HR Post Covid
‘Fireblockers’ have shown “dedication and desire” to work during Covid-19, says its Head of HR
Think a global pandemic can stop the team at Fireblocks from hitting goals and targets? Think again.
“Despite many challenges and very rapid growth, the Fireblocks team have demonstrated even a higher level of engagement, dedication, and desire for accomplishments,” explained Fireblocks Head of HR, Ephrat Kirshen. It appears that in a year of uncertainty, the blockchain security company has found its footing.
“Fireblocks moved full speed ahead at a rapid pace,” she said. “This was accomplished in the midst of rapid growth in sales, in R&D efforts and implementations all over the globe... due mainly to a highly engaged group of people, our amazing employees.”
Of course, 2020 wasn’t all glitter and gold for most. But it appears that the year of uncertainty has highlighted the need for blockchain technologies that could help people recover from financial problems they might have faced. After all, Bitcoin is now at its highest value ever, recording $37,000 at time of writing.
Kirshen joined CTech for its HR Post-Covid series to discuss how Fireblocks grew in size and scope as the world faces unprecedented changes and challenges.
Company name: Fireblocks
HR leader: Ephrat Kirshen, Head of HR
Field of activity:
Blockchain security, building an efficient and fraud-free financial system for Blockchain assets.
Number of employees/locations:
50 in Israel (Tel Aviv) and 20 in various locations including New York City, London, Paris, Berlin, and Hong Kong.
Professional background of HR leader:
I am a graduate of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, with a BA degree in social sciences. In the last 15 years, I held various managerial positions as an HR leader and C-level consultant in various hi-tech companies and specifically startups where I started building the HR division from scratch. Among them: Techfinancials, Iguazio, and currently Fireblocks (since June 2019).
I believe in informal down to earth relationships among employees and between them and management, and an overall personalized employee experience suited to each one’s unique characteristics.
A big emphasis is put on Fireblocks’ internal relationships and communication, as we believe this is the basis for a truly healthy, productive and fun, working environment.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did the Coronavirus disrupt operations at the company?
As a technology company, Fireblocks was equipped for remote working. But there was some operational friction, to begin with. The company had to go through an adaptation period, like learning how to communicate in the most efficient ways, which channels are most effective for various scenarios, and day to day operations. Despite all the challenges, Fireblocks moved full speed ahead at a rapid pace. This was accomplished in the midst of rapid growth in sales, in R&D efforts and implementations all over the globe, and along with onboarding of many new employees, due mainly to a highly engaged group of people, our amazing employees.
Additionally, the company supported its employees while they were working from home by financing the required home office equipment, financing babysitters, or any other required help.
Once Fireblockers returned gradually to the office, it was clear that the company’s unique, informal, easy-going, down to earth internal way of communication remained intact, allowing for an even easier adjustment than expected
What interesting technological tools do you use in employee management/recruitment?
Fireblocks uses the Comeet digital recruiting system to manage the recruitment routine processes. We use our website, Linkedin, and many other tools for publishing openings and reaching the talent pool we onboard. We have many elite unit graduates, which is one of the main ways to maintain our unique DNA, the personal connections and relationships we have within the company and outside of it.
The company’s recruitment methods are based primarily on personal face-to-face meetings with prospects and deep-dive dialogue with them to study their capabilities and characters in an informal atmosphere.
What positive and/or negative impact did the outbreak have on the human capital of the company?
Despite many challenges and very rapid growth, the Fireblocks team have demonstrated even a higher level of engagement, dedication, and desire for accomplishments, and assisted in the onboarding of many new developers. The company was able to enrich its talent pool as more talents in the hi-tech industry are more open to exploring new opportunities while facing uncertainty and higher mobility in the market.
What are the major challenges you are coping with these days?
The biggest thing for us these days is keeping our employees healthy and safe, keeping up with the government's changing guidelines, and acting by them. Making sure each employee’s needs are met as best we can.
Fireblocks is growing rapidly and we must manage our growth wisely and effectively. While growing, the company aims to preserve its informal and personal communication culture, onboard new employees with minimum noise, and continue growing and recruiting top talent.
Fireblockers are especially looking forward to enjoying each other's company at offsites, the annual Fireversary, which brings all Fireblockers around the globe to one location, our first-ever Hackathon, and many other special plans we have waiting for them.
Hopefully, this will become our reality again soon.
Are you actively recruiting? If so, what is the process and where can the applicants find you?
Following the recent fundraising of $30 million, the company is currently recruiting dozens of developers, seeking the brightest minds, ambitious, experienced, and outstanding fast learners, for the challenging, rapidly evolving Blockchain and Cyber market. Openings can be found on the company’s website and Linkedin page.
Which changes forced upon you by the circumstances will stay in place and which are you most eager to revert back to normal?
The company will probably formulate a work from home framework which will utilize its benefits while preserving the advantages of the conventional highly productive office environment. During 2020, remote communications improved dramatically all across the company in Israel and abroad and the company will certainly leverage the new capabilities in the future as well.