Cloudflare TV

Fires in Recruiting: How to Handle Stress like a Pro

Presented by Ellie Jamison, Roshni Hundel, Todd Ciampa, Jason Tanner, Lee Sam
Originally aired on 

A panel from the Recruiting Team will discuss their most stressful days and how these experiences have helped them grow in their career and problem-solve better. They will discuss communication, troubleshooting, working under pressure, time management and relationship building. This episode is for anyone looking to improve their stress response at work!


Transcript (Beta)

Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Music Let's get started.

I'm Ellie Jamison and I'm on the recruiting team here at Cloudflare. I've been here for almost two years and I'm really excited to host another episode of Recruiting Corner today.

Today's topic is very important to me as it relates to mental health and we'll all be sharing resources to help with stress in the workplace.

Why I think this topic is so important is because many studies have linked stress at the workplace and overall health for employees.

A Harvard School of Public Health study described in the Harvard Gazette that there was widespread stress at work with 43% of workers saying their job is bad for their stress.

In fact, they also reported that stress has a huge impact on health care costs.

They determined that workplace stress contributes to a staggering 120,000 deaths annually and costs between $125 to $190 billion a year.

So clearly stress in the workplace has a detrimental effect on employees.

And so I think it's really important that we talk about this.

So why are we talking about this with the recruiting team?

As many of you know, recruiting is a very fast-paced, rigorous field that requires high attention to detail, very strong communication, as well as organization.

And we mean the type of organization that helps you keep up with over 100 candidates at the same time across all different teams.

So the recruiting team at Cloudflare works with every single other team in the company, and we truly see it all.

With that said, I'll let my coworkers introduce themselves.

And also, I just want to thank them for participating because I know this is a very sensitive but important topic.

So thank you all for participating. With that, we can go ahead and start with Anthony.

Hey, I'm Anthony. I have been with Cloudflare since December last year, so about nine months now.

And I do the same as Ellie, so I'm a recruiting coordinator based in London, although currently based in my spare room.

LaBike, which has been the main talking topic since lockdown.

I don't think a day goes by without coming into some question by someone.

And yeah, so I've been with the team since December and in recruiting for sort of two years or so.

Prior to that, I used to work in theatre and performance, which I'm sure we'll probably talk a little bit about later.

Oh, I think you're on mute, Ellie.

My bad. We can move on to Lee. Hi, so I'm Lee. I'm also part of the EMEA recruiting team, work pretty closely with Anthony.

I've been with Cloudflare just over two years now, but been in recruitment for just over 14 years.

And yeah, so in EMEA, there are one to four recruiters and two coordinators, and we basically cover all recruiting across the EMEA region.

And yeah, I'm looking forward to this discussion, actually.

I think it will be really beneficial.


Let's see, I think we can move on to Roshni. Hi, my name is Roshni Hundle, and I'm also a recruiter here at Cloudflare based out of the New York office currently.

I've been here four and a half years, and I support sales team, customer support, legal, special projects, and then most recently I've taken on product marketing.

And yeah, I love being here, and I'm excited to talk about this topic as well, because it's something we deal with on a daily basis.

Absolutely. Great.

Okay, Jason, last but not least. All right, great. Thanks so much, Ellie, for teeing this up, and very glad to be part of this panel with all of my recruiting coworkers.

My name is Jason Tanner. I've been with Cloudflare for just over two and a half years, based remotely, but also out of the San Francisco office.

And I support a wide variety of teams, product marketing, product management, partnerships, and then also some HR roles.

Stress in the workplace, I think, is a super interesting and important topic, and I think it's even more relevant right now as we are all working remotely.

And so I think it's a great subject to talk about just across, you know, the whole company, but I think recruiting definitely sees some interesting, you know, stress triggers.

So happy to chat through these with everybody.

Absolutely. I also agree with that. And I think since we've all introduced ourselves, we can go ahead and get started into our main topics.

Just encourage everyone, feel free to jump in whenever they want to talk about something or make a point.

We can have this be a very casual conversation. Great. So I want to start by talking about our biggest failures, which I know is not starting the morning off on a high note, but I think it'll be really helpful because our biggest failures at work can often be our biggest stressors.

So I think starting with that is good, and then we can move on to our biggest successes, and then what we learn from both of them.

And then later on, we'll dive into how we handle stress and what we think are healthy solutions to stress.

Great. So when I say biggest failures, what I mean is, what are your biggest problems reoccurring or it can be one time at work that you've noticed that's kind of stuck with you and that was stressful for you?

So anyone can just jump in.

Yeah, happy to go first. So I remember a time, I think it was around about 2012-2013, I was working with an investment bank through an agency and it started off pretty well.

But then things outside of work, like in the personal life, I didn't realize at the time just how much impact it was having on the quality of my work.

But looking back since, I could see just how detrimental and how much of an impact it just kind of made the quality of my work kind of just snowball and go downhill.

And it all kind of came to a head where one time, one of the VPs of recruiting asked me to pick up a hire for a contractor that the business was interested in.

He gave me some basic information and said, yeah, can you take it from there?

And looking back, what I should have done is probably just walked over to his desk because he was on the other side of the building, but on the same floor and just gone over to him and said, yeah, happy to pick this up.

