January 24, 2024

Aref Abedi

How to build a culture & recruit people to that culture?

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Podcast Summary: Episode of #TalentBuzz with Guest Aref Abedi from Jobylon


  • Host: Discusses talent acquisition in SaaS companies.
  • Guest: Aref Abedi, CEO and founder of Jobylon.
  • Topic: Building a company culture and recruiting people aligned with that culture.

Jobylon’s Happiness Culture:

  • Definition: Maximizing people's potential, ensuring psychological safety, and promoting initiative and the acceptance of failure.
  • Objective: Impactful work and relevance, rather than just superficial happiness.
  • Evolution: Culture evolves with the people and over time, influenced by shared values.

Importance of Culture:

  • Late Realization: The host acknowledges the later realization of culture's importance in a career.
  • Benefits: Strong culture aids in recruitment and retention, making it easier to find culturally aligned candidates.

Aref's Focus on Culture:

  • Initial Skepticism: Initially skeptical about spending time on defining values.
  • Current Values: The values set at the beginning (passion for people, product, and business) are still in place and constantly discussed.

Building and Maintaining Culture:

  • One-on-Ones: Monthly meetings with managers to discuss happiness and provide feedback.
  • Workshops: Regular sessions to discuss values and their practical implications.
  • Initiatives: Examples like the “Happiness Tax” where a portion of sales goes into a fund for employee-chosen initiatives.

Cultural Fit in Recruitment:

  • Assessment Tests: Using tools like Alva Labs for personality and logic assessments.
  • Case Interviews: To understand how candidates would act in their roles.
  • Ongoing Theme: Culture is a continuous theme in the recruitment process.

Referral Program:

  • Conversion Rates: Referrals generally have higher conversion and quality.
  • Program Structure: Formalized referral program with a points system for various stages like interview, hiring, etc.

Salary Model Based on Culture:

  • Transparency: Setting clear salary ranges based on functions and experience levels.
  • Yearly Reviews: Self-assessment based on behaviors linked to company values.
  • Outcome: Predictable salary outcomes based on individual assessments.

Employee Retention and Culture:

  • Correlation: Strong culture is closely related to higher retention.
  • Resilience: Culture acts as a glue during tough times, like economic downturns or personal challenges.

Employer Branding in Job Ads:

  • Inclusion of Values: Clearly stating values and culture in job advertisements.
  • Content Creation: Engaging content like employee branding videos that discuss culture and happiness at Jobylon.

Exit Plans:

  • Proactive Approach: Discussing potential exits and future plans with employees from the start.
  • Feedback Loop: Encouraging open communication about future aspirations and potential departures.

Final Thoughts:

  • Key Takeaways: Emphasize culture and values in every aspect of the business, from recruitment to decision-making.
  • Call to Action: Encourages sharing the podcast and suggests topics for future episodes.

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