It’s no secret that exceptional work stems from the power of collaboration. So in addition to featuring notable young professionals and entrepreneurs every single day, we’ll be chatting with some of Canada’s best teams every Thursday to get an inside look at how they combine talents to stand out in their industry. Today we’re talking to the team at Humi, a Toronto-based start-up offering online HR services.
1. Describe what you and your team focus on in less than 140 characters. Go.
Humi is free HR software for Canadian startups! It’s our mission to make tedious HR tasks effortless by automating hiring, tracking time off, and more.
2. What kick ass projects / programs have you been working on recently?
We’ve been working non-stop on our core product, directed mostly by a bunch of amazing feedback from our early on-boarded companies. Making the product work just as seamlessly for a 10-person company as it does for a company with 300 employees has been a super exciting challenge to work on.
3. What are some of the benefits of working on a team?
This is the sort of startup that one person, or even a small team, couldn’t do alone. Aside from the obvious bandwidth limits that growing a team can help overcome, the diversity of opinions and backgrounds make building a ‘one size fits all’ product possible, and enjoyable.
4. What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced? (tell a funny story here)
Absorbing all the feedback from companies on our platform, and deciding how to best integrate this feedback into a cohesive product, has certainly been a fun challenge. On the sales side, the fact that our product is free has ironically been a challenge, in the sense that prospects get suspicious when they hear this. It’s hard to explain that when they make us the broker for their insurance, we can still make money and it won’t cost their company a dime.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals working within a team?
It’s important to check your ego at the door when working on a team. We value hearing out other people’s ideas as highly as vocalizing our own.
6. Does your team have a designated leader?
While our company has a shallow hierarchical structure, we value leadership in all roles. A well reasoned, logical idea or request will always take precedence over seniority or position.
7. Within your organization are teams switched up every once in a while or do they maintain the same? What are some of the benefits and cons of that?
Our teams are highly specialized, so we haven’t had much movement between teams. That being said, most of us are generalists, so we all love to voice opinions across product, sales, and more. We like it this way because often a fresh perspective can be hugely valuable to people who have been up close to something for too long.
8. What does the word collaboration mean to you?
Collaboration to us means a group coming together and producing something that is of greater value than if they’d worked on that thing independently.
9. What has been you and your teams favorite project/campaign/ initiative to work on and why?
There have been a few really great companies we’ve worked with who have shaped the product in big ways. It feels amazing when you get strong signs of product-market fit, demonstrated by companies voluntarily offering feedback and suggestions to your product.
1. What your team’s favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
We’re based near Trinity Bellwoods, so there are a lot to choose from. One of our favourites has got to be Nana. You can’t really go wrong there if you’re into Thai food.
2. Do you and your team go out together? Where and why?
We’ve settled into doing a big team dinner and drinks every couple weeks. It’s a great way to decompress and get to know each other on a deeper level, beyond the work environment.
3. What’s the best thing that has happened to you and your team recently?
One of our Sales leads just had a baby girl in the past few months! We know he’ll be a great dad.
4. Are there any other teams within your company or any company that you know of that are killing it?
We’ve been close friends with the guys and girls at Inkbox Tattoos since before they even launched with their Kickstarter. “Killing it” would be an understatement for them, as they’ve been enjoying explosive growth for at least the past year!
5. And finally, what does success look like to you and your team? Work, play, or otherwise…
For us, success means enjoying the journey as much as arriving at the destination. It’s all too easy to push off contentment until we have what we want ‘tomorrow’, but we believe that enjoying the hard work that goes into getting there is just as important.