Redefining Tech-Enabled Work Culture for Recruiting and Retaining Developers with Jeremy Tooley

This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, “The Shape of Work.” If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.


In this episode, we have Jeremy Tooley, who runs a digital transformation solutions providing startup.

GUEST AT A GLANCE:

Name of the guest: Jeremy Tooley

What he does: CEO of Xerris Inc.

Find him on LinkedIn.

Get Smart: “I think there is that mix of people who are going to migrate for the money. We are going to want to be remote first. And there is the other half who are not really concerned about money, maybe want human interaction. So they are going to go somewhere where they can work in the office. Then, there are others who want to be engaged and work on very cool, cutting-edge stuff. And it is really finding the mix of all of those people, the people who want to hang out with you every now and then but want to work remotely, want to work on the really cool stuff, but also on their own time. And that is the perfect developer, I think.”

TOP TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Communication in a remote-first company like Xerris.
  2. How to retain developers?
  3. Employee engagement in a remote scenario
  4. Communication as a CEO.
  5. Recruiting funnel in Xerris.
  6. The future of the ongoing salary hike.
  7. Lack of good developers in the market.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

Communication in a remote-first company like Xerris:

Xerris Inc. is a remote-first company and has employees in Canada, India, as well as Russia. The company wishes to encourage flexibility in the work lives of its employees. Jeremy says that it maintains a trust-based relationship with the employees. As long as the employees deliver efficiently, everything works smoothly. This way of work has made people more happy and productive.

It maintains the communication and vibrancy in online platforms like Zoom or Slack. The company aims to enable all employees to reach out to others and complete their tasks without pressure. Developers have to interact with business people because they are the ones building the products for the company.

How to retain developers?

The demand for developers has seen a peak in the current scenario. Hence, retaining them has become a difficult task for organizations. However, Jeremy feels that it is a matter of culture here. Some developers are only money-driven. Hence, it is not within the bandwidth of the company to stop them from leaving. 

But they attempt to bring their employees to a level such that they make an imprint on them. The rates might not match, but Xerris offers plenty of perks that benefit the employees. 

According to Jeremy, these little things help in retaining these developers. The rising rates in India and Europe have brought in a change for his company as well.

But there is a balance where the clients they are dealing with know what a developer should be worth, and the profit sets accordingly.

Jeremy feels that it is a complicated game they are in right now. However, he is hopeful that when people go back to offices post-pandemic, the remote-first companies will stay as an attractive option to most people.

Employee engagement in a remote scenario:

It is one of the challenges of remote work. Some people do not wish to go to the office. But they need a meeting space where people can work together at times. While some are willing to engage, others prefer to work in solitary. Hence, companies need to consider all their opinions.

Xerris follows a buddy system where every new joiner is associated with a colleague (buddy) who helps him understand the company. They have regular lunch events and tech Fridays. The company also conducts monthly get-togethers in Zoom or Slack. 

Jeremy explains that making sure everyone is connected is a challenge. 

Communication as a CEO:

Jeremy still considers the other senior developers his peers. He reaches out to everyone on the team and tries to have conversations with them.

Apart from that, the company follows a seamless methodology. The developers have created pods. They have subculture teams to ensure productivity.

Recruiting funnel in Xerris:

There are a few different ways through which Xerris goes through its recruiting process. They have an HR professional who is constantly recruiting word of mouth through friends. They have also partnered up with colleges, universities, and tech schools here. For the intermediate or senior developers, the process is a bit different. It is about finding those people who stand out word of mouth as well. Jeremy talks about the challenges in recruiting in the market.

The future of the ongoing salary hike:

There are very few companies that are giving the same salary to all developers across the world. 

You know, we look at their increasing salaries down there. Jeremy talks about the benefits of remote working in terms of the payscale. He thinks that it is going to come down to quality. Ultimately, companies are always going to want the cheapest employee.

Lack of good developers in the market:

Jeremy feels that tech companies worldwide need to partner with universities, schools, and other tech companies. They should provide training courses or incubator labs to train developers. They are going through this massive tech explosion, but everyone is pulling from the same pool of resources.

Dhristi Shah

Hi, this is Dhristi, Content Writer and Editor at Springworks India. I am a keen learner and am passionate about everything related to writing.

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