Can you give me some more information on X and Y and Z?

But I think I was just so apprehensive at the time of, you know, making the mistake that actually just exacerbated the whole problem.

I spoke to the candidate. I captured their current salary wrong in the system.

So that impacted the compensation that we were eventually going to offer the candidate.

And that obviously got escalated to the business because, you know, that's something pretty important, you know, that the candidate's current salary.

I think I just misheard him. I think he said something like, you know, 300 pounds a day and maybe I heard 30.

I don't know. It was something silly, but it was just like, you know, something, a big error, which could have easily been avoided.

And generally, I just think my work just wasn't to the standard that you'd really expect.

And yeah, so I ended up leaving shortly after that.

I think that was just one of a few other, you know, kind of, you know, minor errors.

But it was kind of a collection, which I think at that time the business felt, look, you know, maybe we need to part ways.

So, yeah. And looking back, as I said, it was, I would definitely say that it was the stressors outside of work that impacted that.

The good thing, though, is that, you know, now that I've been able to identify that that was, you know, a major contributing factor, I'm a lot better at being able to not only identify that, but also control it.

And I can go on to, you know, things later on how I, you know, kind of manage stress in and out of work.

Absolutely. Thanks for sharing that, Lee. Who wants to go next? I'll be happy to share.

I've got a list of things that I've written now that I would love to go over.

But, you know, just like Lee said, messing up offer details, like that's a big, big, scary no-no with candidates.

In general, dealing with candidates on a day-to-day, like, it can be nerve-wracking.

You know, for me, when I first started being the recruiter on the roles versus a coordinator on the roles, that was something that I would fret over and make sure that every piece of my math was done correctly, all the numbers lined up and added up correctly, you know, double and triple check things.

But back when I worked at Apple before Cloudflare, we actually used to send physical offer letters and coordinators were responsible for doing that via FedEx to the candidates overnight shipment.

And I remember once I sent the wrong physical offer letter and I would fret over like, oh my gosh, did I put the right packet in the folder, in the mail?

And then, you know, just little things like not providing the right updated time or schedule for a rescheduled interview and the candidate shows up and the team's not ready and they're on site and that leads to panic as well.

And you're like, why did this happen? Or you go through your emails and you double and triple check things and you're like, oh my gosh, how did I miss this little detail?

Or how did I forget to follow up with this one candidate and tell them to come 30 minutes later?

Or, you know, forgetting to follow up with a candidate that has a competing offer and that email just sits in your inbox and you forget that's one of your 300 emails that you forgot to follow up on and you panic then as well.

Or something as simple as not providing like the right context, you know, for executives that are interviewing a senior level candidate and therefore they're not understanding what this person's coming in for, what role they're for.

But I think, you know, you just have to learn that everything can be explained and adjusted and that communication is key.

And so that's something that you should always keep top of mind.

But there's a long list of things outside of that too that can be so scary when it comes to recruiting and candidate experience.

Yeah, absolutely. I think because we have such an externally facing role as communicating with so many different people outside of the company and just the quantity of people that you're dealing with and talking with, I think there's often a lot of stress around that.

Thanks, Roshni. Who wants to go after Roshni?

I can go. So when I was reading this, I was like, oh goodness, this is like a dive into some terrible memories.

Luckily, there weren't days that were so bad that they're imprinted on my mind vividly.

But I do have a really memorable experience at my last company.

So I worked at another big sort of tech company before Cloudflare and we would share the responsibility of greeting candidates who might not always be our own just because it was based on when people had stuff in their diaries.

So if you were free and someone asked you to go and greet a candidate, you would just accept it.

And then weeks later, you'd go and, you know, have that meeting and go and collect the candidate and take them to their interview room.

And I guess the interesting thing about this story is that it's about my stress, but also the stress of the candidate that was there on site.

So I think I was a month into being at the company and I went downstairs to greet a candidate and there was a little foyer and I just said, hi, I'm here to collect.

Let's just say the name was Jacob.

And then someone jumped up, hi, hi, that's me. Great.

Cool. Follow me. Took them in, walked them around the office, like took them to the interview room.

I already had written on the interview room, like, welcome to, like, welcome, Jacob, and some details.

Wait for the first interview to arrive and off I went.

And then I came back to my desk and there was like this flurry of like panic.

And I was like, what's going on? And they're like, oh, Valentina, my old colleague, has lost a candidate.

And I was like, oh no, oh gosh, can I help?

And they're like, no, I think she's just, the candidate signed in, but they're not here anymore.

And now they've gone missing in the building somewhere. And I was like, oh no, well, if I can help, like, just give me a shout.

And they're like, no, I think there's a few people already managing this.

And I was like, okay, cool.

So I sat back down and like got my head back down to working. And then like 10 minutes later, Valentina appears next to me and is like, did you pick up Jacob?

And I was like, yeah, my candidate, Jacob. She's like, no, you didn't, you picked up Sean.

And I was like, really? But I asked for Jacob. I'm like, no, that was Sean.

I've got Jacob downstairs in a room. Sean's already started an interview with the wrong person.

