[AMA] Remote Companies Hiring: Uscreen with Tamara Ceman

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September 24, 2020

Join us for our next AMA with Tamara Ceman, Uscreen's marketing lead and hiring manager! Uscreen is a remote-first team with over 50 individuals located all around the world. They're actively growing their team and currently looking for intuitive, proactive, and energetic individuals to join their passionate team. Think that's you? Take this opportunity to meet and connect with Tamara and ask her questions about Uscreen's company culture, the positions and why it's an awesome place to work.

About Tamara:

Tamara Ceman is the Marketing Lead at Uscreen, a rapidly growing SaaS that more than doubled in the last year. As a perpetual hiring manager, Tamara believes that hiring the right people, who can thrive and enrich the company culture, is one of the main pillars of healthy growth.

Connect with Uscreen:

https://www.uscreen.tv

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!

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Transcript from the AMA

Justine Shu:

Welcome to today’s AMA with Tamara Ceman, Marketing Lead & Hiring Manager at Uscreen!

If you haven’t yet, please review the guidelines for the AMA that’s pinned to this channel.
As you may already know, Uscreen is actively growing their fully distributed team right now — here’s your chance to ask her anything about remote hiring, the positions they’re hiring for, and what it’s like to work there.Let’s get started - fire away!

Tamara Ceman:

Hello everyone! Excited to be here 👋

Question 1:

Curious: what are your favorite interview questions?

Tamara Ceman:

Great question. I think it depends on the position. I am all about targeting questions to a specific problem that I will expect the person to solve. BUT if I have to pick one, I would say 'would you rather ask for permission or forgiveness'. It's a tricky one, but for a fast pace environment, very important.

This helps me gauge if the person is a self starter with a lot of confidence in their skills, which is something I love in my team.

Question 2:

What positions are you looking for?

Tamara Ceman:

You can find them on WWR, but here they are:  Writer, Outreach Specialist, Senior Growth Marketing Manager, Technical Support Specialist 🙂

Question 3:

What do you look for in remote workers and are there locations or time zones that are a no no?

Tamara Ceman:

Ah, great question! We are a remote first company, and have been since we started. One thing we know very well is that there are some things that definitely help teams be tighter, more productive and all in all happier. One of these things is (however minute it seemed) an overlap in time zones, that helps the team maximize their communication.Our team is spread all over the world, but for example, for marketing positions, I lean to look for someone who is in CET or close to it, as that's where majority of the team sits.

Of course if we find someone amazing, we'll do all we can to bridge the gap, but from my experience, too big of a difference in time zones becomes a strain on both new employee and the already existing team over time.

Question 4:

How would you describe Uscreen’s remote culture in your words?

Tamara Ceman

We are remote first, which brings it's share of challenges, but I would say three words I would use to describe our culture are: inclusive, supportive, fun.

Follow-up:

What cultural practices set Uscreen apart as a remote-first company?

Tamara Ceman:

We try to always have camera-on type of calls, whenever anyone from the team meets. It helps avoid any type of miscommunication that could otherwise arise, and it just makes people feel more connected.Every team has their own calls, where everyone joins in to talk a bit about work and more about just fun topics, personal life. We also have coffee-time type of calls for individuals to spend time 1 on 1 to at random to just get to know each other.

In the perfect pre-COVID world, we would also go to team buildings, and were actually in the midst of planning marketing team building in Lisbon, that we had to cancel due to the outbreak. Broke our hearts.

Question 5:

I have a question regarding "Technical Support Specialist" position, are there multiple slots for this role? I am interested in this position, since I am already working in a similar role, as full time remote employee since last 3 years.

Tamara Ceman:

Luckily for this, I asked Kelley McBee who is in our HR to be on the chat today - she can give you the best answer for this. 🙂

I believe technical support, daily shift is the only one active right now.

Kelley McBee:

You are correct 🙂

Tamara Ceman:

It's not uncommon for us to hire multiple people for same position at times, but in this case, seems that there's just one!

Follow up:

Thanks for your response. So, this position would need resource to work in eastern time zone ?

Tamara Ceman:

We found it's very important for the team, but also for personal health, if the person is actually in the time zone that would have their biorhythm match the required working hours. So yes, for day shifts for Eastern time zone, we are looking for applicants from that or close time zones.

Question 6:

How do you/company manages skill and will related issues for the remote workers?

Tamara Ceman:

Interesting. Just to confirm, you're asking about skill enhancement and motivation?

