In an interesting blog post by SiteGround's marketing director, Lilyana Yakimova, they set out an inspiring story of how 32 of Site5's top support team were taken onboard after they were left out in the cold by EIG after their acquisition of Site5 in the second quarter of 2015.
Even though the user reviews currently being left for Site5 are extremely negative, there is a recurring theme throughout; "Site5 used to be great, but now they are terrible". Unfortunately, this does not appear to be unusual for a web hosting provider that has been taken over by EIG, nor is it unusual for EIG to fire all their staff. This article does not intend to delve into this, but you can read a very detailed example of something similar happening to Arvixe here.
It is no secret that SiteGround has been going through some phenomenal growth. As of the start of 2016, SiteGround had more than 300 employees, following the explosive growth of new customers and introduction of many new features in 2015. In 2015, SiteGround:
- Doubled their client base
- Doubled the number of employees
- Opened three new offices
- Went local in Spain
- Launched a new London-based datacenter
To keep up with these changes SiteGround launched a unique campaign aimed at recruiting the best possible talent. In that post, we also looked at what it might be like to work at SiteGround, so worth a read if you have time. Essentially, SiteGround promotes a sense of community within the company, where you get to work in professionally designed offices that have a fun atmosphere including parties and games rooms.
Site5, however, had a very different approach to their staff. All positions were remotely-based, which presumably helped to keep costs down. For many, the appeal of working from home is immense, but it requires great discipline. For Site5 it appeared to work extremely well, and their support was at one point highly praised by their users.
So why did SiteGround take the jump to hiring home-based workers?
Ultimately, it is about history, friendship, and shared values.
It all started at the World Hosting Days event in Germany, back in 2011, where SiteGround staff first met the Site5 staff. Despite being direct competitors, they instantly became aware of their shared values of providing excellent support as well as pushing the technological boundaries of their web hosting products.
Following the event, both Site5 CEO, Ben Welch-Bolen and SiteGround CEO, Tenko Nikolov, hit it off, regularly sharing ideas and knowledge over the years.
Fast forward to the EIG acquisition of Site5, Ben Welch-Bolen knowing that his employees were soon to be unemployed, and knowing the growth of SiteGround, contacted Tenko Nikolov to see if he could find a place for the great support team he had cultivated over the years.
According to SiteGround:
By joining our company the ex-Site5 people bring a collective experience of more than 120 years in the field of the high-quality hosting support. We are very happy to welcome these amazing 32 professionals, as each of them has been among the highest achievers in their previous team. We believe that they will easily fit in our organization, as they are already used to high performance standards.
SiteGround are also keen to stress some of the technical benefits that come with hiring a remotely-based work force, spread out all over the world in ten different countries, including USA, Romania, Argentina, Ukraine, the Philippines among others.
We suspect, based on the comments of Lilyana Yakimova, who acknowledges that the remote-working was one of Site5's strengths and that the pool of talent that can be recruited when you can search globally is much larger:
After all, the pool of talents for a job is incomparably bigger when your limit is the whole world, instead of the few cities, where your physical offices are located. Till now, SiteGround had just a few exceptions of people living and working outside our main locations, and the new Site5 group is our first big step in this exciting direction.