And they were interviewing for totally different roles, totally different areas of the company.

Luckily not for the same role, I guess, to an extent.

So they've not like had to interact and find out about one another as like competition for a role.

But I was like so panicked. So I ran and grabbed my candidate and then took them to the right rooms and everything was kind of fixed.

But it was interesting because I guess the situation arose because the candidate hadn't heard what I'd said properly when I came to collect them.

And from that day forward, I never didn't look at someone's name badge after collecting them just to double check that it was the right person.

But, yeah, it was just so funny because I wasn't really that I was a bit nervous about collecting candidates at the time.

And I think going down to a foyer of people who could be like meeting the business from like high level external companies and stuff, I was a little bit shy to begin with just to go down and call out a name and take them off somewhere.

But, yeah, moving forwards, I was like very clear. I was like, hi, Jacob, I'm here for Jacob.

Like so clear. But, yeah, I just remember really vividly, I guess, also one of those early in a role experiences where things go wrong and you learn really quickly.

But, yeah, and I think the candidates, bless them, were both a little bit stressed after that.

But we settled them down and they continued with their process, which was good.

I have to say. Sorry, go on Lee.

I was going to say that story reminds me of a well-known case of mistaken identity on the BBC.

Oh, my gosh, yeah. Some of you might know it, but if you don't, Google Guy Gomer BBC interview.

So basically what had happened is there were two guys, two men sat in the foyer of the BBC waiting to go live for an interview.

They both happened to have the same first name, which was Guy. So one of them gets called in and like 30 seconds into the interview, he realises that he's been introduced with the wrong title.

And he literally just wings it and stays on. He's so gracious.

But it's hilarious. So if anyone's watching and they want a good laugh, type it in Google BBC interview Guy Gomer.

It's hilarious. I'll have to do that.

That sounds great. Anthony was just going to add that this mistake is easier than I think a lot of people may assume.

Because when I would go into the lobby of the San Francisco office to greet candidates, many times there's a lot going on and it's pretty loud.

And I think people are also nervous before their interviews.

So I'll say, John, and then someone who's not named John will just be like, oh, it's me.

And like, because they're just ready to get started. I feel like they're just high nerves.

So that can definitely happen. OK, well, thanks for sharing that.

Let's go on to Jason. Yeah, those are great and definitely learning lessons for sure.

I would say that as a recruiter, one of the things that we see generally we see from the very beginning of the process.

So when a candidate first applies all the way through to when we decide to make an offer to that candidate.

So we do see the full lifecycle.

And I don't know if many people know this, but for some roles, it can take months from the beginning to the end.

So what we do, you know, try to do, obviously, is stay organized.

Everything that everyone's, you know, kind of gone over is things that happen throughout that lifecycle.

But when you get to the very end and it's taken months and you make someone an offer.

Ideally, both parties have been in dialogue and an agreement of, you know, what the offer could look like.

But, you know, of course, there's always external factors as well.

So people have either other offers in front of them or perhaps, you know, they decide to make a change and go into a different role.

So for me, when I'm making an offer, I'm, you know, assuming that the person and we've been checking in throughout is going to sign the offer if we get it out to them.

And obviously, if one candidate doesn't accept an offer, you kind of analyze and try to figure out why that might be.

And then you re-strategize with the hiring manager. If it happens again the second time, then you start to feel like, OK, gosh, what did I miss?

So, you know, it happens to, you know, to us at times where we've had a role that for whatever reason, you know, we've had multiple offers and multiple reasons why candidates aren't accepting.

So I think that's, you know, a big, you know, stress, you know, inducer as a recruiter is trying to make sure that you're finding the right candidate for the right role.

And everybody, you know, is in agreement on everything that's been discussed throughout the process.

So for me, whenever I have an offer that's been rejected twice, I'm on kind of high alert.

I'm kind of on the edge of my seat.

And then I start to really kind of stress over those details throughout the process.

Like, oh, did I talk to them about compensation?

Did I talk to them about their timing? Did I talk to them about, you know, when they can leave their current company and all those things?

So it's definitely something that kind of, I think, can build in the recruiting process.

If a role has been open for, you know, more than a few months, then we start to kind of like really see where we might have, you know, made some mistakes along the way, or maybe just opportunities for us to do things a little bit differently.

So for me, it's, I get on kind of a little bit more stress when I have those roles that have been open for longer.

And we've had, you know, multiple offers go out that have been declined.

So I can talk about some ways to alleviate that stress as we go on.

Absolutely. I've definitely seen that just being around the recruiters in the office and also speaking with their candidates.

Many times the process will last months and you feel like you get to know, you know, these candidates pretty well.

You talk about families many times, just feel like there's a personal touch to it.

And so I can definitely see how stressful after three months, you both feel like you're on the same page.

And then suddenly, you know, you're back to square one with another candidate for that role.

So I definitely see how that's stressful.

Okay, so I think now we can move on to what we learned from these failures.

So we just want to go around in the same order. And we can just talk about, you know, our biggest, maybe just one or two takeaways that, you know, help you go, you know, deal with that stress from the problem that you were talking about.

