Remote Employers Masterclass: Balsamiq
Here is our Remote Employers Masterclass where we’ll be looking at some of the best companies globally that are hiring remotely. It can be daunting for those thinking about changing their working life and starting a remote career, but getting the right job can feel like finding the Holy Grail!
Each masterclass will provide a brief description of the company, along with some features that make them particularly interesting for remoters and tips and tricks on how to get hired. There will even be a Q&A video so you can find out what really makes a remote friendly company successful.
For the first installment of our Remote Employers Masterclass we’ve decided to take a look at Balsamiq. We’ve talked with their Education Team Lead – Leon Barnard.
Balsamiq is the company that provides industry-leading rapid wireframing software that combines the simplicity of paper sketching with the power of a digital tool. This allows a team to focus on what’s really important. While some employees at Balsamiq do work in their physical office in Italy, all of their meetings and correspondence are conducted online. As far as companies go they are truly a remote-first company!
The Recruiting Process
One of the most difficult steps for prospective remote workers is finding employers that are hiring remotely. We even dedicate a whole module to the topic in our Remote-how Academy. For Balsamiq, finding the correct person is especially important. They take it so seriously in fact that their recruitment process has 21 steps!
After identifying a need and defining the job, prospective candidates fill out a Google form. This contains questions specific to the position and is written by the hiring lead. Balsamiq wants to really know who the person beyond the job title is and tests them in a number of ways. This includes their writing ability, a critical skill for remote-workers. Most interesting of all is that they don’t ask for a resume or CV!
The hiring lead will then spend most of their time after this reviewing all applications. This is followed by a round of video interviews and perhaps a short project assignment if needed.
“We usually only collect applications for 2 or 3 weeks and the hiring lead will dedicate most of their time to reviewing applications during that time. We even state in our recruiting handbook page [During the recruiting time, prepare to do very little ‘regular work’].”
Work Life and Culture
Balsamiq fosters a trusting culture, where employees have a large degree of autonomy in their projects and decision making. It’s also long-lasting, without a focus on rapid growth, vanity metrics or an aim for future acquisition. These two factors together provide the company with a calm and life-balanced work culture.
“Our CEO, Peldi Guilizzoni, has always given us autonomy in our projects and involves us in decisions related to the company.”
They also make sure to have an annual company retreat. Importance here is placed on developing social bonds to create a better connection between all of Balsamiq’s employees. This is so important when your main contact with everyone else is mainly through online means! Those connections help them throughout the year to remember the person on the other end of the Slack conversation.
“Some of my favorite memories from the retreatrs are from our employee-led workshops, where the goal was simply to teach each other some cool things that we know. You can read more about those [here].”
We asked Leon from Balsamiq for his top tips for prospective remote-workers. What should they look out for? Here’s what he had to say:
- Approach it just like you would any other job. If anything, working remotely makes a job harder, so don’t think that working remotely will automatically make the job better than your current one.
- Have a reason for applying to the job besides wanting to work remotely. About half of the applications we receive don’t make that clear. Don’t reply to “why do you want this job?” with “because I want to work remotely.”
- Be wary of roles where only a few employees work remotely. That’s much harder and it’s easy to feel left out and isolated. Fully remote or “remote first” companies are much
If you’d like to find out more about Balsamiq and possible job opportunities, then make sure to visit https://balsamiq.com/company/jobs/openings/.
They’ve also got their own description on what it’s like to work with the company at https://balsamiq.com/company/jobs/.