This is what life is like at one of NYC's fastest growing HR startups

by Anthony Sodd
July 27, 2016

Justworks is going through a growth spurt.

The HR-tech company, which was founded in 2012, raised a $33 million round of funding in March, and has been hiring like crazy across multiple departments. With all that growth, we wanted to get an inside look at what it was really like to join their fast-growing team. We stopped by their office in the Flatiron District and spent some time with their sales team. 

The Justworks sales team is big, with around 40 people taking up an entire wing of their office. Team members sit at communal desks, with optional standup-desks interspersed. When we visited, the office was humming. There were a few people playing darts, a few lounging with laptops on a couch, and the majority were working the phones.

While we were there, we asked a few members of the sales team what it was like to work at Justworks. This is what they had to say: 

 

What makes working on the Justworks sales team different from other teams you’ve worked with? 

Megan Gaglio, Sales Development Analyst: Motivation, openness, and encouragement from upper management. Everyone goes out of their way to help one another. We are all working toward similar goals and want one another to succeed. There is no sense of selfishness, which makes it easy to ask one another questions on how they have been successful. Being open with one another helps everyone grow together. 

Nadia Jaha, Sales Development Analyst: The culture and management styles — we're friendly and don't get too competitive, but management does find ways to keep us on our toes.

Jeff Calafat, Sales Development Analyst: One major difference is that our sales team is divided into smaller cohorts or pods. It’s unique because we’re able to share insights with each other in a productive way, without being overwhelmed. Another key difference is leadership. Our culture puts a heavy emphasis on trust, so no one is micromanaged, but at the same time, we’re all expected to be proactive and self-motivated.

Schuyler Whetstone, Account Executive: Justworks is a different kind of sales team because we’re incredibly collaborative and supportive. There’s also a great deal of trust and push to succeed from early on, allowing a rep to feel comfortable asking questions and like they’re set up for success. We do a lot of things to build team culture and celebrate wins, ranging from happy hours, dodgeball, bowling and even overnight, out of town retreats (like to Cedar Lake Estates!). 

Jordan Cooper, Account Executive: All of the reps truly believe the product we are selling is better than the competition. That allows for a more candid conversation, which I think prospects respect and enjoy going through the discovery process with us.

 

What sorts of things do you do to build team culture? How do you celebrate wins? 

Megan: Our teams play games, like Battleship, based off our sales activity. It is a great way to get everyone involved in accomplishing our goals together. If we hit certain points throughout our day, we can take a shot on the Battleship Board. I think this helps to deflect competition between each other and put it toward a game that we all try to win as a team.  

As far as celebrating wins, we will plan a catered lunch, go to happy hour or take a team outing. What we do is a collective decision we all agree on, and then get to relax and enjoy ourselves! 

Nadia: Lots and lots of team outings and celebrating milestones, gongs, bells — the works!

Jeff: We run monthly sales contests and daily competitions, both of which offer pretty generous cash prizes and some friendly competition. Some of my favorites we’ve done in the past were a March Madness brackets competition and a Game of Phones contest. There’s also plenty of room for individual recognition like our Road Runner Award and Big Fish Award.

Jordan: I think everyone on the team cares about everyone and wants everyone to be successful. That leads to strong team camaraderie and good energy throughout the office. At least once a month there are individual team outings. 

Who are your target customers, and how is territory split up? 

Megan: Our target customers are those within the Tri-State area. Strong prospects are those in tech, media, agencies, law, financial firms and companies looking for a better platform that eases their backend pains. Our territory is not split up directly, but rather we work collectively to cover as much ground as possible as a team.

Jeff: Our focus is on small businesses. We partner with entrepreneurs, founders and CEOs in the New York metropolitan area. We also work with teams in the surrounding Tri-State area and are currently expanding into new markets.

Schuyler: Small to medium sized businesses (ranging from 5 to 150 employees) and entrepreneurs are our target customers. As of now, we don’t have a geographic territory system in place — but do have defining rules of engagement, to keep things copacetic. 

JordanMainly white collar business like law firms, accounting firms, media agencies and tech startups that are in the range of 5 to 50 employees who are looking for a more streamlined HR and benefits solutions to help maintain and grow their business.

 

What is career growth like on the Justworks sales team? 

Megan: I like to think of it like a snowball: the quicker you add and compact confidence, a sales pipeline, use resources and stay motivated, the faster you get the ball rolling to reach the next level. 

Our success is based on meeting our goals and we have all the resources around us to do so. I meet with my manager twice a week to go over questions, comments, concerns, numbers and anything else necessary to move to the next level as soon as possible. Success is encouraged, embraced and celebrated, it's nice to have people supporting you along the way! 

Nadia: Hard work will get you moving here, it isn't a popularity contest. Be kind to your coworkers, show some hard work and dedication — and you'll be rewarded in kind. 

Jeff: Career growth at Justworks, or any sales team, starts with having deep knowledge of the product. Once someone understands our value, then exploring leadership roles or advancing to more senior levels is encouraged and always a possibility. 

Schuyler: We’re constantly evolving and growing, which is exciting, and also brings incredible opportunity as far as career development and growth. 

Jordan: Being a young and growing team, there seems to be an opportunity to progress if you show the right traits and attitude to be a leader within the office. I have only been here for four months, but becoming a sales manager seems like a real opportunity — especially if you voice interest in certain areas. 

 

I know the team is growing quickly, what is it like for someone new coming into such a fast growing team?

Megan: If I had any advice, it would be: don't be scared by the velocity of growth or amount of information received in the first couple weeks. It becomes easier!

I came from the fashion industry, and quite frankly did not know anything about what a PEO is, or even what PEO stands for. With support from my managers and many others on the sales team, I'm fully confident in what I do and learn more everyday. Everyone around you is willing to help you succeed and avoid any problems they faced when they started — except, of course, building your chair or standup desk (those are an unwritten right of passage).

I'm so happy every day because I work with an incredible group of diverse individuals that are supportive, kind, and successful! I wouldn't trade this job for anything. 

Nadia: It definitely can feel a little fast-paced, but our weekly all-hands meeting slows it down and gives new people an opportunity to introduce themselves and feel welcomed. Justworks is a super welcoming environment and we always want everyone that walks through our doors to feel like they're a part of something great.

Jeff: It’s exciting that the team has grown so much since I’ve joined and is still continuing to grow. I see it as a great opportunity to understand the sales process as a whole. At the same time, it allows the creative freedom for someone to own a role or responsibility that the team hadn’t recognized was needed, but adds huge value.

Schuyler: For a new person, it naturally might be intimidating at first, but everyone at Justworks is incredibly friendly, supportive, and more than willing to answer any questions or help in anyway!

Jordan: It's definitely an exciting place. Even from the onset you feel fully welcomed and immersed into what the company is doing and where it is going. You never feel like an outsider, so getting acclimated is easy. Since the office is so open, people are always hanging out and it is, overall, a very friendly environment. 

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