward balance is essential in the workplace using the capuchin monkey experiment and equity theory.
For Employers

Do Capuchin Monkeys Understand Motivation Better than We Do? Ex-DataCamp Engineering Manager Answers.

Former DataCamp Engineering Manager explains why effort-reward balance is essential in the workplace using the capuchin monkey experiment and equity theory.

What’s the secret to boosting motivation within engineering teams? Equity Theory says Jared Silver, a former growth engineering manager at DataCamp, and engineer for ed-tech companies Mystery.org & Quill.org. 

In this article, we’ll use a famous experiment with capuchin monkeys to understand how Equity Theory drives motivation (or demotivation) in engineering teams and explore proven methods to cultivate enthusiasm in groups. 

Capuchin monkeys understand equity theory; engineering managers should too

Silver recalls an instance where he helped his team raise a million dollars in charity, quadrupling their fundraising goal for the year in the first quarter. In return, his boss offered to buy him a board game, which left him discouraged and deflated.

The Equity Theory of Motivation proposes that fairness produces motivation; managers can achieve high workplace motivation when employees consider reward commensurate with effort. For instance, when offered a board game for his accomplishments, Silver asked himself: “Is a board game sufficient reward for helping raise a million dollars?” 

Equity Theory further poses that an employee views a situation as inequitable when their peers receive superior rewards for the same degree of effort. Silver offers an example of Equity Theory in action: Frans de Waal and Dr. Sarah Brosnan’s famous experiment on how capuchin monkeys perceive fairness. 

In the study, researchers offered two capuchin monkeys cucumbers as compensation for completing the same task. While receiving the same reward, both monkeys were content to finish the job. However, when the second monkey received a superior reward, a grape, the first monkey stopped working. Having recognized inequity in reward distribution, the monkey modified his behavior to suit the prize. 

Two Monkeys Are Paid Unequally: Excerpt from Frans de Waal’s TED Talk

The same holds for engineering teams. Engineers will scrutinize your decisions to allocate resources through the lens of equity theory. If they perceive an unfair distribution of “rewards,” they might follow the example of the first monkey and either work less, pay less attention, or worse, quit.

Identify your team’s grapes and cucumbers

Silver reasons that different forms of reward—be it recognition, compensation, or opportunity—hold varying degrees of importance to various engineers. Moreover, social psychologist Roy Baumeister found that individuals experienced greater satisfaction when performing activities consistent with their values or themes. 

To that end, Silver describes the engineering manager’s primary task as understanding what each team member values and accordingly allocating minimum cucumbers and maximum grapes, i.e., more meaningful rewards and less trivial ones. Silver further outlines two of his favorite ways to understand his team’s needs: 

  1. Career narrative templates can spur growth and create lasting change

Silver considers career narratives to be a crucial tool in helping teammates grow professionally. Dr. Richard Boyatzis’ Theory of Intentional Change helped Silver incorporate a roadmap for positive, lasting change within his career narrative template. The three steps of intentional change include:

  • Identify who you want to become.
  • Find the gaps in your skill-set.
  • Develop a plan to bridge such gaps.

Keeping this insight in mind, Silver created a career narrative template to understand his teammates’ current career stages, their long-term goals and objectives, and the career path to get there.

  1.   Brag documents can help identify each teammate’s core motivations and interests

Silver uses brag documents, i.e., a record of each engineer’s achievements, to understand how they view and value their work. He begins every 1:1 session by asking teammates to share the accomplishments from the past week that bring them the most pride.

At one instance, when his team completed a giant refractor to payment logic, each teammate put forth different reasons for feeling accomplished. While some were excited about making improvements to technical architecture, others took pride in the business impact their technological innovations would bring in. Such insights helped Silver assign projects based on each engineer’s core motivations and interests.

In sum 

The capuchin monkey experiment demonstrates the importance of equity theory, i.e., the idea that workers like maintaining a balance between their efforts/rewards and the efforts/rewards of their peers. When team members perceive inequity in reward distribution, they change their behavior to restore balance. Since each engineer assigns their unique value to different forms of reward, managers should attempt to understand which rewards motivate which team members by using tools like career narrative templates and brag documents. These tools help you better distribute resources based on each member’s motivations. 

