Hey, my name is Ezra. I joined the team in San Francisco on December 2, 2013. I was still relatively new to the city at the time, having moved to the Bay Area from New York a couple months before. I was reading through Hacker News looking for cool companies making a name for themselves in the tech space, and that’s when I learned about AnyPerk (and its inspiring birth in a Taco Bell parking lot).
I guess what led me to write this blog post is how stunned I was at the end of my first week at AnyPerk: I felt like I was part of a family. It felt like being a part of a driven, sharp team that above everything else was held together by close friendships. Within my first week, I went to my first AnyPerk happy hour, went ice skating – for the first time in my life – with teammates, offered my thoughts on another perspective candidate, attended client meetings with the director of my team, and participated in the weekly “Katanaya” foosball championship.
Above all, I was provided with the best training imaginable, and I believe other companies can do the same for new hires by applying these great principles:
After only spending a week with Ilya, the Director of Business Development, he made such a lasting impression on me. He offered me detailed explanations for approaching everything in life systematically. In a matter of days, I was attending client meetings with Ilya. I found this unorthodox, but also very beneficial. By trusting me to participate in these meetings, Ilya not only set early expectations but motivated me to appropriately prepare for each of these events.
From sitting with our vendor partnership team, to listening in on sales demonstrations, to meeting with engineers and our Head of Product, I was exposed to every aspect relevant to my work.
2) Buddy System
I know a few too many startups where culture is often discussed but doesn’t go beyond a few binge drinking sessions. Ultimately, culture boils down to the actions of every individual in the company. Our boom board displays some of the awesome feedback we’ve received from clients, to inspire us to keep our standards high. If anyone is ever sick here or runs into trouble, there is never a shortage of hands extended to offer help. Our open community encourages questions, which has allowed me to learn and train much quicker than I had originally anticipated.
In particular, my buddy Kyle has helped me both inside and outside the office: from finding the best coffee spots, to navigating software, to discovering the funkiest concerts to jam at. He has been instrumental in making me feel at home at AnyPerk.
3) Team Lunches
With team members constantly taking calls, writing emails, recruiting new talent, improving our product, and prospecting clients, it can get pretty hectic in the office. But when lunch time rolls around, everyone gets together over some good eating. We’re fortunate to have lunch catered three days a week, which allows the team to gather and chat about what they’re working on, evening plans, and product updates.
On days that food isn’t catered, it’s not uncommon to see a mob of AnyPerk employees entering a food court or restaurant in downtown San Francisco. I can always count on my co-worker, Justin, to identify an eatery in the neighborhood that we haven’t tried yet. One day he’s introducing us to Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers – where we gorged on mouthwatering burgers and compared burger experiences from our respective hometowns – and the next we’re at Halal Cart, reminiscing over the late night lamb-over-rice runs back in NYC.
Grabbing lunch with coworkers creates personal bonds that allow us to develop trust and better communicate within the workplace.
4) Spontaneous Breaks
While AnyPerk is made up of hard workers, we all know how to have fun. Around four o’clock every day, my co-worker Craig leads a band of teammates to 7 Eleven for an afternoon snack (Doritos and Slurpees). It was a pleasant surprise to find Ashton and Craig return from a coffee break one day parading around in Santa Claus outfits distributing candy canes in the office. Later the same day, several of my coworkers encouraged me to ice skate and, despite my troubles, Andrew, Rachel, and the rest of the group were adamant on getting me around the ice rink!
Sometimes it’s a spontaneous planking session to get the blood circulating. The weekly Katanaya foosball tournaments are always packed with intensity. Whatever activity it may be, every company stands to gain from non-work related events. These occasional breaks get everyone reenergized and focused for tough tasks throughout the day. I look forward to many more moments like these.
In only five days, I went from being a new hire to being fully immersed in the team and my work. With the above mentioned hiring practices in place, other companies can recreate this experience for all new employees.
Interested in joining the AnyPerk team? Visit our Careers page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.