We know that applying for a job isn’t just about a skills-fit, you’re looking for somewhere you can feel secure, supported, and hopefully learn and grow. This was part of our CEO, Dustin’s vision, and it’s definitely part of the reason most of us are here.
But how do you know what your experience with a company is going to be like before you join the organization? We’ve tried hard to give potential Headspring software developers a good sense of what to expect during their interview process. When speaking to a prospective employee, we try to do two things:
- Focus on the technical expertise: We give technical recruits a take-home assessment with tasks representative of what we work on day-to-day. Potential employees always get to talk to someone who does their job, or who they’ll be interacting with daily—you’ll be interviewing with an on-the-ground experience.
- Clarify the culture side: The other half of the conversation generally focuses on who we are, especially as we try to support brand awareness in the Mexican market. Our hiring managers thoroughly explain our core values, challenges, and how we work. We spend time engaging with the candidate on on-technical things and what makes us different.
We’re currently expanding our team in Mexico, so we tapped Mexico’s General Manager, Jorge Kendel, for some honest insights on the hiring process and employee experience, particular to the Mexico market. So, whether you’re actively searching for a new role or just curious about what Headspring is like, here’s what Jorge thinks you should know:
If I don’t know anything about Headspring, why would I want to work for you?
“At Headspring, we believe there is a better way. We believe there’s a better way to build software, to work with clients, and to do business. And we believe that it all starts with people.”
When you visit our webpage or engage with any of our culture content, you might come across this company mantra. In my experience, it holds true.
We’re not a startup. Headspring is a 20+-year-old software development company established in Austin, Texas. A little over seven years ago, we opened a small office in Monterrey, Mexico, intending to spread our work and corporate culture to a new country. Headspring offers lots of opportunities to talent in this part of the world.
On the professional side, you will face challenges that will make you learn, think outside the box, and collaborate with a very competent team to accomplish business objectives. Being with a “boutique” company means that you’ll often have direct contact with our clients, who are mostly in the US. Every decision will have a more significant impact on a project, due to the close relationship that we have with our stakeholders.
So what about our culture?
Learning how to work in a remote environment and be flexible is crucial to the success of any organization, nowadays. At Headspring, we’ve adopted a 100% remote work schema, which is good for us and good for you! No matter where the talent is located, we can find the best, and you can join a close-knit team while still working in a way that works for you!
We also offer growth opportunities for all employees. We establish defined charters for all of our positions, promote continuous learning, and go above and beyond to provide all our teammates with the right technology to unlock their highest potential.
If you love micromanagement, enjoy working with self-focused teammates, and aren’t into having fun while working, Headspring is NOT a good option. Working with us means freedom to create and the opportunity to work in and create a better way.
What makes Headspring different from other companies?
At Headspring, we recognize that our people are our most important value. I’m not going to focus on how we treat our employees with respect, dignity, and equity—that should be table stakes for every company. I would rather talk about the way Headspring’s culture is designed to deliver value to all of our stakeholders.
We truly do promote a flexible work environment. Even before the pandemic, we used to have “remote Wednesdays” to break up the week and allow employees a chance to re-energize in a different environment. By the time we needed to adapt to a new work style, most of us already had a taste for it. Currently, we’re looking for talented people, no matter where they are located, who are excited to work remotely but also participate in a strong culture.
We acknowledge that life is about experiences, challenges, and unique moments, and not all of them are work-related. We’re grateful for being part of our people’s lives, but just a really enjoyable small-sized part of it, not the whole thing. Balancing family, friends, hobbies, work, trips, and a million more life things is crucial in order for a person to be complete.
We believe that there is a better way to live our lives, by sharing special moments with our loved ones. Be at your kid’s spring festival, attend your cousin’s birth, or be there to support your family in difficult situations—those are moments you won’t be missing. For us, it’s all about planning, communication, and teamwork.
We’re also unique in the way we manage our bench. In Mexico, a lot of employees assume that if they spend two to three weeks on the bench, they’ll get fired. Headspring doesn’t view the bench as the first step to leaving. We believe there’s a better way to approach team members who don’t have a client to focus on: give them Headspring as a client!
Employees on the bench are often put in charge of working on internal initiatives that bring value to the business. One practical example is our time entry system for projects: It was created by Headspringers and it is currently being maintained by those on the bench.
It’s true that Headspring demands high-quality, objective results from those who join our team. You’ll be challenged, and probably be asked to give more than the average company would in terms of problem-solving and creativity to code. However, you’ll always be working side-by-side with very smart people who are ready to share their knowledge and learn from yours. This is how you’ll grow your career much faster than at other companies. We love to work with driven professionals.
What do you do to keep people engaged as a team?
The first step to creating engagement and integration is to provide our teammates with the essentials they need to be productive and connected. We provide a computer, monitors, lights, webcam, chair, desk, and all the peripherals needed to create an interactive and comfortable physical work environment.
We understand that the new reality brings a lot of challenges, but it’s also a great opportunity to be creative and try new things. We’ve increased the quantity and quality of virtual interactions among all team members. We also have an employee-led team that’s dedicated to creating closer relationships among all Headspring employees and promoting our culture. This group, called the “Theme Team,” is constantly thinking outside of the box in order to organize activities that enable bonding among all Headspringers. Lunch bunches, virtual hang-outs, white elephant activities, online comedians, secret Santa, and periodic all-employee meetings are some examples of activities organized by our Theme Team.
From a business perspective, we also prepare an onboarding plan that includes some literature about the company, meetings with key team members to explain how we operate on the administrative side, technical training sessions, and formal introductions to the team and client. In all our meetings, we encourage keeping the camera on for better engagement.
What is the vision for the Mexico team, and how can prospective employees benefit?
In 2021, we established Headspring de Mexico as a legal entity in this country. We have an aggressive growth plan for the next three years, with a whole new arm of the business being led by Mexico.
Our team will keep growing to manage the increased demand from our clients. The plan is to grow from 20 to 40 teammates in Mexico by mid-2022. Mexico is currently offering two new services to our US clients: Support Services and Co-Development teams.
What kind of clients can Headspring de Mexico employees expect to work with?
- US Clients: We offer an international experience by connecting you with clients from any location in the US. We have different roles that our engineers can focus on when working on a project: Developers, technical leads, project managers, UX/UI—all of them with direct client interaction.
- Different Industries: Healthcare, finance, manufacturing, energy and insurance are just some examples of the vertical markets our people will have the opportunity to work with.
We’re a company full of talented people that like to work hard, work well, and enjoy doing it.
How does the Headspring’s culture come through in practice?
The best way for me to answer this question is by referring to our core values.
- Own Your Experience: Our people grow at the pace they want and determine their own limits. Headspring provides the tools, opportunities, knowledge, and support; people do the rest.
- Drive for Excellence: We always look for the best way to work with clients and, most importantly, with our people. If things are not going well, we look for ways to change them; if things are going well, we look to make them even better.
- People are Valued: Flexibility, work-life balance, integration activities, diversity, inclusion, growth opportunities, respect. Our people are our greatest value.
- Honest Communication: We have an open door policy when it comes to talking about the business or addressing concerns. We strive for openness, transparency, and making sure information is out there and accessible. Problems are not hidden. You’re always informed and empowered with the facts.
- Passion for Learning and Growth: We are a technology company. We live in a world that is changing every day, every hour, every minute. Our people need to be on top of new trends, so we support them with initiatives that range from hosting internal training sessions to facilitating certifications with major tech companies.