Read the full article

Are you looking to build a team of highly motivated and driven remote software engineers? Turing can help. Turing is an automated platform that lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Your company can hire from a talent pool of top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page.

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By Aug 10, 2021
Regular video calls for employee engagement, documenting processes for clarity, and scheduling meetings with clear agendas lead to efficient remote management.
For Employers

Three Best Practices for Managing a Remote Engineering Team

Regular video calls for employee engagement, documenting processes for clarity, and scheduling meetings with clear agendas lead to efficient remote management.

Leading a remote engineering team requires the manager to be on a constant lookout for techniques that can boost efficiency without expanding the cognitive load of the group. According to a survey conducted by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the number of remote engineering teams has increased from 13 percent in March 2020 to 74 percent in March 2021. This rise has sent managers across the globe scrambling for the best ways to oversee their teams.

This article dives deeper into the issues facing remote engineering teams and how managers can help develop bonds and increase clarity and productivity when their people no longer work in the same location.

Prioritize video conferences over messages to build connections

The biggest challenge of remote work is the loss of serendipity from being in the office. Distributed teams miss the opportunity to have casual dialogue that builds bonds between employees and contributes to company culture. In addition, inconsistent communication within engineering teams can lead to inefficient design, development, testing, and release. And thus, efficient communication tools are crucial for ensuring seamless engineering operations.

Though video conferences don’t provide the ease of in-office communication, they are more efficient than text messages as they convey body language and tone. Remote engineering managers should encourage team members to turn on their cameras in video meetings. This way, team members get a chance to better engage with each other. Thus, regular video conferences can aid in creating a virtual culture of connectivity and collaboration among globally distributed teams, reaffirming the message that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Document everything for complete clarity

A remote engineering job is technical and has no room for error. Therefore, the need for clear written guidelines is acute, especially when the team members work across time zones. If the instructions are not clear, the engineering team may lose a day of work waiting for further clarifications. Continuous, back-and-forth cycles like these are highly inefficient and disruptive. Standard instruction manuals, with explicit guidelines, can help avoid such cycles as ample details lead to fewer misinterpretations. Hence, it is essential to document everything as clearly as possible. Similarly, it is good to replace whiteboards with document-based processes as it helps distributed members understand the organizational goals and objectives clearly. 

Developing clarity with written communication minimizes lost work and is a skill all remote engineers should develop. Additionally, engineers should be encouraged to preempt questions by sharing their written instructions with colleagues for honest feedback. This way, all the probable queries are addressed before the message reaches a larger audience. 

Have a detailed agenda for scheduled meetings

Scheduling conference calls or meetings often feels like the simplest way to connect across boundaries. Unfortunately, remote-first organizations often send out generic meeting invitations that may not be relevant to every proposed attendee. Too many of these meetings, when scheduled one after the other, can become overwhelming. Thus, remote teams should spend an adequate amount of time preparing for the video conference calls to make them as efficient and result-driven as possible. It is equally important to evaluate the current progress toward milestones and other action items of the meeting. An explicit agenda comprising an overview for attendees and a list of expected outcomes must be shared among all remote members before scheduled meetings. 

This way, even employees who won’t be attending a particular meeting can get an idea of its scope and share their questions or suggestions concerning the organizer asynchronously. These practices can help make synchronous meetings much more productive and avoid redundancy. As a result, remote teams can hold only those necessary meetings to get things done that otherwise cannot be accomplished asynchronously.

It takes intentionality and effort to build a solid all-remote engineering team. An excellent remote manager must demonstrate genuine faith and confidence in the abilities of their team and offer support wherever needed. Having regular video calls for engagement, documenting processes and communications for better clarity, and scheduling meetings with explicit agendas can help engineering managers manage distributed teams efficiently. 

Read the complete article.

If you’re having trouble managing your remote engineering team, Turing can help you almost immediately. The automated platform enables companies to hire senior, pre-vetted software developers with just the push of a button. Firms can hire from a talent pool of top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone. With Turing, managing remote developers is simple, efficient, and secure. 

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By Aug 5, 2021
Benefits of working remotely, like work-life balance and flexibility, make employees trade a pay raise for permanent remote work, affecting the hiring strategy.
For Employers

Here’s How Remote Work Is Affecting Hiring and Retention Strategies

Benefits of working remotely, like better work-life balance and flexibility, make employees trade a pay raise for permanent remote work, affecting the hiring strategy.

