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18.05.2021Cyprian Łakomy

Online recruitment and onboarding during covid-19

How we recruited new people in the pandemic, what the onboarding process is like at Prograils, who rockstar developers are and why we don’t like them - read on and learn!

The covid-19 pandemic caused some industries to face remote work for the first time. With it, came the necessity of online recruitment. Others, like the IT industry, have been familiar with it for years. But they also had to adjust their ways a bit. Prograils was no exception.

Online recruitment in the covid-19 pandemic

In the first quarter of 2021, we were searching for a couple of Rails developers.

Our processes have always been informal to the max. Apart from a few occasions when we hired in collaboration with external agencies, we prefer the most direct way of recruitment. In contrast to many companies forced by the pandemic, we have used Zoom and Slack for years, so they were nothing new to us.

Still, the pandemic made remote recruitment a necessity, not an option. Did this affect the comfort of the applicants?

Luckily, it does not seem so.

    Among the pros of online recruitment during the covid-19 pandemic they listed:
  • less stressful interview experience,
  • less time spent on recruitment,
  • the possibility of showing your portfolio via a shared screen.

Cons? You didn’t get the immediate sense of the company’s atmosphere, nor the office tour, but it was called a minor issue.

What was different on our part? For the first time, we did not assign the candidates our internal recruitment tasks.

“When they got in touch with us, we asked them to play around with the last Advent of Code challenge, which has been a hit lately. Once they got hired, their 2-3 month trial period began”, says Maciej Litwiniuk, Prograils’ CEO.

The Advent of Code tasks are published daily every December, so they were still something fresh in the Q1 of 2021. The tasks are themed around the adventures of St. Claus. Each new one raises the complexity bar, so the more tasks a candidate solves, the bigger their chances of being hired. And the higher the initial wage.

Has covid-19 changed onboarding at Prograils?

Not that much.

Finally, once you get the job, you get to see the office.

While getting to know each other, we ask directly, whether you are a frequent party animal or traveler, or rather a homebody. If the first is the case, we advise remote work. If the latter, you can choose your desk in the Prograils headquarters.

You receive your laptop, your e-mail login/pass and an invitation to the Prograils Slack channels. If you are a developer, you obtain limited access to our Gitlab repository. Once you sign in, we get all the paperwork done. We introduce you to our information security rules (as stated in the ISO 27001 norm) and the internal tools we use for work.

Onboarding continued. What will you do during your trial period?

Interns are never assigned to commercial tasks. They usually work on internal projects that make our office life easier. Examples?

Bailiff, a web application that helps us settle up team expenses. Absence Calendar which keeps track of holidays, and most recently Bookshelf, a book inventory of our office library.

The trial period is supposed to prepare new developers for work on commercial projects instead of throwing them into deep water. This is also when they learn our company culture, workflow and sense the overall feeling of Prograils. We talk, behold and review their code, suggest improvements, and try to be as clear as possible about chances of future collaboration.

Rockstar devs are not our cup of tea

Are you young, and think your experience may not be enough? You might be a good match for us!

Ego is one of the biggest issues of many young devs with some experience. They become rockstar developers way too often, and we don’t like it. It’s not only us: little know-it-alls hamper the entire team’s work. And at Prograils, teamwork is everything.

We believe it is also a proper check for anybody who enters a project group operating according to certain rules. Yes, there is always room for improvement and experimentation, but these are never done in a revolutionary way.

Senior developers? Yes, we heard about them, but believe that to call yourself one, you should learn all the ropes by solving numerous programming problems in many different projects. Not just have a couple of years of experience with some languages and frameworks at a software company.

Work-life-education balance

We welcome students. We understand how important professional education is, so we care about your work-life-education balance. During your entire career, you will change companies, but university knowledge is a solid foundation that stays with you for life.

We don’t know if it is popular among employers, but at least this is the way we feel about it. Been there, done that.

Of course, you will be remunerated for your work according to your contribution.

Recruitment and onboarding at Prograils. Takeaway

The outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic made many tools we had used for years an absolute necessity.

Since then we recruit online, using Zoom video conferencing, which turned out to be a comfortable and time-saving solution for both us and candidates. New employees can choose between office and remote work. In both cases, we ensure anything they need to set up.

The development of internal web applications during the trial period is a prelude to teamwork on commercial projects. We don’t throw newbies into deep water.

At Prograils, teamwork is key. It curbs one’s own ego and places the focus on interpersonal skills. We value higher education and this is why we never compete with the duties of our student employees.

Read our Playbook and learn more about our rules.

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