With a large proportion of the workforce being thrust into remote working so abruptly, we’ve been exploring how teams are set up for success, specifically in Product Management. Who better to discuss distributed teams with than Rylan Dawes, VP of FX Product at Airwallex. Airwallex was named by KPMG as Australia’s highest ranked Fintech in the 2019 Fintech100 report, and their products are taking the world by storm. They seem to have read the play early when they launched their borderless cards product earlier this year, just before our borders literally closed. Embracing remote working during COVID-19 Middleton Executive Director, Jade Bennett, spoke with Rylan about how this high-growth fintech unicorn is supporting their remote teams during this challenging pandemic. Here’s what Rylan had to say about Airwallex’s approach to embracing remote working and how they’re supporting their teams with this transition. Jade: What has been Airwallex’s stance on working from home? Rylan: At Airwallex, flexible working arrangements have always been extended to our employees depending on their circumstance or need. Whether someone needs to tend to a sick child, oversee house maintenance or needs a different environment to focus on deep work, the option to work from home for the day is available to them. However, having a few team members occasionally work from home isn’t quite the same
By Jade Bennett We’re currently experiencing an unprecedented moment in time with the escalating impact that COVID-19 is having across the world. Our Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called this a “once in a hundred-year event”. Like many of you, I have experienced a roller-coaster of emotions ranging from stress, fear and sadness for humanity. But instead of feeling hopeless, I’ve been searching for ways to help our community face this challenge. It’s taken me by surprise how novel an idea remote working is for so many companies and their people. Establishing Middleton Executive three years ago as a remote-first business was risky. The recruitment industry was very traditional and often had a culture of ‘presenteeism’. Working remotely has not hampered our ability to support our candidates and clients to meet their business objectives. In fact, we’ve been able to thrive as a remote-first business. I’ve found myself thinking about the Product Management community we serve; the impact this way of working might be having. Specifically, Product Managers, both teams and individuals who are not accustomed to the remote working model. I figure, here is my opportunity to help my Product community! Words of Product Wisdom Reaching out to my network of Senior Product Leaders who have experience with distributed teams of Product Managers, I asked for their help in
By Jade Bennett. Diversity in Tech is a widely discussed topic, and has been for some time now with businesses becoming acutely aware of the many benefits that come from having a diverse and inclusive workplace. As tech recruitment specialists it’s exciting to witness first hand, the growth in companies committed to diversity. At Middleton Executive we’re seeing more businesses develop both enterprise-wide and grassroots initiatives in an effort to attract more women to the workplace. Mind your language This progress is encouraging. But we’re still seeing the use of interesting language in position descriptions, job advertisements and interview questions. Language that inevitably and unintentionally results in women opting out of the process. Language that hinders their opportunity to be considered favourably or fairly. For the most part, this is unconscious bias. It’s the language people have been accustomed to using and how roles have been positioned within organisations historically. Descriptive language that gets used to make a business or a role sound cool and appealing, such as: ‘Do you want to work in a fast-paced, high powered start-up unicorn?’ ‘Are you an expert with all things Product/ AWS/ Node’ (you get the gist)?’ Or how about… ‘If you’d like to finish your day with a kick-ass game of table tennis and a cold beer, this is the role for
By Jade Bennett The rise of the gig economy has been well documented, with over 7.4% of Victorian contractors using over 100 digital platforms to find work. This includes contractor jobs ranging from content creation, UX design and software engineering. With an increasing number of jobseekers opting for greater flexibility, variety of work and career pivots, we offer our tips on how to leverage your opportunities as a contractor in tech. Partner with a recruitment agency that specialises in contract or contingent recruitment Most agencies are heavily geared towards either permanent or contract recruitment across specific sectors. Make sure your recruitment partner knows the tech space well and, more specifically, your domain e.g. Software Engineering, Product Management, DevOps etc. Always keep an eye on the market You may have landed an awesome 6-month contract job, but things can change quickly in contracting land; projects get cancelled, budgets run out, or time simply flies by and before you know it your contract is over. It makes sense to keep close to your chosen recruitment partner so you don’t find yourself with large chunks of time in-between roles. Keep up to date with the latest technology and developments in your chosen field More often than not, companies bring contractors in to fill a tech gap in their existing team. This is usually
By Jade Bennett With Middleton Executive’s third birthday just over the horizon, I’ve been reflecting on the last few years as a startup business, both professionally and personally. I’ve been asking myself what have I achieved? What have I learned? Would I do anything differently if I could? Pondering these questions has made me realise that we need to change the language and the image around what it looks like to start your own business. Yes, it is a lot of hard work. And yes, the hours at times are long and the pain is real, but more than that it’s an absolute blast and quite possibly one of the most rewarding endeavours I’ve ever undertaken. I can’t talk about other people’s experiences, but I can share my own experience in launching a boutique tech recruitment startup, and what I’ve learned. In short, I’ve loved every minute of setting up my own business, but it hasn’t been without it’s challenges… The startup mindset We’re all familiar with the rhetoric of business ownership and the sacrifices required, but if we change our language and mindset to be more positive and supportive, perhaps more people will do it, especially females. I’m not saying that it’s an easy thing to do, but for me it has been enlightening and has changed my life
By Tegan Paterson Remote working is increasingly becoming an option for office-based workers these days. The focus is becoming less about where and when the work takes place, and more about the outcomes. Workplace flexibility is in fact the number one thing tech professionals share with our Recruiters as being on top of their ‘dream job’ attribute list when seeking to change roles. After spending over a decade being office-bound, joining a remote-first working environment at Middleton Executive has been very rewarding and empowering, but not without its challenges. A self-managed approach to work requires discipline, self-motivation and exceptional time management. For the past year I have fine-tuned my approach and after some trial and error, I think I’ve nailed it and am reaping the rewards. I offer my top 4 tips to make remote working work… Planning, planning, planning! Did I say planning? At the end of every day, I put together a list of my top priorities for the following day. I like to start my day knowing exactly what I’m doing while it’s fresh in mind, and put absolutely everything in my calendar – even times I go for a walk or do yoga. I schedule thinking/reflecting time at the start and end of each day, and I also put aside dedicated times to respond to emails and administration tasks. This
After spending over a decade in the corporate world, I like many people out there was just, well … stressed. A lot. Most of the time. Okay, nearly all the time. Consequently, it all came to a head at one point and I felt as though things were spiralling out of control. I thought there had to be more to life than this. I didn’t want to just manage, I wanted to feel joy in every aspect of my life, and I wanted to stop believing stress is normal. Now I look back on that time as a bit of a wellbeing wake-up call. Finding a new normal It occurred to me that living every day for the weekend isn’t really living life to the fullest, is it? There had to be a better way! With this in mind, I sought out to find a wholistic, practical, and natural way I could integrate some healing and mindfulness into my life, after some research (an obsession of mine) I discovered Kinesiology – a modern natural therapy, combining the wisdom of eastern and western traditions to identify imbalances in the body’s structural, chemical, emotional state to establish the body’s priority healing needs. I was hooked and began studying toward becoming a Kinesiology Practitioner. My newfound interest, became a hobby and ultimately a
When you imagine a diverse and inclusive workplace, what springs to mind? Is it teams that are represented by equal numbers of men and women, women in senior leadership roles, and people from varying ethnicities, physical abilities and age groups?