As Bays has started to grow, I have needed to think about an ever-increasing number of different aspects of business. Hiring the right people has turned out to be one of the biggest challenges I have faced: honestly I had no idea how hard it could be to find those awesome individuals, that “fit” into the company ethos, and love working with numbers, maths, statistics and coding as much as we do at Bays.
It is personally very important that the emphasis at Bays is to focus on what we produce, not when or where we produce it. Having the freedom to work at home, in the office, or wherever else we may be, allows us to concentrate on the work itself, so that what is produced continually blow me away. Since I started hiring other people to come and work with us, I set out to ensure that Bays is a company where everyone can thrive. That started with relatively simple decisions:
- Everyone has flexible hours so you can do all the other “bits” that life needs you to do and yes, as a company we still find everyone is online together at some point.
- Give everyone enough leave so that they can recharge/travel/spend time with family.
- Give Christmas off as extra – the ‘Bays break’ means everyone gets “extra” leave, so you can really have time off during the rest of the year.
- Become part of the Living Wage Foundation and always pay those who come on a summer placement, because everyone deserves to be paid for their work.
- Make sure there is a consistent stream of really interesting technical problems to work on, because no-one wants to be bored.
Making the decision to run the company this way may have slightly slowed growth. I’ve only ever recruited when I know that we’re able to fulfil all of the above points, and I am inherently cautious. However, by far and away the trickiest part is actually creating a team that has enough diversity of thought to drive forwards our innovation, research and technical delivery. This required a lot of thinking, and the creation of a recruitment process that: altered the language we use so as not to put women off applying; advertising roles for at least three weeks to give people time to apply; sending out the questions before hand so that no-one is put “on the spot” at interview, and developing an onboarding process that works remotely! I don’t think for a single second we’ve perfected it, but I do know that Bays really is a team which when you break down the statistics (and who doesn’t love a good statistic), we’ve gone from an all-female company to one which includes:
- A 50/50 gender split (with 4 of the 6 tech team being female)
- Eight languages
- Five Nationalities
- Two over 50’s (both of whom were recruited for their expertise when they were over 50)
- Two veterans
- 50% are working parents
- Men working part time more often than women
The diversity of thoughts and views is just wonderful to see, especially when the team comes together on projects where everyone is involved. We have become far better at every aspect of what Bays does by talking, listening and working together. I can’t wait for the company to grow again and see where the next person can help us out.
By Sophie Carr