HR Post Covid
As the world welcomed Zoom, Stampli said goodbye to the phone
Whereas initial interviews would take place on phones, after Covid-19 Stampli decided to lose the step completely
Before the days of Covid-19, it was common practice for companies to call and speak to a candidate on the telephone before inviting them into the office. This naturally saved time for everyone involved. But in the days of lockdowns and remote work, the telephone didn’t become more important - for Stampli it disappeared entirely.
“Phone interviews have shifted to Zoom interviews,” Moran Mamon explained. “There is no meaning to the phone because everyone is on Zoom - so you can get to know them better.”
Stampli joined CTech for its HR Post Covid series to discuss how its communication habits changed during recruitment - and how it plans to continue its growth into the upcoming year.
Company Name: Stampli
HR Leader: Moran Mamon
Field of activity: AP Automation and B2B Payments (Fintech and SaaS)
Number of Employees/location:
We have 100 employees at Stampli in four locations: Tel Aviv, Mountain View California, Nashville Tennessee, and Kiev, Ukraine. Tel Aviv is home to our R&D with 35 employees in our Midtown offices.
I have more than 10 years of experience as a Human Resources Manager with an extensive background in management, interviewing, organizational development, recruiting, and Human Resources for software technology companies.
I joined Stampli, a leading AP Automation and B2B Payments fintech, in 2016 to lead recruiting and HR for their R&D location in Tel Aviv. The world of payments has undergone increased acceleration in the last year. With the lack of accessibility in general, banks and businesses immediately shifted to digital processes, contributing to our outstanding growth last year. Many companies looking for a digital solution to streamline workflows in invoice management and B2B payments turned to Stampli for AP Automation.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did the coronavirus pandemic disrupt operations at the company?
Our organizational structure allowed us to adapt to the new reality quickly. Before the first lockdown was announced, we decided to start working from home. We enabled our employees to get organized with the equipment and supplies they needed from the office to create a more comfortable work from home environment.
The teams' organizational structure and work methods enabled the managers to manage their teams from home very effectively. We saw an increase in productivity, and we were able to lead significant and cross-organizational projects throughout that entire period.
To my delight, throughout the period, we also continued with accelerated recruitment processes. During the lockdown period, we remotely recruited about 12 additional employees from Israel.
We successfully adapted to a remote onboarding process where each new employee is accompanied by a "buddy" during their first days to introduce them to other team members through Zoom. There are also intensive orientation days to get to know all the managers, even those who do not work directly work with them.
Every month, we conduct feedback calls with new employees that were recruited and onboarded remotely. We took the learnings from these calls and adjusted the process as needed. We supply equipment for employees, computers, gifts, and a company-wide welcome email to introduce all new employees in Israel and the U.S.
What interesting technological tools do you use in employee management/recruitment?
Over the past year, we have been implementing tools and working methods to manage a shorter and more effective recruitment process. Remote recruitment and the change in the market has required us to adapt to rapid recruitment processes.
As the interviews shifted to Zoom, hiring managers needed to conduct technological interviews differently. For example, we have a whiteboard that allows candidates to show what they have done in the past screen sharing. During the interview, they can have other people join until they finish, no more sitting in front of the same person. Phone interviews have shifted to Zoom interviews - there is no meaning to the phone because everyone is on Zoom - so you can get to know them better.
HR's work has changed. We have had to adapt the social activities to the situation. At the same time, strive to maintain direct contact with the employees and take care of the existing and new employees' connection. Managers were required to change their management style, conduct more regular one-on-one meetings to maintain a personal relationship.
What positive and/or negative impact did the outbreak have on the human capital of the company?
We have discovered that productivity can also be maintained when working from home. Management routines are maintained through reporting, daily meetings, and ongoing meetings. With technological tools such as Slack and Zoom, teams can synchronize through JIRA tickets.
We were required to prepare a framework and procedures for working from home and accompany management by implementing them. In addition, it is important to maintain an organizational-human connection. We must invest in internal corporate communications to connect with the employees when not meeting in the hallways and kitchens. Unfortunately, it is much more challenging to maintain a sense of "unit pride." Therefore, we encourage communication between people that are not necessarily needed yet can create a sense of connection.
What are the two major challenges you are coping with these days?
One big challenge that we have is managing the recruitment process during these unprecedented times. Covid-19 has not stopped our company's acceleration. Our growth rate has increased significantly, and we are still recruiting. The new circumstances during the pandemic require us to recruit remotely, in most cases, without meeting the candidate face-to-face. The supply in the market has changed during the last year. Promising candidates are afraid to make a change during this period and prefer to keep their current job.
It is much more difficult for people to choose a workplace through Zoom. It's hard to see the company's DNA, the positive atmosphere, and the luxurious offices through remote interviews, making it hard for a candidate to appreciate the differences we offer from other companies.
Another challenge we face is helping employees maintain a work-life balance and place the boundaries between their private lives and work. The computers are always on, people are available all the time and feel comfortable accessing each other at all hours. As a management team, we needed to help them make this separation and know how to set boundaries to prevent burnout.
How did we turn the wheel back after everyone has gotten used to being available all the time? For example, we had a project that everyone worked on intensively. Even after the team completed the project, the lack of boundaries between private and work hours remained. We, as management, wanted to decelerate after such an intense period. Managers who do not understand this will eventually cause significant attrition and a decline in productivity among excellent employees. It should be understood that there are human limitations for everyone.
Most importantly, we learned to work together with overseas staff in the U.S. Prior, employees waited for calls with San Francisco in the office after regular work hours. However, working from home makes it much easier to work in reverse hours. If an employee knows he has an evening conversation with the overseas team, there is greater flexibility in the afternoon.
Are you actively recruiting? If so, what is the process, and where can the applicants find you?
We continued to recruit at a high rate throughout the Coronavirus period and grew significantly. We recruited for dozens of various positions both in Israel and abroad. And, we have significant growth targets for 2021.
We have a defined process adapted to the changing reality that includes technical interviews and personality interviews. It is essential that the people who join Stampli fit into our corporate culture, connect with the company’s values, and want to be a part of Stampli's success.
We recruit a lot through LinkedIn, friend referrals, placement companies, and our career page https://www.stampli.com/careers/
Which changes forced upon you by the circumstances will stay in place after Covid-19 is over, and which are you most eager to revert to normal?
Two months before the pandemic, we entered our luxurious offices on the 47th floor in Midtown Tel Aviv. We invested a lot in the office design, and we would very much like to come back and enjoy the office and work all together.
As a result of the Corona restrictions, we couldn't meet the entire company together for a long time, so we have added a quarterly budget to our welfare program for team activities in small groups. Each team met several times and enjoyed a formative activity that they chose to do together. We have seen that it has generated enthusiasm among the employees, allowing people to freshen up a bit from work and meet up with their co-workers. We would be delighted to continue to maintain such activities in the future.