In this episode of the Elite Recruiter Podcast, Benjamin Mena speaks with Trent Cotton, founder of Sprint Recruiting, on how to control the chaos of Talent Acquisition and how the Sprint Recruiting Methodology can change everything within your recruiting team.

Highlights:

  • The 4 dysfunctions of recruiting and how to tackle them
  • Implementing Spring Recruiting into your organization
  • Finding and keeping great recruiters
  • Better data leads to better hiring

Trent Cotton: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trentcotton/

Sprint Recruiting: https://sprintrecruiting.com/

Sprint Recruiting The Book: https://amzn.to/3ysGqUq

With your Host Benjamin Mena with Select Source Solutions: http://www.selectsourcesolutions.com/

Listen to the podcast:

ATLANTA, August 10, 2022 — HatchWorks has been recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the Best Places to Work for the third year in a row.

This annual ranking, in partnership with global workplace culture assessment leader Quantum Workplace, highlights successful companies across the metro area that go above and beyond to keep their workforces happy.

Established in 2016 in Atlanta, HatchWorks is a leading provider of software development services that help technology leaders imagine, modernize, and accelerate their business-critical projects through integrated US and Nearshore Agile teams.

“When I started HatchWorks 6 years ago, I had one goal. That goal was not about how much revenue or how many employees. That one goal was building a Best Place to Work.” says Brandon Powell, CEO of HatchWorks. “Being a BPTW is still our primary goal today. Why is that the main goal? Because we are in the people business and our people are what turn our business flywheel. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.”

In addition to the Best Places to Work list, HatchWorks has also been recognized by Inc. Magazine on their list of Best Workplaces 2022 as well as ranking 1st on Clutch’s list of Georgia’s Leading B2B Companies.

About HatchWorks

HatchWorks is a multi-award-winning company focused on software strategy, development, and experience design. They are headquartered in Atlanta, GA with offices in Chicago, Dallas, and Washington DC. Their Latin America headquarters is located in Costa Rica with a presence in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, and Guatemala.

Atlanta’s Best Places To Work

For 19 years, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Best Places to Work Awards program has been recognizing the 100 companies in our region that go above and beyond in creating an enjoyable workplace and a thriving culture for their employees. The rankings of the top workplaces in Atlanta are based on employee engagement surveys and will be unveiled during our awards program in September. To learn more about the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2022 Best Places to Work, visit www.bizjournals.com.

About Quantum Workplace
Quantum Workplace, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is an HR technology company that serves organizations through employee-engagement surveys, action-planning tools, exit surveys, peer-to-peer recognition, performance evaluations, goal tracking, and leadership assessment.

Caution to all you product manager folks out there:

BEWARE OF LOW-HANGING FRUIT

When it comes to building a product, everyone knows you must make trade-offs, but prioritization is hard.

There are competing priorities from:

  • Customers
  • Stakeholders
  • CEO
  • Developers
  • Designers
  • Other product managers

And the list goes on…

Product managers must ensure they prioritize the right thing and deliver value to both their customer and the business all while making sure they don’t end up with a product that looks like Frankenstein’s monster.

PS. “feature-rich” isn’t always a good thing. Too much complexity in your product can confuse your ideal customer.

So how do you go about prioritizing the RIGHT THING to build next?

Don’t worry – we have a framework that will make you become a prioritization rockstar and channel your inner Steve Jobs.

Funny enough it deals with apples (no pun intended).

Our Prioritization Framework

This framework will help you:

  • Visualize your competing priorities
  • Facilitate discussion with stakeholders on what to prioritize
  • Avoid falling into the low-hanging fruit trap

Here is how it works:

Simply put Value on the y-axis and Effort on the x-axis.

From there, place your competing features ideas on the matrix based on their effort and value.

(PS. if you want to get fancy, you can color code your features by whether they provide value for your customer or your business. Also, whether they are a net new idea, an existing feature enhancement, or a technology enabler)

This will help you visualize where your competing feature ideas and requests stack up:

Quick Wins (High Value and Low Effort):
Do these first. No matter what.

This is a win-win at its finest. Easy for you AND valuable for your customer (can life get any better??).

