Though the world around them has changed dramatically in recent months due to COVID-19, several LA companies are still charging ahead, as evidenced by plans to grow their teams.
Representing a wide swath of industries — including e-commerce, marketing, adtech and more — these organizations illustrate ample opportunity for job-seekers to apply expertise and experience in a variety of ways.
From a fintech team focused on conscientious investing to an online discount platform, a common thread binds the following LA tech disruptors, based on what their leaders told Built In LA: workforces composed of curious, passionate individuals around whom candidates can hone their skills and address stimulating challenges.
A desire to do good energizes the food delivery platform’s volunteer group Civic Labs, which drives community outreach through impactful initiatives like waste reduction via food donations.
Surprising info about Postmates: Our company has an incredibly high participation rate in the Postmates Civic Labs volunteer program. In 2019, 84 percent of all employees volunteered and gave back to their communities at least once, with many employees doing multiple events. Even in 2020, during COVID-19, 36 percent of Postmates employees have already given back as of May 2020 when we switched to virtual volunteering in March.
Our company has an incredibly high participation rate in the Postmates Civic Labs volunteer program.”
Common team trait: The desire to learn and try new things all the time. For example, Kelsey Fromal, our global community engagement program manager, has jumped in head-first on a number of brand-new initiatives that sprung up during COVID-19 to help feed frontline workers. While none of us had the experience or background to do this exact type of work, we worked together and she led the way to scaling a nationwide program to feed nurses that made a huge impact.
At the Marina Del Rey-based fintech company, which focuses on sustainable finance, Blaty said that dedication to their “craft” is the norm amongst employees.
Surprising info about Aspiration: In the early days of the company, we released a high-production video ad riffing on Apple’s iconic “1984” commercial. It still lives out there on the web.
We all have very high standards for the work we produce as individuals.”
Common team trait: Everyone on our team is highly dedicated — not only to the causes we promote as an organization, but also to the level of craft employed with every project. We all have very high standards for the work we produce as individuals. It’s really cool to see people approach every project with a hundred percent effort.
Godinez said that a strong sense of autonomy is a chief characteristic of employees at the fintech organization, which helps users save, invest and do other financial transactions via automation.
Surprising info about Albert: Culturally speaking, we value people taking ownership and the initiative to see projects through end-to-end, regardless of role and seniority. This is incredibly powerful because it promotes an environment where our team members can learn and contribute without boundaries. It also promotes creativity and innovation, which in turn creates products our customers love.
Team members go out of their way to help each other succeed.”
Common team trait: Everyone cares deeply about our customers and our mission. We believe in teamwork and helping one another be the best version of ourselves. Whether through in-person conversation or Slack messages, team members go out of their way to help each other succeed.
The adtech company — where Tanner said he’s experienced immense personal and professional growth in his five-plus years there — specializes in marketing and branding services for industries like law firms and hospitals.
Surprising info about Scorpion: We have a whole team of developers who are constantly innovating and creating better technology to make all of our internal systems as good as the systems we provide to our clients. Outdated technology, or reliance on an old platform to do your job, is never here. When there is a need for something new, we just create it. What’s interesting about this is how we create the technology based on employee feedback. I feel as strongly about my feedback being valued today as I did the day I started.
Everyone on the team is constantly striving to be the best version of themselves.”
Common team trait: You must possess a passion for excellence. Everyone on the team is constantly striving to be the best version of themselves. This has created an atmosphere of support and innovation that is contagious. When you work with individuals pushing themselves to get better, others take notice and want to participate in the growth.
In the past five and a half years working at Scorpion, I have grown more personally and professionally than I ever could have imagined. I attribute this growth to being surrounded by an extremely motivated team that continually raises the bar.
At this fintech platform — which facilitates trading of bankruptcy claims — being made up of “industry outsiders” helps inform company strategy, Posin said.
Surprising info about XCLAIM: More than 80 percent of the entire XCLAIM team — myself included — hails from industries outside the world of corporate restructuring and bankruptcy. Our Founder and CEO Matt Sedigh made it a clear goal to recruit industry outsiders, and we’ve built a team of highly experienced professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences and skill sets. We firmly believe that outside-the-box ideas come from fresh perspectives and a drive to challenge the status quo. One of our core values is “diversity of thought,” and the multifaceted team we’ve assembled is a reflection of the diverse community we serve.
