Nov 05, 2020

Clumio’s Active Approach to Virtual Onboarding for Remote Hires

Trupti Sardesai
Clumio’s Active Approach to Virtual Onboarding for Remote Hires

Good news! You’ve just got hired for a new job at a time when a global pandemic has put millions of people out of work.

The bad news: You’re starting that new job during a pandemic that’s forced millions of people to work remotely — including you. Oh and you’re not going to meet your new co-workers for … quite some time.

That’s just the situation Trupti Sardesai found herself in earlier this year. After working in the tech industry for five plus years, she was exploring the job market this January, unaware of the unfortunate global health crisis that was going to change the way we all work, along with so many other parts of our lives.

Welcome to an ongoing blog series that will introduce you to members of the Clumio team. Today we are excited to talk with one of our newest Clumians — Trupti Sardesai, a Member of Technical Staff here at Clumio — about what it was like to join her new team and go through the remote onboarding experience.

What was it like looking for a job during the early days of a growing global pandemic?
In January of this year, I found myself exploring new job opportunities blissfully unaware of the unfortunate pandemic that was going to impact us all. My search started the way most do. I was interviewing with multiple companies, working my way through the interview rounds. Over several weeks, I had narrowed down my search and was considering a few offers by the end of February. It was still very early in the pandemic and not much had changed in our daily lives.

What was it about Clumio that made you join?
To be honest, it was the people. I felt at ease with all of the interviewers. I really respected and enjoyed the transparency they demonstrated during the interview process. Everyone seemed to be genuinely excited to be there, solving hard problems, and creating real solutions that make a difference for customers.

So, I made the change. I gave notice with my previous employer and was scheduled to join Clumio on Mar 16th, 2020.

That is right about the time when the San Francisco Bay Area health officials ordered the community to shelter-in-place. What was that like?
That’s when the fear of the virus was at its peak. There was so much we didn’t know. I remember the day the order to shelter-in-place was announced. Here I was, in between jobs. The news was full of stories of businesses large and small facing the prospects of downsizing. Those 2 weeks turned out to be most worrisome.

The team at Clumio really helped. They did a great job of staying in contact with me. I knew that it would work out because of the personal calls and emails I received from my interview panel. That said, I remember feeling a little apprehensive because I was the first “virtual onboardee”. Honestly, I am not even sure that is a real word but you know what I mean. At that time no one knew how onboarding during a pandemic was going to work but I had faith that we would figure it out along the way!

So, that had to be interesting. How did onboarding work?
My work laptop was delivered the morning of my first day. I had a smooth virtual HR and IT orientation via Zoom. I was still wondering what my engineering onboarding would be like, given that the product and the tech space was new to me. As it turned out, all my worries proved to be trivial. Clumio culture of inclusion made it easy. I could easily reach out to not just my manager or team but literally anyone in the organization. Longtime employees were willing to take the time to explain the technical concepts behind Clumio’s Cloud native platform, it wasn’t difficult to grasp new concepts virtually. Next thing I knew, I was already working on important features in the first couple of weeks of my new job!

Did anything surprise you after you started?
One thing that I loved was the opportunity to learn directly from the founders. New employees have the opportunity to meet with the co-founders of the company shortly after starting. They took a real interest in my experience. They wanted to hear my constructive feedback about the product, engineering processes, etc. I soon realized that my work and feedback were not only acknowledged but appreciated and respected. Honestly, the onboarding was so smooth that I did not miss the in-person onboarding. My onboarding and time so far at the company has been amazing.

You’ve been at Clumio for almost 8 months now. How are things going?
Honestly, it’s been great. Despite the shelter-in-place order, we have continued to grow and meet our hiring goals since I joined. Clumio makes it pretty easy to stay informed. The leadership team provides regular updates on company events with monthly all-hands meetings. They also provide an opportunity to meet with colleagues during virtual lunches and happy hours. So, while it has been different because we can’t sit together in the cafeteria or meet with teammates in-person, we still get together virtually as a team each week.

How about work-life balance during this time?
Clumio understands that bonding with family is equally important, if not more right now. Clumio has surprised employees with a monthly treat during the shelter-in-place. One month it included a dinner night. Another month it was a summer picnic package. They always seem to make sure that we have extra to help and enjoy family. The one thing that stands out beyond all these goodies, is the flexibility that Clumio offers at work. It has been especially important during the pandemic times for a new parent like me. Even with a 1-year-old at home, I found it easy to strike a balance between work life and my family.

Our core values are embedded in the acronym – TRUST – and I remember our CEO sharing something that one of the Clumio board members — Mark Leslie, managing general partner, Leslie Ventures — shared with him, “Trust is like a bank, you have to deposit before you can withdraw. So you have to trust first before you can ask for other people to trust you.” I truly see everyone at Clumio working to be worthy of the trust our customers place with us. It is a core part of our culture and makes this a great place to work.