Growing Fast, Growing Smart: Reflections from ‘HR 2.0’

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at, “HR 2.0: Dealing with Fast Growth in Technology,” about how technology companies (and their HR departments) can more effectively attract and retain talent. The rapid growth in the technology industry is exciting and staggering and has only been seen a few times in history. As Okta’s director of people, navigating rapid growth is a topic that’s always on my mind — we’ve tripled headcount during the past 12 months alone — so I jumped at the opportunity to participate alongside other tech HR professionals dealing with exponential growth.

It became clear during the panel that companies are wrestling with how to foster a great culture while developing values that resonate with every employee. At Okta, recruiting and retaining top talent in this competitive environment forces us to think differently and find ways to better articulate our intrinsic value. We are finding that culture and core values can make all the difference. (Of course, as our CEO Todd McKinnon wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal, companies must have great products that customers love, or they’ll never get to the phase where culture matters.)

Ann Watson, a panelist from Wikia, summed up HR’s role in nurturing culture by saying that HR should be the driver, not the car. That’s to say HR can’t control the car it’s given, but it can steer it as the company grows and as the culture evolves.

Culture isn’t everything, but it can be helpful in attracting talent, choosing which candidates to hire and keeping employees engaged and motivated once they’re onboard. And as the panelists agreed, whoever is in charge of hiring must be confident in their company’s culture — and in passing on qualified candidates who just don’t fit. At Okta, we’re committed to building great products that our customers will rely on for years to come. Culture is a useful lever to attract great people to make that happen.

Once someone joins, we make a commitment to invest in his or her individual growth and development by giving them the tools and information they need to be successful and to feel empowered as a stakeholder in Okta’s success. We do this by clearly outlining our vision (from the management team down), by keeping the lines of communication open and transparent, by promoting from within whenever possible and by providing a roadmap for growth and development in the company.

Once you’re in, you’re family – and we’re always looking to grow. Visit our careers page to browse all available positions.