Webinar: Top Five Tips from Personio’s Diana Doege on Hiring Remotely

January 6, 2022
Liz Marchetti
Webinar: Top Five Tips from Personio’s Diana Doege on Hiring Remotely

How can you set your organization up for success in a post-pandemic world? That’s what we asked thought leader and industry expert Diana Doege, Team Lead Talent Acquisition Personio at our webinar. Get her best practices below, or watch the full webinar on-demand here.

On December 10th, HiPeople co-founder Jakob Gillmann sat down for a future-facing conversation with our guest Diana Doege, Team Lead Talent Acquisition at Personio. 


Personio is one of Europe’s leading HR software companies, helping organizations digitalize their recruitment and HR processes. Its rise during the pandemic has been nothing short of impressive. It has grown to 1000 employees, with over 700 of these hired during the pandemic. In 2021, the company raised a pre-emptive Series E funding of $270 million and is now valued at $6.3 billion. 


Diana has been a driving force behind employee growth at Personio, since joining the team in 2019. So, she is well-equipped to share her tips for overcoming post-pandemic challenges. Read on below.

1. Adapt quickly to the remote shift by staying flexible 

According to Findstack statistics:

• 16% of companies in the world are 100% remote 

• 62% of employees say they work remotely occasionally. 

• 58.6% of US citizens work remotely since Covid-19 (including once or more than once per week)


Our webinar audience echoed this trend. Our live poll revealed that 83% of webinar attendees work in a fully remote set-up, and 17% in a hybrid one.

On top of that, we are in the midst of “The Great Resignation”, with companies still suffering from Covid’s economic downturn having to lay off their employees; as well as employees leaving their organizations en masse for new pastures green.

This shift impacts the hiring and HR process globally in a significant way. Today, talent acquisition and HR experts are facing a new set of challenges around managing and building high-quality, diverse teams in remote or hybrid environments. Diana shares:

“We are in a ‘War of Talent 2.0’, so it’s super hard to find the right talent. Candidates now have ten offers on the table and there are many jobs out there for one single talent.”

On top of that, engaging remote teams and ensuring their wellbeing can pose a key challenge for management.


At this time of adjusting to this new modus operandi, Diana advises staying flexible. Run internal surveys with your teams and review processes often, as they can always be iterated.

2. Listen to your employees’ needs when it comes to working remotely and focus on building trust

Globally, 74% of workers claim that having the option to work remotely makes them less likely to leave a company. 


So, listen to the workforce and adapt accordingly. 


Personio has a hybrid approach, which they coined “Personio Flex”. Diana explains: “We went from fully embracing remote at the start of the pandemic, to people saying ‘I miss the office’. We ran an internal survey and realized that many of our employees want to go back to the office.”


As a result, Personio now operates with a 50/50 remote/in-office split. Diana elaborates: 

“It’s important to listen to what your team wants. We don’t force anyone to come into the office. You might come in 2-3 days per week, or come in for one full week and work from home the next.”

If feasible, consider offering flexible working arrangements. While it’s important to keep safety measures in place, it’s essential to communicate WFH (work-from-home) policies transparently and build them on trust. Diana concludes:


“We are an office-friendly company with beautiful office spaces and we do see the benefits of face-to-face meetings – especially in the case of a workshop, we ask, does it make to have it remote or on-site? 


Ultimately, we trust our employees to work in the best interest of the company and our customers – we want to empower them as well.” 

3. Use HR tech to reduce time to hire and avoid mis-hires 

Since the pandemic, companies are hiring remotely more than ever before. This is great news for candidates with so many options to choose from.  


However, for organizations, this means that competition for hiring the right candidate is fierce.


How can you stay ahead of the race and win the “War on Talent 2.0”? One key tactic is to reduce time-to-hire – which is one of Personio’s biggest challenges for 2022, Diana reveals.


“We were not fast enough in the assessment stage and that’s where we lost talent. We had candidates which we lost in the final stages when hiring managers wanted to do reference checks.”


To tackle this challenge, Diana advocates investing in HR tech tools that make it easier to actively source talent, and that boost efficiency and productivity.


In the last year, Personio has adopted automated reference checks. Next to their own Personio ATS, Personio is using the HiPeople platform. This has been instrumental in reducing Personio’s time-to-hire. Diana shares:

“We now offer the HiPeople platform to everyone from the beginning of the hiring process to avoid delays. We now have a great new partner to help us make data-based, unbiased decisions when it comes to reference checks. I am super happy to work together and to be able to work faster”.


Hiring faster shouldn’t lead to compromising on cultural fit, though. To avoid mis-hires, consider nominating cultural ambassadors in the final interview step of hiring process, who function as “gatekeepers” of your core values.


Diana explains: “We nominated cultural ambassadors that are living our operating principles and codes, and we fully trust their judgment.” 

4. To retain talent, offer tools to help develop and grow employees

Now that you’ve hired the best team, how to retain them in this competitive recruitment playing field? 


While it’s wise to invest in AI and machine learning that helps boost efficiency and productivity, you should invest resources that foster your employees’ growth.


People teams should work closely with talent to help develop individual growth, says Diana: 

“It’s not about having ‘performance reviews’ but rather ‘performance growth talks’, and asking things like: ‘Where do you want to go and how can we get you there?’

Audience poll results: 89% of webinar attendees us HR tech tools for sourcing talent and 33% to retain that talent.

We built a Learning and Development team at Personio, because top talent is not only looking for remote work or a nice laptop. Everyone is hungry for developing and learning. They also want flexibility in how they develop.”

For example, offer your People Teams training platforms like Social Talent. Or give them access to talent insights that help them measure and keep track of employees’ development.

5. Don’t overlook DE&I – and other plans and predictions for 2022

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask Diana about upcoming plans and predictions.


Personio’s focus for 2022 includes improving DE&I: “It is not something we can overlook. I am part of the diversity committee, as it’s super important that everyone feels equal and included. We are very excited to tackle this in 2022 because it never stops, we have to iterate it again and again.”


She concludes: “In terms of  where the market is headed, I think it will stabilize, as candidates have had the time to look inward and understand where they want to go, and what they want to do now.”

We hope these top five takeaways about remote hiring have inspired you in your recruitment journey for the year ahead! To watch or listen to the full conversation, click here to watch the webinar on replay. 

Contact us to book a demo with a HiPeople expert. Learn how you can automate reference checks to reduce mis-hiring and reduce time-to-hire.