Don’t Do (High Effort and Low Value):
As the Whos say to the Grinch, “I wouldn’t touch you with a 39-and-a-half foot pole”

Get these ideas out of your mind and, more importantly, off your product backlog.

It doesn’t matter if your CEO is requesting it. Show them this framework and say, “NO.”

Major Projects (High Value and High Effort):
This is where things get a bit more tricky…

Most folks get overwhelmed by these and shelf them for a sunny day.

The problem is that, many times, this is where those strategic differentiators live. There is no better way to build a moat around your product than to build the hard things that your customers find the most value in.

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Think hard about these and don’t discount them just because they are difficult. Focus on those features that align with your strategy and truly help you stand out in the mind of your ideal customer.

Trust us. It is worth it.

Beware (Low Effort & Low Value):
These are the fruits that will lull you into complacency and, as a result, leave you with a product that looks more like Frankenstein’s monster and less like something your ideal customer wants to buy.

While these features are easy to deliver and easy to justify, they are also an easy way to fall into the low-hanging fruit trap.

Don’t be that product:

  • The product that tries to serve everyone
  • The product that has so many features, no one has any idea what it actually does
  • The product that is so confusing, that people give up after a day of trying to use it

Be selective.

Be smart.

And don’t be afraid to take on the major project.

Your customers will thank you for it with repeat business and extended contracts, and your business will thank you for it in the bottom line results you are driving.

Do you need a product management guide?

Our product management experts help you build a process for prioritization that will deliver a solution your customers will love backed by product management best practices and proven frameworks.

We work collaboratively with you to bring your product idea to life, understanding your business goals and key metrics to define a solution that delivers value to your business and your customers.

No matter what phase you are at in your software solution journey, HatchWorks can help you accelerate your path to success.

 

 

In the midst of ever-changing product expectations, User Experience research is a critical step in validating that a Product team’s concepts are on the right track.

It not only fosters alignment between an idea and the reality of what your users actually want and need, but UX research also allows teams to fail early and adapt before large sums of time and money are spent on implementation.

But before diving headfirst into user interviews, it’s important to define a solid foundation so that the process runs smoothly.

Know Your User

Structuring UX research is first and foremost about clearly defining the target user of your product. Of course, there can be more than one target user in your orbit.

In general, try to unpack the ​​psyche of those who will have the perspective you need to make informed decisions.

  • What are their tendencies?
  • How and where do they interact with your product?
  • What motivates them?

At this stage, it’s important to think critically and explore as many factors about your ideal user(s) as possible. Never assume “you just know” your user.

In practice, having your target user(s) defined upfront will help your team form more relevant UX research studies. For example, “Let’s put concepts X and Y in front of persona Z because those concepts present features that will resonate with their needs.”

Get Buy-in

Setting a solid research foundation is also about internal alignment, transparency, and dialogue. Be sure to involve stakeholders and decision-makers from all competencies of your business in open, formative conversations around the goals and intention of the research.

The input and perspective you gather here will ensure that you have a clear picture of organizational goals and expectations. This dialogue is also an opportunity to garner internal buy-in, support, and an overarching appetite for the research outcomes, which will add tremendous momentum and help ensure a successful study.

Align and Focus on Your Research Goals

Once your target user is defined and internal buy-in is established, your team must set a narrow focus on exactly what will be tested and explored during the research sessions. This is necessary in order to run efficiently and get optimal feedback.

Your team must understand the relationship between your research goals and the flow of the questions in your discussion guide. Interview sessions can (and often do) fly off the rails. Having a firm grasp on goals will help your team improvise and naturally steer the respondent back to providing valuable insight.

While the goals and scope of UX research can vary greatly depending on the maturity of a product, your team should always be grounded in keeping it simple, maintaining focus, and taking one step at a time.

Keep your UX research goals within the realm of what you can realistically assess and accomplish at your current state.

Also, be prepared to do it again and again…and again. UX research is never “one-and-done”. It is fluid and ongoing. Gather findings, analyze and learn, then adapt and expand your approach accordingly in the next study.

So, what do you do with all of the valuable data from your research?

