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In a world full of continuous disruption, the IT business is one of the fastest-growing and most competitive markets...

In a world full of continuous disruption, the IT business is one of the fastest-growing and most competitive markets. When candidates have to decide which software company is the best fit for them, they consider competitive salaries and who offers the best cultural environment.

Over the years, we have learned that a company’s culture is essential to attract and retain top talent, and it starts in the recruiting process.

“Culture is what motivates and retains talented employees.”  – Betty Thompson 

We consider it essential to share our values and perks and give them a sense of what working with us would feel. We want them to feel comfortable and supported from the beginning. It’s also beneficial to keep them in the loop throughout the whole process; it gives them a sense of belonging.

Employees want to know they are working in a company that cares and values them as professionals and human beings. It’s not all about hard work; keeping the mind and spirit happy will motivate them to deliver outstanding results.

“Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game -it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.” – Lou Gerstner

Culture, Communication & Fun

Before the pandemic, playing video games and having an occasional beer was part of our office culture. Since we are all working remotely now, our cultural approach had to adapt to the circumstances. As the Marketing and Happiness officer at Ideaware, I believe we have found the perfect balance between taking care of our team’s energy (from a safe distance) and do what we love the most: develop products.

Let me tell you how!

  • We keep our team informed: Monthly town halls and newspapers keep everyone in the loop. We know what we are working on, what’s happening with the company and in our co worker’s life.
  • Strong relationships: On day one, our new members meet the team. Creating a solid connection is essential; we want everyone to feel welcome and part of this big family, and most importantly, we are here to collaborate.
  • Time to unwind: We have multiple 30-minute events throughout the week to connect, learn and have fun together. These spaces are essential after a long workday. They keep us bonded even though we are working from our own houses, plus who doesn’t like to have a good laugh and a beer/cup of coffee with the team after a busy day?
  • Open communication: Whenever our team has a question or an idea, we have an open doors policy. We are ready to listen and support them to reach their goals.

    The team also has multiple slack channels where they stay in touch and share work and non-work-related stuff. It’s all about balance.

“Create the kind of workplace and company culture that will attract great talent. If you hire brilliant people, they will make work feel more like play. “ – Richard Branson

Company culture needs to constantly evolve in order to improve, especially in the IT industry. Listen to your team, provide spaces to relax and have fun, encourage them to keep learning, communicate often, and share a good beer. These are key to attract and retain top talent.

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The world has changed and we have evolved with it. Now that our team is working remotely...

The world has changed and we have evolved with it. Now that our team is working remotely, finding a way to successfully integrate your new hires into your team is our top priority. We strongly believe a thriving onboarding process is essential to guarantee high retention.

Our team makes sure you do not have to worry about culture/onboarding anymore. We take care of everything while you spend more time working on your project goals.

As you know, we went fully remote during these crucial times and we found a way to set our remote onboarding process up for success. Do you want to know our secret?

A collaborative process.

The days where HR was fully responsible for the onboarding are over. Now, we all are an essential part of it since social interaction has become key to facilitate the adaptation process of our new members. Our goal is to integrate your new members into their positions, remote team, and our warm and friendly culture as quickly as possible, making them feel at the office even though they are working from home.

Onboarding remote team members successfully 

The sooner new team members feel part of your project, the better their performance will be in it. Let’s take a look into this process:

Getting ready

It is important to start setting new team members before their first day. We understand that starting a remote position could be challenging and we want them to be already familiar with the team and processes, this will help them feel ready and relaxed on their first day. 

We start with a video call with the new hire and our management team, this way we can introduce ourselves and they will know exactly who to talk to. We make a summary of who we are, our mission and vision, culture, and perks, provide them with a company email, and arrange the delivery of a new desk, chair, computer, and a welcome package to their house. We also tell them about our weekly activities and events that will help them establish a relationship with their coworkers and feel welcomed.

The first day

The day we were waiting for is finally here! The most important thing is to integrate the new hire(s) into our team. Via Slack, the app we use for internal communication, we share a picture of them, their role, and a welcome message that all team members have access to.

Then, they are introduced to the members of your project via Zoom. During the call, everyone has their cameras on as seeing people’s faces builds a great social connection. Your team introduces themselves, talks about the project, and gives the new member a product roadmap and the information needed to start achieving outstanding goals.

