[AMA] Remote Companies Hiring: Hubstaff with Tyler Sellhorn

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October 20, 2020

Hubstaff was built on solving some of the common problems of managing distributed teams -- how to best track hours, pay contractors, send invoices and manage projects. Founded in 2012, the remote-first team now consists of 60 talented people in over 18 countries.

As advocates for remote work, Hubstaff truly understands the benefits of working remote -- which is just one reason why the company is an excellent place to work. Here's your chance to dig in deeper into the company and find out more! If you're a regular in the WWR Slack community, you'll recognize Tyler's face. Always friendly and helpful, we can't think of a better person to answer any questions you may have about Hubstaff's work culture, environment, and remote work, in general.

How to join:

The AMA will be in chat form and take place in the WWR Slack community in #ama. There's no need to register ahead of time. Be sure to save the date and come prepared with your questions!

About Tyler:

"As Director of Customer Experience at Hubstaff, I lead our customer success and support teams. We’re a self-funded, all-remote time tracking, project management, and proof of work SaaS company. I used to be a technology oriented educator 👨 🏫; now I am an education oriented technologist 👨 💻. I’m a remote working advocate, especially for remote-first versions."

Connect with Tyler:




Connect with Hubstaff:


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Transcript from the AMA

Justine Shu:

Welcome to today’s AMA with Tyler Sellhorn - Hubstaff’s Director of Customer Experience 👋

If you haven’t yet, please review the guidelines for the AMA that’s pinned to this channel.

Hubstaff is currently hiring. Take this opportunity to ask Tyler about their hiring process, the roles they’re hiring for, their remote-first culture, his experience in managing remote teams… etc. You get the idea 💡

Tyler, thank you for being here and taking the time to connect with the WWR community. Let’s get started!

Tyler Sellhorn:

📢 📢 📢 (Airhorns) So pumped to be here. Thanks for the opportunity to share and to WWR for being such a great resource for finding the best candidates and jobs, remotely!

Question 1:

How long have you been at Hubstaff for and what do you love about your job?

Tyler Sellhorn:

I joined Hubstaff in June of 2019 as a Customer Success rep. I was promoted to Director of Customer Experience in December and have been serving as the leader of our Customer Success and Customer Support teams since then. What I love most about my job as a leader is the opportunity to help others become their best selves. I think that remote work is a key driver of the that because of the self management required to be successful in a remote environment. Leaders get to be coaches pointing the way to a new reality for their teammates.

Question 2:

Hello Tyler, glad to have you. What would you consider a good fit for a customer success rep. at Hubstaff?

Tyler Sellhorn:

For us some of the criteria we look for are:strategic thinking: can you solve for what our customers are hoping to accomplish?systems thinking: can you organize your thoughts in a way that you can communicate them clearly on a video call or an email readiness for remote work: can you manage your workflow to be productive in with minimal supervision?

Question 3:

Hey Tyler, great to have you here. Thanks for doing this! My question is about marketing yourself as a someone looking for remote work. How do you weight someone with a larger online following vs someone who doesn't at Hubstaff? Is this something you think about?

Tyler Sellhorn:

For us, follower counts and other vanity metrics are completely uninteresting. What's more important is that you do have a profile on LinkedIn and/or Twitter that communicates your uniqueness and basic readiness to work in a virtual/online/remote environment:

  1. is their profile current?
  2. Does the profile show curation and care?
  3. Does the profile demonstrate ability and pride in themselves and what they can bring?

Follow up:

Interesting! For a marketer does it factor in at all? What does a profile that communicates remote work readiness look like?

Tyler Sellhorn:

So often in remote hiring we lack the context clues of arriving with "portfolio" or a clean resume. A great personal website or social profile fills in those gaps and often exceeds what we might have learned in an in-person recruiting/interview cycle

Question 4:

What cultural practices set Hubstaff apart as a remote company?

Tyler Sellhorn:

Hubstaff really lives out our #Hubstar behaviors as a team: Own it, Prove it, Trim it, Solve it, Mean it, Feel it, Ship it, Team it. Hubstaff is a very flat  organization that really does incorporate ideas from every part of our team in our procedures and products. You can learn more about us at https://hubstaff.com/about

Question 5:

Hello Tyler, thanks for being here today. How often does timezone differences comes into considerations when hiring?  Would you consider someone in  a timezone of say GMT -5  for a job in GMT +2 ?