Tips for Organizing Your UX Research Data

  1. Before research even begins, teams should take time to choose and/or build their own model for organizing and analyzing user input. This can be as simple as using shared documents and spreadsheets, or more robust applications such as Airtable and Miro. It’s really up to the team’s comfort level.
  2. Teams should also test-run their process with generic data to ensure everyone is on the same page. For example, if a team decides to use mind mapping to organize user input, make sure everyone agrees upon what constitutes a core concept, a branch, and a sub-branch.
  3. Time is of the essence! Debrief and begin analyzing user input immediately after each interview. Having the interview fresh in your mind will ensure a quicker, more fluid analysis.

Summary

When defining your user experience research process, remember to clearly define your product’s target user(s), seek organizational buy-in for your research goals, and set a narrow focus on what will be tested. Your research has the potential to validate your product concepts as long as you establish a solid foundation for a smooth process that can be repeated and iterated upon. 

Do You Need Help with UX Research?

Our experts can help you define and execute a comprehensive UX research study to validate and build confidence that your product is on the right track.

No matter what phase you are at in your software solution journey, HatchWorks can help you accelerate your path to success.

 

 

It’s Official: The Way of Working Has Changed

Remote Working Is Here to Stay

Having team members physically in the office is no longer a vital requirement as teams have proven they can work collaboratively (and many times more productively) in a remote setting.

The question is, are you taking full advantage of what this new way of working has to offer?

Modern companies have a secret weapon they are using for their software development projects enabling them to maintain the same level of collaboration, quality, and productivity at a greater value, and it goes by the name nearshore.

What is Nearshore Software Development?

Nearshore software development is when a company has distributed teams in countries that are in the same or similar time zone. In the US this means countries in Latin America. Many companies leverage partners with a presence in these countries acting as a way to accelerate their path to take full advantage of everything nearshore software development has to offer.

3 Simple Reasons to Consider Nearshore for Software Development

There are many reasons why you should consider nearshore software development, but these 3 are at the core of why so many companies are taking advantage of it to accelerate their digital transformation.

1) Aligned Timezone for Realtime Collaboration

Agile multidisciplinary teams are the standard in today’s world of software development. Agile at its foundation is built on collaboration, iteration, and short feedback loops, which is one of the reasons why Agile teams have managed to be so productive during the pandemic.

 

The main requirement for Agile to work in a remote setting is being able to share the day’s work cycle. nearshore enables that real-time collaboration by being aligned by timezone, not cubicles.

Gone are the days of communicating through email and getting a response the next day as is common practice when offshoring software development.

2) Talent, Talent, Talent.

The pandemic has shifted how people think about work. It has increased the need for digital transformation, thereby creating a talent shortage in the US unlike any we have seen in our lifetime.

Gartner reports:

0 %
Job openings ↑​
0 %
Turnover ↑​
0 %
Time to fill ↑​
0 %
Salary expectation ↑​
Countries in Latin America have invested heavily in technology education, now providing a rich pool of tech talent. They are skilled in modern technology and the ways of Agile, allowing for easy integration into a distributed Agile team.

On top of timezone alignment, Latin America has a strong cultural affinity with the US along with strong English proficiency across the region, making collaboration even more seamless.

3) More Value for Your Investment

The last but certainly not least reason that you should consider Nearshore software development is the value you get for your investment.

Not only is talent in the US scarce, but salary expectations are at unprecedented levels.

Nearshore software development presents an option that provides better value and a greater supply of talent. On top of that, the quality of talent results in little to no dropoff in productivity compared to onshore.

Companies that leverage a nearshore software development partner are able to take full advantage of nearshore right away without having to make the investment it takes to move into a new region along with all the complexities that brings.

So how do you take advantage of all nearshore software development has to offer? The best way is to start with a partner who is already experienced in providing nearshore software development services to determine if it is a fit for your business.

The HatchWorks Difference

HatchWorks is a leader in the nearshore Software Development space, headquartered in Atlanta, GA with a large footprint across Latin America. HatchWorks provides the right team at the right value for today’s remote world helping technology leaders imagine, modernize, and accelerate their business-critical projects.

