From digital marketing agencies designed for strengthening customer engagement to a competition platform for both serious and casual gamers, the Los Angeles tech scene is flooding with innovation. And in order to supplement that innovation, companies need to make sure they’re hiring the right people. If they don’t, it may cost them big bucks.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average cost of a bad hiring decision is at least 30 percent of the individual’s first-year expected earnings.
Built In LA checked in with leaders from five local companies who boast all different reasons for either accepting a job at or staying with their current companies. One thing they all have in common? The people. They shared how getting to work with supportive, collaborative and intelligent people on a daily basis is how they know they made the right decision.
“Working with such a fun and smart group of people that I’m constantly learning from is what keeps me at System1,” Michael Schaffer, a senior director of engineering, said.
InCloudCounsel is a legal tech platform that provides customers with a scalable, end-to-end solution that automates routine and high-volume legal processes, eliminating inefficiencies found when working with traditional law firms.
What was the deciding factor for you when you accepted your job at InCloudCounsel, and why?
Although it might make a few eyes roll, what made me decide on InCloudCounsel was the people. As I learned more about the company through conversations with members of the team, it certainly mattered that the business was incredibly healthy and the product vision was inspiring. At the end of the day, what struck me the most was how much I genuinely enjoyed speaking with each and every person I met.
By the time I joined the team, I already felt welcomed, appreciated, and supported by an entire group that hadn’t ever met me in person.”
Empathy and trust are always critical in building relationships. It was daunting to think about how to develop trust without that first handshake, that first laugh or that first big win.
As I went through my interviews with the InCloudCounsel team, that fear quickly dissipated. There’s such a diverse array of expertise at the company and the willingness to openly share it is something unlike anyplace else. By the time I decided to join the team, I already felt welcomed, appreciated, and supported by an entire group of people that hadn’t ever met me in person. It was an easy call.
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where InCloudCounsel is headed or, more specifically, the work you’ll do to help the company get there?
InCloudCounsel is in the early stage of building an entirely new category. It is one of the most challenging and gratifying experiences someone can go through during the course of a career. It takes dedication from every person at our company to define that category and deliver on its promise, but I’m confident we are doing just that.
We are poised to disrupt a slow-moving industry that has historically been resistant to change. In doing so, we will be helping free people from the cumbersome and inefficient processes that are holding them back from doing high-value, business-changing work.
Darkroom is a full-service digital marketing and creative agency that works closely with clients to develop contemporary and eye-catching branding materials and advertisements to help boost customer engagement and drive more sales.
What was the deciding factor for you when you accepted your job at Darkroom, and why?
I’ve been at Darkroom almost since its inception. I came on board back then because it seemed like a cool opportunity. It’s proven to be that and so much more. The biggest reason I’ve stayed at Darkroom is our people. I can honestly say that I love my job, and I attribute that to several things. The opportunity to work with interesting clients and partners and getting to do what I’m passionate about are huge factors. But without a doubt, the best part of my job is the team I have the privilege of working alongside. Our dynamic is diligent, supportive and fun.
I am grateful to get to do what I love on a team of people doing what they love.”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where Darkroom is headed or, more specifically, the work you’ll do to help the company get there?
One of the most thrilling things about a newer company is the possibility for growth. Over the last year at Darkroom, we’ve seen growth that I couldn’t have imagined. Our service offering has become quite robust, and we’ve recently been building up our creative service offering. With this growth has come my transition into a creative role, which I am personally very excited about. I’m looking forward to being a part of a team that’s developing some of the world’s most recognized brand systems and digital experiences — a level of creative work that I have no doubt Darkroom will reach.
PlayVS is a platform that operates and hosts nationwide high school and collegiate esports leagues as well as provides scholarships for league champions.
What was the deciding factor for you when you accepted your job at PlayVS, and why?
