Remote Work: Inclusive Hiring, Engineering Team Management Strategies

Remote Work: Inclusive Hiring, Engineering Team Management Strategies

Vivek Sagi, CTO, Eventbrite, 0

Vivek is a seasoned engineering leader with over two decades of experience in e-commerce, B2B marketplaces, and enterprise software with an emphasis on machine learning driven innovation. He is an expert in scaling engineering teams across the globe through DEI focused talent acquisition, training and development initiatives focused on excellence and innovation.

In a recent interview with CEOInsights Asia, Vivek emphasizes the transformative impact of remote work on talent acquisition and advocates for inclusive hiring and engineering practices to harness diverse talent pools.

Below are key excerpts from the interview.

How has the shift to remote work helped tap into a wider talent pool? What are the transformations in this shift you foresee this year?
The competition to hire the best talent in Asia’s leading tech hubs is red hot, but there are exceptional people all over the continent – not everybody wants to or can move to e.g. Bangalore or Singapore for work. Remote work is a fantastic option for these people, as it allows them to work for global companies from their hometown while still being close to family and friends. And it works well for companies looking to hire the best talent where other companies might not even consider hiring, easing the heat from the competition.

The rise of remote work is revolutionizing talent acquisition and facilitating equal opportunities for diverse talents worldwide. Many women in technology and those caring for dependents appreciate the flexibility of remote work; it allows them to further their professional career without having to leave their dependents and home-towns behind to migrate to tech hubs.

A much intended secondary effect of embracing talent from different regions and cultures: it helps to bring together a rich array of perspectives, ideas, and problem-solving approaches, fostering Creativity and Innovation.

While remote work continues to revolutionize the future of work, we can also expect to see a surge in advanced cybersecurity measures tailored for remote work environments. As the competition for best talent continues to heat up, employee well-being and flexibility will become important differentiators for employers. AI-powered technologies will bring increased automation and more seamless collaboration to remote teams.

In fostering equal opportunities, how are companies ensuring inclusivity for talents from Tier 2, Tier 3 cities, and remote locations?
Inclusivity starts with an unbiased hiring process. It is important to train hiring teams to recognize and avoid any unconscious bias, as they may have to ensure a level playing field to give all applicants a fair chance. Companies can employ tools that not only help with writing inclusive job descriptions, but also offer advanced bias interruption software for both talent acquisition and performance management. Employers can start looking at how a candidate would complement the current culture while fitting in with theirs.

Promoting floating holidays that observe local festivals and holidays, practicing respect for time zones by not holding meetings outside of an employee's regular work hours, encouraging pay equity and transparency, employee resource groups and anonymous feedback channels are some of the ways to make sure that every employee is heard and has a sense of belonging inside the company.
What are the key challenges organizations face in managing engineering teams remotely, and how can they effectively address these challenges?
A key challenge is figuring out how to measure productivity. Rather than spending on remote monitoring software, it is imperative for firms to establish a shared vision, communicate clear objectives for teams and roles, and motivate employees to prioritize results over time spent in front of the computers.

The next big challenge is effective communication. Organizations that manage remote teams worldwide can encourage asynchronous communication by introducing the right kind of tools for collaboration, communication, employee engagement, project management and time management.

While regularly scheduled meetings, such as town halls or all-hands meetings, group meetings or one-on-one meetings with managers are crucial, task boards, shared docs, recorded meetings, etc. are ways to leverage the power of asynchronous communication. Being mindful of people’s timings for work and meetings is crucial especially while working with remote teams distributed across the world.

The rise of remote work is revolutionizing talent acquisition and facilitating equal opportunities for diverse talents worldwide.

It is important to resist the urge to micromanage and focus more on empowering teams with leadership at eye-level. It comes down to trust, communication, empowering remote employees with accountabilities and offering company-wide support of shared goals through tools, technologies, flexibility, and an employee-first culture for a win-win.

From a technical standpoint, how must companies frame a flexible-first environment across global development centers?
As a global company with Britelings across nine countries and multiple time zones, Eventbrite leverages a variety of popular collaborative tools such as Slack, the Google Workspace suite, JIRA, Confluence, Zoom, and so on. And as we continue to experiment with new ways to make the future of work meet the needs of our Britelings and our business, we are also exploring a new swath of AI tools that e.g. transcribe and summarize meetings automatically, create task lists, and surface the information and files our employees need from a wide variety of platforms.

For increased efficiency and productivity, a lot of businesses have also chosen to automate the build and release processes. Through flexibility, autonomy, and by leveraging cutting-edge tools and technologies, companies can not only establish a flexible-first environment across global development centers but also build and promote an engineering culture that drives innovation.

How should companies maintain commitment to remote work options while others are calling employees back to the office?
As remote work continues to revolutionize the future of work, it becomes important for companies to intentionally build an inclusive culture that is remote friendly, but still puts a strong emphasis on getting together in person regularly via regional meet-ups, team off-sites, etc. Recreating a sense of structure in the home office helps prevent work from taking over to maintain a sustainable work-life-balance. Candidates are looking for organizations that not only provide opportunities that align with their skill set and pay well, but also offer an environment that fosters growth and holistic well-being. For this reason businesses who make investments in initiatives that promote employee’s' physical and mental health – especially when combined with a remote workplace – will have a distinct competitive advantage.

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