People Operations Associate at HqO
Juliana joined HqO in December 2021 as a People Operations Associate. Working on the Human Resources team, she collaborates regularly with professionals from other departments to ensure a seamless and positive experience for all new employees. Her day-to-day primarily involves onboarding and benefits enrollment.
You started at the company relatively recently. Could you begin by describing your role at HqO?
Sure. I’m the People Operations Associate on the HR team here at HqO. I’ve been here for about six months. I came from a healthcare background, so the real estate world is new to me. It’s really interesting to see how a startup functions, especially in terms of onboarding and from an HR perspective.
It’s interesting that you came from healthcare. What inspired you to make that switch?
I graduated from college with a degree in social work, and I knew right away that it wasn’t for me. I got into HR in the healthcare field because I felt that it was somewhat relevant to social work. I made the switch out of healthcare because I was feeling pretty burnt out and decided I was ready for the next exciting thing that would keep me more motivated.
We’re so glad you came to HqO! Can you talk a little bit about what your day-to-day looks like here?
My day-to-day involves handling all of the onboarding and benefits enrollments for new hires. When a candidate signs an offer with the Talent Acquisition (TA) team, they’re handed over to me for onboarding. This includes sending them welcome emails, getting new hire swag bags put together, making sure all of their documents are signed, making sure we’re in compliance from an HR perspective, and really setting them up for success for their first week.
From that point forward, and for the rest of their time here, I’m the first point of contact for them for all things benefits related. I make sure that the whole process is smooth. Then, when and if it comes time for an employee to leave the company, I’ll conduct exit interviews, gain feedback on their experience at HqO, make sure they’re properly off-boarded, and connect with managers on how to make things better in the future.
So it sounds like you naturally have a hand in many different parts of the company. Is there one team or group that you collaborate with the most?
Definitely the TA team. Once the TA team provides an offer to an employee and the employee signs that offer letter, they’re then handed off to me. So, I connect with the TA team almost daily to gather information on upcoming new hires, and to make sure I have all the information that I need so I can set up their onboarding. I really enjoy it because it’s nice to see all of the new faces joining the team. I can meet and talk with people I probably wouldn’t normally interact with on a daily basis.
What’s it like to work in HR at a workplace experience company?
Working in healthcare wasn’t as fun. At HqO, we definitely put the emphasis on workplace experience or, in my case, the employee onboarding experience — making sure that employees feel well taken care of from the moment they step in the doors.
And again, we’re a workplace experience company, which means that the products we build are designed to enhance the employee’s experience in the workplace. So we try to look at that from an HR perspective, and we’re constantly trying to improve. How do we get the best interactions with candidates when we are reaching out to them for jobs? How do we make sure they feel excited to join this company?
And since I’ve started, we’ve looked at the way we onboard employees multiple times and thought, “How can we make this better?” Signing an offer letter and starting a new job is really exciting and I’m happy to be on the other end of that. Even if it’s a custom welcome email with all the information you may need or making sure your first day is great, it’s all part of the employee experience.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. On a higher level, what do you think the role of an HR department is or ought to be in improving workplace experience?
Well, recruiting and retaining talent is the number one priority for HR. So, we want to get people in the door, and then we want to keep them happy. To do that, we make sure everything is seamless from start to finish, and that they’re happy throughout their time here.
Personally, I won’t ever work for a company that doesn’t value the workplace experience again. We spend way too much time at work to not have a positive, fun, and welcoming environment where you feel valued and taken care of.
Totally agree. What about the tech — is there a piece of workplace experience technology that excites you the most?
I think particularly speaking for HqO, it’s definitely exciting and very convenient to have an app. We all have apps on our phones that have multiple different purposes, but there really isn’t anything like HqO for the workplace. With the HqO app, everything is on my phone; my access badge to the elevator and suites, upcoming events within the company and around Boston, etc. The app really encompasses everything. So I think it’s pretty exciting.
Agreed. How do you see workplace experience technology shaping the future of the industry?
I think people realize that there’s a lot of remote work out there. Like, I could find a job tomorrow where I don’t have to be in the workplace, right? But why do I want to be in the workplace? It’s because I’m working for a company that’s taking the time to make that workplace experience better. Again, maybe it was the pandemic. Maybe it’s just a lot of the workforce going remote, but there’s now a lot of pressure on companies to think strategically about how to get employees excited about being in the office, and our app just makes things easier.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
In the six months that I’ve been here, I’ve already seen such a growth in the company. I’m definitely excited for the future. From an HR perspective, I get a different view because I get to see all the new hires coming on board. And it’s really exciting to see how much experience they bring to HqO, how fast they hit the ground running and make a meaningful impact on the company no matter what department they’re in.
And I think at the end of the day, the people that we hire and the people that we retain here, they make the company culture. And so far everyone’s really friendly. They very much embody the HqO values, which are very important. I’m excited about the work I do, and the people that I meet make it that much better.
The people make the place! The point about expansion is interesting, too. What’s it like to work at a company that’s experiencing this kind of growth?
I would say it’s exciting and motivating. We’re all working towards a common goal, and I feel like everyone’s really hungry for success. It’s really exciting to see that. Coming from healthcare, it’s kind of stagnant. It’s the same thing all the time, and that’s definitely not the case here. So, it’s really motivating to be here.
Based on your experiences at HqO, what do you think the future of workplace experience should look like?
Workplace experience (WX) is going to look different from one company to the next, but essentially it’s important to build a workplace experience that will keep your employees engaged and empowered to do their best work, since engaged employees are more likely to remain with the company. Having a designated WX leader/team that advocates for employees is also crucial when it comes to gathering feedback that can communicate the needs of employees to leadership. Having someone in this role ensures that companies are staying on top of what will help provide the best environment for employees. Employees’ needs are constantly evolving, and their workplace experience should evolve with it.
Inside HqO pulls back the curtain and introduces you to the people who make HqO the undisputed leader in workplace experience technology. For more information on HqO, click here. If you’re interested in joining Juliana and the HqO team, check out all of our current openings here.