How popular is remote work with employees? For instance, would they choose to work from home over a $30K pay raise? Would they give up an exciting job offer for it? Surveys from Blind, HRM, and EY revealed the answer to be a resounding “Yes.”

This article examines workers’ hesitations around returning to the office, its implications on recruitment and retention, and how remote work poses an easy solution. 

COVID-19, caregiving, and flexibility are primary concerns for workers 

The pandemic has altered worker preferences. COVID-19 risks and caregiving concerns are causing anxiety and angst among employees, thereby deterring them from returning to the office. The HRM study also found that employees expressed a growing desire for better work-life balance, less commuting, and increased flexibility—all prime features of remote work. 

EY surveys further showed that nine in ten workers now want greater flexibility in when and where they work. In addition, caregivers, tech and finance workers, and managers/leaders are more likely to switch jobs over the matter, proving that popular pandemic work trends are becoming the norm.

The absence of flexible work is a deal-breaker for employees 

Post-pandemic, flexible work will play a critical role in employee career decisions. EY reported that more than a quarter of respondents claimed better work-life balance would be a principal factor in deciding whether to interview for a role. Sixty-seven percent would accept a job only if allowed some element of work flexibility. Over half would consider leaving their current position without flexibility in work hours and location. The majority of employees who declined job offers cited “lack of flexibility” as the main reason. The findings mirrored the HRM study, wherein 44 percent of respondents stated they would refuse a role without some form of remote work. 

Employers that embrace remote work will have better hiring prospects. Concurrently, companies without work flexibility will lose out on both existing and future talent. 

Remote work trumps pay raises for employees

So profound is employee desire for remote work that workers are willing to trade a pay raise for it. Blind’s survey of 3000+ employees from the largest US companies—including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft found that 64 percent of respondents chose permanent remote work over a $30K pay raise. 

For specific companies, the number goes higher; 81 and 89 percent of Lyft and Twitter professionals, respectively, preferred remote work.  What’s more, every single Zillow Group employee chose permanent WFH. Employees from just two of the 45 firms surveyed by Blind showed more interest in a raise—by slim margins. 

To sum up, concerns about COVID-19 exposure and caregiving responsibilities are compelling employees to work remotely. Moreover, workers have grown accustomed to the flexibility, safety, and work-life balance that remote work offers. Today, people will go to great lengths to work remotely, even turning down job offers or sacrificing a $30K pay raise. Employers will need to make flexible work options a crucial part of their hiring and retention strategies to attract the best talent. 

If your company needs help sourcing, vetting, matching, or managing remote employees, Turing can help. Hire from a giant talent pool of top 1% of 700K+ remote software developers, pre-vetted over 5+ hours of tests and interviews. Our onboarding process and management platform enable Turing developers to quickly get up-to-speed and integrated with your existing team while providing tools to ensure the efficient management and high productivity of developers.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page. 

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By Aug 3, 2021
Company culture promoting innovation and creative thinking in engineering teams
For Employers

How Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer Unlocks Creativity in His Engineers

CTO Mike Schroepfer shares how Facebook has built a company culture that promotes innovation and creative thinking among engineering teams.

Facebook’s C.T.O., Mike Schroepfer, has developed an engineering culture at Facebook that’s open, collaborative, and creatively autonomous一values that are key to driving a real-world impact. 

Here’s how he does it: 

Remove roadblocks that hinder creative thinking

Many assume that one cannot teach creativity. But Schroepfer believes that leaders can help remove the common roadblocks that restrain employee creativity. This way, employees can open up new value propositions and an abundance of opportunities. 

He recommends staying curious: “Ask questions even if you think you know the answer. Creating anything interesting requires teamwork, so any time you help someone do their best work is time well spent.” And in the process, if you encounter a problem, don’t be afraid to test your ideas. Make stress testing a norm in your operations.

The Facebook C.T.O. believes that creative engineering happens when people don’t feel bound and have the freedom to think, imagine, and create. And for creativity to flourish in a business environment, team members need to internalize a company’s vision and strategy. 

