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.