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Engaging Remote Workers with VanHack

Welcome to the seventh article in our series for Liftoff, an annual event featuring thought leaders, pioneers, and rebels that are making the world of work better. In this series, we discuss the future of work and organizational culture with these leaders and dive deeper into the evolution of culture, communication and engagement in the workplace.

VanHack is simply the fastest way for companies to hire tech talent. Companies can start setting up qualified tech professional candidates such as senior developers, DevOps specialists and computer engineers for interviews in under 24 hours! Today, employers in Canada can access a community of 90,000+ highly-qualified tech professionals from 100+ countries. That's the largest community of its kind in the world. VanHack hosts Leap events where companies can meet, interview and get to know international candidates in person before they hire. They also provide support for companies and their new employees to relocate in as little as 6 weeks. They ensure the process is successful from start to finish.

VanHack is helping Canada innovate. They are creating a world where talented tech professionals can move wherever they are needed and follow their dreams.

We spoke with VanHack about employee engagement and their thoughts on the future of work! Read on to learn more. 

What’s your perspective on workplace culture and the future of work?

We’re a remote-first company with team members in 9 countries. This means we have many unique challenges to solve that more and more companies will have to face soon. We believe that freedom, autonomy, metrics and feedback are very important to keep everyone on the same page. 

For the future of work,  besides the technical skills + IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence), we look at a third component that is very important for VanHack, which is the Cultural Intelligence - CQ, that is someone’s ability to work effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds.

Technology plays another important role in our culture. Since we are a remote team, we see more and more that our own platform and effective communication/ management apps are essential for our development.  

How do you encourage a positive and collaborative culture at work?

We have 6 different values at our Company, one of them is, “We hack Together”, which means that we are a team- work-centric company. To keep everyone on the same page we use different tools and strategies.

We use performance management and feedback tool to track employee happiness and make sure they’re doing well on a weekly basis. Our team leaders also do One on One calls with their team members on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Finally, we have a weekly town hall each Friday. 

We have a complete and long onboarding process that can take up to 2 months. A new hire will have meetings, understand the process and connect with workers from each department from different locations.           

We also develop cross-team projects such as Leap and Mission with shared goals for everyone in the company.

We celebrate our important dates such as VanHack Anniversary with activities that can reach everyone across the country.  

We have a flat structure that enables our workers to have a flowing interaction with everyone in the company.

What are your top strategies for ensuring your people and activities are aligned with your organizational values?

AIl starts with the hiring process. We believe in a “Borderless word” so a diverse team is a key in our culture. When we have an open position at the company we look first at their cultural fit, cultural intelligence then technical skills, we do not limit it on where someone is located. 

Communication -  transparency is crucial. Also, real-time, fast channels to communicate and flat structure allow us to keep everyone updated. 

Leadership - Our leadership cascade our values with their team through projects and feedback.

The strategy that’s been working best so far is checking in with our team members as often as possible. Our amazing HR Manager, Mayara, is in touch with all team members on a monthly basis to ensure they’re aligned and doing well. 

What is your best piece of advice for those looking to improve their workplace culture and employee relationships?

Hire great people to start. 80% of the battle is getting the right person in the door from the beginning. This is really hard to do but very much worth it. 

On top of that, spending quality time with team members from outside your immediate team is very important for cross-pollination of ideas. 

Focusing on business results and performance are very important. A winning team keeps winning. 

Some of the other specific skills that can help with this:

Listening - Listen to your team, what they want to achieve, what do they like what they don’t like

Communication and Transparency - share goals and expectations. 

Autonomy + Trust - Give autonomy to your workers and trust in their work

Purpose - Contribute, do something that matters 



To learn more about VanHack, please visit their website or follow them on LinkedIn. Meet VanHack at Liftoff 2019 and purchase your ticket at https://www.liftoffcon.com/

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