To start the year, I shared a candid plea on LinkedIn. Clearly it struck a nerve because the response was overwhelming. The post got over 75,000 views, 500+ likes, and 66+ shares (and counting).
In it I share how difficult it has been to source diverse engineers for our first few hires, even with the best intent.
At an early stage startup, there’s so much to do, build and manifest that you have to be strategic about where you put resources. It would be faster for us to focus on finding engineers with the right skillsets to help us get to market as quickly as we’d like and then focus on things like diversity later. But easy doesn’t always mean right.
Diverse From The Start
Research shows that the initial hires at a company greatly influence the future employee makeup. We are, after all, a reflection of our networks. And as a result, our networks often consist of people who look like us. Getting people with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences is supremely important to us because it will be a differentiator for Hoop. As we build an app that helps people of different backgrounds make better decisions, our team should resemble the modern workforce we’re targeting.
There’s a reason why diverse teams are proven to have better overall outcomes: People’s disparate experiences help avoid costly mistakes that come from homogeneity in decision making. We also promote getting diverse perspectives as part of decision science in the Hoop app itself, but I digress.
So if you’re reading this now and know talented engineers with diverse backgrounds who care about helping teams make better decisions and work asynchronously, please send them our way.
Real From The Start
Another key insight from this experience is the value of candor in a news cycle that promotes gotcha headlines and seems to show the worst of humanity.
People are hungry for authenticity. The world is full of ugly and sad, filters and clickbait, and after three long years of struggle after struggle, we are all just searching for stories of mission driven people bringing about good in the world. We believe that most people want to make good decisions, live meaningful lives, and do their best work.
We plan to continue to share our story of living by our values, to be open about our struggles, and we hope you’ll keep rooting for us.
We’re excited to share the launch of our company blog, Jumping Through Hoops! We’ll be sunsetting our Substack of the same name and moving subscribers over.
As always, thank you for being a part of this journey! We appreciate your support and look forward to sharing more as we build Hoop.