Case Study: How Teamweek Mastered Remote Hiring with Hundred5 by Sara Mirkovic on Jul 8, 2019

Teamweek, a team calendar for creative agencies, is a fully remote company with employees spread out in different time zones. They have been using test-based hiring from the beginning, which helped them in creating sourcing and hiring strategies that currently bring them 500 applications on average for every new position opened in their diverse team.

About

“Test-based hiring allowed us to go remote. Before, we got 10 candidates for an open position, now we get 500.”

Serge, CEO @ Teamweek
serge teamweek ceo

Teamweek is a fully remote company helping creative teams organize their projects without a project manager. As a daughter company of Toggl, Teamweek was able to pick up knowledge needed to create the most efficient and productive remote culture possible.

One of the most important aspects of remote work is hiring, and finding the best possible fit for a fast-growing company is imperative. That’s why Teamweek has relied on test-based hiring from their first hire. Testing the skills of potential candidates instead of going over resumes turned out to be a very reliable way to hire remotely, and Teamweek’s 14 employees have all been hired with skill tests.

Using test-based hiring helped Teamweek become a successful remote company. Hundred5 and its predecessor tests were very often a crucial part in overcoming hiring obstacles and improving their overall hiring process.

Let’s see how they did it.

#1 challenge: Attracting quality applicants to a small company

At the beginning, Teamweek faced one usual pain point for small companies – attracting high-quality people. Taking up a job at a startup is always a gamble, and very talented and skilled people often decide to go for bigger companies, with an established brand and reputation. 

It was crucial to get to talented and experienced people when hiring. However, getting 10 applicants on average for new roles wasn’t enough to find that perfect fit a growing company needs. It became clear that Teamweek needs to start attracting a higher number of applicants, and that their sourcing strategy has to be upgraded.

#1 Solution: Quantity is a prerequisite for quality.

Focusing on creative solutions resulted in a unique sourcing strategy Teamweek employs today. For every new open role (and they are frequently hiring), they receive exponentially more applicants, with a current rate of 300 applications in the first day for their position of the Team Building manager!

Teamweek’s top-notch sourcing strategy starts with Hundred5’s customized skill test, which works a lot better than resumes. “First of all, the thing about resumes is that they can be untruthful, deceiving, and they are all about selling yourself.” says Serge, “Skill-testing puts people in the same starting position, and gives them the opportunity to apply and really go in and show their skills. Additionally, it’s obvious people are more attracted to testing their skills, instead of customizing their resumes and writing long cover letters.

Teamweek builds their own tests. Since they have used test-based hiring from the start, they are already experts in creating the right set of questions. “Setting up the test is easy. The hardest part is actually coming up with questions and skills you want to test. After you have that, everything is pretty straightforward.” continues Serge. 

The simple design of Hundred5 enables Teamweek to be creative with their sourcing channels:

  • After creating the test, the job opening is plugged in the header of Teamweek’s home page. This ensures that every visitor and Teamweek user is aware of the newly open positions. 
  • Posting the job ad on remote job boards goes a long way in reaching remote candidates. “We often have non-developer roles, which are still rare in remote companies, so they attract a lot of candidates.” continues Serge.
  • Finally, jobs are promoted with Facebook ads.

One successful sourcing tactic Teamweek uses is giving away presents to successful test takers. Earlier this included sending out t-shirts and branded merchandise. Although popular, this approach wasn’t sitting well with Teamweek, as it was creating a lot of waste, while being very time- and labor-consuming. 

Their new approach solves this issue – for every successful test taker, Teamweek now plants one tree with a non-profit organization Tree-Nation. ”The trees work better for us because not only can we outsource the planting but we are more likely to get like-minded hires who care about the environment.” continues Serge. See the trees planted: https://tree-nation.com/profile/teamweek

Following these ideas in their sourcing strategy turned out to be a winning combination. Teamweek’s open roles are a hit at every remote job board, while the number of applicants for every new opening is measured in hundreds, and it’s getting higher with every new role.