1) Scale Up or Down

With most providers, you are locked in with a team regardless of how your needs change over time. With HatchWorks, you are able to scale your team up or down with ease to meet the demand of your roadmap and backlog.

On top of that, if you are not happy, you can stop anytime.
HatchWorks nearshore delivery model has transformed the way we work. Their engineering teams seamlessly integrated with ours making collaboration easy. We have trusted them for over 4 years and now have a team of 30+ nearshore engineers helping accelerate our digital transformation. – Christopher Kapcar, Vice President of Technology, PeopleReady

2) US Based

HatchWorks is headquartered in Atlanta, GA with offices in Dallas, Washington DC, and Chicago, providing you with a local presence and contact from the beginning to the end of your project. HatchWorks’ Product & Design practices along with the Customer Engagement team are all located in the US helping set the foundation for your project and ensuring it stays on track to earn your trust.

3) Robust, No-Hassle Talent Identification & Vetting

HatchWorks Sprint Recruiting process makes the identification, vetting, and creation of your team seamless and fast, so you don’t have to wait to get your project started.

HatchWorks ensures you get the right team for the job. With 97% team member retention, you will have a steady team through the life of your project.

Getting Started with HatchWorks Is Easy

HatchWorks will work with you to perform a free initial assessment of the team composition you need based on your current team structure. They can work as an autonomous dedicated team or integrate with your own team to meet your needs. No matter what phase you are at in your software solution journey, HatchWorks can help you accelerate your path to success.

Geese – The Creators of Agile Methodology

 

I’ll confess, I’m a nerd. I’m always reading to identify better ways to increase efficiency in recruiting. I stumbled upon an article explaining why geese fly in a V formation and the science behind why their behavioral instinct makes them such a great example of efficiency. 

First, the geese flying formation conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of them, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds alternate being in the front and falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly long distances before they stop for rest. The authors of a 2001 Nature article state that pelicans who fly alone beat their wings more frequently and have higher heart rates than those that fly in formation. It follows that birds that fly in formation glide more often and reduce energy expenditure (Weimerskirch, 2001).

The second benefit to the V formation is that it is easy to keep track of every bird in the group. Flying in a formation assists with communication and coordination within the group. Fighter pilots use this formation for the same reason. If you have ever watched a group of geese fly overhead, you’ve probably heard them grunting and squawking at each other as they pass. This loud interchange is feedback to ensure each goose is fulfilling their role in the team.

One of the most interesting aspects of geese’ behavior is the intuitive nature of their efficiency. Their ability to fly long distances compared to their counterparts is primarily due to their teamwork efficiency. It’s a complicated process made to look effortless.

What Recruiting Teams Can Learn From Geese

If you compare the effortless efficiency of geese to any organization’s recruiting process, you quickly see a stark contrast. The process is usually outdated, laborious, and incredibly inefficient. There are four primary dysfunctions in most recruiting organizations, regardless of industry, size, or the team. They are: 

  • Everything is a Priority, which means NOTHING is a priority
  • It lacks a Rhythm and opportunity for iterative improvement
  • Clients and recruiters are often misaligned on the definition of success
  • The feedback loop is broken

Recruiters are busy and often too stressed to attempt to be productive. Hiring managers wonder why their X number of roles cannot be filled in five days. Candidates are lost in a laborious interview process only to be forced to wait for days on end for feedback about their performance. 

Normal recruiting simply doesn’t work. 

Enter Agile Recruiting 

At HatchWorks, not only do our software development teams use Agile and Scrum to deliver high-quality products but every facet of the organization embraces the methodology, including recruiting. We use the Sprint Recruiting methodology to ignite, accelerate and succeed in recruiting. It is based on the core principles of Agile and overcomes the dysfunctions of normal recruiting. The four principles are simple:  

  • The SPRINT creates efficiencies
  • The business defines PRIORITY
  • Work in Progress Limits create FOCUS and ITERATIVE EFFICIENCY
  • FEEDBACK keeps the process moving

Recruiters are able to start planning their two-week Agile recruiting sprint focused on the business’s 5-6 top roles versus the twenty or thirty it may have open. The overwhelming distraction associated with high requisition loads subsides as the Agile recruiting team focus on the most critical, manageable requisition list for two weeks. As progress is made on the top priority roles with a specified number of qualified candidates, they move on to the next one in priority. This process is repeated until at some point in the sprint, they create the capacity to recruit other roles as they wait on feedback.