What initially attracted me to PlayVS is our mission of bringing e-sports to high school and college students, along with the excitement and fun of competition. We work with national and state organizations and school districts as well as individual faculty members and coaches to educate and legitimize e-sports. We also work with the world’s leading game publishers to bring their game experience in a fun, competitive but still structured environment. We get stories from students, parents and coaches about the personal impact that PlayVS has on them, which goes far beyond my expectations when I first joined the company nearly two years ago.
I have a young daughter, and the thought that one day she might be able to join an e-sports team and be recognized as a school athlete, regardless of physical ability or gender, is so inspiring to me.
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where PlayVS is headed or, more specifically, the work you’ll do to help the company get there?
What excites me the most about the path PlayVS is on is the expansion of our competition model beyond high school and college. With the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, e-sports as entertainment has been more popular than ever and for many teens, a way to socialize and connect with friends. PlayVS is perfectly situated to help create a competition platform for casual and serious gamers alike.
We get stories from students, parents and coaches about the personal impact that PlayVS has on them.”
I joined PlayVS in July 2019 and quickly realized my role extends far beyond my job description. In my previous roles, I zeroed in on understanding behavior through data and helping companies like Spotify and Headspace reach more users, at the right time, through the right channel. Joining PlayVS at its early stage helped me realize the importance of prioritizing for the highest impact while constantly rearranging for what comes next. And instead of a playbook with a linear path, planning looks more like building blocks that can be shifted as our business needs shift.
System1 is a digital marketing company that aims to help customers strengthen engagement numbers through publishing, search and applications and services.
As a tenured employee, what has been the biggest reason you’ve stayed at System1 so long?
System1 is an exciting and fun company to work for. From an engineering perspective (as someone who has been at System1 for a while), we get to work on fresh technology and have a voice in what we are building. We’re encouraged to explore new ideas and approaches. If you have an idea that you want to try out, there is support and excitement around peeling off a percentage of production traffic to test your feature. Our recent hackathon presentations were a great reminder of the passion and deep expertise of my co-workers. I’m excited to see some of these projects go live and really make an impact. Working with such a fun and smart group of people that I’m constantly learning from and solving interesting and challenging problems is what keeps me at System1.
Our recent hackathon presentations were a great reminder of the passion and deep expertise of my co-workers.”
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where System1 is headed or, more specifically, the work you’ll do to help the company get there?
One area that I’m specifically excited about is our investment in content recommendation service. System1 has several business lines that develop informational, entertainment and advertising content. Surfacing those offerings at the right time to the right person is an interesting problem that we’re serious about getting right. The platform we’re building not only solves the need of serving eligibility-based content but allows for a feedback loop to optimize selection using performance data. This platform will take System1 to the next level, offering high-quality content that matches the interests of our users.
Ritual is a direct-to-consumer health brand that is challenging the multivitamin industry.
What was the deciding factor for you when you accepted your job at Ritual, and why?
With Ritual, our premise is simple, scalable and unique. We use evidence-based nutrients and a visible supply chain and challenge the status quo of the multivitamin industry. When I first came across Ritual, it was clear that the brand was quality-obsessed and I realized there would be an opportunity to bring technology into our customers’ experiences, beyond the subscription e-commerce we’d already put in place.
For us, the whole story behind every decision of our product is important. The forms, formulations, sourcing, encapsulation and supply chain ultimately enable us to provide what we believe is a high-quality product. Our opportunities ahead bridge that gap between a purchasing decision and a membership experience.
For us, the whole story behind every decision of our product is important.’’
Looking to the future, what excites you most about where Ritual is headed or, more specifically, the work you’ll do to help the company get there?
I’m most excited about how we scale as an organization. Right now, our digital team is forming our third squad and focusing our efforts and investments in the ways that empower our teams to think creatively for our customers and business alike. It gives us the flexibility to respond to anything that comes our way and appropriately leverage our resources to provide the best experiences. In the wide world of software development, there are so many things that have to go right. Investing in foundational elements like a solid testing strategy, code review, and pair programming go a long way when implemented consistently.