2-weeks check-in

After giving the new hire time to get used to the role, our HR team schedules a meeting 2 weeks after the start date. During this follow-up, we want to make sure that they are doing ok, that they have all they need, how they are getting along with the team, and if they feel happy and comfortable. We want them to know we are here to support them to achieve their goals.

Culture as the main ingredient

The happiness and success of our team is also a top priority. During the last year, we have worked hard creating a remote culture that makes everyone feel welcomed and included. 

To make this happen we host weekly events such as Coffee Breaks, Homespaces, Town Halls, and team challenges; these events are the roadway to virtually connect with our team and create an environment where we all feel safe to share our ideas, knowledge, and just have fun. We understand the importance of having a good work/well-being balance, therefore, we use this time to disconnect, relax, have fun, and share a few laughs with our coworkers. It is healthy!

Virtually meeting your colleagues and getting to know their faces creates a feeling of friendship and closeness, which is incredibly important for the success of the onboarding process and your project.

Experiences of our newest team members

“My onboarding process was great, keeping in mind that it was remote because of the pandemic. I had the zoom calls needed to meet all the Ideaware’s management team and the team I was going to be part of; they were all very helpful in explaining to me their roles. Getting all the proper documents and forms signed online was something I particularly liked because I received a copy of the documents right away in my email. I found it very innovative. Ideaware also gave me a new computer to work with and they delivered it to my house. They were amazing with the communication and letting me know they were here for me in every step of the way.” – Silvana N.

“The onboarding process has been so good! From the beginning, Ideaware and my team were very clear with the tasks that I was going to develop. Also, I have felt very well received by the company. I feel that I have been given the proper treatment as a worker, which generates a sense of belonging to the company.” – Esteban E.

Collaborative onboarding has been the key to successfully integrate your new hires into our team. Even if they are 600 miles away in another city, we are all part of this process. The best part is that we take care of everything, so you have more time to spend working on achieving your goals.

Thank you for reading and do not forget to share and subscribe to our newsletter below. If you have any questions about our processes, we are here for you. Contact us!

 

Recruiting software development talent is a particularly challenging art, but done in the right way, it becomes very...

Recruiting software development talent is a particularly challenging art, but done in the right way, it becomes very rewarding.

We understand that finding the right talent for your project is time-consuming and demanding. At Ideaware we make sure you don’t have to worry about that. Hiring an outsource/nearshore software team is meant to be easy and headache-free.


“In technology, it’s about the people. Getting the best people, retaining them, nurturing a creative environment, and helping to find a way to innovate.”  -Marissa Mayer

From profiling to hiring

We want to make your vision a reality. To make this happen, we’ve crafted a repeatable process, with an extraordinary technical team to find the talent to meet your needs for “skill and scale.”

Stage 1: Preparation

Let’s get started!

Whether you are scaling your team or hiring a dedicated team, the first step is to identify the requirements of the position you need for your project. After the vacancy request is made, our Human Resources team will begin to work its magic. 

We use a collaborative recruiting method, which means that with our tech leads, we create the right job profile of required competencies and skills based on your needs. From this moment, we use our recruitment techniques to spread the message and the head-hunting starts.

Stage 2: Prescreening

This phase consists of selecting, organizing, and identifying cream-of-the-crop candidates by reviewing the applications. When we have selected the profiles that meet the requirements, the screening process starts with a call to each applicant. 

Here comes the fun….

Stage 3: Technical Interview

After the screening process is done, our HR team and tech leads schedule an interview with the very best candidates. We conduct a series of questions, challenges and evaluate their creativity, ability to problem solve, and culture compatibility. In the end, our tech leads give us the evaluation form with a score and feedback.

Stage 4: Job simulation exercises and final interview

Here is when you come to the mix! We share with you between 2-4 top-talent candidates with their job profiles and technical results. You review and select the ones you believe are the best fit for your project, and we will schedule your interview with them.

During this final interview, we conduct a work simulation challenge. This will help us to check the candidate’s expertise, qualifications, and understand how they will react in a future work situation. 

