How Remote Hiring Is Propelling Two Austin Companies Forward

With remote positions expanding talent pool possibilities, here's how these local organizations are standing out for job seekers' attention.

Written by Tyler Holmes
Published on Aug. 17, 2021
How Remote Hiring Is Propelling Two Austin Companies Forward
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Over the last year and beyond, plenty of major and startup-level tech company contenders alike have found their roots in the Lone Star Capital city. As opportunities have come rushing out the floodgate while the world reopens, so too have the skill-stacked job seekers looking to get their foot in the door.

Except now, gone are the days of walking into an office reception area for an interview and being able to size up the competition. Instead, the waiting room is now an expansive virtual queue of applicants from all around the country – or world.

Remote work has gradually become the new normal, even as the effects of COVID-19 continue to let up with the percentage of vaccinated Americans on the rise. Whether it’s fully remote or a hybrid workplace model, 92 percent of people responded that they do not expect to fully return to an office in 2021, according to a survey conducted by Owl Labs.

But it’s not just tech workers who have the competition cut out for them. Expanding open positions to remote possibilities offers a larger talent pool, but it also means companies are competing with more organizations than ever for a candidate’s attention. And knowing how to stand out can make all the difference.

To gain more insight on the local scene, Built In Austin caught up with two growing tech companies that are incorporating more remote-focused aspects into their hiring and onboarding processes. Whether it’s a virtual lunch with the CEO to build a stronger sense of connection or regularly scheduled milestone chats to discuss career goals over coffee, these teams are making sure their new hires still feel welcome every step of the way.



Mike Malinao
Vice President of Talent Acquisition & Development • Modernize Home Services, a QuinStreet vertical

What they do: QuinStreet helps homeowners throughout the entire process of working with a contractor by matching users with their ideal professional based on their needs and helps book appointments.


Which teams are expanding the most at QuinStreet, and what proportion of your open positions are available to remote workers?

QuinStreet has been expanding in multiple areas as the company continues to grow, but the bulk of our expansion has been in our sales, account management, analytics and engineering teams. We have had tremendous success with our remote workforce and all of our positions are location-agnostic and open to remote workers.


What did you change about the hiring process to better accommodate remote applicants?

All things considered, QuinStreet’s transition to remote work was relatively seamless thanks in part to us rolling out Microsoft Teams prior to the shutdown. The only changes we made to our hiring process was to expand our searches across the country and switch in-person interviews to video interviews.


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How has the onboarding process shifted to ensure offsite employees feel welcomed and engaged?

Since the pandemic, our learning and development team has coordinated with recruiting, IT, HR, admin and hiring managers to ensure all new hires have the right equipment and tools by their start date. We implemented a “white glove” approach knowing that joining a company when they didn’t actually meet anyone would be challenging. We have set up multiple touch points and coffee chats, established their 30/60/90 day milestones, and focused on our tools and technology to be productive.

All of our new hires will have a lunch meeting with our CEO Doug Valenti to learn more about his background and connect on a personal level. We all have a “Lunch & Learn” where we rotate executives to share more about specific vertical market opportunities and Q&A.


Miraque Hicks
Senior Vice President of People Ops and Talent

What they do: One Drop is an AI-driven healthtech platform that uses machine learning to assist people with health conditions.


Which teams are expanding the most at One Drop, and what proportion of your open positions are available to remote workers?

At One Drop, we are rapidly growing our product, engineering and sales teams to support the expansion of our therapeutic areas. Today most of our open positions are available to remote workers. Since we shifted to a fully remote model during COVID-19 and will be transitioning to a hybrid model soon, we wanted to make sure we are well-positioned to hire amazing people regardless of where they are located.


What did you change about the hiring process to better accommodate remote applicants?

We’ve shifted all interviews to video conferencing to ensure candidates can see the faces of their team members. We’ve made all whiteboard challenges virtual and have shifted sales presentations to video conferencing to allow candidates to interview from anywhere in the world with ease.


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How has the onboarding process shifted to ensure offsite employees feel welcomed and engaged?

We’ve shifted our onboarding experience to be high-touch and accommodating for all individuals who will not work from an office location. Our department info sessions, new hire happy hours and lunches with the CEO are now held via video conferencing to make sure we continue to create a space for new hires to feel welcomed and engaged. To take it a step further, we’ve also included new hire announcements during our virtual all-hands meetings to allow new hires to introduce themselves to the company.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Photography provided by associated companies and Shutterstock.

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