We firmly believe that outside-the-box ideas come from fresh perspectives.”
Common team trait: Our team shares a desire to do social good. People can be surprised by the size of the multi-billion dollar bankruptcy claims trading market in which we work. But what sets us apart is a collective desire to do the right thing and to help others, especially given the vast opportunity to support the economic recovery during these unprecedented times. We also happen to share laughs, embarrassing childhood memories, Spotify playlists and book recommendations.
At the e-commerce platform, which lets users find online savings and discounts, camaraderie comes through in long-held traditions like group lunches.
Surprising info about Honey: How well we’ve been able to maintain a sense of community, even as we've grown to more than 400 employees. We’ve been very intentional about this over the years, and one of the ways we’ve scaled this is through tapping into the power of eating together as a way to make friends and build relationships.
We have a lunch tradition that started in our startup days: everyday, George, our CEO, would pick up sandwiches for everyone from the local bánh mì shop. For a long time, we had a tradition of bringing in a different food truck each Friday for happy hour, in order to encourage employees to hang out and celebrate the week’s accomplishments. When we’re in the office, you see people from across the company eating lunch together. It’s one of the ways we keep our sense of community. Now that we’re working from home, #kitchen has become a popular Slack channel, and we stay connected by sharing recipes and pictures of our creations.
We’ve been able to maintain a sense of community, even as we’ve grown.”
Common team trait: A fierce sense of ownership. I believe that the most important ingredient for success at any job, particularly product management, is how much you instinctively care about the work that you’re producing. Skills, knowledge, mental models and domain experience can all be learned, but the inclination toward intrinsic motivation, self-reflection and follow-through is much harder to teach.
What drives employees at the online purveyor of health and wellness items? A thirst for learning, said Chang.
Surprising info about iHerb: We are not involved in marijuana at all. We are an e-commerce company that focuses on health and wellness products, distributed to countries around the globe. Also, on a more serious note, we have tried our hand at some city leagues and were infamous in the local softball league. We have fun and give it our best effort.
All of our team members are eager to learn new things.”
Common team trait: Curiosity and talent. All of our team members are eager to learn new things. While a lot of employees are earlier in their careers, they all want to increase their skills and specialize their talent.
Barbier said employees’ show of “heart” comes through most at the e-commerce brand, which produces medical apparel for healthcare workers.
Surprising info about FIGS: Our teams bond after-hours. You could sometimes find them in the office café having the FIGS communal snacks version of “Iron Chef.” Due to social distancing, we’ve had to take our team-bonding to Zoom, but we’ve been able to identify some star karaoke performers and Pictionary artists as well.
The one trait that best describes a FIGS employee is that we all have heart.”
Common team trait: Our employees are super-talented, intelligent, creative, positive, driven, motivated and passionate. However, the one trait that best describes a FIGS employee is that we all have heart. We’re just genuinely good people.
According to Barber, employees at the digital media firm boast a “solutions-focused attitude” that helps move the needle and overcome challenges.
Surprising info about ConsumerTrack: One thing that’s unique here is our buddy program. When an employee first joins, they get paired up with someone from a different department to be their buddy and show them the ropes. With everyone remote, it is important to have connections outside of your team. The buddy program facilitates personal relationships across teams, which not only makes for a great culture, but also enhances collaboration, as different departments are more aware of each other’s projects and bring along different perspectives. As we broaden the breadth of knowledge and perspectives sharing ideas, we are more likely to find the best path forward and ultimately accomplish our goals.
Our team is full of curious problem-solvers.”
Common team trait: All employees have a solutions-focused attitude. We are an agile company, constantly evolving in order to take advantage of opportunities. With that agility comes change and the need to quickly adapt and optimize our products, processes or tools. The most successful people immediately see an opportunity to improve, versus seeing a roadblock. Our team is full of curious problem-solvers who enjoy figuring out the best way to fit all the puzzle pieces together. The best part of my job is working hand-in-hand with the team to come up with strategies to hit our goals.