So for me, looking back, I think I could have definitely avoided that situation that I referred to where I kind of messed up that candidates offer details by just going back and, you know, not being afraid to ask for more information before I jumped on that call with him.

So I had more background information, and just being more taking my time when, you know, putting through the offer details as well.

Because, you know, there are some things like, you know, putting a typo in an email, that's fine.

You know, nobody bothers about that. But offer details, that's precious.

And that's something that you really can't afford to make mistakes in.

And so even if it means, you know, before you hit send, having to look over it, having another look over it, and maybe even a third, just to make sure, you know, double and triple check it is absolutely fine.

That, you know, that extra, you know, minute that you take to do that, you know, can save you a lot of stress and a lot of headache.


Definitely. Yeah, I mean, I would say doing one thing at a time.

You know, oftentimes as recruiters, we can get caught into multitasking or being pulled in five different directions.

You're focusing on your on-site candidate, someone's pinging you on Google Chat, you have someone walking up to your desk, and emails are flooding in.

I think when you're doing offers, or, you know, speaking to candidates about those specifics, just make sure you're taking things one at a time, and really focusing on the task at hand, and not trying to do five things at once.

That was definitely something that I've learned along the way. And then, again, communication.

I think communicating, it cannot be stressed enough in being a recruiter, being part of recruiting.

You know, the more you communicate, over communicate, the better.

And even when you do make a mistake, as long as you're communicating about it clearly and telling the right people and explaining yourself, then things will turn out to be okay at the end of the day.


Yeah, I think for me, a couple of things came out of that experience in particular.

One was, I kind of developed, I was, so I was new to recruiting at that point.

I had like, you know, lots of work in the theatre and working with, on projects where I'd go out and work with the community and stuff.

So I was used to interacting with people that I didn't already have a relationship with and being sort of like a public face for a company or a team.

But I think one of the things that I kind of quickly developed soon after that was the understanding of how candidates feel when they're arriving on site and what we need to do to support them.

And I think I always kind of talk about the analogy of like driving a car. And I think a lot of people don't think about it like this, perhaps.

But to me, if you imagine that being interviewing is like a car ride, I think anyone that's on the company that you're meeting with, they're the driver.

It's not actually you as a candidate that's driving on that day.

So like the person that's coming to greet you in the office, you know, they're driving, they're coming to pick you up, they're taking you to where you need to go.

And the interviewer gets in the driving seat and they're kind of running the interview.

It's sitting with them, you know, they're guiding you through the questions, asking for more information on certain things and they need to get more signal.

I think coming to that sort of understanding made me just re-evaluate how I approach those situations as candidates.

And I need to really make sure that I'm the person that's in charge so that they kind of can take the pressure off because there's already so much pressure.

Not that we would ever put pressure on a candidate.

That's just natural when they're interviewing.

So I definitely learned a lot from that experience. And then I think secondly, just that I always expect candidates to maybe do things that aren't expected.

Put their hands up when it's not their name that you've shouted out or go to the wrong room or get lost telling you they know where the bathroom is.

I think it's always good to expect that a candidate might get something wrong, which is totally fine, totally normal.

It's not their usual place of work they're coming to.

They're nervous, they might make a mistake, they might forget things because they're preoccupied with what they're thinking about.

So I think I learned a lot about how to kind of deal with candidates through that experience, particularly, which was really useful moving forwards.


Jason, what do you think? Yeah, no, I think those are all really good suggestions too.

I mean, I do sometimes have to remove myself and also, you know, kind of just think about it from the candidate's viewpoint.

I think having empathy for candidates throughout the process is super helpful as well.

Just, you know, they're obviously under stress and they're juggling, you know, possibly, you know, working full time, personal commitments, interviewing.

So there's a lot of time, you know, management that's being asked of them.

So I kind of just always try to, when I'm in a situation that I know is, you know, kind of going to have some higher levels of stress.

I do try to go back and just check to make sure that I've done the main things that I should be doing.

And I always encourage candidates to, you know, have open communication with me throughout the process.

I find that when I start to see less and less communication from candidates, that's when there's some just kind of some warnings, you know, that they might be distancing themselves from the opportunity.

And it just allows me to kind of reach out and check in and just make sure that they have all the information they need.

And, you know, if I've missed something, I definitely want them to be able to, you know, call that out so I can make sure to give them all the information they need.

And again, just having that communication as well. I think as a recruiter, you're kind of right in the middle between communicating everything with your hiring team and then commuting everything with the candidate.

So you're kind of balancing both at all times.

And so that's why I always encourage hiring managers to have that open dialogue as well.

So just constant communication is something that I've learned to help alleviate some stressful situations.


I feel like I'm just shadowing Jason and working with you, Jason. I think that's something that I've really learned from you as well.

And it's definitely helpful when, you know, things are kind of gray.

Communication is gray with candidates who kind of pick up on those little red flags.

Okay, I realized that I didn't get to share my biggest failure at work, so I'll be quick.

I think my biggest failure at work would be times when the volume as in candidates is very high.

And I feel that I'm working too hard, too much, and I'm just not saying no.

I'm saying yes to all projects and things that I really shouldn't be taking on to that extent.

Because then it just lowers my quality of work for everything. So those are the times that I've been most stressed.

