How Percolate Bypassed the Competition with Andela

Percolate is the leading content marketing platform for the enterprise. Built by marketers for marketers and founded to help brands grow in a world transformed by social and mobile technology, Percolate offers solutions to introduce visibility into the marketing process, improve coordination of work, and effectively build marketing campaigns and content.

Stiff Competition and No Pipeline

With main offices in New York, San Francisco, and Denver, Percolate faces a hyper-competitive hiring scene for software developers. Not only would the company have several open positions for front-end and back-end roles, but they also came up against the need to backfill when a developer, or sometimes a whole team, would leave for different positions. Kimberly Peterson, Percolate Director of Engineering, recalls some of their hiring frustrations. “We had problems with pipeline, just finding good people. And there’s so much competition. By the time we contact a good candidate, they’re already interviewing with five or six other companies. They may already have offers on the table. And then you get into a money game.” Without the same resources as the nearby tech giants, Percolate engineers felt the hiring crunch in their day-to-day work, growing more desperate for help on their teams.

Preserving Team Culture and Commitment

After trying offshore arrangements for their mobile development, Percolate wanted more team integration for their primary application. “We did not want to have our engineers writing up specifications, then ship those off and have asynchronous communication with other engineers who don’t get to know each other well. We really wanted to find people who felt like they were part of the team.” On top of all that, Kimberly remained committed to company morale, culture, and job performance. “We didn’t want to send a message that we’ve given up on hiring, or have engineers terrified that we were going to outsource everything. Then you have people who aren’t on board with helping the project succeed. We really wanted to avoid that.” Kimberly and her VP of Engineering talked about a pilot with Andela, and the integration component sounded like a good fit culturally for Percolate. “Once we talked about Andela, there was never a clear plan to pursue any other kind of offshoring.”

A New Project is the Perfect Time to Onboard

In September, Percolate hired their first two Andelans, Eric Gichuri and Angie Mutava. They joined a high functioning, diverse team, some of whom were already working remotely. The team focused on brand new features, which allowed for smooth introductions and onboarding without requiring too much in-depth context.Eric and Angie gelled quickly with their four teammates on their first trip to New York. “They felt part of a close-knit team,” Kimberly recalls. “That trip clinched the fact that we could expand some other teams, and we brought on four more developers at the end of last year.”

Team Augmentation, Not Outsourcing

Andela engineers’ drive and initiative have been stand-out, giving Percolate ease of mind with their dependability and willingness to go above and beyond for the company and its customers. When a team lead took a 2-week vacation, Eric took charge of the back-end team. “Some issues came up and Eric was right there on Slack. He was on pager duty rotation and said, I’m going to take care of this.” Another engineer on the API team handled an off-hours customer issue, getting online at 5:00 a.m. to figure out the problem.Another Andela engineer, who started out on back-end work, used his full-stack experience to transition to front-end work. “It was great to see that kind of flexibility,” Kimberly says. “They’ve got a sense of ownership in the product they’re building. This is the difference between outsourcing a project and having a team augmentation experience.”

Andela Best Practices Work for All Distributed Employees

An added benefit has been adopting Andela best practices to improve the experience for all Percolate remote employees. “Andela has taught us a lot about a distributed workforce. We make sure if one person is on Zoom, we’re all on Zoom. We also instituted a policy of putting decisions on the Slack channel, making decisions on Zoom so people aren’t left out. It was Andela that spurred those changes.” Currently, six Andelans work across three Percolate teams: two on the application team, two on the analytics team, and two on the platform team, building out API capability for integrations. To learn more about the partnership between Andela and Percolate, view the case study here.Want to hire your own team of Andela engineers? Let us help!

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