Stage 5: Offer and hiring

After you select your A+ candidate and give us the green light, we make an offer and our HR department starts with the hiring process. We take care of the rest.

You are all set!

Nothing but benefits…

These are just a few reasons why you should hand-off this process to us:

  • You don’t have to worry about contracts anymore.
  • You will have more time to focus on your project while we focus on finding the right talent.
  • Our experts will put together a team that goes with the personality of your project, culture, and fit your expectations.
  • The days when you had to spend endless hours screening candidates are over. Now you can spend this worry-free time centering your attention on your goals.
  • You will just interview and screen candidates that are already aligned with your requirements.

“Hiring talent is a multi-faceted skill that lies at the crossroads of social networking, technical acumen, process management, and intuition.”  -Hyam Singer

Remember that hiring is a journey and we are here to help you along the way to build the right dedicated or extended development team exactly to your needs.

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Remote work hasn’t been an impediment to celebrating our favorite holidays with the team. This time we had the...

Remote work hasn’t been an impediment to celebrating our favorite holidays with the team. This time we had the opportunity to celebrate Friendship Day by learning how to make homemade coffee and bread through Zoom. 

We knew we wanted to do something special for the team and with the help of a local bakery called Pan y Café, we sent them a package full of goodies which included the ingredients, a mug, and a freshly baked banana and chocolate bread.

From the moment they received the package, everyone started to share pictures of it on Slack and social media. At that point, we had the feeling the event was going to be a success. We were right!

On the day of the event, we started the Zoom meeting with music while we waited for everyone to join. The baker of Pan y Café started explaining to us why each ingredient was important and the role they had in the recipe, and then (our favorite part) he started to teach us how to make delicious bread.

While we were waiting for the dough to rise, we learned how to make Tinto (strong Colombian coffee) using a cloth filter. If you haven’t tried our coffee, we highly recommend you order some right now. Colombia is known for its delicious and tasty coffee.

These were the results of the experience; freshly baked bread, and a happy team! Activities like this are what help us build a stronger relationship, and keep us happy during these difficult times.

We are extremely thankful for everyone who made this possible, and we hope we can keep celebrating moments like this together, even if they have to be via zoom for now.

A message for the team

We are blessed to have such an amazing and talented team. This year has been a challenge for everyone but you are rocking it and we are very proud. Thank you for always being there for us. Happy Friendship Day!

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I believe 2020 will always be remembered as the year COVID-19 forced companies to change their corporate culture....

I believe 2020 will always be remembered as the year COVID-19 forced companies to change their corporate culture. The pandemic negatively impacted everyone’s lives but it also brought innovation and positive effects into our routines and work life. 

At Ideaware we like to see this challenge as an opportunity to transform, grow, and make positive changes in our office culture, which it’s now called: work-from-home culture. We decided to make the best of it and a positive mind has been our biggest ally to help us stay focused, productive and happy.

Remote work is not something new for us, even before the quarantine our nearshore/outsourced development teams used to work remotely at least once a week as a perk, but since the pandemic started, our team has fully transitioned to this work model. We have also adopted other important changes that have made this transition easier, keeping our team cheerful, healthy and safe.

Work-from-home updates

During the last months, our family life has merged with our work life. Now we can enjoy all the benefits of working from home with our families close by. In light of this shift, here’s how we’ve kept our team culture and remained connected:

  • Virtual Learning Activities: We host a weekly event called Homespace where any team member can talk and teach about any subject they want. We love to learn and keep ourselves updated!
  • Town Halls: A time to chat, share news/updates and have a drink with the team. Cheers!
  • Coffee Breaks: Every Tuesday we meet with the team to catch up, introduce our pets, talk about our favorite books/movies or share our favorite restaurants & food recipes. Conversations are a great way to foster team building.
  • Weekly Challenges: Our team loves to compete for prizes (who doesn’t?). We organize a weekly contest with activities that allow the whole team to participate, such as: Where is Waldo?, recreate a childhood photo, most creative video and scavengers hunts, to name a few. It is fun and cheers everyone up!
  • Game Tournaments: Last month we hosted our first Mario Kart tournament! Our team would meet at zoom to watch the competitors while they were playing in the mobile app version. It was a great experience and the team loved it!
  • Welcome to the Team Meetings: to introduce new team members, we organize a zoom meeting where we all say hi and talk about who we are and our hobbies. It’s a great way to meet the team & makes the onboarding process easier!
  • Birthday Celebrations: We used to celebrate birthdays with the whole team at the office but now that we are working remotely we send a yummy cake to the birthday boy/girl and wish them a happy birthday first thing in the morning.