And those are usually also the times like right before a holiday, things like that.

And so I've definitely noticed that.

And then the biggest lesson that I've learned is that it's okay to say no. It's okay to tell your manager that, you know, you can't work on everything and that it's been too much for you.

And I think just being more recently out of college, you want to do your best in your first job and work very hard.

And so I think at first it was really hard to learn that.

But it's definitely been a valuable lesson for me.

I think that's such a common thing for a lot of people. I definitely know that I am like, I can do it.

Don't worry, I can do it. I can help. And I think sometimes the eagerness to want to help people anyway, you know, your colleagues who need support.

But also your eagerness to do a good job. It's so difficult to navigate around times of stress because sometimes you just want to help people.

You just want to be able to prove that you can do everything. And yeah, like it's so difficult to find time or the moment at which you're kind of starting to go over the edge of when you can't handle things.

And it's a really, you know, it's only a small moment.

And then all of a sudden you've gone over and then you start sliding downhill and it's really difficult to come back from that point.

So it's really important to try and find that, isn't it? And clock it and make sure you check in with people before it gets to the point that it's always more difficult to come back.

Absolutely. Definitely. I think checking in on yourself and kind of just evaluating where you are is always really helpful.

So moving on, we can talk about our biggest successes, which is a great topic.

And I think that as we're talking about our biggest successes, you can also just share what you learn from that.

Just to save some time so we can get to the stress management techniques.

So who wants to go first for our biggest success at work? I can go.

I guess for me, like success is not always about like the days that you win the race or like that you get a gold medal, but it's about like consistency.

I was trying to think about a day that I was like, oh, I was really happy with that.

But I think I feel like that quite regularly.

And I guess for me, like managing stress is about like not just one day when you're really stressed and getting over it, but about like all the ongoing management.

And I guess for me, like being really successful is about doing like everything that seems like a mundane, everyday task and doing it well and making sure you tick all those boxes regularly.

Because I think it's that that builds into the bigger picture of whether you've been successful in your work.

And I think the same kind of like mirror with stress, like if you manage to keep the stress down and manage yourself in all those small sort of compartmentalised ways, you can not add to like a huge picture of stress, but actually ensure that you're kind of managing yourself well.

I'm kind of like a big believer in like breaking things down into like bite sized pieces, manageable tasks.

I can sometimes get a bit daunted by like, oh, my God, this is a huge project to work on or this is a big task I need to get through.

And so sometimes just by breaking things down and making them easy for you to kind of get through helps you just feel like they're not so stressful.

So for me, I guess I see success as like doing all those ongoing processes, all those everyday things that sometimes can feel mundane, but like doing them well and like building that into a bigger picture.

When we do interview training at Cloudflare, I talk to the trainees about the overall hiring process and just remind them that a candidate starts here and goes all the way through this process to the end.

And, you know, they might only meet the candidate at this one point in the peer panel interviews.

But just to remember that the candidates had all of this journey beforehand and is likely to go and have a longer journey too.

And I think just remembering all those parts that make up the big puzzle is really important.

So, yeah, I think for me, like ongoing, consistently doing things well makes me feel like I'm being really successful.

And there are definitely days that I'm like, yes, I'm really glad we got that over the finish line or I completed something overall and delivered a project.

But I think it's about the little bits that contribute to the big success in the end.

Absolutely. I can go next.

I think some of the biggest successes I've had is, you know, filling a niche role, finding that candidate that is for a position with very specific needs.

And Ellie, I know you've helped me with some of these roles before.

So, you know, recently I had one on the legal team, which I was like, I don't know if we're ever going to fill this.

But we found that candidate and that second offer went out and got accepted.

You know, I felt so proud and so happy that we were able to find the right person.

But then on the other side of things, it's also just being able to hire at volume.

And so last year, you know, being able to hire 28 business development reps in one quarter interview and get them started was just like this challenge that I had taken on.

And it was so exciting to see it come to fruition and know that we were able to hire so many amazing people for that team.

And, you know, just the relationships made during that process and then seeing everyone get onboarded.

And then today to see the people grow in their careers at Cloudflare as well is just so rewarding.

But yeah, I think, you know, I'm in recruiting because I love to give people jobs and I love that end of the process where the offer goes out and you're able to match the candidate in the right role.

And then previously, too, I've seen, you know, something as little as flying someone on site when we could fly places and travel.

Getting a candidate there last minute when they have a competing offer with a competing company.

And then you're able to like figure out a schedule of like 10 people and bring them on site and make sure that day gets wrapped up.

That's also very, very, you know, makes you feel very accomplished and is very exciting.

So those are things that make recruiting great for sure.

Definitely. And talking about the niche role. For those of you that are not in recruiting that are listening, finding someone for a niche role is like finding a needle in a haystack.

You can truly be searching for months.

Months for this one person because many, you know, many niche roles require just such specific qualifications.

And a lot of people don't often have that just, you know, on LinkedIn looking at sourcing.

It's very difficult. So I definitely can relate to that.

I have some more of those right now. If you want to go to our careers page and apply directly.

Absolutely. Alright, Lee or Jason?

I can go.

