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A Group Hike, a Metaphor for Searching for Talent

This week we conducted trainings for any teammate who wanted to learn how to hire.

Our organization is only as good as the people we work with. If your organization hires well not only does it pursue its purpose more quickly but its own gravity attracts more of the right sort of talent. The positive feedback loop of “like attracting like” is another exponential growth curve that makes startups surprisingly formidable adversaries to their incumbent competitors.

We have a saying here at Parabol, “design is everybody’s job.” That doesn’t mean that sales folks are expected to design high-fidelity user journeys in Figma. However, we do expect them to think critically about user feedback, spot trends, and add solutions (written as words or drawn as napkin sketches) to our backlog. The same can be said for hiring. At Parabol, hiring is also everybody’s job.

In the past year, we’ve grown our team from 5 to nearly 20. As we looked at the sources for successful hires more than half came to us from referral. Our need for more great colleagues is only increasing. This week, we asked our employee’s if they’d like to help pitch in. We suggested two options:

  1. If making referrals from an employee’s network anybody can offer a 20 minute chat with a founding team member like our CEO, Head of Development, or Head of Growth
  2. If our employee wants to learn how to source talent—say to build that skill for their own career—they can source alongside somebody who recruits for Parabol today

Today technical roles are positively awash with inbound interest from recruiters (“hi, I’m so-and-so from High-Growth Talent Partners and I think you’d be a great fit for Principal Frobulator…”). By engaging our teammates to create peer-wise connections with job prospects (“hi, I’m a developer at Parabol and I admire your work…”) it creates community and the outcomes (i.e. hires) we want to see.


Metrics for Parabol Friday Ship #262

The summer growth doldrums continue as we saw only modest gains at the top of our adoption funnel. The mid funnel retracted a bit. We suspect many global teams suspend their usual rhythm to take summer holidays. We expect this pattern to continue through the end of August.

This week we…

iterated on prototypes to add context to where a Task card came from. Doing the design work to add “card backs” to our tasks has been on our backlog since we founded the company. We’ve been surprised we’ve been able to get away with not having them. We held off on adding “card backs” to the product because the feature didn’t feel differentiated. Recently we felt our place was in providing the context in which a task was created: which meeting? which discussion? Below you can see what this looks like in an early prototype we revised this week:

Task Context Prototype

…began implementing the UI for “Spotlight,” a feature to assist with grouping during a retrosective. Below is a very Friday Ship-appropriate demo of how that implementation is shaping up from one of our developers:

spotlight-ui prototype

embarked on an exploration of how to break apart Parabol’s meeting activities into more customizable, composable bits. This work is long-ranged, and far-reaching in its effects on the future product. It’s very exciting!

shipped v6.22.0 into production. Changes include adding some snazzy new animations to the Meetings View, additional debugging capabilities to diagnose some of our trickiest bugs, bug fixes, and work that progresses our codebase toward our next-generation integrations architecture.

…kicked off Sprint 84. Sprint goals include getting a good way through implementing in-line polls, migration progress off of rethinkdb, progress toward Spotlight grouping implementation, integration architecture, and plenty of bug fixes.

setup a new mail address for Parabol. We’re shifting from a physical email address to an address which will automatically open and scan our physical mail: essential for sharing the operations load of any distributed company.

Next week we’ll…

…continue Sprint 84 as the product team prepares to depart for Mexico. August 2nd–August 6th our product team will travel and meet in person in Mérida. Several of us will be meeting for the very first time!

Have feedback? See something that you like or something you think could be better? Leave a public response here, or write to us.