Welcome to Default Global, the premier media hub for entrepreneurs looking to expand businesses internationally. Gain insights from global-first founders and top remote-first companies like Gitlab, Zapier, and Hubspot as you explore country-specific hiring options and essential international processes. Join our growing community and receive valuable insights and real stories weekly, empowering you to successfully navigate your global expansion journey.
Meet Shelby Wolpa, founder at Shelby Wolpa Consulting:
Shelby Wolpa, a renowned People Leadership Advisor and Remote Work Expert, boasts a storied career driving human capital strategies in the tech realm. Beginning with Palantir in the early 2000s, Shelby’s leadership traversed four high-growth companies, each with a global or U.S.-wide distributed workforce. Notably, she played a pivotal role in InVision, an avant-garde proponent of remote work pre-dating the pandemic.
InVision’s success under Shelby’s guidance involved nurturing an 800-strong workforce across 30 countries and 40 U.S. states, sans traditional offices. When the pandemic catalyzed remote work adoption, Shelby’s profound expertise found new relevance. For nearly three years, she’s helmed her consultancy, counseling series A, B, and C startups on global hiring intricacies and the art of effective distributed work models. Shelby Wolpa emerges as an indispensable voice at the nexus of technology, leadership, and the future of work.
Watch Now: Vit’s In-Depth Talk with Shelby Wolpa
Quick Read: Shelby Wolpa, founder at Shelby Wolpa Consulting, Interview Highlights
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Shelby Wolpa, founder of Shelby Wolpa Consulting, on an episode of the Default Global podcast. Leveraging her extensive experience in remote work and global hiring, Shelby shared her insights on building and nurturing a remote-first culture, the challenges of international recruitment, and the importance of adopting the right tools for remote work.
Shelby Wolpa’s Journey to Remote Work
Shelby’s journey to the world of remote work is rooted in her history as a people leader at high-growth tech companies. She found herself drawn to the challenge of creating a global culture for companies with distributed teams. Shelby’s experience at InVision, a fully remote work company, equipped her with the necessary skills and expertise to advise startups on global hiring and distributed work. Her experience at InVision, as she put it, was a “testbed for a lot of our learnings about remote work.”
Supporting Startups and VC firms
Shelby’s company helps startups and VC firms by creating a roadmap for their growth, which includes building out their people team, tech stack, and setting up various people programs that support new hires, managers, and goal-setting.
“We really look end to end on what the current state looks like and what the next few quarters need to look like as far as budget and planning,” Shelby explains.
Building a Fully Distributed Team
When asked about the challenges she faced while building a fully distributed team at InVision, Shelby highlighted the complexity of global hiring strategy. She worked closely with legal and finance teams to decide where to set up entities, use global EORs, or hire independent contractors.
Hiring International Tech Talent
Shelby’s advice for companies wanting to recruit international tech talent is to be intentional with their hiring. While global EORs simplify the hiring process, hiring wildly in numerous countries can create administrative and compliance complexities.
Shelby believes in fostering a sense of connection among remote team members. She is a fan of tools that facilitate spontaneous connections and create opportunities for employees to share their special talents. The key to building a remote-first culture, according to Shelby, is defining and documenting the company’s culture, norms, and expectations.
Essential Tools for Remote Work
Shelby emphasizes the need for essential tools for a remote workforce. These include a knowledge base or intranet, a project management tool, and a tool for goal setting and performance management.
“Remote-first companies cannot operate without a very solid intentional tool stack,” Shelby asserts.
Shelby Wolpa’s insights into remote work and global hiring offer a valuable perspective for startups looking to build a remote-first culture. Her emphasis on intentionality, documentation, and the right tools underscores the importance of a well-thought-out strategy for remote work. It was an enlightening conversation, and I look forward to seeing how her expertise continues to shape the world of remote work.