Aside from having perks, we also make sure everyone in the team has everything they need to get their best work done from home:

  • Internet Bonus: the dynamic of working remotely revolves around video conferences, emails, slack conversations, sending and receiving large files, among others. To be able to keep up with the flow and provide a fast response to our clients, which is one of our top priorities, our team must have an excellent internet connection. This is why every month we give them an extra bonus to ensure the quality of their service.
  • Office Supplies: some of us were not prepared to move our office space to our homes. Having an appropriate work environment is important to feel productive and focused. For this reason we provided our team with chairs, desks and extra monitors to help them feel as comfortable as possible while working from home.
  • Healthcare Benefits: The well-being of our team is important to us, and with that in mind we have expanded our health benefits. During this time of crisis it is more important than ever to have access to great healthcare.

“It goes way further than just having the right tools in place, it is about creating culture and a feeling of belonging.” Andres Max, CEO at Ideaware.

Messages from the team

Rebeca, Talent Acquisition Manager:
“Being home, 100% of the time, has been a significant change for all of us, but keeping us safe means that we care about our close ones and the community. In this new normality, we have stayed very united as a group; the key has been having fun activities, coffee breaks, and getting the opportunity to know each other in a more personal way by introducing our children, pets, and family. We are delighted to continue welcoming new members to Ideaware, and it has been gratifying to know that even at a distance, they have felt an essential part of the team.”

Andres Max, CEO:
“One moment we were working together at the office, the next we were forced to stay at home and take care of our families and community. Aside from how we do business development, our biggest shift has been how to keep our team culture, remain close and most importantly: take care of our mental health. We have changed many of our policies and perks to our new reality. We now enjoy online get togethers, fun contests, group learning and sharing activities. We aim to keep finding new ways not only to get our best work done but also to stay focused on what matters and happy.”

Gabriella, UX/UI Designer:
“We’re all living through challenging times. Our routines have shifted dramatically in just six months while we stay safe at home. Shout out to our office that has really helped us by giving us all the necessary support and tools in order to feel comfortable working from home. Personally, it has given me the flexibility to spend quality time with my family, while my productivity and work-life balance has improved. A definite win for me has been diminishing eating takeout food and improving my cooking skills. On top of this, I have created a daily workout routine that helps me start each day with great energy. – So there’s that – We need to embrace changes and learn how to adapt by staying positive and most importantly staying safe.”

Filiberto, Backend Developer:
We are living a worldwide phenomenon never before seen in our lifetimes during the 21st century. We must all agree that it has not been an easy task for anybody to adapt to our new lifestyle. Sadly a lot of people lost their jobs as a consequence of the low income in multiple economic sectors. However there were companies that were able to adapt to this crisis and I feel lucky to be a part of one of them. I feel very fortunate to be able to continue doing my job-related tasks from home, knowing that Ideaware has provided me with everything I need to keep my work up to date for my clients. Not only have we been able to keep our projects ongoing but have also come closer to our teammates and the company has done a great job by keeping us in constant communication with fun at-home activities. During these past 6 months I had to adapt to a new set of activities and challenges in order to improve as a person. Even though I have been staying inside of my house I haven’t stopped making progress and the idea of pursuing my goals has pushed me to embrace our situation and make the best of it.”

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When it comes to Software outsourcing, your best option may be closer to you than you imagine. Same continent...

When it comes to Software outsourcing, your best option may be closer to you than you imagine. Same continent, same time zone and similar culture are just a few reasons for Nearshoring.

Software nearshoring has become a great option for companies in the U.S. Problems like tech talent shortage, high turnover rates and our current world situation are some of the causes why businesses in the tech industry are opting for this model.