Build a company culture where information flows freely

There is no set model for problems that arise during projects and no step-by-step process to obtain answers in today’s world. Hence, the ability to utilize resources creatively becomes vital. And this can only be made possible through open communication and free flow of information. 

Schroepfer believes leaders must provide team members with as much information, context, and clarity as possible so that they can do their jobs to the best of their abilities. People are as innovative as you allow them to be. And thus, if you let your team chase their ‘aha moments,’ you’ll soon find yourself with a more dynamic and creative workplace.

In addition, organizations should have a robust training program to help managers learn how to push aside roadblocks, give feedback, and support teams to operate effectively and collaboratively at scale.

Share your optimism with the team and equip them well

Leaders should channel their positivity to the employees. They should leverage technology to enable team members to participate in the decision-making process fully. This way, they’re motivated and aligned with the company’s mission. 

Schroepfer explains: “The most important thing in my life is people, and at Facebook, people are at the center of everything we do. I try to help my teams see the potential for technology to bring communities together in new ways and enable them to build deeper connections. I’m very optimistic that technology can pave a path for a better future. And I share this optimism with my teams as a way to motivate them to come to work every day and make a real difference in peoples’ lives.”

It is equally important to equip your team members with the right tools and technology to enable them to think and create collaboratively at scale. Training programs and workshops are great ways to hone employee skills. 

A good leader seeks to engage their team and work together towards a shared objective. Where engineers are required to recognize, validate, and solve problems independently or through day-to-day teamwork, engineering leaders, on the other hand, need to make a material impact through transparency, vision, and strong mentorship. Efficient unblocking rituals, cultures promoting open communication, and a positive outlook can help upcoming remote engineering leaders around the globe achieve just that. 

Read the complete article. 

Want to drive more impact as a remote engineering leader? Here’s how Turing can help you: The company’s automated platform enables you to hire and manage senior, remote software developers vetted for a Silicon Valley bar at the “push of a button.” With Turing.com, firms can hire from a talent pool of top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone.

For more information, visit the Turing Hire page.

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By Aug 2, 2021
Employers and employees in a remote work tug of war
For Employers

The Great Remote Work Standoff Between Employers and Employees

Ninety percent of employees want to continue with their remote working jobs. Yet, a large number of employers still want workers back in the office, full-time.

Do your employees favor remote work? If so, are you in agreement? A poll by the Best Practice Institute revealed that 83 percent of employers want workers back in office full-time, while just 10 percent of employees share that preference. 

In this article, we study the growing disconnect between employees and employers on the future of work and hear what experts from Amazon, Cushman & Wakefield think:

Only 10 percent of employees are interested in returning to full-time office work

Studies show the newly-theorized “COVID Anxiety Syndrome,” characterized by fear of public places and obsessive cleaning, may prevent people from reintegrating into daily life even after COVID subsides. Moreover, returning to work is sparking panic among such workers, with 66 percent of employees concerned about the health risks it could pose. 

Workers across pay grades and industries like software development, analytics, legal administration, and corporate office work are also expressing worry over the time and effort needed to revert to working at the office. For most people, remote work is a significant change from white-collar, in-office culture, which always considered personal responsibilities secondary to work. Whereas when people work from home, they typically have the freedom to adapt their work to the realities of health, family, and even disability, allowing employees to balance their personal and professional lives. 

But what if employees aren’t permitted to work remotely? Over half the workers surveyed by PwC said they’d refuse to work for companies that don’t offer any workplace flexibility. Forty-one percent of employees will even endure a salary cut to work remotely.

Meanwhile, 83 percent of CEOs want employees back full-time 

Despite pushback from workers, some employers are keen to reopen offices permanently. However, Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of WeWork, told WSJ that only the least engaged employees are comfortable working remotely. 

Cathy Merrill, CEO of Washingtonian Media, wrote that employees who prefer permanent WFH risk being demoted to contractors, losing money, benefits, and status. Her op-ed drew public backlash from Twitter users and Washingtonian staff, who refused to publish content for the day in protest. 

Similarly, Goldman Sachs executive David Solomon characterized remote work as “an aberration to be corrected as quickly as possible.” Urs Holzle, a senior Google executive, who once opposed remote work opportunities for the company’s lower-ranking employees, has relocated to New Zealand to work remotely. 

