How These Local Companies Are Handling a Year of Rapid Growth

Leaders from four Austin firms share their plans for ramping up to meet demand.
Written by Olivia McClure
June 24, 2021Updated: June 30, 2021

Despite the challenges of the past year, businesses across the country are ramping up their hiring initiatives. In Austin, where the tech industry continues to accelerate, companies have their sights set on future growth — and they’re looking for the right talent to help them get there. 

SourceDay is one of many local companies in the throes of a hiring frenzy. According to CTO and Head of Product Peter Feldman, despite nearly tripling its headcount in 2020, his group shows no signs of slowing down and has big goals for the organization. 

“As we continue expanding our team, we’re looking for self-motivated problem solvers who are eager to be a part of a fast-growing company,” Feldman said. 

At Verkada, you’ll find similar scaling fervor. The company is growing its Austin-based sales team in an effort to build strong relationships in the area and bring in more customers, said Director of Sales Michael Tagliaferri. According to him, the team has uncovered plenty of entrepreneurial talent from candidates in the area so far, sparking hopes that the city will become a launchpad for organizational growth. 

“I'm confident that Verkada will be successful in Austin, and we’re already seeing the payoff from the strong foundation we built,” Tagliaferri said. 

Built In Austin caught up with Feldman, Tagliaferri and two other local leaders to hear how their companies are handling a year of rapid growth and learn about their plans for the future. 

Leslie Stephens
Head of Talent Acquisition

What do your hiring plans look like this year? And what are some of the key characteristics or traits you look for in new team members?

This is an incredibly impactful year for Hippo Insurance as we look toward going public. As the company is maturing and continues to grow, we focus on maintaining and building Hippo’s unique culture. What special and complementary values can be brought to the table that we don’t already have? Whether that’s the diversity of thought, really great technical skills, or just a fantastic ability to roll up your sleeves, we are looking for people to help us define and accomplish our goals across the board.

We’re doing everything from hiring more trainers to improving our onboarding experience to implementing more sophisticated systems that have streamlined the process for our new employees.” 

What steps are you taking to make sure this period of rapid growth goes smoothly from an employee experience perspective?

I wake up every day thinking about how to set people up for success. We’re doing everything from hiring more trainers to improving our onboarding experience to implementing more sophisticated systems that have streamlined the process for our new employees. Most important of all, we’ve solicited feedback. We have an open-door policy to encourage employees to share their candid opinions with us either in person or via Zoom. This way, we can continue to make adjustments to optimize our employees’ experience. 

What's a project you're really excited to tackle this year, and what impact will this project have on the business? 

Hippo recently launched our employee resource group programs, and I have the honor of leading the Little Hippo Village for parents. As a parent myself, I know how challenging balancing work and home can be, and I want to learn and hear how other parents do it. I am also a member of the Women @ Hippo, People of Color + Allies, and Pride @ Hippo groups. These have already proven to be instrumental in contributing to Hippo’s amazing community. People are our most important asset, and I am truly thrilled that diversity is a priority at Hippo. 

This effort will directly impact our goal to hire intelligent, creative people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. We know diversity benefits all companies, and I’m pleased with our progress. We challenge our recruiters, as well as our employees, to help us bring in qualified, diverse candidates, and even though there is still work to be done, we are headed in the right direction.

 

Syed Abdur
VP of Product Management and Marketing

What do your hiring plans look like this year, and what are some of the key characteristics or traits you look for in new team members?

We expect to grow significantly over the next 12 to 18 months. We recently announced our first ever institutional investment, $110 million in growth funding from Insight Partners. A big part of this capital infusion will be used to grow our workforce. This applies to all teams and departments — with sales, marketing, customer success and engineering being the top priorities. 

When evaluating potential new team members we always look for individuals who best reflect our company values of innovation, collaboration, excellence and passion. 

