A Startup Within a Startup at Sonder

This spring, I joined Sonder, a rapidly-scaling tech company looking to launch their DC market. The company was completely new to me but the opportunity was too exciting to pass up.

Sonder aims to provide a unique, yet consistent experience for stays in beautiful hand-picked locations in cities around the world. Each Sonder is purposefully selected, designed and maintained — customized to reflect the vibe of its neighborhood. With thousands of beautiful spaces built for travel and life, Sonder is transforming the future of hospitality. And with 24/7 on-demand service, crisp linens, and over 200 other quality standards, we’re “taking stay further” for guests all around the world.

Why startups?

After college, I spent five years as a logistics officer in the Marine Corps. I found the excitement, leadership opportunity, and organizational challenges right up my alley. After starting a family, I transitioned to the more stable world of financial consulting, doing project management with Ernst & Young. Working with sharp, driven people at both of these organizations energized me, as did fast-paced and challenging work.

However, the stodgy mega-bureaucracies felt stifling. I was ready to lose the suit and tie and TPS reports.

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How We Applied Design Thinking To Employee Onboarding At Our Startup

Have you ever been frustrated with the way you were treated by a company as a job applicant?

I’m guessing the answer is “yes.”

Through my work with multiple startups, I’ve learned that design thinking provides incredible benefits to the organization by leveraging both the organization’s and applicant’s point of views.

Photo: Tim Gouw, Unsplash

Step 1: Empathize

We were a little frustrated, and a little embarrassed at our recruiting and onboarding

To service a potential avalanche of customers for our new product rollout, we set aggressive goals for hiring multiple specialties across a couple teams.

Our company, Notarize, was still young enough that there was very little formal process in place. Every individual’s onboarding experience was unique and disorganized.

We felt that we were failing to communicate our values to potential hires, failing to efficiently and smoothly onboard new hires, and failing to make a great first impression for new team members.

Time to reinvent our onboarding

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