The growth of Indiana’s tech ecosystem isn’t slowing down anytime soon. From eye-popping fundraising hauls and headline-grabbing acquisitions to innovations affecting changes in any number of industries, the successes keep coming. Perhaps the most important ingredient to all of this success is talent.

Indiana tech companies created thousands of new jobs in 2021 with more than 2,100 being posted to TechPoint’s Job Board alone, and many more openings looking to be filled in the new year. We spoke with three Indiana tech leaders about how their teams have adjusted to filling job openings in the age of COVID-19, how they have altered their onboarding experiences, and what their hiring plans look like moving forward.

Flexibility of hybrid roles provides opportunities for different kinds of collaboration

When offices closed and companies went totally remote in March 2020, tools like Slack and Zoom immediately went from being nice complementary assets to completely necessary staples of team functionality. Shannon Meriwether, talent acquisition partner with Zylo, said that while the company is planning to reopen an office in the near future, the experiences and lessons learned over the last two years have made working with remote and hybrid colleagues a long-term reality.

“We’ve really leaned into creating a hybrid workplace and have been able to expand our talent pool to include folks outside of Indy,” Shannon said. “We have been fortunate to continue to hire during the pandemic and our shift to working remotely has moved our onboarding process to be completed virtually through video conferencing.”

Taking Zylo’s onboarding process remote has allowed Shannon and the Zylo team to bring an increased level of intentionality to how new colleagues are welcomed. From setting up new hire buddies to encouraging “Donut meetings” (a Slack plug-in that randomly pairs members of a team to schedule virtual meet-ups), Shannon feels the process does an excellent job of helping new employees feel comfortable navigating the team and the organization.

Shannon Meriwether
Talent Acquisition Partner with Zylo
“One other very important change we’ve made to our onboarding process is that we’ve added a values session,” Shannon explained. “While we had always talked about our values previously, we realized that in-person it was much easier for people to see our values in practice every day. Now we make it a point to spend more time talking about our values, why they are important and how they manifest in our culture. This has helped us retain our culture and ensure our values translate throughout the organization to all employees, no matter where they are located.”

Shannon said that Zylo plans to hire more than 20 new employees for hybrid roles in 2022. “While we’re all grateful for technology and how it’s helped us to continue to accomplish our goals, there’s something to be said about in-person collaboration. Being able to be in a room together and brainstorm, to use a whiteboard to write and share ideas, or to simply run into your colleague in the breakroom and have a conversation about work, family or life, there’s something about in-person conversations that creates a different type of energy and it’s missed by many within the company.”

See current Zylo job listings on the TechPoint Job Board by clicking here.

Work-life balance from hybrid work is meaningful for employees

Since the end of the initial COVID-19 stay-at-home orders in spring 2020, Nick Smarrelli’s team at GadellNet Consulting Services has operated on a hybrid model, allowing employees to choose to work in the office or from home because they know where they do their best work. 

Nick Smarrelli
CEO of GadellNet Consulting
“We’ve had to operate with, essentially, 150-plus separate offices,” said CEO Nick Smarrelli. “We’ve had to utilize [Microsoft] Teams and other mostly asynchronous communication tools to collaborate, learn, share and engage with the team.”

Since moving to this new hybrid reality, GadellNet has brought onboard more than 70 new members for primarily remote roles, with many new colleagues only having come into the office once or twice. Nick explained that to help ensure that these new employees feel like they are part of the team, the staff has held monthly team meetings and events both virtually and in-person in addition to regular communications, lunch and learns, and more.

Looking ahead to 2022, Nick said GadellNet plans to continue bringing on more members to the team and give them the option of where and how they will operate. “Hiring employees into a hybrid work environment allows them to manage their work-life balance in a way that is most meaningful to them. Team members have the opportunity to complete their work in the environment in which they find their greatest levels of productivity.”

Keep an eye out for future GadellNet Consulting Services job listings on the TechPoint Job Board by clicking here.

Totally remote positions widen the talent pool

By late March 2020, Nicole Bickett thought the Springbuk team would be doing this “work from home” thing for a few short weeks before the pandemic passed and people returned to business as usual. The company already had several remote members at the time, but in the nearly two years since the start of the pandemic, the team has fully adopted a “Work From Anywhere” model.

Nicole, who serves as Springbuk’s vice president of people and administration, said that in the past their People Team would have new employees join them in the office for a full day of onboarding, even those who had been hired for remote roles. “Since the pandemic, we’ve shifted to a fully remote onboarding process,” Nicole explained. “We still have many of the same meetings, but the feedback we’ve received from new team members is that they prefer it to be spread out a bit more.”

Nicole Bickett
Vice President of People and Administration with Springbuk
“Since the pandemic, we’ve shifted to a fully remote onboarding process,” Nicole explained. “We still have many of the same meetings, but the feedback we’ve received from new team members is that they prefer it to be spread out a bit more.”

The Springbuk team has brought on many new employees since the pandemic began, and after seeing the feedback from their new all-virtual onboarding process they have decided to keep it around permanently.

Looking to 2022, Nicole says the Springbuk team hopes to bring on 11-20 new members for totally remote roles. “The immediate value we saw was being able to recruit talent from across the country,” she said. “Springbuk now has employees in 25 states, which never would have happened prior to the pandemic. It allows us better access to talent, and we have found that many job seekers are seeking 100% remote opportunities.”

Keep an eye out for future Springbuk job listings on the TechPoint Job Board by clicking here.