How Classy Pivoted to Hiring Remote Employees

2 min
woman working remotely on laptop
headshot of Classy employee Dina Rulli
Dina Rulli

This is a guest post by Dina Rulli, the SVP of people operations at Classy.

Since its start, Classy had traditionally hired in San Diego where we’re based, and we were proud of it. We loved being a top tech employer in a city that is not always considered a mecca for tech talent. 

However, when the pandemic hit and everyone was suddenly working remotely, we were given the opportunity to get creative and rethink our recruiting and people practices. We embraced our core value of “always be learning” and quickly connected and collaborated with our hiring managers to think of approaches beyond what we’d historically followed. 

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For now, here’s a quick look at our thought process and the steps we took at Classy.

1. Reviewed Jobs for Remote Capability

We challenged leaders to consider the advantages of remote hiring. Leaders can often limit the extent of the flexibility they might offer their teams based on the one or two members they fear might take advantage of a situation. Many hiring managers have scar tissue around past experiences with employees that influence their hesitation to provide more options. However, in reality, the vast majority of employees are very responsible and will rise to the occasion, and we worked with our leaders to consider the opportunity through this lens. 

2. Optimized Our Tech Stack

We re-evaluated the tools we were using in order to get coverage in new locations. The systems we immediately doubled down on were: 

  • Zoom for remote interviewing
  • Greenhouse CRM module – We already used Greenhouse for our Applicant Tracking System, but the CRM feature allows us to nurture passive talent and create a talent community
  • Calendly to schedule interviews more efficiently
  • Hackerrank to simulate whiteboard exercises virtually

3. Partnered with Accounting and Finance

We discussed the implications of having remote employees at length with our accounting and finance departments to ensure that as a company, we could support new locations from a process and compliance perspective.

4. Trained Managers

It was important to meet with hiring managers on how to interview, hire, onboard, and manage in a remote environment. We provided step-by-step job aids on best practices, coupled with interview training to cater to our new remote environment.

We also quickly formed tiger teams with stakeholders from our IT, sales enablement, HR, and recruiting departments to re-evaluate the onboarding experience so that all angles of the new hire’s experience were considered. 

5. Revamped Our Interview and Onboarding Process

We focused on catering to remote hiring and ensuring a flawless candidate experience. Some of the programs we refreshed included our onboarding buddy program, to which we added automated touchpoints via the Donut Slack integration (assigning existing employees to be a guide and point of contact for new hires). We also optimized our new hire orientation and new hire socials for the remote experience, using breakout rooms and Zoom’s polling capabilities, as well as infusing the socials with live DJs and ice breakers. 

6. Over-communicated

In a remote environment, clear and consistent communications are more important than ever. A tool I personally recommend investing in is Grammarly to help with grammar and tone. When you are trying to stand out in a highly competitive recruiting environment, presentation is critical.

7. Expanded Our Job Boards

We specifically partnered with job boards focused on remote hiring and diversity. Some of the communities we partnered with include ValenceFairygodboss, and ZipRecruiter.

 

In addition, changing our mindset to meeting talent where they are, versus where we are, allowed us to also fulfill our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion strategy. Every city and state has a different demographic makeup, and hiring in only one location could be limiting. In 2020, when we began hiring remotely and thus opened up our candidate funnels, we were able to increase our ethnically diverse hiring by 5%. While we still have a lot of work to do, moving the needle year over year is a win that we want to share with our community. We’ll dive in more on this effort in a future post.

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