Tyler Sellhorn:

Lots of roles can be wholly asynchronous, like product, marketing, development, etc. However, in our CX team we are supporting our product all around the world, and if we want to provide sustainable work for our team, we need to pay attention to the volume of requests coming from those timezones. We would consider folks outside of time zone, but that usually is a priority for us as we think about sustainability long term.

Question 6:

Hey Tyler, thank you for doing this! Hubstaff is a brilliant example of how remote culture should be!
My question is: How does Hubstaff develop their employees? You were promoted from rep. to director, the company had some program or training that helped you grow?

Tyler Sellhorn:

Yes, Hubstaff does develop our workers! We have "career paths" for individual contributors and for potential managers/leadership. My experience of being an individual contributor that "leveled up" is one that we are replicating across the organization. Hubstaff also offers a "freedom stipend" to team members to use however they like including spending on coaching or education.

It is definitely something we have invested in over the past 18 months as we have grown to almost 70 team members.

Question 7:

Hi Tyler, thanks for taking time out of your busy day to be here! What benefits do you offer your employees to ensure they are comfortable in their role and working remotely?

Tyler Sellhorn:

You're welcome! Hubstaff hires all of its workers as contractors. After a year with Hubstaff, we offer a "freedom stipend" that team members can use to upgrade their home or mobile office or any other benefit they prefer.

Question 8:

Hi Tyler! How do you build and maintain connection in your team in a remote environment?

Tyler Sellhorn:

One of Hubstaff's key values is the opportunity to choose or opt-in to our company and its values. For example, we will be having a virtual retreat this November, but previously we have met in-person (Cancun in 2019, Lisbon in 2018, Chicago in 2017). We also have intentional "Team Times" and "Coffee Chats" and 1-1s. We also invite team members to "push their desks" together virtually and work on projects together or in parallel.

Follow up:

Love this. How often do you do the team times, coffee chats and 1-1s?

Tyler Sellhorn:

Team time is once a week, but it rotates which time zone it is held in AMER, EMEA, and APAC. 1-1s depend on the team and how long the team member has been with Hubstaff, but typically bi-weekly. Coffee chats are once a week and are randomly assigned among people who have similar online working hours.

One of the things that I think is a primary benefit of working in a fully remote team is how much intention it requires to do well. When that is absent from the employer side or employee side, it shows. There were so many things that office work kept hidden, and now those things are in the open and we need to deal with them.

Question 9:

What’s tools + apps do both you and Hubstaff use?

Tyler Sellhorn:

am a huge gadget person so I have a desktop with a second monitor. I also have a laptop that I can take to other places to get into a new mind space. Those two devices are set up differently because I like to write and think in different ways and using different devices helps with that. I highly recommend Lisette Sutherland's https://www.collaborationsuperpowers.com for some great gadget tips.

As for apps, Hubstaff runs on Hubstaff (Time Tracking, Proof of Work) and Hubstaff Tasks (Project Management). We also use Slack, GSuite, and Zoom. I'm also a TextExpander user, and I highly recommend SetApp for macOS users, lots of good stuff in there.

Question 10:

Hello, Tyler! Happy to have you here and learn more about remote working. I´m from Latam and would like tom know if your remote offer also include such region.

Tyler Sellhorn:

We definitely hire in LATAM, in fact we treat UTC-8 to UTC-3 as one region (AMER) in our hiring. If you have internet access and good written English skills, we would consider your application. We have team members in Chile, Colombia and Brazil.

Question 11:

What soft skills do Hubstaff value most on hiring remote workers?

Tyler Sellhorn:

It really depends on the role, but inside of the CX team we look for individuals for whom working in a fully distributed team would enable something for them such as a digital nomad lifestyle, increased presence as a parent, other entrepreneurial pursuits, etc. Our best team members are the ones to use the remote lifestyle to accomplish something away from work.

Justine Shu:

Tyler, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be here. Any last words before we part?

Tyler Sellhorn:

Thanks again for letting me share. Wanted to make sure to share my gratitude to WWR for helping me find Hubstaff in 2019. A few resources I wanted to share:

  1. Remoteonly.org transformed recently into a GitLab branded resource, but it remains an awe-inspiring resource
  2. There are so many great remote thought leaders, but my two favorites are Lisette Sutherland and Laurel Farrer.

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