Working from home can be an easy way to blend work and play in unhealthy ways. When there’s no chance to ‘clock in’, employees might find themselves working all through the days and nights.
“When the pandemic had just started and there was a real sense of uncertainty, people felt that the line between home and work became really blurred,” explained Zoomin HR Director Liron Barsheshet.
Even though it was “because they cared about their work and the company,” the SaaS company still tried to be flexible and sensitive when it came to its employees to allow them the balance they need.
Zoomin joined CTech for its HR Post-Covid series to share how they set boundaries and helped employees during one of the strangest years in modern history.
Field of Activity:
Zoomin, a B2B SaaS company, empowers end-users of the largest enterprise companies in the world, such as McAfee, Dell, and HPE, to independently use products to their greatest potential. Zoomin's knowledge orchestration platform delivers technical content as personalized, always updated product answers to any customer touchpoint, ensuring users have the exact information they need, whenever and wherever they need it.
Number of employees/location:
We have 90 employees across three locations: Israel, New York, and London
Professional background of HR Manager:
I started my HR career more than a decade ago, working for Procter & Gamble as an HR Coordinator for six years. I then joined Forter, a SAAS company, where I was the HR Manager for four and a half years. At Forter, I realized that my passion lay in building and growing the workforce of startup companies. I joined Zoomin over two years ago where I built up the HR department from scratch.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did the coronavirus pandemic disrupt operations at the company?
I would probably say 3. Covid-19 obviously caught us all somewhat unprepared. Over the first two months of the crisis, we continuously assessed the new reality and how we needed to adjust and adapt to both meet our business targets and maintain the unity of the company. The changes that we implemented related mainly to communication and transparency - we held frequent mini all-hands meetings with the employees to share how the company was faring, financially, and business-wise, during the pandemic.
Our departments enhanced the way they communicate with each other to improve remote productivity by doing daily and sync meetings, as well as using different tools and systems. We also adapted our welfare activities - we distributed Shavuot (holiday) and end of year gifts to employees' homes and we held a great surfing event in the fresh air while adhering to the Covid-19 restrictions. On top of that, we held global happy hours on a bi-weekly basis so new employees could introduce themselves and meet the team, even while working remotely.
What interesting technological tools do you use in employee management/recruitment?
We use Comeet for recruiting efforts and Bob for employee management.
What positive and/or negative impact did the outbreak have on the human capital of the company?
When the pandemic had just started and there was a real sense of uncertainty, people felt that the line between home and work became really blurred as they were working really hard, mainly because they cared about their work and the company. We tried to be very flexible and sensitive when it came to our employees to allow them the balance they need. However, we found it difficult to keep the culture, innovative mindset, and collaboration when the teams do not meet on a day to day basis. We decided to keep the office open, subject to the government’s guidelines, and encourage people to meet at the office a few times a week.
On the positive side, our growth and the demand for our product increased tremendously during the pandemic, and our story resonated with the general atmosphere of providing a better customer experience, self-service platforms with seamless integrations. Due to that, we managed to grow much faster in 2020 and our recruitment efforts are relentless all across the company.
What are the two major challenges you are coping with these days?
The first is hiring. The company onboarded 46 new employees in 2020. We kept our great growth momentum and are heading towards significant scale-up in 2021, with no compromises on best in class talents. Second is preserving our great culture, rooted in modesty, work ethic, and customer obsession, and our work-from-home environment since we have employees spread throughout Israel, the U.S, and the UK.
Are you actively recruiting? If so, what is the process and where can the applicants find you?
Yes! Zoomin is growing incredibly fast and we are very excited about the current phase of the company. Today there are a variety of open positions available on our website, and the list is getting longer and longer every week. By 2021 we plan to hire about 100 new employees, globally. In terms of the recruiting process: we first conduct a short phone call screening to assess the initial fit, then an interview with the direct manager, in most cases the candidate will submit a home assignment, and afterward additional interviews with the founders and HR team. We must have at least one interview conducted in the office so candidates could feel the vibes and energy of the office and meet with the people they will work with, face to face.
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?
Still hard to tell, but I predict that the hybrid model of in-office and working from home will stay with us for a while. But as time passes we're learning that more and more of our employees prefer to work from the office, rather than work from home. The quick face to face chats, kitchen gatherings (under strict Covid-19 guidelines of course), and spontaneous brainstorming in the halls are fundamental to the startup vibe, and we can not do without them.