These are all awesome examples and I really can relate to what Anthony and Roshni and Ellie, you said so far.

I think it is. It's doing the little things right, I think, every day that leads to, you know, ultimately being successful at the end.

So I definitely relate to, you know, how Anthony described that. And then it really does.

It kind of all comes full circle at the end when you've been working on something for months.

And when you see how many people are truly involved in the hiring process.

It's, you know, sometimes up to 15 people. You know, we have all of our internal resources in recruiting.

Plus, we have the hiring teams, both the team that's hiring and then cross -functional interviewers.

So people that are outside of that specific group.

And it really takes a lot of, you know, consistent organization, communication and process to make that happen.

I think for me, you know, one of the teams that I've been working with for the past two and a half years that do a really good job of hiring is the product management team.

And everybody's really invested in, you know, finding the person that not only has the best, you know, skill sets for the role, but also is going to be the best culture fit for the team as well.

And I think that finding that right person that has the both technical skills and, you know, the soft skills and is the right culture fit, I think is the hardest part for any company that's hiring.

So to be able to do that successfully and do it multiple times in, you know, a quarter and hire multiple people, it really does take, you know, a village.

It takes, you know, everybody's efforts to make that successful.

So I really appreciate, I feel like I'm more successful when all of the people that are involved in the recruiting and hiring process are leaning in and they make it a priority as well.

So that's what I've seen as being super helpful here at Cloudflare.

Definitely, I think that's a great point.

When you're working well together as a team, I often feel, you know, the most accomplished as well.

Yeah, so I'm thinking back, I would say one of my biggest successes or biggest wins was hiring our first woman engineering director here in the London office.

I think that was the reason being is because, you know, obviously, as we all know, you know, Cloudflare is very big on diversity.

It's something that, you know, is kind of almost baked into our DNA right from the leadership team down and the whole recruiting team were always striving to hire, you know, women and people of color and people from other underrepresented groups.

And at the time, we had no women in management in the London office.

And we had a few in the US, but London was bare bones.

And so it was like a personal mission of mine when our CTO said that, you know, he was opening an engineering director role.

I was like, we've got to fill this role with a woman or, you know, somebody from an underrepresented background.

And so I went on LinkedIn and put together a project folder with, you know, candidates.

And at the time, he actually just was too busy. So I think it probably took about two, three months for him to actually get around to looking through those profiles.

And he wasn't even on LinkedIn himself. I actually got him to join and create a profile on LinkedIn, just to be able to send out those initial outreach emails.

Anyway, long story short, when we got to the offer stage, Jen, who is our now engineering director, actually had five offers elsewhere from other companies.

But she still ended up choosing Cloudflare. I didn't ask her for the comp details of those other companies or who they were, but I have no doubt that those other companies would have probably maybe been, you know, bigger and, you know, greater benefits and maybe more money.

But she really believed in what we were doing here at Cloudflare.

And also, she believed that she could have a positive impact on our hiring and help us really push that needle on diversity hiring as well.

So I'm really pleased. And that was a big win, not only for me, but also for the company.

Absolutely. That's no small feat. So I can definitely appreciate that that's a huge success.

Great. Okay, so I'll share quickly as well.

I think my biggest success is that Cloudflare are probably finding very solid mentors.

And I think just from a long term perspective, finding great mentors is really important.

And so the people that I've met at Cloudflare that really, you know, talked to me about my career today, but also what I want to do in five years, five, 10 years.

I think that that's been really big for me and something that even if I move on from Cloudflare, eventually I'll always like have those people and I still want to keep in contact.

So I think finding that at whatever company we're at is really huge and definitely feels like a big success.


Okay, so now we can dive in to the main topic. So I want to speak about how each of us individually handle stress just overall.

And so I think it's good. We can talk about some techniques like Jason, you mentioned communication.

You know, I personally think exercise is a great technique and we can all kind of talk about those things.

And then I also do want to touch on the differences that you've experienced from working from home and the stress from, you know, the new normal versus, you know, the stress of being in the office, things like that.

So does anyone have like a specific technique that really works for them that they want to talk about?

I can go because I just have to hop off in a couple minutes. But I would say just taking things one at a time.

Like Anthony said, anytime I'm feeling overwhelmed or my inbox is just flooding with emails or I have a lot to do.

You know, just I always tell myself one email at a time, just chip away at it slowly.

And then I also kind of try to think of things in stages. And, you know, in recruiting, there are all these different stages.

And so I always work from like the bottom up for me.

I'm always focusing on the people that are in the offer stage and then the final call stages or the executive interviews.

And then, you know, slowly work my way backwards from face to face and then phone interviews and then new applications.

And then also just, yeah, I mean, setting aside times and blocks on your calendar, like calendar management, really, to say like my Monday day will be for my legal team, you know, candidates or like my Tuesday afternoon I'll focus only on sales and then being able to knock things out in that way.

And then also, Ellie, just to what you said, but learning to say no.

You know that that's that's not come easy to me and I definitely have had to learn to do that more often.

And then, you know, when you're in the office and people are like walking up to you and asking you to do things or they G chat you to do things.

You know, for me, I always tell everyone like my inbox and my email is my to do list.

