Why Remote? Scrapinghub

What does your company do?

Set up in 2010 by Shane Evans and Pablo Hoffman, Scrapinghub is the world’s leading provider of web scraping technologies and services. Web scraping is the process of extracting data from websites. In recent years, with the growing prevalence of big data, machine learning and data-based decision making there has been a surge in interest in web scraping for competitor research, dynamic pricing, lead generation, content aggregation and alternative data for finance. Scrapinghub helps companies get the data they need by providing them with the best web scraping tools on the market or by building their web scraping infrastructure for them. Scrapinghub is also the creator and maintainer of Scrapy, the most popular open source web scraping framework.

What’s the background to you having remote teams?

Scrapinghub grew out of the success of the Scrapy open source project which Shane (based in Japan) and Pablo (based in Uruguay) created. When they started Scrapinghub, they had the choice: hire experts in web scraping, often familiar with our open source tools, or to hire in a single location. They choose to hire the best web scraping experts in the world, people they had often already collaborated with, but who were spread all over the world. They continued this philosophy, leading Scrapinghub to grow organically from a team of 2 to 143 people located in 34 countries globally.

What kind of roles do you hire for?

Most of our roles are technical and fall within our Professional Services, Product Development and Engineering teams (Developers, Data Scientists, technical experts etc). We also have  Human Resources, Finance, Legal & Compliance, Sales and Marketing teams.

Scrapinghub currently has 40 open roles for python developers, data scientists, project managers, sales account executives and more. We’re always looking for the best talent no matter where it is in the world. So if you’d like to become part of the Scrapinghub 100% remote team then check out our jobs page.

How do you manage results remotely?

Everyone has goals and objectives set for the year based on a single set of company KPI’s and Metrics, this is measurable and reviewed regularly. However, how it’s done varies by function. For Scrapinghub its all about the output, not hours worked. With each business function, be it sales, developers or HR, we develop a system for measuring the quality of a person’s output. From there we are able to put a process in place where we can review each other’s work and have clear visibility of how everyone is progressing.

Team meetings and regular 1:1 are also critical to us managing our results and these are held regularly across Scrapinghub.

How do you manage culture remotely?

In a 100% remote company, effective communication and collaboration is key to building a strong company culture. That is why we rely heavily on the best communication and collaboration technologies available: OfficeVibe, Slack, Trello, Confluence, Discourse, Hangouts, Zoom, etc.

We use engagement and employee satisfaction tools, such as OfficeVibe, to measure people engagement in real time and help the leadership team to identify areas that are doing really well and areas that may need attention for any number of reasons.

From the insights gleaned from these tools, we’ve increasingly begun to create specific initiatives to foster a strong company culture amongst our global team. Initiatives such as Shubtalks – Internal Ted Talks on any topic and Shubber Voice Squad, where team members nominate representatives from across the organisation to help put in place initiatives to help manage culture.

From a people manager perspective, each people manager has regular 1:1 with everyone on their team, at least once a month.

Each year we also organise a global company meetup for a few days of co-working and team building. Giving everyone the opportunity to meet face to face, meet their team and have some fun along the way. This November our global team of Shubbers are all off to Lisbon for our 2018 Shubber Get Together. We also encourage mini co-workings, conferences and really any opportunity that people can get to work together and experience different countries and cultures.

How can towns and communities make it easier for you to hire there?

By focusing on the basics that every remote worker needs: easy access to fast reliable broadband, co-working facilities and good public transport so that remote workers can get their work done and maintain a healthy work-life balance.