Every organization encounters a moment when rapid growth becomes a necessity – a pivot towards achieving business objectives that demands the swift onboarding of experienced talents. For us, this meant scaling our engineering team quickly and efficiently.
Last year presented us with a unique and exciting challenge: to rejuvenate and expand our engineering team. Our reasons for this accelerated expansion were diverse:
Over the course of six months, we hired 50 inspired talents and integrated them into our team. We did this by creating a new center of excellence, establishing a distributed team management approach and implementing processes to monitor progress and identify opportunities for growth.
Our aim was clear: to identify new talent and seamlessly integrate them into our existing processes. Coupled with our strategic need for greater diversity and diversification, establishing a new center of excellence in a different location became an attractive solution.
Thus, the first part of this year was an intense period for our engineering team. Our current roadmap and long-term plans triggered the search for talent in a new location: India. Preliminary research indicated promising prospects for fulfilling all our hiring needs in this region.
The first step of this journey was building an efficient interview pipeline. We realized that our standard interview workflow was not sufficient in this new, competitive market. To successfully scale our engineering team, maintain the interest of highly experienced talent, and speed up the hiring process, we implemented changes in our workflow:
In addition, we found that having engineering leaders visit the new location to be extremely helpful. As a remote-first company, we understand how important (particularly at the very beginning) it is to provide efficient collaboration with the new team, meet each person who joined us, and get valuable feedback from personal communication. All of this lays a solid foundation for long-term cooperation, integrating our corporate values and inspiring joint product development to our growing team.
Once we had clear JDs in place and enlisted the support of a strong recruiting partner, we moved onto the next challenge: determining the best type of team management approach.
Different approaches can be adopted when building and scaling an engineering team in a new location, each with its unique advantages and challenges. Each is dependent on the type of tasks and the necessary depth of teams’ integration for your product support. One approach is to build a separate team that can operate in an outsource-like way to be responsible for separate components/subprojects only.
Another approach is for when you have highly innovative products with specific areas of experience, like application, cross operating system integration and virtualization levels for our Parallels Desktop for Mac. For this type of experience, that requires deep integration knowledge exchange between team members, inheritance of best practices of research and problem investigation, you can stick to a strongly integrated approach, where newcomers would be integrated into the existing organizational chart, reporting to existing engineering leaders.
Historically (having M&A in our background) our teams were located by projects, with parts of the teams in other locations. We already had several centers of excellence for RnD, mostly in Europe, Mauritius and North America.
From the start of this growth journey, our engineering managers have been supportive and interested in the strongly integrated approach to keeping teams united. Here are some talking points we used to discuss the advantages and challenges of a distributed team, with our engineering leads:
Each of our engineering teams strive to have formal documentation, design documents and onboarding instructions readily available. However, with this new influx in hiring, we needed to review, renew and recreate some of our onboarding materials. Here are the steps we took to do so:
Personally, it was my first visit in India, and it’s firmly remained an important milestone in the development of our engineering team! It’s an amazing feeling when you realize that several months ago there were just thoughts to have a new center of excellence, but today you can see many new professionals around who are really interested in making your product better, suggesting new ideas and getting energized.
Scaling your engineering team is a powerful opportunity to revitalize processes and bring fresh perspectives to the table. We look forward to the adventures and success this new chapter will bring.