Meet Josh Burke, Head of Talent Acquisition at Appcues:

Josh Burke is the Head of Talent Acquisition at Appcues, a leading organization focused on helping customers build exceptional user experiences. With a global team of 91 employees spanning across 9 countries, Josh plays a vital role in bringing top talent into the organization. Appcues is renowned for its user onboarding flows and in-app messaging solutions, providing customers with a simple, no-code solution to enhance user experiences. By leveraging their browser extension, customers can easily create tailored onboarding flows for their users, ensuring customer retention in today’s competitive landscape. As Appcues continues to experience remarkable growth, Josh has been instrumental in expanding their talented workforce globally.

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Quick Read: Josh Burke, Head of Talent Acquisition at Appcues, Interview Highlights

What were the biggest challenges that you faced in hiring, building, managing this distributed team across different time zones, different continents, and how did you overcome them?

Josh emphasized the importance of synchronous collaboration in a remote-first company. With team members scattered across various time zones, communication and coordination were key challenges. Appcues found that having a remote workforce concentrated in or near the same time zones worked best for them. While some team members are located in Europe and the Philippines, most are based in North or South America, primarily adhering to US Eastern time hours. This approach ensured efficient collaboration while allowing flexibility for those who preferred synchronous work.

“When you’re a remote-first company, no one in the organization is getting that opportunity to do the tap on the shoulder, right? Everybody’s communicating through Slack, through email, through other opportunities, getting on Zoom meetings.”

Are there any criteria for determining where to hire globally, considering factors like local talent, cost reduction, or competitive dynamics?

Appcues’ expansion into different countries happened organically based on referrals from existing employees. Their focus was on finding the best talent regardless of location. While they considered legal complexities and challenges related to equipment logistics in certain markets, Appcues prioritized talent acquisition and collaboration above all else.

“We go where the talent is and where we can make sure that the collaboration will be there. And we make sure that’s our guiding light.”

How does Appcues approach the hiring process regarding employment arrangements, such as employees of record, contractors, or establishing their own entity?

Appcues utilizes a mix of employment arrangements, but their preferred model is the employer of record structure. Partnering with companies like Deel and Rippling EOR has simplified their global workforce’s payment, legal compliance, and administration. This approach allows Appcues to focus on expanding into different countries without becoming legal experts in each jurisdiction. However, they also leverage contractors in specific markets where it aligns with local talent preferences.

“The reality is startups don’t have a lot of time and availability to become legal experts on a dozen or two dozen different countries, right? So being able to utilize partnerships like we have with Deal or with Rippling, that’s been such a huge shot in the arm for us in being able to expand into different countries.”

What criteria or qualities does Appcues prioritize when hiring remote employees globally?

Appcues seeks self-starters who can work independently and thrive in a remote-first environment. The ability to take initiative, demonstrate drive, and work without constant supervision is highly valued. Strong English language skills are also essential since English is the primary language for collaboration within the organization.

“When you’re a remote native, everybody has to be a self-starter. There’s just no checking in at the same pace. You just need people with that type of personality.”

How does Appcues source local talent in different countries, and what strategies have been effective for them?

Appcues has found that many of the strategies they used to build a remote team in the US are equally successful internationally. They leverage LinkedIn and rely heavily on organic referral traffic. Strong pay rates and the company’s reputation as an attractive destination for international talent also contribute to their recruitment success. While some regional differences exist, Appcues’ processes have largely remained consistent across countries.

“A lot of the same strategies we’re used to using in the US, we’ve been able to replicate abroad. Organic referral traffic from employees has been really effective for us.”