Follow up:

Yes

Tamara Ceman:

One thing we are trying to do from the get-go is make sure that people we're hiring are hired with the right skills for that position. It's very hard to gap skills if the person is not versed enough in the job they're about to jump into. This makes sure that the learning curve is shorter and that the person can start taking complex tasks over faster.Now, there's always room for improvement. If a manager believes their team members need additional training, or a course, or even a person steps forward asking for more training, the company will cover it.

And as the motivation -- this is a tough one, but I would say hiring the right people will help with that as well. For example, someone who loves video monetization industry, or video marketing, or just software -- will surely love our product, and there will be some motivation there naturally. BUT if the person would rather make music, or be a tourist guide, the only motivation is monetary. There is nothing wrong with that, but in a fast paced, high pressure environment, this won't take them (or us as a team) far.

So for both skills and motivation - hiring is key. Hire people who want to do the job, who want to grow with the company, and give them tools to be the absolute best at what they do.

One important thing is appropriate public recognition of people's contribution over time. It's a small but important way to show how much your team means to you.

Question 7:

What benefits does Uscreen offer their employees to ensure they are comfortable in their role and working remotely?

Tamara Ceman:

It depends on the position. As a remote company, we also understand that some members might be better productive when surrounded by people, so there is an allowance for a coworking space. 🙂

We have also support for technical equipment, if needed, but usually people already come with enough tech to start off. Over time, they might need additional items and the company is happy to help.

We also make sure that we keep an open-door policy, so everyone can come and ask for anything they need, voice concerns, pitch ideas. This is the glue, I believe 🙂

Question 8:

What’s Uscreen’s tool stack?

Tamara Ceman:

Basics:

  • Gsuite
  • Slack
  • Zoom
  • Intercom
  • Drip
  • a lot of custom tools
  • Heroku
  • a lot of marketing tools
  • Uscreen platform 🎉

Question 9:

What are you guys looking for in a first interview? Whats the role of this instance of communication?

Tamara Ceman:

Great question! The first interview is usually more technical, fact checking interview, that helps us establish the overall skills and experience match with the requirements.Depending on the position, the first interview will happen with Kelley (our HR) and the discussion would be about the company, skills, but also cultural match. We're a very diverse company so we want to make sure we bring in people who celebrate that. 🙂

Second interview digs more in depth to find the match between the specific needs of the role and the person's experience. E.g. communication would require some experience with some communication tools, maybe some automation. It depends on the position.

Question 10:

Do you respond to all the candidates or only to the successful ones??

Tamara Ceman:

We are humbled by the fact we have thousands of applicants for certain positions. This also means that we can only answer to successful candidates. We want to make sure that a human looks through every individual application, but we have that mentioned in our application process that we can only reply to successful candidates.

Question 11:

And what is the correct answer to what is your hourly rate expectation?? (You have to write a no.)

Tamara Ceman:

There is no correct or wrong answer. The truth is that we try to match and offer over what a successful candidate is looking for. 🙂

Question 12:

In general, what are the characteristics of a good fit for Uscreen?

Tamara Ceman:

Great question 🙂

First thing we're looking for is fit for the position, skills that complement our existing team. We are a growing team, but still e.g. our marketing team is just 12 people, meaning that whoever we bring needs to be in sync with existing team members.Second thing would be overall attitude. We are a very fun team, a bit quirky - especially in marketing, but one thing that bonds us is this crazy passion for discovery, creativity, and love for what we do. To make sure everyone runs, we look for that cadence in our candidates.Does that help answer the question?

Question 13:

How do you ensure or collaborate with your employees wellbeing? Thanks lot for all your time! 😊

Tamara Ceman:

Thank you 🙂

So a few things:

  • regular calls with teams
  • occasional company calls (both with a lot of laughing)
  • open-door culture
  • camera on for calls (so people don't feel disconnected)
  • encouragement to give feedback
  • proactively asking for feedback
  • fun everyday pics shared on Slack 😄 (my fav)
  • and overall making sure people know they are heard.

Question 14:

For the "Technical Support Specialist" Would a time difference of +/-5 hrs be considered ok.

Tamara Ceman:

Unfortunately, no. This is a daytime shift, meaning that the person needs to be online and alert at the times mentioned in the job post 🙂

Justine Shu:

And that’s a wrap! Thank you to everyone who participated. I hope you found this session helpful.Big thanks to Tamara Ceman and Kelley McBee for taking the time to be here and provide more info about working a Uscreen!

Tamara Ceman:

Thank you everyone!!! 🌸 Hope you found my answers insightful 🙂

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