Brinqa is looking for new hires who:

  • want to maximize their potential
  • are not afraid to work on original problems or new technologies
  • cherish the opportunity to be trailblazers

What steps are you taking to make sure this period of rapid growth goes smoothly from an employee experience perspective?

Balancing rapid growth and employee experience is important for any business, but this is particularly true for Brinqa given the unique and extraordinary opportunity in front of us. It is very important to us that, as we embark on this next stage of our evolution as a company, we retain and reemphasize the values that have been instrumental to our success. To make this possible, we are empowering existing employees to identify and champion the processes and practices that best represent our company values.

At the same time, we want to make sure that we grow the company in the most effective, efficient and responsible way possible by leveraging the most cutting-edge tools, practices and processes. We are instituting new roles and positions that will be focused on this goal, and are in the process of hiring some very accomplished individuals who have guided other businesses through similar stages of exponential growth. 

What's a project you're really excited to tackle this year, and what impact will this project have on the business?

Our main focus for the rest of this year will be on executing our plan to utilize the recent funding for growing the company and bringing its vision to cybersecurity organizations and practitioners everywhere. As digital transformation proliferates across industries and saturates every aspect of business, the IT infrastructure to enable it and the security ecosystem to protect it is becoming larger and more complex. Imagine a scenario where there are hundreds of different teams, systems and programs — each focused on a task so complex and technical that it requires specialized skills and tools — working toward the same overarching goal but rarely communicating with each other. This is often the reality for cybersecurity organizations. For cybersecurity to be effective and a true contributor toward business success, it must function as part of the larger team, always aligned in purpose, connected in data and transparent in communication.  

We know that this is possible because we have proven it in some of the largest and most complex enterprise IT environments in the world. We are very excited to be working on making this vision a reality for cybersecurity organizations and practitioners everywhere. 

 

Peter Feldman
CTO and Head of Product

What do your hiring plans look like this year, and what are some of the key characteristics or traits you look for in new team members?

SourceDay is coming off of an incredible year of growth. After nearly tripling the team in 2020, we’re focusing heavily on filling key positions that will support our growing sales pipeline and evolving engineering team. As is the case for most companies, the pandemic both reshaped how we hire and reinforced our shared company values. We offer a flexible work environment, enabling those who prefer to work from home to do so while remaining accountable and visible to the entire team. We also create a space in the office for employees to gather, enjoy each other’s company and collaborate in person. As we continue expanding our team, we’re looking for self-motivated problem solvers who are eager to be a part of a fast-growing company. 

What steps are you taking to make sure this period of rapid growth goes smoothly from an employee experience perspective?

Scaling companies must live and breathe processes and metrics. We embrace Agile technology and processes throughout the organization. When executed well, Agile methods create a culture of accountability and foster teamwork throughout the duration of a project rather than just at the end. For example, our developers own tickets until projects are released while collaborating with quality assurance, engineers, leadership and others to develop and implement code. When a developer feels true ownership over a project, product update or implementation, they bring colleagues together proactively, hold themselves accountable to maintain pace against project timelines and celebrate successes authentically with their teams. In contrast, I’ve seen other fast-growing companies operate with scattered processes that may get work done yet in a disorganized fashion that ultimately leads to burnout for the development team.

Scaling companies must live and breathe processes and metrics.”

What's a project you're really excited to tackle this year, and what impact will this project have on the business? 

It’s no secret that global supply chains suffered over the last year. While the pandemic emphasized critical shortcomings in the supply chain’s overall digital transformation, none were more shocking to an organization’s bottom line than direct spend management, or the money they spend on getting their products made. Given countless disruptions to the supply chain over the last year, many organizations were left scrambling to build, ship and deliver products on time and in full to their customers. 

Our team is dedicated to innovating direct spend management to improve supply chain performance. Right now, that means digging into the data. We recently brought on a data scientist to uncover critical data insights that drive value at each step of the supply chain. For executives, this is crucial. We’re working as a team to build executive-level dashboards that give C-suite leaders clear visibility into their supply chains, ultimately helping them seamlessly deliver products to their customers.