Like the geese flying in a V formation, feedback is constant and keeps the process moving. The feedback from the business moves candidates quickly through the process. Communication among the team helps work be prioritized and allocated to those with the capacity to meet the goal of the two-week sprint. Feedback allows the group to adjust to changes in the industry or client demand quicker and more efficiently. The stress most feel in the traditional recruiting model becomes mitigated by what I call the “sprint instinct.” Like geese, you and your team begin to use resistance as a way to push forward with less energy.

The Hatchworks Agile recruiting team begins the day reviewing a dashboard of ranked jobs with separate swim lanes that show how many candidates are in the process. We meet for daily standups to discuss wins from the previous day and obstacles preventing success. All of our key stakeholders are on the line as we move together as one team toward our ultimate goal: Client Satisfaction. 

Sprint Recruiting was born from the chaos of traditional recruiting. Our process has become more efficient with each iteration, and our engagement with both the business and candidates increased proportionally. The four principles of Sprint Recruiting guide our journey to iterative growth as we continue to innovate, iterate, and accelerate from Sprint to Sprint. 

Talk to HatchWorks today to see how we can help you build the team you need to deliver your next software development project.

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My First Experience at a Best-in-Class Workplace

Only 4 weeks into my brand new role as the Marketing Manager at HatchWorks, it was announced that we had been honored as a 2022 Best Workplace by Inc. Magazine, which is known for its annual rankings of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States, called the “Inc. 500” and “Inc. 5000.”

I’d never worked at such a prestigious company before, though it had always been a major ambition of mine. Previous employers have won local awards, broke sales records, and achieved a variety of unique wins within their industries, but being recognized as a great place to work requires the effort, input, and dedication of the entire team. 

As I set my sights on new employment opportunities, it was no longer enough to be a record-breaker or industry disruptor. The company I wanted to work for also needed a strong team culture that would allow me to be myself and perform beyond my current capabilities. Like millions of other employees, I participated in “the Great Reshuffle,” seeking more fulfilling roles with greater flexibility.

The Great Reshuffle

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of February 2022, the US unemployment rate reached 3.8%, only 0.3% higher than February 2020, a month before the pandemic shuttered businesses and schools across the United States and the world. 

During that same period, we’ve seen the quit rate of US employees continue to rise as they seek better opportunities; however, hire rates also continue to rise, outpacing the number of Americans leaving their jobs.

Current trends indicate that workers are reassessing how, where, and why they work, with job seekers prioritizing remote work, new roles, compensation and benefits, culture, and improved work-life balance. Workers are empowered and actively demanding more from their workplaces.

In alignment with these trends, I prioritized three specific qualities that I was seeking in an employer:

  1. Exciting and challenging work,
  2. Intelligent, kind, and driven colleagues, and
  3. Engaged leadership that promotes positive culture.

Needless to say, I found all three of these qualities and more at HatchWorks.

What makes HatchWorks a Best Workplace?

HatchWorks has been recognized as a Best Place to Work three times in the past 2 years, including the latest recognition from Inc. These awards have a rigorous evaluation process involving employee surveys and 3rd party audits that cover management effectiveness, perks, fostering employee growth, and overall company culture.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle recognized HatchWorks as a Best Place to Work in 2020 and 2021, highlighting that they go above and beyond to keep their workforces happy. 

This commitment to being a best workplace has propelled HatchWorks growth as shown by ranking on the 2021 Inc 5000 list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America

How Has Hatchworks Helped You To Grow Or Develop?

I knew going in that HatchWorks, while a relatively young company, was gaining significant acknowledgment in the software development and product design industry year after year. That said, I was still shocked at how quickly I felt like a member of the team.

Our CEO, Brandon Powell, acts as the primary driver of company culture, making himself open and accessible to his employees and facilitating great communication to a team that is spread across the US and Latin America.