#2 Challenge: Screening a high number of applications

Creative sourcing strategy, Hundred5 skill-testing, and the fact that Teamweek is a fully remote company, resulted in a large number of applicants for every new position. The immediate issue that arose was going through all of these applications to find the best potential candidates.

The sheer amount of applications would be impossible to screen without a badass HR department if we were to go through the traditional route and hire with resumes. We are currently hiring a Team Building Manager, and the first day we got 300 candidates. Imagine going through all of them manually.” laughs Serge.

Besides quicker screening, it was necessary to cut down the hiring process and become more efficient all together, if Teamweek wanted to stay relevant in the fast-paced remote environment.

#2 solution: A clear overview of the results with Hundred5 testing

Hundred5 test allows Teamweek to quickly get a selection of the best candidates with a clear overview of their skills and knowledge, something that would be impossible to have with resume applications. With Hundred5, results are comparable and choosing potential candidates from the pre-selected top test takers makes the hiring process significantly shorter. And with Teamweek’s experience, customized tests ensure testing the right skills and getting the right information about the candidates.

One of Hundred5 features loved by Teamweek is the Candidate Pipeline. It offers information about each candidate’s place in the hiring process, until the final hiring decision. Starting with interviews, the notes about candidates and an overview of who is where in the process significantly help with hiring, as these things are often very hard to track.

But what turned out to an unexpected benefit were shorter and more efficient interviews. As Hundred5 skill test determines the real quality of a candidate’s work, time at the interview is used to better know the person and learn about their thought process.

 “We’ve already seen how the candidate solves a problem, so the interview doesn’t start with basic stuff.” says Serge, “They know how to code or set up a PPC campaign, and they are good at it. So you’re free to focus on what extra they bring to the table and if they are the right fit for the team.”

“Interviews are shorter and more efficient, as a lot of things that I would have to do, now is done with Hundred5.” 

Serge, CEO @ Teamweek

#3 challenge: Hiring a diverse team

Diversity in companies is a hot topic today. It is becoming increasingly obvious that team members with different backgrounds can bring immense value to the company. And in a remote company, diversity is not only desired but very often required in order to reach success.

However, escaping bias is not that easy. Different research shows that bias starts with the name on the resume, and hiring managers are prone to choosing a person most similar to them, or whoever is reaching their pre-existing, potentially biased requirements. 

In order to create a diverse team, it was important to ensure unbiased hiring and help team leads bring in people who are different from them. It turned out test-based hiring can play a big role in building a truly diverse team.

#3 Solution: Test-based hiring ensures bias-free, equal opportunity for every applicant

Hundred5 and test-based hiring offer a clear and efficient way to test candidates, without any prejudice about their background, degree, nationality, or any other personal details. Successful test takers are potential hires because of their skills and knowledge, not because of the names on their resumes.

“I think that everyone suffers from having pre-assumptions, and people tend to hire other people who are like them” admits Serge, “With test-based hiring, you don’t pay attention to people who didn’t pass the test, and what you’re left with is an equal selection of candidates who may come from different walks of life, and they usually do, but they are equally skilled.”

teamweek team

“Hundred5 works really well for hiring a diverse team. It’s an equal way for everyone to show their skills, and you get people who are not just talk, but can actually execute.” 

Serge, CEO @ Teamweek

#4 challenge: Efficient hiring without an HR department

Considering the sheer numbers of applications and success Teamweek achieved with their sourcing strategy, it’s easy to assume they have a really good HR department helping out with this comprehensive recruitment process. 

However, Teamweek is a company of 14 people, with a separate HR department taking care of everything besides hiring. 

So, who’s doing the hiring? In Teamweek, that’s the job of Team leads.

#4 Solution – Team leads hire the best people

Teamweek has the policy that team leads are solely in charge of hiring the new person for their team. This resulted in eliminating the need for an HR department when recruiting new people.

Far from an HR department being unnecessary, but I believe that a team lead knows best what they need in a new teammate and how to test for desired skills.” admits Serge, “HR can weigh in on culture and company fit, but can’t really help with finding the best person.

