Voices of Remote Work
4 min

How to Determine if a Company’s Remote Work Culture is for You | Taylor Desseyn at Vaco

Jenny Beightol
For Walking Meetings & Remote Work

When the pandemic hit and he could no longer attend in-person events, Taylor Desseyn knew the traditional way he did his job had to change. As a recruiter, he relied on in-person engagements to meet job seekers and hiring managers. So like many folks during the pandemic, Taylor turned to social media. But not to learn how to bake sourdough bread or share Tiger King memes, he leveraged online spaces to create original content in an attempt to replicate the networking and community building that was now lost. And it worked. Within months, Taylor amassed a following on LinkedIn and Twitter — people eager for job advice amidst the new globalization of the talent market. Now some 25,000 followers later, Taylor leads a team of seven at Vaco, a talent solutions firm, dedicated to recruiting and, you guessed it, content creation. Jenny Beightol, Spot's Head of Marketing, had the opportunity to speak with Taylor about the community he’s built and the crucial role culture plays at remote work companies. 

Jenny: You've built quite a community on LinkedIn and other platforms — what prompted you to do this?

Taylor: Even before Covid, I was really getting tired of the traditional recruiting tactics, which is what everyone is familiar with: cold DMs on LinkedIn, cold emails, etc. I was at the point in my business where I had to do something different and the pandemic pushed me into the deep end to make a change.

J: The tech industry has seen some massive layoffs recently, What advice can you give to job seekers who are entering the market and specifically looking for remote opportunities?

T: Navigating the job search pre-Covid was hard enough, let alone now amid the globalization of talent. The best piece of advice I can give someone is to find a recruiter you truly vibe with and stay close to that person. To truly cover all of your bases, find two recruiters in your city for a pulse on your local market and two recruiters nationally. I do tell folks to be prepared though because you will have to kiss a lot of frogs until you find a recruiter that’s the best fit for you. 

Another thing I want all job seekers to know: Do not take it personally when you get rejected. In my opinion, about seventy-five percent of the reason why you get rejected is due to a slew of reasons you cannot control. Don’t be discouraged! 

J: That’s great advice. A lot of workers want remote jobs which means that their interview experience will be remote too. How can job seekers determine if a company’s remote culture is right for them?

T: Ask a crap ton of questions. No really, you should be asking as many, if not more, questions than the company is asking you. I’ll tell candidates to ask so many questions that you’re trying to talk yourself out of an offer - and that’s hard for people! But there has to be intentionality behind your questions and conversations. Before you accept an offer, ask to speak to another person on the team. The more questions you can have answered, the better you’ll be able to determine if that company’s remote culture is for you. 

J: What can companies do to highlight the remote culture they're building, as a way to attract top talent?

T: Everything! Obviously, I’m big on content and how things are written. Thanks to DEI efforts, I’ve become more aware that if job descriptions are written in such a way it could lead to barriers that prevent certain people from applying to those roles. Even the interview process is an example of a company’s remote culture. I recently tweeted, “Hiring managers, would you want to go through the interview process at your company?” There’s not enough empathy deployed across the entire interview spectrum, especially on the hiring side. For the job seeker, it can feel like they’re interviewing for a secret club at every stage of the process. Instead, hiring managers should be more empathetic and authentic, and portray the sentiment of “we already like you, so let’s continue our conversations to see where you can have a place here.” 

J: How do you think the tools and platforms companies use or offer to their employees influences that company’s remote work culture?

T: These days, tools have a ton of influence over remote work culture. I’ve got to hand it to Vaco - they’ve been open to allowing us to use whatever tools and technologies we might need that could help with our productivity. Given my recruitment focus, I work with a lot of developers and developers love to tinker and try different things. So let them. If a company prides itself on its culture of entrepreneurship, then you have to let your employees be entrepreneurs and experiment. 

Are you a leader in the remote work space with a perspective on remote work culture? Then we want to hear from you! Book time with a Walking Coach here.

Men walking with Spot's mascot


Video meetings kill productivity

Boost your remote team's performance with Spot.