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HR Post Covid

Lusha grew 40% despite the pandemic - but how did its HR manage the onboarding?

Managing the onboarding processes is hard enough during hyper-growth - but Lusha had to battle lockdowns and social distancing, too.

CTech 11:4324.12.20

Scaling can be a difficult time for any company - and Lusha is no exception. The B2B ‘data-as-a-service’ company grew by 40% during 2020, all the while battling restrictions brought on by Covid-19.

 

“For Lusha, one of our main challenges was to successfully onboard all of our new employees and let them feel part of something bigger,” says VP of HR Rachel Shani Stopper. According to her, Lusha is known for its special vibe, with a friendly and family environment, all throughout the Israeli ecosystem.

Lusha’s VP of HR Rachel Shani Stopper. Photo: Geva Talmor Lusha’s VP of HR Rachel Shani Stopper. Photo: Geva Talmor

 

“Every candidate and new employee that steps into our office feels it and talks about it. So much so, that we even say ‘welcome home’ to our new employees, because we really mean it.”

 

Stopper joined CTech for its HR Post-Covid series to break down exactly how the company managed to welcome so many new faces into its family from home while maintaining what makes it so special in the office.

 

Company Name: Lusha

 

HR Leader: Rachel Shani Stopper, VP of HR at Lusha

 

Field of Activity:

 

Lusha is a B2B data-as-a-service (DaaS) company that allows companies to get more leads and conversions from accessible B2B data.

 

Number of employees/location:

 

Lusha employs over 110 employees at its headquarters in sunny central Tel Aviv. We’re currently in a period of hyper-growth, with plans to grow to 200 employees by the end of 2021 and open a U.S office.

 

Professional background of HR Manager:

 

My background is leading the HR teams at various startups and global tech companies.

 

On a scale of 1-10, how much did the coronavirus pandemic disrupt operations at the company?

 

As a company that never worked remotely or from home before, we had to adjust quickly to the new reality. During the first few weeks of the first lockdown, we had to train our managers and employees on how to adjust their day-to-day work, one-on-one meetings, syncs, etc. Although it wasn’t very easy for everyone, especially parents who had to juggle between work and children, we saw high productivity-levels at the beginning of the pandemic. With time, people really felt the need to come back to the office, to work in a more collaborative environment, to feel a sense of belonging, to brainstorm and meet with others - so we reopened our office following government regulations and following all Covid-19 restrictions.

 

What interesting technological tools do you use in employee management/recruitment?

 

During Covid-19, we moved to our new offices in the Azrieli tower. The office and especially our meeting rooms were designed to have more digital technologies to enable remote work with a future U.S. office. We launched a new internal communication platform called Workplace, where we post our company updates and announcements, created professional groups, teams groups, and social groups. We also created a knowledge-sharing tool for all our internal documents and presentations that every employee has easy access to.

As the pandemic started, we moved to a fully online recruitment process which included video interviews, digital home assignments, remote professional tests for developers, etc.

 

Today we work in a hybrid model and we understand the need of our candidates to see and feel the office vibes, and so the recruitment process is also done in a hybrid model so part of it is done face-to-face in our offices.

 

What positive and/or negative impact did the outbreak have on the human capital of the company?

 

We saw such a high level of commitment from our employees to work as usual and to achieve their goals. Some team members even took advantage of the situation and were happy to work even more hours than usual. Of course, working from home wasn’t easy for everyone and some employees felt less effective. We did our best to do pulse checks and suggest any additional resources for employees, like supplying them with a more convenient work environment, equipment, and also mental support.

 

Lusha is also really trying to make our employees feel connected, even while we work in hybrid mode. We have monthly "all hands" meetings to make sure our employees know everything that's happening at Lusha. We've also started virtual pilates classes, had a private comedy night (through Zoom) with Israeli comedian Shahar Hasson, and had a virtual group cooking class with Israeli chef, Erez Komorovsky. It's so important to try to make employees feel connected, even while working from home. While it’s tough not having everyone together at the office, it really is the next best thing.

 

What are the two major challenges you are coping with these days?

 

We are in a hyper-growth phase and grew almost 40% during the pandemic. So for Lusha, one of our main challenges was to successfully onboard all of our new employees and let them feel part of something bigger. Lusha is known for its special vibe, with a friendly and family environment that’s well-known throughout tech. Every candidate and new employee that steps into our office feels it and talks about it. So much so, that we even say “welcome home” to our new employees, because we really mean it. The challenge today is to keep our special company culture even when working in a hybrid mode when not all employees are at the office.

 

Are you actively recruiting? If so, what is the process and where can the applicants find you?

 

Yes, we’re actively recruiting right now for all departments. In fact, we’ve even ramped up our recruitment efforts during Covid-19. Our positions are published on Lusha’s career page, LinkedIn page, and other social networks. We invite any candidates who feel they can make an impact to apply. Most of our new hires are referred by our employees and sourcing. We believe that this is the best way to get to talented and qualified candidates, as well as maintain the company’s positive and unique culture.

 

Which changes forced upon you by the circumstances will stay in place after Covid-19 is over, and which are you most eager to revert back to normal?

 

We definitely believe that the changes that were implemented at the start of Covid-19 will also serve us well into the future. The hybrid model of working partly from home and partly from the office will stay with us post-Covid. Today, we’re working in capsules and we’re eager to see all employees together in the office, to see more interactions, brainstorms, and hallway conversations that are so crucial to the company culture of Lusha, but in a way that’s safe and in accordance with all government guidelines and regulations.