Amazon, Cushman & Wakefield leaders believe talent will win 

Leaders from global enterprises like Amazon, Cushman & Wakefield shared their thoughts on post-pandemic workplace transformation at Turing’s Boundaryless: #ScalingPostPandemic conference. Gabe Burke, Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield, said, “If the talent insists on hybrid or remote working models, then most companies will eventually give in to their needs.” Hetal Shah agreed, saying, “Companies that don’t provide flexibility will see an increase in attrition. The loss of skilled employees will drive change.”

Additionally, Gabe cited a Littler survey to emphasize this disconnect: 71 percent of employers believe most employees prefer hybrid work. Yet, only 4 percent believe that workers would similarly choose full-time, in-office positions. Despite that, nearly 30 percent of employers are planning to have employees return full-time.

There is a clear gap between what employees and employers want when it comes to remote work. Some companies have already embraced the future of work while others are sticking to the in-office status quo. However, the expert consensus is that employers will eventually go remote to hire and retain the best talent.

Read the complete article. 

Turing is an automated platform that lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Firms can hire from a global talent pool of top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone.

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page. 

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By Jul 28, 2021
Investment in broadband will alter the future of work and make talent more accessible for tech companies.
For Employers

$100 Billion Investment in Broadband Could Create Larger Pools of Tech Talent

The American Jobs Plan will have implications on the future of work like better access to talent for tech companies & a rise in skill training for tech workers.

As part of the American Jobs Plan, the Biden Administration announced a billion-dollar investment in broadband infrastructure, which will have significant implications on the future of work; the investment could help solve the tech talent shortage problem, train the next generation of tech workers, and create diverse pools of talent. 

Here’s a breakdown of its principal implications for tech companies and workforces:

An investment in broadband could solve the tech talent shortage

Presently, tech jobs are abundant: Interviews for technical roles grew by 106 percent since the start of the pandemic. While the growth rate for other roles is 4 percent, demand for software developers is slated to grow by 22 percent. Sixty-one percent of HR professionals worry about meeting this demand with talented candidates. 

Companies adopting remote work can access a larger talent pool, bridging the gap between demand and supply. Recognizing this, top firms like Google, Twitter, Coinbase, and Atlassian have already embraced flexible work arrangements. 

However, almost a quarter of American adults—disproportionately residents of rural areas—lack high-speed broadband connections at home, preventing them from joining the remote workforce. A billion-dollar investment in broadband access for every American could change that.

The proposal will train future tech workforces

The proposal will allocate an additional $48 billion for in-demand skill training, such as STEM training. For instance, the initiative will fund computer science courses for high-schoolers and community college-goers. It will similarly train tech workers who would traditionally find such programs inaccessible, thereby expanding the talent pool to keep pace with growing demand. 

In parallel, tech companies should revamp vetting systems based on academic merit and hire from non-traditional programs, such as those the American Jobs Plan would fund. To that end, Google and Apple are already changing the paradigm by removing college degree requirements for certain jobs.

Companies will have greater access to diverse talent

The growing digital divide in the U.S. is depriving many low-income and underserved families of internet access. For example: in California, 25 percent of students—disproportionately Black, Latinx, or Native American–can’t attend remote school because they lack internet access. An investment in broadband infrastructure will bridge this divide and enable underserved Americans of all backgrounds to be part of the remote tech workforce. 

Research has shown that diversity helps companies stay competitive. Innovation generated a greater portion of revenue in companies with above-average diversity, which translated into better financial performance. Firms with diverse management teams produced EBIT margins almost 10 percent higher than firms with below-average diversity.

In this manner, significant investment in broadband infrastructure and technical training could create larger, more diverse talent pools for firms to hire from.

Read about the proposal in detail.

Recently a number of fast-growing companies have begun to attack the tech talent shortage problem with novel solutions to help companies find people with specific skills. For instance, Turing.com enables companies to hire from a large, diverse global talent pool of top 1% of 700K+ senior, pre-vetted developers with strong technical and communication skills. Firms can hire across 100+ skill-sets such as React, Node.js, Python, AWS, Java, among many others. Finding talented candidates to fill critical roles is no longer a challenge for employers. 

For more information, visit Turing’s Hire page. 

Tell us the skills you need and we'll find the best developer for you in days, not weeks.

