For many locally focused tech companies — including NextDoor, SweetIQ, ibotta and G/O Digital — transparent sharing and openness at all levels is inviting a new workplace generation led by women.
“The culture starts at the top and stays with the top and there is nothing more important than leading by example in that respect,” says CEO Kristen Stiles. Her company, Sitter.me, connects parents with local babysitters.
“We do a lot of different things every day, but it’s not like, ‘check check check,’ everything’s done,” says the company’s CEO Gladys Kong. “It’s about not being afraid to try new things. Keep learning. Keep working at it. Have integrity and deliver excellence”
Every month, one half of the company’s employees travel to visit the other half of the employees — the engineering team is located in Oslo, Norway and the commercial team is in New York City — as a culture-building activity, giving employees a chance to connect while in the same time zone.
The on-demand economy relies on a steady stream of self-employed workers who are willing to trade steady paychecks for flexibility and autonomy. But as the number of on-demand platforms increases, it’s becoming more of a challenge for companies to hold on to qualified workers.
Hiring isn’t rocket science. It’s pretty simple to create basic procedures that turn hiring into a standard company practice. But it does takes time and concerted effort. For Cat Hernandez, talent partner at investment firm Primary Venture Partners, it starts with making sure that everyone in the company is closely aligned with whatever the company is trying to achieve.