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How Leaders are Scaling Culture During the Pandemic

Uniting the Prairies conference

October 6, 2020: Symend’s Head of People, Leah Fochuk, joins the Uniting the Prairies conference to share how Symend continued to evolve its culture while rapidly hiring during the pandemic. Watch the video or listen to the podcast published by BetaKit.

BetaKit · Black Swan #24: How to scale in a pandemic

COVID-19 prompted Symend to quickly adapt to keep up with an exciting growth trajectory after successfully raising one of the largest Series B rounds in Alberta’s recent history in May 2020.

Taking a new approach to recruitment

Recruitment best practices have drastically changed since the start of the pandemic. Leah spearheaded Symend’s recruitment success as it hired over 160 people since mid-March. Since the pandemic began, companies had to pivot to virtual hiring which led Symend to look for talent in places it hadn’t before and develop a strong remote working culture.

Thankfully, Leah is not shy to creatively solving problems having over 15 years of progressive experience providing strategic support to ensure alignment between people and culture strategies and business objectives. Through COVID-19, she shares that Symend took on the challenge of solidifying and operationalizing company values to help recruit top talent.

“When hiring, it is important to have an understanding of your values right out of the gate so that you know exactly what you’re looking for,” Leah said. “This has helped us ensure that we hire people who will not only fit in but excel and succeed.”

Fostering strong company culture in a remote world

While a lack of interpersonal interaction makes it harder to immerse people into the culture, she notes that Symend launched an interactive, five-day onboarding program to ensure new hires get to experience the rich corporate culture remotely. The onboarding program quickly embeds new hires into Symend by teaching them about company goals, vision and values to help them succeed in their roles. New hires also get to meet other colleagues one-on-one through hand-picked coffee meetings and enjoy cross-departmental speaker-led sessions to learn how everyone works together.

Listen to the event to learn more about:

  • How Symend’s values guide the hiring process
  • How Symend knows if applicants will be a good fit
  • What other People and Culture leaders learned through COVID-19
  • Other companies offering Canadian tech jobs

Uniting the Prairies is a movement where the top VCs, angels, prairie expats and tech leaders come together (virtually) to share knowledge and experience with startups, elevating our prairie tech community.

Want to learn more about Symend’s culture? Check out our careers page.