How Honesty Is Essential to the People Ops Team
At Bizzabo, we put people first. That’s why we launched the BizzaValues program to help us further cultivate our company values and culture. Here’s what Talya Hororwitz, Head of NYC People Operations, has to say about it.
To thine own self be true.
Shakespeare said it first and he knew what he was talking about.
When you wake up in the morning, can you say that you are thrilled to go to work? In order to be successful in a startup, no matter what position you are in, you need to.
For me, this is being honest with yourself.
It just so happens that my passions lie in talent acquisition, seeing that my team is happy and thriving.
I head the People Operations (or People Ops) team in Bizzabo’s NYC office. I spend my time finding the best talent to join the team. I commit myself to an innovative, human and creative approach to recruiting. From welfare activities to payroll and benefits, I strive to make our people feel that Bizzabo isn’t just a place of work, but a home away from home.
What I love most about our hiring process is the ability we have to be ambassadors (Bizza-Ambassadors) for Bizzabo. We are the first people with whom candidates interact. We get to show them what’s so special about where we work. It’s an amazing opportunity. Plus, if the experience was great, the candidates even turn into a Bizz-Ambassador themselves—as our VP of HR, Galia has taught me well.
We meet with a lot of great people, but we can only hire so many. It’s been a rewarding experience seeing how candidates—especially those we ended up not hiring—have been moved by our hiring process. Over the years we’ve receive a number of thank you letters, like the one below.
It just goes to show that when you are passionate about what you do, other people notice.
Finding the Best Fit
A big part of talent acquisition is interacting with hiring managers—the leaders from each team that is looking to get a position filled. Every hiring manager has different goals and modes of communication when it comes to finding the best hire for their team.
Our People Ops team works around the clock (literally—a perk of having offices in different time zones) searching for the best talent at this crucial time of rapid scale. At times it can feel like you have to make so many managers happy all at once—but it’s totally worth it.
For me, the biggest honor is working with each hiring manager to find the best fit for each position. A big part of this is sticking to a process and following through on commitments made to one another. This means listening, being open to feedback, and reciprocating transparent feedback to hiring managers in order to be constantly aligned.
Over time, the only way we have been able to do this successfully is by having face-to-face conversations, no matter how difficult. If a candidate wasn’t a good fit, we want to hear every detail as to why so we can learn and grow. We have found that the strongest relationships with hiring managers are created when there is mutual trust and faith. And that means being honest with what can and can’t be delivered.
At the Source
Any value, including honesty, starts with leadership setting an example and communicating what they feel. But we wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the trust that everyone in the team has built, Bizzaboer to Bizzaboer. That’s what has enabled us to ask for help, offer suggestions and all-around innovate.
For instance, the People Ops team kicked off a new quarterly process for giving and receiving feedback earlier this year. This process was huge for the company. It opened up new conversations between managers and their team members, and it tailored each point of feedback to our BizzaValues.
It’s exercises like this that have strengthened the foundation of trust that we have as a team.
This is especially important because our team spans the globe. When Galia hired me, she saw that my potential was more valuable than my experience (I came from a background in marketing, not HR). It required honesty and trust on her end, but the end result was that I was able to adapt, learn, and grow. Her trust is what has allowed me to succeed and grow personally—just as quickly as the team is scaling.
Wrapping Up: Rising Above Doubt
When the stakes are high and there are many stakeholders to make happy, it can be easy to question yourself. But this sort of doubt calls to mind a quote from a strong woman who has given me courage and strength named, Sheryl Sandberg: “When given a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask which, just get on.”
This applies to everything at Bizzabo. We are dealing with challenges as a team that are a beautiful part of growth. We are a building a rocket ship. And while we might not actually be doing rocket science, we’re doing something that’s pretty darn hard (and impressive). As hard as our work may be, we are able to do it by trusting ourselves and our teammates around us.
Take that, Shakespeare.
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