To compete and stay relevant companies need to scale talent, learn new technologies, and continuously up-skill themselves. At TribalScale we’ve grown from 6 to 130+ employees in two years — pretty much hyper-growth. Today, our reach is global, we now have 5 offices around the world: Toronto, Dubai, New York, LA, and San Francisco.
From the get-go, I’ve been responsible for the growth of TribalScale’s engineering teams. After getting Toronto running — see my earlier blog post on “Building a Tribe” — we decided to expand into the West Coast, and then we did the same for our growth into Dubai and the MENA region. Throughout both of these expansions, strategy and execution for scaling a new office needed to adapt and take into account regional differences.
So how did I successfully scale talent in new cities, and in new offices?
Evangelize the company.
Get involved in your community and the wider industry, tell them about you and your team: Why do you matter? What do you do, and how?
I went to meetups and advocated TribalScale nonstop — I knew TribalScale better than my own home. Connecting and interacting with the community gave me insight into the local tech scene, the people, and their stories. Relating and connecting with the local industry and the people running it was so important our success. Let me tell you why…
You will learn what the industry needs; connecting need with talent enables you to scale and grow in the direction of the industry. You will have the opportunity to connect and chat with people that genuinely care about your company — and finding them will help you build on your strong foundations. At this stage of the game, be ready to talk to anybody, at any time, and at any place, it is so important to keep an open mind!
Acquiring new talent.
Tell everyone about the values of your company, how you live those values, and why that makes your company unique. At TribalScale we live and breathe our values: Transparency, Meritocracy, and Empowerment. When chatting with new and possible candidates, I made sure TribalScale’s vision resonated with candidates. How does one accomplish this? Read your audience: get to know what excites them, dig deep into their history, and seek alignment on vision.
At the interview stage, remember, timing is key. A very short interview process can be much more effective for adding top talent to your roster. Some companies have lengthy upfront interview processes, but these aren’t very useful because they don’t properly indicate whether the candidate will perform on the job. At TribalScale, we have a short assessment process so we can set a baseline measure for candidates. For example I like to have an initial chat (or screen), then I’ll hold a pairing interview that lasts about 2 hours. The pairing session gives me the chance to really assess the candidate’s work and communication. Then, I’ll hold a culture-fit interview, more like a casual chat, with another team member. We work closely with all of our employees and take care in our on-boarding process. We set concrete goals for their 30/60/90 reviews, and continuously gather and provide regular feedback. Regular 1:1’s and mentorship go a long way, especially at the start of someone’s tenure.
At TribalScale, we value a community of collaboration, transparency, and partnership. We believe that there is always room for improvement and growth, and the best way to get there is through team discussion, feedback sessions, and on-going iteration. Pair programming allows us to gather honest and practical feedback from a pair at any time, which helps us turn around with constructive criticism and constant goal setting. Through pairing, constant knowledge transfer takes place, and we can scale talent faster while reducing technical gaps.
Know your people.
Once established, it is essential that your team is aligned and focused. Make sure you know what your teams want, what they need to learn, and how they can fulfill their awesome potential. Set a career path for your employees, and execute on action items.
Community ties into this point as well. It is paramount that you trust and understand each other. At TribalScale, we host regular team outings (beach days, axe throwing, movie nights, etc.), and we have weekly socials. We get the Tribe together, build relationships, and have fun. Genuine relationships and mutual care go a long way in the workplace. At TribalScale, we make sure our employees know how much we appreciate them, and how much they matter to the Tribe. Our sense of cohesion is like no other, and this helps us get top jobs done again, and again.
At TribalScale we’re creating a new era of innovation, and to get there, we know that the power is in the people. Scaling isn’t just about increasing the number of work hours, hiring, and adding bodies. Successful growth requires hard work, and a diligent commitment from the top. Invest in your values, your culture, and your people, and then, watch the floor grow.
As Co-Founder and Director of Engineering, JB plays a major role in TribalScale’s growth. From the get-go he’s been responsible for the recruitment, hiring, and mentoring of TribalScale’s engineering teams in Toronto, OC, and Dubai. He is great with people and manages his teams with expertise, all while scaling-up. JB understands the importance of keeping an open-mind when growing, and the value of making meaningful connections within the community. He also oversees all of TribalScale’s engineering projects, works closely with QA, and draws on his stellar record to help create integrative and innovative customer solutions.