A report from Linkedin has shown that the tech (software) industry has the highest turnover rate at 13.2% and it claims that one of the reasons why retaining tech talent is so difficult is due to high-demand and rising compensation within the industry. Companies like Amazon and Google who we would think are the dream work places for Developers and UX/UI Designers suffer from this problem according to Forbes Magazine. 

Another issue is the tech talent shortage, which is about to grow worse since the U.S. government signed an executive order temporarily suspending work visas like the H-1B for foreign workers in specialty occupations. According to an article from TechCrunch, this ban will hit Silicon Valley hard, forcing companies to move their operations to other countries.

Due to the talent shortage and the fact that employees tend to stay in companies for one to two years, it has become extremely difficult to find and retain new top talent in the U.S market, this not only affects your project timeline but your team dynamic.

How are companies dealing with these issues? Many of them are turning to nearshoring.

Here are some of the reasons why nearshoring is becoming more common among tech companies, helping them stay ahead of the game: 

  1. Top quality.
  2. Outstanding human resources.
  3. No language barrier.
  4. Long-term retention.
  5. Same time zone.
  6. Similar culture.
  7. A team that is 100% dedicated to you.

“Just like an in-house team, a nearshore team is dedicated 100% to you, and if setup the right way it can absorb your company’s culture and goals. On the other hand, offshore teams will take more of your precious time and effort to bring them into alignment.” Andres Max, CEO at Ideaware

Colombia

When it comes to outsourcing/nearshoring there are many options on the table across the globe, each providing different benefits or concerns. If you are in the US, here is how you can benefit by nearshoring to Colombia instead of countries like India, China, Vietnam or Eastern Europe.

Located in the north of South America, Colombia has always been known for being a beautiful country with happy, hard working and authentic people. These are not the only things we are known for, in the last few years Colombia has been recognized as one of the best places to innovate and do business in Latin America thanks to the quality of our workforce. In 2019 the city of Medellín was recognized by Newsweek as the World’s Smartest City.

These are some of the reasons why nearshoring to Colombia is a great option:

  • Culture: Cultural differences can present a significant challenge to efficiency. According to Forbes Magazine, Latin american countries share a similar culture with the U.S due to their proximity, this aspect will allow you to feel like your dedicated team is a seamless extension of your company.
  • Working hours: Your nearshore team should work within your time zone. Colombia’s official time zone is the GMT−05:00, which is the same as EST time for most of the year. This means that you are going to be able to get an immediate response when you reach out to your team and you won’t have any obstacle with your workflow.
  • Cost savings: Potential savings of up to 60% of the costs from hiring a US-based team.
  • Proximity: Your team should be easy to get to in a few hours, when this happens you are able to visit more frequently, which will result in a stronger relationship and greater efficiency.
  • Skills: With a population of 49.65 million people, Colombia has a large presence of companies providing software and IT services and it is home to several universities with high academic standards and research, providing top tech talent.

How does Colombia compare to other countries?

While the hourly cost might be cheaper in some other countries, you will find that nearshoring to Colombia will require fewer hours to get the same job done, why? You don’t have time zone differences. Meaning, you can communicate with your team in real time, you don’t have to wait 12 or more hours to get an email reply, you can discuss with your team via Slack, Zoom or Email the stages of your project whenever you want and receive updates while the sun is still out. 

Let’s compare Colombia to other countries:

We’re close!

Do you want to be able to visit your team without having to spend more than 10 hours flying? With 13 International Airports, Colombia provides easy access and good international air connectivity:

  • Flight time from Miami to Barranquilla: 2h 40m
  • Flight time from New York to Medellín: 5h 40m
  • Flight time from LA to Bogotá: 7h 28m
  • Flight time from Austin to Medellín: 4 hours 53m
  • Flight time from Washington, DC to Bogotá: 5h 30m

Nearshoring to Colombia is a great option for an easy and transparent process. You will find yourself thanking the regular working hours, fluent conversations and the convenience of having your team a couple hours away by plane. Remember that choosing a country for their low rates doesn’t mean you are saving money or time.

At ideaware, our nearshore teams are no longer “developers-for-rent” by the hour. We are full time-dedicated individuals that you can consider as part of your own team.

We are always available to help you succeed by supporting you with world-class team augmentation services for software design and developers.

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