In order to find the best candidate for a job, it is necessary that a team lead makes all the decisions about a new hire and meets the candidates in person. It would be impossible for only one person to go through all the applications and gather enough information to make the best decision, if it weren’t for Hundred5.

Thanks to Hundred5’s simple design, anyone can set up a test and start sourcing for candidates. Additionally, the overview of results, candidates, and their place in the pipeline greatly helps with organizing the hiring process and creating an efficient funnel for every new position.

The team lead is not completely alone – the hiring process at Teamweek involves other teammates as well. Before the Hundred5 test is created, the first step is collecting ideas in one separate Google Doc, where everyone can pitch questions or skills they think need to be tested for that position. After this, the creation and management of the hiring test are left to the team lead. 

The test is followed by an interview and a test drive, after which the candidate is invited to do a Test Week. During this week, the candidate attends a meeting with the team, where everyone has a chance to get to know the potential new employee and get a say in the final decision.

I think there are many reasons why it’s like this” continues Serge, “It’s mainly due to Hundred5 doing a lot of work for us, so we don’t spend so many human hours into hiring someone. So, we give hiring to the person who really cares about the quality of the new hire – their future team lead.

Hiring is an essential part of every growing company. But it’s often the part that gets the least attention. With Hundred5 we are able to go through hundreds of candidates and hire only the best.” Serge, CEO @ Teamweek

The results: Teamweek is killing it in the remote hiring game!

  • Attracting the best talent. Teamweek used to get around 10 applicants on average, and now they receive several hundreds of applications for every new job opening. Their last open role for Team Building Manager got more than 1000 applications in the first week, out of which 300 applications arrived on the first day!
teambuilding manager stats
Hundred5 stats for Team Building Manager position

Slightly lower, but still great results are still coming in for their Growth Hacker position:

growth hacker hiring stats
Hundred5 stats for Growth Hacker position
  • The success rate on their tests is around 10%. Due to their experience with test-based hiring, Teamweek is already an expert in creating specific tests that measure the exact skills needed for the job, and with their great sourcing strategy, even a 10% success rate gives them a significant talent pool to choose the best candidates for their team.
  • Screening time is cut down hundredfold compared to manually screening resumes and tenfold compared to previous versions of skills tests used by Teamweek. 

“I think that Hundred5 does the work of one full-time HR employee.”

Serge, CEO @ Teamweek
  • All employees hired with test-based hiring, with the last 5 applying for their position with a Hundred5 test. Teamweek is a completely resume-free company!
  • A truly diverse team. “As a remote company, we have people from different locations with very different backgrounds and possibilities of what they could have done in their countries” explains Serge, “One of our top developers bought a computer and taught Python to himself, without going to school. He is working next to the person who has a higher education. All of them are in the same company, on the same level, working together.”
  • Hiring the best people. Thanks to team leads taking over hiring with Hundred5, Teamweek doesn’t hire anyone unless they get “Hell yes!” from the team. “It’s not always possible to include the entire team in the decision making, but we are committed to working only with the best people, so the hiring process can sometimes last longer. Hundred5 helps us be flexible and efficient, so we don’t give up until we find the best fit!” says Serge.
teamweek team
  • Fully remote company. Teamweek is fully remote, with its team members spread out over multiple time zones, all working together to successfully bring the best organizational solutions to creative teams. 

Working remotely may have its fair share of issues, but for Teamweek, hiring is definitely not one of them.

“It’s all about hiring the best, and being happy only with the best. So if you’re looking into building the best possible team, I don’t see any other way besides Hundred5 test hiring and, of course, going remote. :)”

Serge, CEO @ Teamweek
Company logo

CompanyTeamweek is a team calendar - a way for you to plan team activities, without a need for a project manager.

TypeB2B

Company size14 employees

Positions hired with Hundred5Front-End Developer, Back-End Developer, Support Agent, Designer, Content and SEO Manager, sometimes used for freelance writers.

Currently open positionsRuby/Elixir Backend Developer

Positions hired with test-based hiringTwo Back-End Developers, Front-End Developer, Support Agent, Designer

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