Creating a value-driven organizational culture: Key takeaways from Remote Connect

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Remote Connect 2022 was a two-day virtual event that gathered global attendees to discuss building belonging in the new world of work. We know we shouldn’t pick favorites – every single session delivered valuable insights on growing international teams. But we were especially thrilled to see Greenhouse General Manager, EMEA Colm O’Cuinneain join the virtual stage along with Nadia Vatalidis, VP of People at Remote and Kalifa Oliver, Head of Behavioral Science & Architecture at Stanley Black and Decker for a panel discussion called The culture architects: The changing role of people teams. Miss the session? We’ll share a few highlights here.


Expanding internationally without compromising company culture

Colm was the first EMEA hire and the person tasked with building out Greenhouse’s EMEA presence – by no means a simple or straightforward task. There were a few tactics that helped Colm lead Greenhouse’s first international expansion:

  • Being very clear about the employee value proposition, especially for the first few hires

  • Openly sharing strategy with candidates to appeal to and identify entrepreneurial individuals

  • Using a structured hiring process to ensure consistency

  • Creating a thorough onboarding process that set new hires up with clear expectations and an understanding of Greenhouse company culture

Colm adds that having a “landing team” from the US spend some time in Dublin also helped with carrying over organizational knowledge and company culture.


The future of remote work

During the height of the pandemic, many companies switched to remote work out of necessity. Nadia asked the panelists what they see happening in the future with remote work – will the pendulum swing back to requiring everyone to be onsite in the same location? “That horse has already bolted,” says Colm, citing the fact that in a recent cohort of Greenhouse new hires, 15 out of 17 were distributed. For tech companies, it’s essential to support hybrid working conditions, says Colm. This requires a mindset shift. We also need to establish clear norms about how to run meetings and communicate to ensure that people both inside and outside the room are included.

Kalifa acknowledges that not all roles are possible to do remotely, especially since at Stanley Black and Decker about 60% of the workforce is based in plants and distribution centers. But when remote work is possible, Kalifa says flexibility is critical. “Hybrid work creates more freedom,” she says, citing the lightened burden on infrastructure like highways, public transportation and parking lots when employees aren’t all required to commute to the same location. Ultimately, where the pendulum swings will depend on leadership. Kalifa recommends leaders carefully consider any decisions that confine employees to the office, especially since many younger members of the workforce won’t accept this type of rigidity.


Practical tips for prioritizing DE&I while hiring

Nadia brought the conversation to a close by asking the panelists how companies can prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) while hiring. Kalifa puts it simply: “Have a diverse recruiting team.” She says a lot of recruiting teams look exactly like they did 20 years ago. By diversifying the members of your talent acquisition team, you’ll make it much easier to tap into different networks based on gender, race/ethnicity, ability or other identity groups. “That talent exists,” says Kalifa. And with the increasing prevalence of distributed teams, companies can expand where they’re sourcing.

Colm agrees, saying that it’s not accurate to say the lack of diversity in companies is a top of funnel problem. When companies claim to have a pipeline or top of funnel problem, they’re not taking ownership. “And when we look at the data, that’s not the case,” says Colm. “The data suggest that there’s a more diverse candidate pool than the people who are receiving offers.” He recommends allowing time for recruiters to actively source candidates rather than relying solely on inbound applications. Take a close look at your process to see where bias might work its way in. Are there opportunities to change your hiring panel or add more structure to interviews? Share what you learn and seek help and buy-in from others in your organization.


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Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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