 

Michael Tagliaferri
Director of Sales

What do your hiring plans look like this year, and what are some of the key characteristics or traits you look for in new team members?

Verkada is incredibly bullish in the Austin market and is currently building out our local sales team. We’re focused on hiring account executives and sales managers across a range of levels. Since we’re tackling such a big industry, we capture more market share by hiring great people. We look for people who are eager, want to be a part of our growth, have high sales acumen and understand how to sell within the security space. 

We're looking for sales professionals who don't rest on the laurels of the people ahead of them. So far, the local talent we've seen has proven to be very entrepreneurial. I like to describe this new team we're building as a startup within a startup.

Picture of a foyer in Verkada's Austin, Texas offices
Verkada

What steps are you taking to make sure this period of rapid growth goes smoothly from an employee experience perspective?

Our Austin-based sales enablement and operations teams contribute greatly to our success, which is why we’re keen to grow them alongside our sales organization. We’re also going to scale solutions engineering and channel teams in Austin, as both play a key role in every deal we make. From an onboarding standpoint, we fly our new hires out to our San Mateo headquarters for training. From there, the enablement team works with them to ensure they grasp Verkada’s approach to selling. 

To help with the new expansion, Verkada sent nine of our top sellers to Austin to lay the groundwork. Their expertise and knowledge helped propel the Austin office right out of the gates and has played a large part in the new hires’ early success. Despite the newness of our Austin-based team, our San Mateo office is always there and ready to lend a helping hand. We've spent the last several years building our footprint and resources here. We have a direct line of communication to our vice president of sales, co-founder, entire enablement team and solutions engineering team. I'm confident that Verkada will be successful in Austin, and we’re already seeing the payoff from the strong foundation we built.

What’s a new business practice your team is taking on this year, and what impact will it have?

The local team is located in their territory, which is a new practice for us. We’re intentionally making a shift this year to a hybrid model, in which sales and the field exist simultaneously. We understand how important it is to get in front of our customers, so we always encourage reps to go out into their territory as much as possible, which is even easier when you’re located there. We anticipate this model will help us develop stronger relationships and bring in more customers. For this reason, it’s key for us to hire talent with connections in the area. From a business development standpoint, coming in with an understanding of the market will help reps ramp up more quickly and smoothly transition into their new roles. 

 

Jobs from companies in this blog45 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Dev + Engineer
HR + Recruiting
Marketing
Operations
Project Mgmt
Sales
Project Mgmt
new
Brinqa
Austin
Developer
new
Brinqa
Austin
Developer
new
Brinqa
Austin
Developer
new
Brinqa
Austin
Operations
new
Brinqa
Austin
Developer
new
Brinqa
Austin
Marketing
new
Brinqa
Austin
Sales
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
Operations
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
Sales
new
Verkada Inc
Remote
Developer
new
Verkada Inc
Remote
Sales
new
Verkada Inc
Remote
Sales
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
Operations
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin
Sales
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
Developer
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin
Operations
new
Brinqa
Austin
HR + Recruiting
new
Brinqa
Austin
Operations
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin
Operations
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
HR + Recruiting
new
Verkada Inc
Remote
Marketing
new
Brinqa
Austin
Marketing
new
Brinqa
Austin
Sales
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin
Finance
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin
Sales
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
Operations
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin
Sales
new
SourceDay
Austin
HR + Recruiting
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
HR + Recruiting
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
HR + Recruiting
new
Verkada Inc
Remote
Sales
new
Verkada Inc
Remote
Sales
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
Operations
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin
Operations
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin
Developer
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
Operations
new
Verkada Inc
Austin
Operations
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin
Developer
new
SourceDay
Austin
Developer
new
SourceDay
Austin
Sales
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin
Operations
new
Hippo Insurance
Austin

Austin startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Austin
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in Austin
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Perks at Austin Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Women in Austin Tech