The COVID-19 pandemic has been the toughest test that I had to endure in my work life. Unlike many others, I did not lose my job however I was the person on the other side of the table having to give the bad news. It is with much sadness, I had to let go of more than half a dozen of my talented engineering staff since the start of this year.  It wasn’t an easy thing to do, however, it allows the company to survive this pandemic and come back on the other side of it stronger.

For me coming back stronger means reflecting on our current hiring process and asking hard questions to help us build ourselves back up using the experience we have had.

  • What have been the pain points for the new hires to get onboarded with work and team?
  • How satisfied were we with the contribution of those we hired?
  • What were the most common issues mentioned in the exit interviews?
  • How much of an impact did our people-related initiatives really have?
  • How different were the people from when we hired them to now?
    • What can we do to identify these behaviours/characteristics early on?
  • Are we really getting most out of our 1-month, 3-month and 5-month probationary reviews?

I’ve been with Alloc8 for just over a year. When I joined the team, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the existing engineering staff and learn about their pain points. Some of them were more than happy to share their concerns as they have decided to look for new pastures. I had the opportunity and a supporting team, to overhaul our development practices and processes to help relieve some of their immediate concerns. However, the majority of the concerns raised require long-term initiatives to resolve them.

One of those initiatives was to strengthen the engineering team by hiring talented people. I was responsible for setting up our hiring process and adding 7 team members to the engineering team. Over time we learned that not everyone we hired was the right person for the job. One of them did not even complete the probation period. This points to something not being right with our hiring process. It could be that we are not asking the right behavioural/technical questions or maybe we are misinterpreting the candidate’s answers to our questions.

Whatever it may be, COVID-19 has presented us with the opportunity to reflect and learn from this experience so that we can do better at the next hiring window.

What does coming back stronger means to you?

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