As our company began to grow rapidly, and our need for new talent and expertise increased, we knew we needed someone to help us manage that growth and make the right decisions to scale intentionally.
After dedicating time to developing our values and establishing how we wanted our company culture to evolve, we knew we needed someone to help us maintain those values as our team expanded and weave them into our hiring process. That’s where Jena Garrett came in and saved the day.
Jena is a talent and culture expert. She’s been involved in the professional growth and development of companies and individuals throughout her entire career. She focuses on creating great working environments and recruiting the right people for the right jobs-to make the best teams.
Her passion for people shows in the way she interviews, and the way she talks about her job. And, we’re lucky to have her as our Director of People and Operations here at Quore. From day one, she stepped in to help us create a better framework for long-lasting success when hiring new talent, and she continues maintaining and evolving our culture every day.
Scaling Efficiently and Effectively
The original job Jena applied for was HR Manager, but she saw an opportunity to take the job further, to expand the position beyond traditional human resource responsibilities. She wanted to ensure that Quore could scale efficiently and effectively while maintaining the magic of the work environment that the team had already begun crafting. And she wanted to expand employee programs and HR management with that in mind.
Scott, our CEO, hired her on the spot after his first interview with her, and the first thing she did was work with him to adjust her job title to Director of People and Operations. To her, this meant a focus on the internal operations of the people aspects at Quore, prioritizing recruitment, retention and employee benefits.
Scott calls her the People’s Champion for that very reason: she’s the voice of everyone at Quore and she doesn’t take that lightly. She wants to ensure that working at Quore is “more symbiotic than just ‘what can you do for us?'” That means continuously and purposefully enhancing our culture, developing employee programs and supporting professional development, managing benefits and internal HR processes and curating and maintaining a great environment for employees to work in.
Expanding and Maintaining Quore’s Culture
Every company has a culture, whether you realize it or not. It’s usually comprised of the company’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs and habits. Culture is one of the main things Jena aims to maintain and further nurture at Quore.
“Culture is more than just the bright and shiny things,” she says, “It’s not the art on the walls or your paint colors or free snacks and coffee-culture is your people, a combination of their wants and needs that grow all these ideas together and create sort of this perfect blend. It’s how we do things, how we treat each other, how we spend our time. It’s what this place is and how it feels-not what it looks like on the surface.”
While ensuring a comfortable and beautiful office is important to us, and our new space reflects that, it’s not what makes Quore an amazing place to work. The people here are what really make Quore so special. And, to emphasize that, Jena emphasizes a culture of appreciation.
Most of us spend more time with our coworkers than we do with anyone else in our lives, so working in an environment with people who we click with is generally preferable. Not everyone can be so fortunate. But Jena wants to make sure that everyone at Quore emulates our culture and values in ways that make working together fun and productive.
To do so, she established things like “Q Cards,” special postcards that allow team members to write encouraging or appreciative notes to one another. These allow employees to internally recognize one another for exemplifying our Quore Values. We also have a special #applause Slack channel where we spotlight specific wins and accomplishments. These small things go a long way toward showing one another that everyone’s work matters.
Everyone contributes to culture, and, as we grow and bring on more #TeamQuore champions. Jena is here to protect and amplify what we have to keep a good thing going.
Hiring for Lasting Success
Jena has all of this-our culture, our goals, her visions for her role-in mind when she sits down to interview someone for a position here at Quore.
When it comes to nailing an interview with Jena, an understanding of the job is important, but Jena says, “I’m far more interested in a person than I am in qualifications.” Her top priority is finding driven people that are a cultural fit for Quore, people that thrive in the environment we’ve created and will help us drive real results.
“I want to make sure that they are a fit, for whatever role we’re hiring for, in the environment and culture we’ve already created,” she says, “I want them to make me laugh, even if it’s only once! I think humor is one of the great things we have here-being able to laugh your way through the day. It’s really important to me.”
Jena will ask candidates what matters to them, not just how they feel about the job or our company: she wants to know what people’s passions are, what their goals are for their lives and careers, what they do in their free time, etc. She wants to know what makes them tick beyond the job description they’ve applied for. Then she evaluates whether our company is a good fit for them, and whether they’re a good fit for us because, again, she believes it’s a symbiotic relationship.
Having a Blast, Growing Together
Quore continues rapidly expanding as a company, but we only get stronger as we focus on maintaining our identity and growing intentionally. We’ll never lose sight of where we came from and how we got here with the right people on our team. We’ve gone through a lot of changes this past year, and we’ve got a lot more coming!
There’s still plenty of work to do, but we’re excited to do it, together-with Jena leading the way. For more about our team and culture, check out the Team Quore section of our Blog and follow us on Instagram.