Case Study: Hiring Remote Employees during COVID-19

Remote HIring

Industry: 

  • Interactive Display
  • Lesson Delivery
  • Education Software

Key Technologies/Skills: 

  • Quality Assurance
  • Device Testing

Overview: 

Our client is an industry leader in interactive display systems for lesson delivery, online education, and classroom technology. They have several locations across the globe ranging from hardware manufacturing, software development, classroom technology implementation, and testing. Our client’s testing capacity was severely hindered due to the Covid-19 pandemic in China before our local pandemic efforts. The team in China was subject to a stringent quarantine scenario and was unable to continue its testing duties. They asked Quardev if we could help staff a local team to continue the efforts locally. Initially, a team of three was discussed for onsite device testing to continue the efforts of the team in China. This team was to pick up where they had left off and finish the testing of devices that were ready to ship. We quickly learned that culture fit and budget were the most critical factors for our clients—even more than the technical skills.

Solution at a glance

The short story of their solution was the ability to leverage our years of knowledge and expertise to assess the client’s needs quickly. It was also essential to determine the “wants” from the immediate “needs.” The client came to us with a problem and leaned on our knowledge of not only the Quality Assurance piece but our recruiting team’s understanding of locating talent, interviewing candidates, validating culture fit, and onboarding. Usually, a client will come to us with more specifics, such as a job description, budget, ideal candidate, etc. But in this particular case, the client needed to rely on our expertise from the beginning. We were able to quickly determine the needs and address them within hours of the initial conversation.

Challenge 

The process started with a phone call from the client. Quardev has earned a reputation in the Northwest as a company agile enough to be able to take on many different tasks for our clients. They reached out to us and explained the situation, which included not only the technical skills needed but also the ability to provide our services quickly and adapt to any immediate changes on the fly. Initially, the client discussed a need for 2-3 QA Tester Engineers to provide device testing on their proprietary platforms. The team needed to be able to pick up where the Chinese team had left off and take it to the finish line. The situation was very fluid at the time, with the pandemic in full swing offshore but with a lot of uncertainties here in Seattle as well. The client’s local in-house team was unaccustomed to the testing process as these tasks were handled offshore. The timing was also of the essence as the client had customers waiting for the products to ship ASAP. Not only was the team unfamiliar with the testing and hiring processes, but they also had questions about whether their internal facilities could handle this project with such a short turn around.

Solution 

The client was uncertain of where to begin. The news of the shutting down of their offshore team was quite a shock to everyone. There was no job description, budget, location, test plan, or even an idea of the level of knowledge the team would need. After some qualifying conversations with the client, we determined that the need was for a lower level of Test Analyst with some device testing experience in Android applications. There were some other tools such as Jira that we had decided was valuable as well. The technical skills were second to the culture fit in this case. We had discussed the possibility of creating a space for the team in our onsite lab but came up with a solution that would allow the team to stay at the client site during the project to keep down costs and provide more visibility for them.

Because culture was such an important piece of this project, we came up with a shortlist of “must-haves” and went to work sourcing talent. Hiring remotely is not much different than hiring in person. As recruiters for over 20 years, we have developed a system for gaining insight into individuals’ personalities. Candidates did not need to be particularly strong technically (e.g., Junior Test Analyst with Android experience, JIRA, and bug reporting), along with the time-sensitivity of the project. Because of this, we determined together that an added technical assessment with our onsite technical advisor was not necessary. The main objective was to find candidates who were technically proficient but then take a deeper dive into the personality to decide the culture fit of the candidate. It required extended phone conversations along with more in-depth behavioral questions to We relied on our expertise in gauging not only the answers provided but HOW they were provided. This is not something that can be processed through an online assessment. It requires individual conversations with the candidates. Due to the remote nature of the work, these behavioral assessment conversations were tailored towards the client’s valuation of what they felt their needs were. The onboarding process has been automated for quite some time now. That made streamlining that process extremely easy.

Results 

Currently, our team is still engaged in the project. The client has been pleased with the consultants that we provided and the ability to become a true partner. Even with the offshore teams coming back online, our local team continues to provide the client with added value.

Hiring Remote Employees during COVID-19

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