In a post-COVID-19 world, things at Vanguard are optimistically “business as possible.”
The form has shifted, but function at Vanguard hasn’t skipped a beat. With enhanced remote processes, flexible schedules and Microsoft Teams in place, Vanguard is easing it’s crew into the new normal.
To bridge the gaps of remote life, leaders amplify the practices of empathy and design thinking. The former alleviates the financial and emotional stress that employees face at home, from turning dining rooms and bedrooms into offices to taking care of their kids while they work. The latter employs the iterative processes of Agile to lean out the tech teams’ workflows.
Surviving a pandemic takes a village. That’s why you’ll only find team players at Vanguard. The ability to work well with others is as essential as having the required technical experience to get the job done. Once onboard, Vanguard’s technologists in UX, data, IT and cyber security don’t just maintain the status quo, they test the limits of technology to build it bigger and better than ever before.
Transitioning so deftly into a virtual workforce has put a spotlight on Vanguard’s evolution from a traditional investment institution to a fintech company reimagining the industry. Above all else, it’s a human-centered organization that puts clients, employees and their communities first.
“I wanted to work at Vanguard because I liked that there was an emphasis on volunteering and helping people. I never thought I wanted to end up a financial company… the fact that people is such an important part of Vanguard’s mission statement really made me want to be here and makes me want to stay.”Alexa Cain Investment Systems Developer II
“The culture at Vanguard is really supportive. When I was new, everyone went out of their way to help me acclimate as quickly as possible… they’d answer all my questions, point me to resources I didn’t even know I needed, and just go above and beyond for me.”Carolina Blanco Technology Leadership Program - App Development
“This unprecedented situation has opened up an opportunity to be even more empathetic. That’s always been a part of Vanguard’s culture — a client-driven organization with a mission to treat everyone fairly. I feel fortunate to work for such a company. It has allowed me to achieve my professional goals, but to also be there for my family. That feeling resonates throughout the organization.”Tom Riley Senior Creative Talent Acquisition Consultant
“What got me excited about working at Vanguard was its focus on people and giving back. From how the pandemic has been handled to the opportunities Vanguard creates for us to volunteer for our communities. It’s not what I expected from a finance and tech company — it’s so human, there’s so much care behind everything it does.”Christina Yakomin Site Reliability Engineer
"In IT, you are enabled to work on your own schedule. The managers have a desire to see results as opposed to constant stress, and they demonstrate this really well in their own work style. They trust us. They know we’ll get the work done. You feel supported."Kyle Ceffaratti AI Engineer
“The people on my team want to give a world-class client experience to our customers so my job is to move everything out of the way that might impede them.”Dennis Becton Senior Architect Manager
What kinds of things did Vanguard do for employees to ease the transition to working from home?
At the start of the pandemic, Vanguard made a big push for employees to get comfortable working from home. It sent new desk chairs and office equipment to any employee that needed it, and offered a child relief policy (a 6-8 week plan at 50% salary) and expanded sick leave to help employees adjust to their new work-life balance. Additionally, they paid out performance bonuses two months early this year.
When we return to work, or what we call “the next normal,” the plan is to offer employee support in a variety of ways: How to increase your impact, be an inclusive team member, work smarter and optimize your work experience. It will also offer support groups for emotional, physical and financial well-being, in addition to the already existing personal and professional specialty programs like Vanguard’s Technology Leadership Program geared towards grads who want to develop their technical expertise, and resources for continuing education and reducing student loan debt.
How has COVID-19 affected hiring?
The biggest question we get from remote tech candidates is will they have to relocate when everyone eventually returns to the office. Many are hoping to work from where they are forever. Because our tech teams do so much work together in the lab, once we go back, we will need everyone to work from our office in Malvern, PA.
In terms of the hiring process, everything has gone virtual, so it’s much faster than our previous process of scheduling and flying people in for interviews. Regardless of how we do it, our goal is always to fill a role within 55 days from start to finish.
What qualities do you look for in tech job candidates?
We look for innovative, solution-driven developers who understand the limits of the latest technology and are capable of coming up with ideas and products that haven't been created yet. On the other side of the coin, we want those same people to have good business acumen, project management skills and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders.
So it’s a bit of both worlds. You need to be able to write code and then have the soft skills to explain your work to stakeholders with a range of technical understanding.
What is the pace like at Vanguard?
The technical team at Vanguard works in an agile work environment, so they work quickly and intelligently. Over the last couple of years, Vanguard has enabled a robust continuous delivery system where folks can get new feature updates into production in less than 15 minutes to begin testing in live product environments, where in years past it would take months to get something into production.