HR Post Covid
Ermetic: “In the post-pandemic world, geography will be less critical for sales”
Cybersecurity company Ermetic is growing its team in a world of social distancing, making location largely irrelevant
“Since we were at such an early stage when the pandemic began, we had yet to open an office in the U.S,” explained Ermetic’s Director of People, Sharon Chavonik. As a result, they were not restricted by geographical considerations when they started recruiting for sales and field teams in North America.
“This enabled us to hire the very best people, regardless of their location. We believe that in the post-pandemic world, geography will be less critical for sales, and we will continue to take advantage of this flexibility,” she said.
Ermetic has joined CTech for its HR Post Covid series to discuss how remote working can impact the growth of a young company born in an era of a global pandemic.
Company Name: Ermetic
HR Leader: Sharon Chavoinik, Director of People
Field of Activity: Ermetic is a cybersecurity company that enables enterprises to secure their identities in the cloud.
Number of employees/location: 50 employees in Israel and North America
Professional background of HR Manager:
I started my career at Microsoft where I specialized in recruiting. At Microsoft, I met two of Ermetic’s co-founders who later invited me to join the team here.
After Microsoft, I went to a startup - Twistlock - where I was responsible for HR. When Twistlock was acquired by Palo Alto Networks, I joined them and spent a year there before joining Ermetic. So I have worked in Israeli cybersecurity companies of all sizes, from startups at the beginning of the process (like Ermetic), to industry leaders such as Microsoft and Palo Alto Networks.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did the coronavirus pandemic disrupt operations at the company?
I would say 3. We launched the company shortly before the pandemic began, so we were able to adapt very quickly. Our team is highly motivated and very close-knit, so even when we had to work from home, we were able to keep the collaboration moving well. When government regulations allowed, we went to the office, and when we had to work remotely, we organized surprises and activities for our team at home to keep up morale and a sense of belonging.
What interesting technological tools do you use in employee management/recruitment?
We are a young company and currently investigating platforms that will support us as we grow.
What positive and/or negative impact did the outbreak have on the human capital of the company?
Since we were at such an early stage when the pandemic began, we had yet to open an office in the U.S. As a result, when we started actively recruiting our sales and field teams in North America, we were not restricted by geographical considerations. This enabled us to hire the very best people, regardless of their location. We believe that in the post-pandemic world, geography will be less critical for sales, and we will continue to take advantage of this flexibility.
What are the two major challenges you are coping with these days?
One challenge has been onboarding new employees in the U.S. Normally we would bring them to Israel for training, and we would then hold an annual sales kick-off in the U.S. In addition, our management would normally have been spending a lot of time abroad. During the pandemic, we’ve had to onboard and train a U.S team without the ability to meet in person, and we’ve had to come up with creative ways to make them feel involved and an integral part of the team.
In Israel, we’ve found that many people are afraid to leave their jobs during the pandemic, even if they are not fulfilled professionally. Even in the high-tech sector, there were job losses earlier in 2020, and that has made people more cautious. Fortunately, we have a great team at Ermetic and we have been able to overcome this fear.
Are you actively recruiting? If so, what is the process and where can the applicants find you?
Yes, we are looking to double the size of our team in 2021. Applicants can contact us through the Ermetic website or LinkedIn. Even if you do not see the position you are looking for on our website, don’t hesitate to contact us as we always find a place for the best people.
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 instituted a company meeting over Zoom for every single employee on Thursdays, which we will definitely keep even after the pandemic, always at a time where the international team can join us.
Of course, we are very much looking forward to being able to meet with our international colleagues in person, to resume working at full capacity in the office, and to have social activities as we did in the past.