Editor’s note: This story is part of WRAL TechWire’s special report about the “jobs conundrum” situation in North Carolina.
RALEIGH – In a tight job market with more than 20,000 open information technology jobs across the Triangle and North Carolina, Raleigh-based Pendo is plowing ahead with plans of hiring 400 more workers this year as the rapidly growing software firm prepares to move into a new headquarters atop a liekwise new office tower.
Its success in recruiting even as Apple, Google, Red Hat, Fidelity Investments and other firms ramp up their own hiring plans may off insight for other firms to follow.
WRAL TechWire spoke with CEO and founder Todd Olson about the challenges of finding talent.
- Todd, you plan to add 400 people this year – are you having any difficulty in recruiting? If so, what are the challenges?
We hired 120 new Pendozers in Q1 so we are on track to achieve that goal. The large quantity of openings—from entry level sales and new grad engineers to VPs in some areas—means we are also getting record numbers of applications. We had over 18,000 applicants last quarter. So we certainly aren’t having trouble drawing applicants, but certain positions are harder to fill than others. We spend more time actively searching for candidates for those roles and of course, we support relocation for the right person.
The bigger challenge is balancing the fast speed at which we move alongside our high talent bar. To achieve our goals, we need people in the right seats. But we want to be sure they are the right people in the right seats. And, we want to be sure every candidate has a great experience. That’s the biggest challenge right now.
- Why is Pendo having success when so many tech firms can’t fill jobs in Triangle and NC?
I have to think the sheer quantity and diversity of jobs available here brings some additional attention our way. We’ve also grown a lot, so we have a much larger network than we did a few years back. But we’ve also grown our recruiting team significantly and hired our first VP of Talent in recent months. We’ve improved our employee referral program and dedicated recruiting efforts to be sure we have a diverse pipeline.
One perk that’s perhaps unique in the region is that we offer equity to every employee. I believe this is an exciting place to contribute and grow a career, and I’m proud that everyone can also share in our success.
[Pendo also was named to the new Inc. list as a best place to work, and Olson is proud of that achievement.]
It was an incredibly difficult year for so many of our employees as they balanced the abrupt move to remote work along with health and safety concerns, family responsibilities and the emotions associated with racial violence and a heated election. We really had to rethink the way we support our colleagues—from providing various mental health days and resources to changing the way we onboard and communicate to increasing dialogue around diversity and inclusion, and even updating our core values.
As we continue to grow aggressively this year (hiring over 400 new employees globally), we are doubling down to ensure that we have programs in place to take care of our people and the tools, leadership and career development opportunities for them to do great things here at Pendo. The validation and feedback we receive from employees through programs like Inc. Best Workplaces help affirm that we’re making the right choices to keep Pendo a great place to work.”
- Are you requiring people to return to the office now? Soon? Or do you envision a mix of WFH/office?
Our office in Raleigh has been open since June for employees who feel comfortable coming in. Other offices are subject to local jurisdictions, and we’re adjusting based on recent changes. We’ve definitely seen an increase in traffic over the last few weeks as more people get vaccinated. But return to the office continues to be optional. We have always been flexible, and will continue to be even once the threat of the pandemic subsides. But we will announce a more formal return to work plan soon.
- Is your new HQ on track? Scheduled opening?
Yes, everything is on track—we hope to move by the end of the calendar year. Exact date is TBD but it will be in time for our Company Kick-off next February, when we plan to have our employees around the world together again for the first time in two years. I really can’t wait for that.