Hire Developers

By Jul 21, 2021
nurturing sound mental health in remote work
For Employers

Show Your Employees You Care About Their Mental Health With These Strategies

Employers can help workers tackle burnout and workplace stress by following these simple strategies for sound mental health care.

Does your organization care about its employees’ mental health? Does it take measures to improve it? If yes, do your people know? Research suggests that many employees feel their employers do not empathize with their mental health. A Forbes study, for instance,  revealed that 82 percent of American tech employees felt burnout while working remotely. Eighty percent of workers said they would consider quitting their current position for a job that prioritized employees’ mental health. Another study by Oxford’s Saïd Business School found that happy employees are more productive. 

In this article, we’ll look at why employees feel neglected, what’s happening as a result, and how organizations can buck the burnout trend:

Frequent dialogue helps alleviate feelings of isolation

Remote workers report loneliness as their biggest challenge. Research shows that loneliness can drive employee burnout and turnover. Organizations should encourage casual dialogue between employees as it helps tackle the feeling of isolation associated with remote work. Managers should focus on building a culture of connection through regular check-ins. Virtual coffee breaks and “watercooler” channels can help in promoting break-time chatter and collaboration. Virtual lunch hours, where employees log-in and have their meals together, could also be an excellent way to improve social connections. Similarly, using communication platforms to create a sense of community can help develop positive engagement in remote workforces. 

Conduct regular mental health surveys and sessions

Many employees share that they don’t receive the support they need to manage work stress. Mental health surveys help identify signs of mental distress in employees and provide insight to restructure organizational policies to boost talent well-being. Frequent check-ins with experts can help prevent stress and burnout among employees. They can also equip remote employees with tools to create a healthy and productive workplace. Including mental health coverage as part of health care plans can also be an effective strategy to improve workforce mental well-being. Managers should ensure that shame and stigma don’t stop employees from using their mental health benefits to seek treatment. Rather, management should encourage and normalize the use of these services.

Encourage regular breaks and time-offs

Remote employees work the equivalent of 1.4 extra days per month compared to their in-office colleagues. What’s more, remote employees often feel guilty about taking a break from work. This inability to unplug can affect their mental health, leading to burnout. And thus, a remote work schedule must consist of breaks at regular intervals. Thirty-seven percent of remote workers said that taking frequent breaks helped them refocus and relax. Encourage employees to reserve time on their calendars for a workout. Organizations can also offer fitness stipends to help employees cover costs related to their physical activities.

Let employees choose their working hours

Rigid work schedules reduce employee creativity and heighten stress levels. Seventy percent of employees said that flexible working makes a job significantly attractive, whereas 90 percent revealed it helped boost their morale. A majority of them also said that flexible hours helped reduce stress and increase productivity. Flexible schedules allow employees to work when they are the most productive. They establish a healthy boundary between work and home. 

What’s more, they can help in reducing employee turnover in the long run. Managers should work with remote employees to set measurable and achievable goals for these schedules to run seamlessly. Goal-setting will move the organizational focus from the number of weekly hours put in by the remote employees to the weekly output they’re delivering.

Provide mental health training to managers and leaders

Remote workers often worry about their performance because of a lack of facetime and feedback. Furthermore, nearly 40 percent of global employees said no one at their company had asked them if they were doing okay. These respondents were 38 percent more likely than others to say that their mental health had declined since the pandemic. 

Managers must demonstrate empathy with their employees. They should have regular one-on-ones with their team members to see how they are holding up. A sense of community is more likely to develop in organizations where leaders share their experience with mental health. This way, employees feel that there is a genuine and collective interest in their well-being. 

Organizations have a responsibility to support their employees’ mental wellbeing. Workplaces that promote mental health are likely to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, and benefit from the associated gains. A WHO report states that for every US$ 1 put into scaled-up treatment for employee mental health, there is a return of US$ 4 in improved health and productivity. In addition, practices like flexible hours, regular check-ins, and mental health training can help create a healthy and stress-free work environment.

Turing is an automated platform that lets companies “push a button” to hire senior, pre-vetted remote software developers. Firms can hire from a global talent pool of top 1% of 700K+ developers with strong technical and communication skills who work in their time zone.

Tell us the skills you need and we'll find the best developer for you in days, not weeks.

Hire Developers

By Jul 20, 2021