​The new people teams: How Rapid7 is “scaling with soul”​

Yoga Sunset Meditation

4 mins, 36 secs read time

Do you feel it?

There’s a shift happening. Human Resources is reinventing itself. The most progressive companies have replaced HR with new People Teams.

Traditional HR departments, which have been around for 40 years, have long been focused on ensuring compliance and decreasing liability for the organization. On the other hand, the main objective of People Teams is to maximize the value of employees and drive business results through strategic talent acquisition, onboarding, and management.

Greenhouse customer and Greenhouse Open 2016 attendee Rapid7 exemplifies today’s new People Team. Besides being on a mission to engineer better security for companies, it’s also one of several modern companies leading the way in this new People revolution through its internal initiatives and efforts.

We recently sat down with Rapid7 Chief People Officer Christina Luconi to learn how her team is growing its People function and finding its place in the organization. Here’s what she had to say:

1. When was Rapid7 established? How many employees does Rapid7 have, and how many are on the People Team?
Rapid7 was launched in 2000 by our founders, Alan Matthews, Tas Giakouminakis, and Chad Loder. Today, we have over 800 employees and are growing by the day. There are 15 people on our global People Strategy Team (our "People Team"), with half of those being in the Talent Acquisition org in particular.

2. Did Rapid7 always have a People Team, or did it morph from an original HR Department? If the former, how did your founders know that a People Team is what they wanted?
Rapid7 never had an HR Department. When I joined 5.5 years ago, where there was about 75 employees total, the only “People-People” on staff were a junior recruiter and a benefits administrator. We saw an opportunity to build the Talent Acquisition function first, and then we built the rest of the People Team around it. Everything was designed and built to scale and support our growing team to inspire and engage the greater organization.

3. How is the People Team constructed?
The Chief People Officer (me) focuses on scaling the company (with soul!) while also nurturing and enhancing our culture. In addition, the CPO oversees these three key areas:

  1. Talent Acquisition: A Sr. Director owns the team that carries out all global hiring and onboarding practices.
  2. People Strategy: A Sr. Director owns the team that handles employee relations, people development/learning, and growth.
  3. People Systems and Rewards: A Director owns the team that focuses on compensation, benefits, HRIS, and overall total rewards.

4. What has the Rapid7 People Team achieved so far?
Our People Team has made major strides which we are all very proud of! I’ll break it down into four different areas:

  1. Talent Acquisition: We’ve gone through a major period of hyper growth but have managed to scale quickly while keeping a keen focus on attitude, aptitude, and culture fit as well as skill. We have successfully leveraged employee referrals and the lion’s share of our hiring through our talent scouts. We have tried to avoid using outside help unless absolutely necessary.
  2. People Strategy: We have a great partnership between our people strategists and our business leaders. Our business leaders are respected partners when it comes to making people decisions regarding growth, development, team organization, and employee exits.
  3. People Systems and Rewards: We are competitive and innovative when it comes to total rewards and support it with a strong operations and analytics focus. The combination of listening to our people and supporting it with data is critical.
  4. Culture: Our culture is owned by our people; it goes well beyond having a cool office space or free food. Employees help us craft our core values which are a key part of our existence here, and they played a key role in developing our Moose Manifesto, an articulation of our core values and what it takes to be successful at Rapid7.

5. What does the People Team still want to achieve?
We want to continue to keep a high bar for quality. We are thoroughly committed to “scaling with soul.” This means keeping your culture as alive and sacred as possible, even as you continue to scale.

6. How does the People Team view its role in the overall organization, and how is the Team viewed by executives and other departments?
We view ourselves as a core part of the organization, and we are treated as such. We engage as business partners; if we understand others’ needs and deliver quality results in a timely manner, we are respected. Everyone here understands and supports that people are the lifeblood of our company. If we don’t hire, nurture, and engage our people, we will put ourselves at a massive disadvantage. Everyone—not just the People Team—has this perspective. It’s how we’re able to do the work that we do.

Join Rapid7 and other companies that are at the forefront of the People revolution by attending Greenhouse Open, our annual conference & networking event taking place May 25-27th in San Francisco. In particular, gain a better understanding of this shift and how it’s impacting your organization by sitting in on the session “The New People Teams,” led by Greenhouse VP of People & Strategy Maia Josebachvili and featuring Neil Frye, Global Head of Operations & Technology (People) at Dropbox, and Joris Luijke, VP of People at Grovo.

Simply click the button below for more information and to register for this not-to-miss event!

Greenhouse Open 2016