The secret behind ShopRunner’s hiring sprint
At ShopRunner, it’s all about creating a culture that provides choice and challenge. If Chief Technology Officer, Greg Ball, had to pick one quality that he most admires in ShopRunner employees, it would be determination.
In an e-commerce space dominated by Amazon Prime, it takes a lot of grit to challenge the status quo and innovate to develop a more enjoyable online shopping experience for retailers and consumers. But that’s exactly what ShopRunner employees do, and that’s why they love working there.
Perks include a flexible work schedule, generous parental leave program, paid time for community volunteer work and a robust snack station, all of which encourage ShopRunner team members to mold their optimal work environments. Ultimately, though, employees are attracted to ShopRunner’s agile work environment and ample room for upward mobility.
“One of the main reasons I came here was to have a larger impact on a company,” says Corey Sayers, Product Design Lead, who is currently working on a new native app that will facilitate better discovery and shopping experiences. “I feel I have a true seat at the table [at ShopRunner].”
The company prides itself on seven core values:
ShopRunner’s East Coast office is located in one of several buildings that comprise a new commercial and residential campus in Conshohocken, Pa. The open-concept office includes designated desks for employees as well as communal conference spaces. Whiteboard walls covered in code wrap around the interior of almost every room.
One particular board in the entryway stands out: designated the “Wall of Wonder,” Polaroids of each employee are neatly strung along like a colorful DIY clothing line, serves as a tool for new employees to put a face to a name in the office and as a way for team members to get to know one another.
Each week the board features a fun question like “What is your favorite restaurant?”. Employees write their answers in below their snapshots.
As ShopRunner continues to bring an increasingly Cali vibe to Conshy, it’s no wonder their staff has jumped by approximately 70 percent in 2017. Cat’s out of the bag: management openly plans to hire “pretty aggressively” quarter over quarter throughout this year.
What qualities does ShopRunner value in an employee?
ShopRunner looks for people who are self-motivated and hungry to learn. They’re particularly impressed by career changers and people with diverse backgrounds because they believe those are signs of people who have grit and a desire to learn new things.
What can new employees expect?
The process for new employee onboarding has evolved and expanded over the years. Today, it includes a series of meetings to deep dive into various areas of the company’s strategy. On an employee’s first day, they receive a full tour of the office--including the company’s snack space--and additional one-on-one meetings to get to know each of their team members. You’re also not alone on your first day! New hires start in a class at ShopRunner, so you will have new team members to bond with during the onboarding experience.
How do ShopRunner employees stay connected and engaged with each other?
ShopRunners like to “Slack it out,” communicating through an assortment of Slack channels throughout the day. They also participate in a daily morning “stand-up,” to touch base with their team on immediate goals, cross-team collaboration is encouraged through weekly product demos, called Sprint Demos, where developers get together to celebrate wins, showcase their work and hold lunch ‘n learns. A majority of these take place through video conference calls so that team members across both offices can participate.
What’s unique about the ShopRunner office?
It’s a flexible work environment so employees don’t feel obligated to clock in and out from 9 to 5. It’s all open cubes, so if someone needs something then they can just holler over to someone else (while, of course, respecting boundaries too). Lunch is catered Tuesdays and Thursdays.
What’s uniquely challenging about building ShopRunner products?
ShopRunner makes products for the digital marketplace: consumers and retailers. As a result, the design and development teams dig in deep and listen to what consumers need, and retailers desire, so they can build something that marries the two sides and works for both parties. It’s like a huge puzzle.
What is the pace like at ShopRunner?
Very fast-paced, exciting and open. If you throw out an idea in the morning stand-up, you can be coding it in the afternoon. There’s no such thing as a ‘silly idea’ as it usually spawns conversation and turns into something real that nobody predicted. In addition, the CMO has an open-door policy, and you can talk to him about anything at any time.
What features are the teams working on at the moment?
‘Out of stock’ notifications and optimizing our Cart Abandonment solution for retailer sites. ShopRunner employees say this has been a fun challenge to work on, because they have over 100 different retailers, so when they build a product that specifically lives on retailers’ sites, it’s a challenge to create something that can work with all different layouts, functionalities and brand identities. In addition to e-commerce products for our retailer sites, the team has been working on improving our app experience, where discovery and shopping are combined with products from our retail partners.
Sean LawrenceSoftware EngineerSean graduated from Lehigh University with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science. His first job out of college had limited opportunity to try new ideas or make mistakes, which is why he loves the freedom to innovate at ShopRunner. Read More »
“I knew I wanted to try working for a startup but I was afraid I’d have to leave Philly because you don’t always see it on the map for tech... By working at ShopRunner, I am giving Philly a chance. And I’m so glad I did.”
Stacey RosenfeldSenior EngineerWith a Master’s degree in computer science from Cornell, Stacey started as a back-end developer at ShopRunner before moving into development operations and then on to her current role as a full stack developer. Read More »
“ShopRunner is small enough to try out a lot of different roles and having great people to work with makes coming to work every day an enjoyable experience.”
Corey SayersProduct Design LeadWith a background in product management and design for large financial institutions like Barclays, Corey focuses on increasing partnerships with retailers; he’s also working on a new native app to facilitate better discovery and shopping experiences. Read More »
“I came to ShopRunner to do something more entrepreneurial, without the red tape and bureaucracy.”
Scenes from ShopRunner's Conshohocken Office
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