Talin Terzakyan Meet Deel

Meet Deel: Talin Terzakyan, Marketing Director for LATAM:

In the Meet Deel series, we chat with team members across the organization to get their unique insights into remote work, life at Deel, and more.

Stefana Zaric
Written by Stefana Zaric
July 21, 2022

The Latin American region has recently seen an incredible increase in the number of fast-growing startups. The market seems to be maturing and producing not only great talent that businesses around the world compete to hire, but also game-changing ideas that will help build the future of work.

But, to properly enter a relatively young market when it comes to tech unicorns and fully understand your prospects’ pain points so you can educate them about your product, you need to be a true marketing expert. Now add to the mix working with a global team in a hyper-growth unicorn, across multiple time zones and languages and coordinating marketing activities for such a huge, heterogeneous region.

A tough task? Probably, but Talin Terzakyan Deel’s Marketing Director for LATAM, has been achieving incredible results with her team. Here’s what she shares about remote work, leading a distributed team, working for Deel, and balancing career and motherhood.

How’s the LATAM region embracing remote work?

Talin: Our latest Global Hiring Report 2021 shows LATAM as the fastest-growing region in terms of companies hiring internationally and talent being hired from abroad, and this comes with no surprise.

Digitalization and the pandemic really accelerated the trend toward remote and hybrid ways of work. There is a big part of LATAM embracing remote work, enabled by widespread digital adoption in the region, boom of start-up ecosystems, and VC investment over the past few years.

Talin Terzakyan, Marketing Director for LATAM, Deel

LATAM unicorns are pursuing regional and international expansion, and the quality of the local talent, similar time zone to US/Europe, and, generally speaking, lower hiring costs compared to the US.

But, this is just one part of the story. There are still many people in the region with no access to remote work opportunities, be it due to the types of jobs they perform or access to the internet and digital technologies. There’s a need to help close this gap.

What are the biggest pros and cons of working in a distributed team?

Talin: The LATAM growth team is spread across Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. We partner very closely with marketers based in Spain, Israel, Canada, UK, and Switzerland.

I think there are more pros than cons of working in such a team.

Async work, the game-changing, real enabler of flexibility and work-life integration, and working with people from all around the world while learning from different cultures and perspectives are the most significant advantages of being part of a distributed team. Also, there is ALWAYS someone online to help out when you’re stuck.

However, it’s true we need to make an extra effort and be truly intentional to connect with team members beyond work. Luckily, we can achieve this in many ways, as long as you’re intentional about it. The connection among distributed team members won’t happen just because.

What’s the one thing that makes working at Deel special?

Talin: I’m fully committed and on board with Deel’s mission and purpose: to enable people to work for the best companies regardless of their location and help companies hire the best talent anywhere in the world.

A while ago, I had the opportunity to work in EMEA and North America for really great companies. When I returned to my home country, I was a bit concerned about suddenly having fewer opportunities and being less in touch with people from all over the world.

With Deel, that’s no longer a concern. I can work for a great company with people from all over the world while living in my home country, close to family and friends.

Tell us about challenges you needed to overcome to make yourself and your team more efficient.

Talin: In a hyper-growth environment, new team members are onboarded regularly. Ensuring a positive and fulfilling onboarding experience and a fast ramp up working remotely at the same time can be a challenge.

On a personal level, I need to work on both local and global strategies and action plans to achieve growth goals for the region. My team and I don’t always have full ownership of some processes, but to make the most out of global strategies, I really focus on building good relationships with other teams, be it Performance Marketing Team, Product Marketing, or Content. Building collaborative relationships is a must to really capitalize all the great work being done at a local level.

What are the main principles of your leadership style?

Talin: I can summarize my leadership model with the following:

  • Integrity: Treat others the way I’d like to be treated.
  • Situational leadership: I always try to adapt my style to each team member’s needs, which can differ according to the specific task in question.
  • Leading by example: If I expect my team to work hard, I need to work harder.
  • Clear and transparent communication: When sharing strategies, objectives, providing feedback, always stay true and clear.
  • Being collaborative and helpful: As the song goes “we are all in this together”, we’re more successful if we treat each other with respect, compassion and good intentions.

How do you keep your team motivated?

Talin: I make sure my team members understand how their work ties with the rest of the team and company goals. I believe they should know their work is meaningful. That’s why I clearly convey goals, strategies, and KPIs, so we all know what we’re trying to achieve. Setting a clear direction enables everyone to do their best work.

As a leader, I also need to nurture connection on a human level. I do that by allowing time for sharing personal news, worries, and weekend anecdotes.

Talin Terzakyan, Marketing Director for LATAM, Deel

I also like to be open to feedback and new ideas. Every team member should know nothing is set in stone. They are the true experts in what they do, so I invite them to innovate, create, and change paradigms.

How do you organize work with your distributed team?

Talin: The LATAM marketing team has quarterly goals and KPIs on a team and individual level. We align these at the beginning of each quarter and make mid-term and end-of-quarter reviews. As we go, we are always trying to identify and help remove blockers.

When it comes to strategy, we usually organize brainstorming sessions, where we set up the challenge and then bounce off ideas. We have also involved external partners in specific brainstorming sessions to enhance diverse points of views and share insights.

What do you value most in your coworkers?

Talin: First of all, good nature. I love working with people with good intentions and no egos, those you know have your back, with whom you can just be yourself, knowing they´ll have yours and the company’s best interest in mind. This is particularly important for remote, distributed teams where you have no other choice but to put trust in other people’s work ethic and sense of responsibility.

I also appreciate transparency: people who say things as they are, who are honest.

Finally, I value proactiveness and commitment. People who go above and beyond to get things done, even if it’s not among their core KPIs, and are willing to lend that extra hand for the benefit of the team and company, truly make a difference.

What’s your favorite thing about marketing?

Talin: Two things. First, when you get to know your audience really well, you’ll identify an insight and come up with a campaign or message that taps into that insight. That feels wonderful.

Second, you get to work with people across the entire company (sales, finance, legal, etc) and external vendors. Having that network and knowing you need each other to make great things happen is also a wonderful feeling.

What’s your favorite work model? Would you ever go back to the office?

Talin: I don’t miss the office at all. I might miss people I’ve worked with in the past, but they’re friends I can meet over coffee any time.

I have two young daughters, who are 3 and 6. For me, the best combination is the one that allows me to deliver the best possible work and contribute to a mission I’m passionate about, while being present for my daughters when they need me, helping them with school, and never missing an important moment of their childhood.

What’s a life goal that working remotely has helped you accomplish?

Talin: My goal is to be able to work for a great company, with a life-changing purpose, with great people from all over the world, while being in my home country — close to my friends and family, sharing day to day life with them and being present for my daughters in the little moments — when they get back from school, putting them to sleep, etc.

Additionally, in 2021, I could complete El cruce de los Andes , a 100km trail race over three days. Remote work allowed me to put in the training hours required to make this an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

What’s your favorite Deel moment so far?

Talin: When we launched our first Global Hiring Report. It proved to me the power of our platform and data, and the impact we can truly have in the world of work.

Also, it was the first launch we truly localized: assets, landing pages, social media posts, ads, everything. It was a lot of work, but partnering with our global team to bring the content home was inspiring and paved the way for more localization in the future.

Want to join Talin and the rest of the team in building the future of work? We're hiring!

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