Company leadership and senior-level employees not only made me feel welcome, but they also made me feel needed. My personal brand and social media activity was encouraged for the first time in my career. My coworkers immediately asked my opinions, even though I was one of the new guys.

Our Agile methodology allowed me to hit the ground running, collaborate with team members across multiple departments, and impact our outgoing communications within days of starting of a new job.

Why Do Our Customers Love Hatchworks?

I could go on and on about the positive experiences that I’ve had as an employee over the past couple of months, but it’s not all about me. Our core values at HatchWorks encourage us to put the team before the individual and to create raving fans of our customers. 

When you read our customer reviews, you’ll notice these recurring themes and comments:

  • We are flexible, responsive, and personable.
  • We set clear expectations.
  • We have a strong structure to guide the process.
  • We deliver great quality work.
  • We are your strategic partners.

These qualities didn’t happen by accident. They are the result of the combined effort of the team at HatchWorks to create a great workplace, one that values its team members, their time, and their lives outside of work.

Hear from Other Hatchers:

Why Join the HatchWorks team?

If you’re wondering like I was if the “Great Reshuffle” represents an attainable opportunity and not just an over-publicized trend, I encourage you to reach out to those companies that have been recognized for their commitments and efforts to make quality workplaces and long-lasting relationships. I was fortunate enough to find the role I needed at a company that fills me with pride.

If you want to be a part of a growing, multi-award winning company, consider applying at HatchWorks today. Our employees are chosen not only for their skills but their values and respect for their peers’ strengths and contributions — the true essence of a team.

We intentionally strive to create and support diverse and inclusive teams that bring together people—each with different points of view that make us and our work better.

We are always on the lookout for employees who are passionate, tenacious, selfless, intuitive, creative, and curious. Does this sound like you? If so, we’d love to hear from you.

 

 

ATLANTAMay 10, 2022HatchWorks, a leading provider of software development services that help technology leaders imagine, modernize, and accelerate their business-critical projects through integrated US and Nearshore Agile teams, has been named to Inc. magazine’s annual Best Workplaces list, a comprehensive measurement of American companies that have excelled in creating exceptional workplaces and company culture.

Inc. selected 475 honorees this year. Each nominated company took part in an employee survey, conducted by Quantum Workplace, which included topics such as management effectiveness, perks, fostering employee growth, and overall company culture. The organization’s benefits were also audited to determine overall score and ranking.

Our culture drives everything we do, and everything we deliver.” said CEO Brandon Powell. “This recognition provides validation we are doing the right things and gives us the energy to make HatchWorks an even better place to work.”

Hatchworks provides software strategy, development, and experience design services to Healthcare, Financial Services, and Communications companies to name a few. Since its start, HatchWorks focused on building a best workplace through its culture. This includes:

  • Recognizing and rewarding those who embody its shared core values.
  • Establishing a profit-sharing program, giving 10% of profits each quarter to the team.
  • Embracing DEI through our core values and recognizing the value of different experiences and perspectives.
  • Taking care of our employees and giving back to their communities through the HatchFutures organization.

This commitment to being a best workplace has propelled HatchWorks growth as shown by ranking on the 2021 Inc 5000 list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America and being named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle Best Place to Work list 2 years running.

“Not long ago, the term ‘best workplace’ would have conjured up images of open-office designs with stocked snack fridges,” says Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk. “Yet given the widespread adoption of remote work, the concept of the workplace has shifted. This year, Inc. has recognized the organizations dedicated to redefining and enriching the workplace in the face of the pandemic.”

About HatchWorks
HatchWorks is a multi-award winning company focused on software strategy, development and experience design. They are headquartered in Atlanta, GA with offices in ChicagoDallas, and Washington DC. Their Latin America headquarters is located in Costa Rica with presence in ColombiaPeruArgentinaMexico and Guatemala.

About Inc. Media
The world’s most trusted business-media brand offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print.

About Quantum Workplace
Quantum Workplace, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is an HR technology company that serves organizations through employee-engagement surveys, action-planning tools, exit surveys, peer-to-peer recognition, performance evaluations, goal tracking, and leadership assessment.