January 24, 2024

Ohad Parush

Scaling Gong's R&D Team

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TalentBuzz Podcast Summary with Guest Ohad Parush from Gong

R&D Team at Gong: Structure and Responsibilities

  • Ohad Parush, Chief R&D Officer at Gong, oversees engineering, research, and security.
  • The team builds Gong's platform, enhances it with AI, and ensures data security and best practices.
  • R&D is responsible for platform stability, AI model development, and maintaining a wide range of applications.

AI and Machine Learning in Gong's Product

  • Gong heavily relies on AI and machine learning for transcription, natural language processing (NLP), and data predictions.
  • The team's focus is on creating trustworthy, stable, and responsive applications that deliver value to customers.

Gong's Operating Principles and Customer Focus

  • Gong aims not just to satisfy but to create raving fans with their products.
  • Their mission involves using reality-based applications to help customers enhance their skills and performance.

Gong's Team Growth: From 30 to 300

  • The R&D team at Gong has grown from 30 to nearly 300 members in three years.
  • The team includes groups focused on platform, core products, sales applications, reality capture, insights, and operations.

Team Structure and Empowerment

  • Gong employs a "pod" structure for teams, focusing on specific features or products.
  • Each pod operates semi-independently with dedicated roles like product managers, UX designers, and engineering teams.
  • The structure promotes innovation, focus, and a startup mentality within each pod.

Hiring New Team Members

  • The need for new team members is identified by pod leaders and group managers.
  • Staffing needs are prioritized with product management and addressed with Talent Acquisition.
  • Gong values internal Mobility and maintains a high standard for technical and cultural fit in hiring.

Gong's Culture and Hiring Traits

  • Gong looks for candidates who are smart, can get things done, and are team players.
  • The company values independence, risk-taking, and trust in its employees.
  • Gong's hiring process includes multiple interviews, reference checks, and HR evaluations to assess cultural fit.

Employer Branding and Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

  • Gong has a dedicated focus on employer branding and recently developed its EVP.
  • The EVP, "Own, Solve, Impact," reflects Gong's culture and approach to work.
  • The company emphasizes innovation, teamwork, and delivering a product that customers love.

Challenges and Strategies in Employer Branding

  • Gong faces challenges in attracting engineers due to misconceptions about working on a non-technical product.
  • Efforts include showcasing Gong's technological advancements, community engagement, and leveraging leadership for public visibility.
  • The EVP serves as a starting point for discussions on Gong's culture, technology, and project management.

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