So if you need something done, please email it over to me. Otherwise, I'll lose track of it and I can't keep track of things in five different ways or five different places.

So definitely like, you know, again, communicating clearly about what you need to get your job done successfully is definitely super important.

And yeah, just staying organized and organizing your inbox and color coordinating it flags and folders.

That's something that I've always used. But that's, that brings a peace of mind to me for sure.

And being able to like just check things off one at a time.

Absolutely. I've heard this so many times. And I think it's very true.

When you feel like you know you have anxiety and there's just so much going on just sitting down and making a list is very helpful.

And I couldn't agree more.

I think that that's a really great technique to handle stress. Roshni, I know you have to go.

So thanks so much for joining us. And then, yeah, thanks Roshni.

Okay, great.

So what about the rest of you? What are your go to techniques? Gosh, what to say that Roshni hasn't already said.

I think I really agree with Roshni on the chipping away at things kind of concept.

I use my emails as a to do list as well.

I think in the vein that Jason mentioned earlier, like about communication, when you're using your emails as sort of a to do list, it's also worth just being really communicative with people that you work with around that as well because you don't want your emails to all of a sudden just be like bombarded at points.

And I've definitely had to like do that point in my career where I've had to say like, OK, just so you know, this is how I work.

And like, although I think for a lot of recruiters, you know, that I've worked with at Cloudflare in the past have been like, oh, please don't feel that you have to action this.

I'm just sending it over. So it's off my plate. I'm also like, OK, but just so you know, it might be off your plate, but it's now visually on my plate and it's in my to do list.

I know you're saying not to work on it, but it's here and it's about kind of finding the middle ground of that and making sure that you've both kind of just got an understanding.

Like if people are going to send things to me after a certain time on a Friday or like in a huge batch because they just reached out to a load of candidates, like just knowing that you're both on the same grounds, that you know that it won't get action until Monday or that I'm not going to be able to do all of these things in the last two hours of the day.

So I think like Jason said, being communicative is really important because it helps if you know that there is no expectation for certain tasks to get done quickly, then the stress can't bubble up because there's no stress to kind of feel.

And I used to, like I mentioned before, I used to work in the theatre, so I'm quite good with like on the spot trying to fix things and work through issues and problems.

I used to work with a lot of children and young people on stage and like they always say, don't work with children and animals.

And I can definitely agree to that. It can be difficult to be on stage in a performance to a live audience with children and figuring out things, but it's made me very good at thinking on my feet.

But I think some of the things I learned from working with kids especially was that we used to work with a lot of children that had autism and sometimes they'd be a little overwhelmed in rehearsals because they just are so unable to sort of measure and manage the amount of stimulation that their brain's getting.

And so we would kind of have this thing that we used to refer to as a flap.

It's a very British saying to say someone's getting in a bit of a flap, like you're getting a bit anxious or worked up.

And so we would call a flap like, oh, let so and so go and have a flap.

And we, you know, someone that was working with that child or that young person would just take them out of the room for a walk or for some water or even just like let them go to the bathroom to kind of exit the space, go away from the drama and the sound and the noise.

And I always kind of carried that with me because I can sometimes get a little overstimulated by stress and kind of I want to just make things work and happen.

And it's just kind of my character. And even when I was the last time that I worked out, I would say to people, I don't want to go for a bit of a flap.

And I kind of introduced this idea of going for a flap and we just go and do a circuit of the park and then come back.

And it would just be like 15 minutes out of your day.

But instead of maybe getting a coffee break and staying in the in the room and giving yourself more kind of energy from like caffeine, it was just a good way to get out of the space and feel refreshed and kind of have like a bit of a cleanse.

So yeah, flapping has been a very good tool for me in terms of like opportunity to get rid of stress at a point when it's starting to bubble up.

I think that's such a great point. I went to this past year, I went to just like an intro to theatre one class for fun with a friend.

And many of the people that I met there were actually going as a type of therapy, just to help with their stress and their anxiety.

And so I think that the techniques that they can teach you in theatre are really helpful.

So I definitely can see that. Great.

I think, Anthony, to your point, I've always felt that just kind of removing yourself sometimes from a stressful situation, when of course you're able to, not right in the middle of it, but I always find that if I can just kind of, you know, walk away from my computer for 10-15 minutes, take a walk and just clear my head, that's super helpful.

Because then when I get back, I have a better perspective, and I'm not still kind of in the moment.

And it allows me to, you know, of course, as much as I'm trying not to think about it when I'm taking a walk, by removing myself from the situation, I can actually remove a lot of the pieces that maybe aren't being helpful.

And just, you know, being able to approach it from a kind of a different lens or a different perspective.

So, yeah, I can't, you know, say enough good things about, you know, just kind of taking a walk, breaking up your day, or, you know, use it as an opportunity to kind of pivot from that stressful situation and just kind of table it and then move to something that you know you can kind of easily manage and easily work through.

And that'll help give you like a win.

And then maybe you can then shift that momentum into, you know, the more complicated or stressful situation.

So I think those are all great ideas too.

I do have a question for Lee.

Lee, since you're a manager, how do you recognize stress in your direct reports?

