9 tips from Instacart’s Head of IT on being a successful modern IT leader

The term “modern” is thrown around a lot in IT—but what does it mean to put in practice?

At our most recent IT Kit Fireside Chat event, Spoke sat down with Anais Farges, Instacart’s Head of IT, to pick her brain about the tools, behaviors, and processes of the modern IT leader.

We took away nine key lessons from the conversation. Here’s what we learned.

New: Personalized ticketing with employee profiles

Sometime last year, I started to hear a theme in conversations with our customers. They sounded a bit like this: a small, centralized HR team was supporting employees across a global company. The company was growing quickly, and it was nearly impossible to keep up with knowing each and every new employee.

The number of asks for HR were also growing. For every ticket that came in, the admin would need to find the employee’s email, open a new tab, log into his or her HRIS, paste in the email, and look up the employee. Who was their manager? What office were they in? When did they join? All of this information was necessary just to start helping the employee.

How to overcome common misconceptions when adopting an A.I. tool at work

As the Head of Customer Success at Spoke, a big part of my job is helping new customers overcome hurdles they run into while onboarding our product.

While Spoke is an incredibly easy product to implement, this often entails more than providing training for new users and launch guides. Because Spoke uses newer technologies like A.I., the hurdles our customers face often arise from misconceptions about the technology.

We’ve found that there are three common misconceptions people face when onboarding an A.I. powered tool. I’ve detailed those misconceptions below—along with how we help customers overcome them.

Whether you’re onboarding Spoke or another A.I. based tool, consider these tips for dispelling common misconceptions and successfully implementing your new workplace tool. 

Spoke Product Awards

At the end of last year, when we were all feeling a bit reflective, we sent a survey to our customers. We asked users to vote for the Spoke product changes that made the biggest impact on their daily work, and workplace interactions. For starters, it’s a great way to get customer feedback, and to focus on outcomes and not just outputs. For another, it’s a great way to celebrate even the small features that we didn’t really stop to notice. Sometimes you’re running so fast and you feel like there’s so far to go, that you don’t appreciate how far you’ve come.

5 fresh recruiting techniques for hiring top talent in 2019

Two people looking at resume.

In a recent MRINetwork survey, 90% of recruiters reported that the current labor market is candidate-driven. Candidates are receiving more job offers and opportunities than ever before, making it much more difficult for HR teams to recruit and onboard top talent.

To hire top talent in 2019, HR teams need to adopt more modern recruitment strategies. Consider adding the following five recruitment techniques to your hiring strategies in the new year to adapt to job searchers’ expectations, drive interest in your opening, and engage potential employees—from their first interaction with your company to their first day on the job.

How to choose the right IT career path: Advice from IT leaders

IT Kit Presents: Career Growth in IT

Starting a career in IT can be fairly straightforward. You pick an area of focus, learn it, and eventually find someone to hire you to do that type of work. As you grow, though, the path forward can become much less clear.

Eventually, you have to ask yourself: “Should I continue working as an individual contributor and perfecting my technical skills, or is it time to move into IT management? It’s a tough question to answer. Being great with technology doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be great at managing people—or even enjoy doing it.

To help you make an informed decision when you come to a fork in the road of your IT career path, Spoke and IT Kit brought together four IT leaders for a panel discussion:

Private notes let you (quietly) resolve requests as a team

Notes are only visible to team members
Spoke’s mission is to make it easy to ask for and get help at work. So, we’re always balancing a lightweight experience for requesters, with a robust toolset for team members. This is especially relevant in a world of constant notifications and interruptions.
One recurring theme is how teams can collaborate without disrupting the requester.

The benefits of a ticketing system for HR teams

Measure employee engagement. Improve the employee experience. Find, hire, and onboard top talent. Design and manage your company’s benefits. And on top of that, manage the challenges—things like complying with various state and overseas regulations—created by ever-more distributed teams and the evolving makeup of the modern workforce.

These are just a few of the business-critical initiatives HR teams are responsible for, but few HR teams have the time they need to truly focus on these tasks. Why? They’re too tied up answering one-off questions and doing administrative work.

Richer service requests with Request Types and Forms

Spoke’s mission is to help employees get the support they need to do their best work. To do so, we enable employees to ask Spoke for help quickly and easily via Slack, email and web. In March, we launched Spoke to help small teams scale by offloading repetitive questions. Our initial product was a lightweight ticketing system with an integrated knowledge base. From the beginning, we’ve used A.I. to automatically answer common questions from your knowledge resources.

We built Spoke to be better than our competition. Here’s how.

Illustration of two people holding trophy

We’re building Spoke on a fundamental premise: we believe business software can be lightweight and delightful. Underlying that premise is a fact we talk about less, but is very important—other internal ticketing and knowledge base solutions are not lightweight and delightful.

There are myriad reasons why our competition falls short. Some ticketing systems were re-purposed from other use cases like customer success or engineering, resulting in a Frankenstein system that’s overly complex and unintuitive. Some knowledge base solutions compound the problems they seek to solve.

At Spoke, we haven’t just made a few changes to a system built for another group and rebranded it as an internal support tool. In fact, our tool is designed specifically—and exclusively—for internal support teams.

The outcome: Spoke is simpler and smarter than the competition.