Remote Recruiting: Communicating Culture

Sandy Fleischer, Managing Partner at Pound & Grain, shares insights on navigating remote hiring and onboarding. 


Tell us about the positions you have needed to fill since the pandemic began?

We've bolstered our leadership team including with our first-ever media director, as well as hires across strategy, technology, production and design.


Has the shift to remote work had an impact on the type of candidates you were looking for?

We've really broadened our geographic reach. For the most part, we are still hiring in Canada, but location is not the factor it once was.

How has your hiring process changed during the lock-downs over the last 18 months?

I think we've gotten better at Zoom in general, so have adjusted to getting to know people and judging if they'd be a good fit for the specific role via video. It's not ideal, as we may miss out on body language prompts, for example, but it is what it is. 


Can you share any advice for on-boarding new team members while working remotely? How do you provide a sense of the work culture and make sure it is a smooth transition for the team?

I think it's really important for agencies to step up here. We've worked really hard to make the onboarding process as good as it can be. Beyond ensuring that new candidates have all of the functional requirements to work effectively remotely, we try to set the tone by sending out a fun and useful welcome kit with some "nice to haves" for the home office environment. We've also put a lot of work into our handbook and general onboarding materials that we walk new employees through. The intent is for all of this to ensure we can get things off on the right foot and demonstrate what we are all about. Living culture on zoom is not an easy thing.



What have you learned from the experience of hiring and on-boarding new hires during this time?

It's really hard to guess how tall people are! In general this has worked out well for us. It's definitely harder to get any sort of rapport going during the hiring process, but we look to invest extra time in our interviews to make sure we get it right.


Sandy Fleischer, Managing Partner

Sandy brings two decades of digital agency experience to Pound & Grain. Recognized as an industry leader, he's presented at high profile events such as SXSW, Adobe Max and the Society of Digital Agencies SoDA Speaks. He also contributes regularly to Strategy Magazine. At Pound & Grain, he’s led engagements with SAP, TELUS, Electronic Arts, Paramount, Arc'teryx, MEC and others. In his secret other life, Sandy is known as DJ Pescatore and has played to crowds across Canada, the US and Italy





If you have recently hired or been hired virtually and would like to share your experience, please write to Rushika Shah at .


Remote Recruiting: Growing Teams
Remote Recruiting: Getting Hired Virtually by Ashley McCarthy RGD
Remote Recruiting: Making Connections by Ceri Higgs Provisional RGD
Remote Recruiting: Finding the Right Fit by Josh McInerney RGD