And is there anything that you do when you notice, you know, one of your direct reports is seeming more anxious or, you know, overwhelmed at work?

So, I'm a very new manager, so I'm not very good at it, I don't think.

But it's, I think it's particularly harder when you're kind of in our current setup where we're all remote and, you know, it's, you only get to see each other when you jump on a Hangouts or something.

But fortunately, so far, people in the team, if they're struggling with something, they just tell me or they let me know.

And that helps to just be able to just, you know, give them, you know, that outlet to be able to talk about what's happening and, you know, whether it's something work related or something outside of work that's affecting, you know, their quality of work.

And I think I've, you know, because I am relatively new, I've just basically used what I've observed from managers who've managed me and seen how they have managed situations and others and done it well, and basically try to copy that.

So, you know, whether it's working with Anthony on, you know, just asking him, you know, what can I help you with and, or others in the team, you know, does anybody have any work that they want some help with?

Just trying to, you know, let everybody know that even though we're remote, I'm still here if anyone needs any help or wants to chat, you know, that's it.

I think that's so valuable. Like Lee has been, and this isn't about praising everyone, but like Lee's been a really great manager during this time.

And I think it's, like Lee said, he's learned a lot from the managers that he's been managed well by.

And I think also Cloudflare in general throughout this whole process to me has been really great at asking people to be authentic and honest and upfront and managers to be sympathetic and understanding to the situation we're in.

It's so not normal to all of us.

None of us have been through a situation like this ever in our lives. So I think I've been really proud to be a part of Cloudflare during this period, because I think the way in which it's been handled and the expectation for managers to talk really openly with their teams and to listen and to navigate those situations openly has been really valuable for me to witness and to feel like I have that support.

So I think that's just something really worth mentioning here as well. And everyone's been doing a really great job.

And we're getting there. It's been such a team effort to get to August.

I can't believe we're here. I know. Today that said, Welcome to September, you're at level nine of Jumanji.

And it just really made me laugh because I was like, it does kind of feel a bit like that, like we're on the next phase of whatever 2020 is going to throw at us.

But yeah, I'm really proud.

And, you know, I've still yet to be here for a year and like moments and things I've seen in the last six months of what Cloudflare have done during this period have only kind of added to my belief in the company and made me feel stronger about the fact that I joined and I want to stay here for a long period of time.

So I think that's really important to mention. Absolutely. I think that, you know, like you said, we've none of us have ever been through anything like this.

So this is truly a once in a generation experience we're all going through together.

And so, you know, even just having this on Cloudflare TV like normalizing this conversation, I think is so helpful.

I'm in San Francisco right now and I can't even go for a walk outside because the smoke is so bad from the fires.

So I feel even more, you know, kind of stuck. But just talking to people and kind of talking through things like this is so helpful.

And I think, you know, is a great technique for stress as well.

To call a friend or call a co-worker if you, you know, can't do your other kind of stress relieving annex.

I think that's huge too.

So we're kind of at the end of our session. I think this has been, like I said, such an important conversation and so helpful personally to me.

So I hope you know it's been helpful to all of you as well.

And I think we can kind of wrap up unless anyone want to share anything before we go.

I was just going to mention one last thing.

I think, you know, we all are dealing with a once in a lifetime, you know, events and we're all working remotely.

And I think it's also important to mention I've noticed that at Cloudflare, there's been a lot of empathy around people's personal situations.

So whether someone's a caregiver or someone has, you know, children that are distance learning.

So there's all of these extra stressors and maybe extra anxiety that are going on.

So I think it's just, it's helped me to really kind of see work in a different lens.

And it's really kind of, I've gotten to know people, I think, a lot more and in a lot different, you know, in a different way than I would have in the office.

So that alone is helpful. Like we've all mentioned, I think reaching out to a coworker.

It's don't be afraid to ask for help.

You know, it's not a sign of weakness. It's definitely people are going through things they've never had to go through before and, you know, just being able to offer help when needed as well.

Yeah, for sure. And I think like, for me, like what I said earlier about success, it's about thinking about the small moments and how you can build to managing, you know, working from home as well.

So I kind of just like having a routine.

I really miss getting up and having the rhythm of going to work.

Like I love going into an office. I love going into a workspace with people.

I get energized of being around people. So this is like a really novel and different experience for me that I've had to navigate.

So I just make sure that I, you know, have at least one call or chat with someone a day, make sure I go outside in the morning before I start my day.

I've even like got a certain amount of water that I try and drink by a certain point in the morning, just so I know that I'm like drinking water, because even things like that, by the time it gets to the afternoon, you realize you've not drunk anything all day.

It's like, ah, what am I doing?

Everything feels like it's falling apart. And actually, you just need some hydration.

So I think being really clear in like the little things that are going to help the bigger picture work for you from home is really great.

It's really important to do.


Absolutely. The last thing I'll say is get sleep too. Oh, yeah. Get sleep, get sleep, get sleep.

That's my favorite stress relief. Absolutely.

Okay, well, thank you all so much again. I totally agree. I feel like I'm getting to know coworkers in a completely different way.

And, you know, I just can't thank you enough for joining me today.

Thanks, everyone. Take care.

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