“We were happy to roll with the punches” during Covid-19, states Binah.ai
It’s not easy building an established and professional team during Covid-19. Here’s how Binah.ai is doing it
According to Binah.ai’s VP Research and Development, Udi Ben-Senior, the company had to make a lot of quick decisions regarding their employer branding strategy in 2020.
“For example, we’ve moved to being almost completely choice-first, allowing as much flexibility as possible for employees to work from home,” he told CTech. In some cases, some people who have been working there almost eight months haven’t been to the office or met colleagues face-to-face yet.
“Would that have happened without the pandemic? Probably not, but we’re young-minded and agile and happy to roll with the punches,” he said.
Binah.ai joined CTech to share some of the employer branding strategies it adopted to manage its growth in the last year and attract talent who were ready to “change the world.”
Description of the problem:
We hired more than 50 employees in 2020, and are looking to double our numbers again in 2021. When your company is growing as fast as Binah.ai is and hiring on merit and expertise only, culture is sometimes a challenge. This is especially true when you’re hiring experienced people. At Binah.ai, we’re looking to hire people who are experts in what they do. On the one hand, this means that every new employee who comes through our door has a wealth of experience and can help push the success of the company. On the other hand, it means they have well-established ways of doing things, and it can be much harder to create a cohesive culture as a result. That has a knock-on impact on communication and collaboration.
So for us, the challenge is two-fold. Firstly, managing the hypergrowth of a company that’s on the fast track to success, and secondly, ensuring that we create a cohesive enough environment for all of these new hires when they arrive.
Presenting the refined solution:
When I speak to new talent, I try to emphasize two things. First of all, everyone in the company shares responsibility for the company’s success. We win as a team, and we lose as a team. I remind people all the time that we’re doing something incredible! Our product is a game-changer for digital healthcare, we’re on an expedited path for regulatory approvals, and we’re going to change the world. By selling the dream, especially one that’s right on the cusp of becoming a reality, this helps to bring everyone together under a common goal.
The other thing is that each person has their role, and no-one can hide. Each person has a lot of power to impact the product, to provide their own ideas, and that should feel really empowering, and also encourage new hires to get to know one another, help one another, and provide opportunities for each other to perform at their best. Each and every one of our employees is granted extreme powers and trust. Even our junior engineers are expected to be fully independent and responsible. Needless to say, this comes with a learning curve and a cost, but this is paid back in no time. As they say, “with great power comes great responsibility” and we believe that even more than that - with great responsibility you build great powers!
Challenges brought on by Covid-19:
The most challenging part of Covid-19 was communication. Hiring new people remotely can be frustrating, the relationships were harder to build, getting a feel for people is more difficult in the digital space. At the same time, we’re seeing a lot of people coming together to rise to the challenge, and it’s brought out the best in us. That’s true for recruitment, and also in our technology. We’ve gained a lot of capabilities since the pandemic began, and that has escalated our growth as an employer.
In terms of the employer branding strategy, we made a lot of quick decisions in 2020, too. For example, we’ve moved to being almost completely choice-first, allowing as much flexibility as possible for employees to work from home. In some cases, we have people who have been working here almost eight months, and who haven’t been to the office or met colleagues face-to-face yet. Would that have happened without the pandemic? Probably not, but we’re young-minded and agile and happy to roll with the punches.
We’ve worked hard to emphasize the same messages in our branding as we do internally. We’re going to change the world, we’re revolutionizing digital healthcare, good things are happening at Binah.ai, watch this space because we’re doing something that no one else has ever done before. This is our messaging when it comes to job descriptions, ads, and banners, and we’re seeing it reflected in third-party media too, such as in the publicity around our CES Innovation award, our Juniper Research award, and our Achievement in Technology recognition.
We also think hard before each and every hire. We’re growing quickly, but that doesn’t mean that each individual isn’t essential. We’re looking for creative people, quick thinkers who can find solutions that others don’t think of. That’s part and parcel of working with such a cutting-edge product. At every stage, we’re reinventing the wheel. From the algorithms behind the scenes to our core library, our design, marketing, all of it. At each layer, there are huge walls to overcome, and we need the best talent to make it happen.
The focus on building the right culture has really helped curb difficult behaviors among our staff, such as poor communications, people not specifying their problems clearly, or failing to set up and get the job done. On the one hand, this culture sanctifies teamwork, and on the other hand, we never compromise on individual empowerment. I can see that even new hires immediately feel that they are working as part of a team, and internalizing that message.