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What kind of person thrives at hx?

Team Updates, Recruitment, Talent & Culture6Mins
2021-12-09Written by Aimee Pearcy

Whenever we speak to hx-ers, one of their favourite things about working here is the team we have built. We’re still growing rapidly, so we wanted to share some thoughts from our current employees about what makes a great hx-er!

We truly believe that we have one of the most effective and engaging teams in the world.

They have got us to where we are today: raising $18 million in a Series A round led by Highland Europe, a headcount of 40, and a product that is being used by some of the biggest enterprise customers in the industry such as Convex and Aviva. As our company continues to grow, we are committed to maintaining this standard.

The last 18 months have been tough, and finding a fun and supportive work environment is a top priority for everyone – ourselves included. So, we wanted to take the opportunity to dive into how we work at hx, and what kind of people thrive in our workplace.

hx's “super principle” focuses on creating an environment made up of people who are ambitious, kind, thoughtful, honest, and supportive.

We have high standards for our employees, and we look for people whose ambition aligns with hx’s direction. Our team are some of the best in the world and they thrive on feeling challenged. It means that we are constantly pushing for excellence and no-one settles for ‘good enough’. Everyone at hx is obsessed with learning, developing, and being the best version of themselves.

To make sure that we attract the best people, we are reducing as many barriers as possible to create a level playing field during interviews. Many hiring processes in the tech industry still cater to a very specific skillset that often has very little to do with the job itself. We want to see you at your best, and we understand that there is no “one size fits all” interview format – so we let you customise the major stages of your interview process. It’s essentially a “choose your own adventure” hiring journey that gives you the opportunity to show off your strengths.

We make sure that everyone at hx has a thorough onboarding process. This includes a guided journey into your new role, an in-depth look at our ways of working here at hx, diving into our codebase (if necessary!), and becoming armed with the tools required to set you up for success.

We’re also very keen for our team members to begin building relationships with one another from day one, whether that’s through one of our regular social events, games nights, hackathons, or our lunch & learn events.

Our support continues long after the onboarding process has ended. We recognise that working at a high pace requires a solid foundation and support. To help make sure that everyone can bring their best selves to work each day, we offer benefits such as free access to mental health support, free career coaching, and a hefty learning and development budget designed to help you to progress faster in your career.

hx-ers are ambitious, kind, thoughtful, honest, and supportive

We understand that you don’t have to be in the office to produce amazing work, which is why we are proud to have a remote-hybrid working culture.

Our decentralised approach gives employees the option to work where they are most effective–whether that’s in the office, at home, or a combination of both. What we look for is balance within these relationships. Our remote employees show up at our offices at regular intervals throughout the year to touch base and connect with the team. As much as a fully remote schedule is great, sometimes we need to sit in a room together and brainstorm. Or play boardgames!

To make our workplace as inclusive as possible, we run almost all our hybrid meetings in “remote mode”. This means that even if there is a single remote colleague, everyone still treats the meeting as a video call.

But what does this look like in practice? As much as we love to talk about our intentions as we build out our team, it seems far more effective to let you hear from hx-ers themselves. To give you a flavour of the kind of creativity we look for, we chatted to some of our team members to give you a glimpse into some of the challenges they’ve faced, and the things they’ve enjoyed working on over the past few years.

Senior Backend Engineer Patrycja Kazala describes her time at hx as “one constant challenge”

As a Senior Backend Engineer, Pat’s role is to work with the rest of the team to develop our pricing platform, Renew. Since joining hx a year ago (when we truly were still right in the thick of our ‘startup’ phase), she has become a key member of the team.

When she first began work, hx was still relatively young and as a result the team was small, and there was lots of pressure to get things done. At the time, hx didn’t have proper documentation, so one of Pat’s first self-led projects was to develop this in order to streamline the process for all new joiners who would come after her. This has been so successful that her hard work now forms the backbone of our onboarding process for new engineers, who in turn contribute any information they have discovered along the way.

As a result, Pat has spent a lot of time learning about Renew, and the unfamiliar technologies used by hx. Before joining the team, she had never used the programming languages Python or Go – both of which are widely used within hx. But within weeks, she was already getting involved in hackathons and working on innovative side-projects that are still being used in hx today.

Pat sums up her experience as:

“fail, figure out how things work, fail again, and ask some questions.”

Cake is a priority at every hx party

As well as working as a Talent Partner, Lucy Szypula is a member of the hx social committee (yes, you read that right – hx has a social committee)

Lucy loves being creative and coming up with new ideas. It’s hardly surprising that she landed on the social committee after being at hx for only two weeks.

Alongside getting to grips with her new role, she immediately became immersed in organising hackathons, planning events (including the hardest quiz we’ve ever seen at the latest hx birthday, which included questions such as: “How much are Keith Richard's hands insured for?”, and “When was an alien abduction insurance policy introduced for the first time?”) and planning in-person and remote socials such as terrarium making and pottery classes. The social committee is also responsible for organising the delicious hampers that get sent to us during hackathons.

Lucy describes her role in the social committee as a “creative break”. As well as helping her to learn new skills, it gives her the opportunity to build connections with members of the team who she might otherwise never get the opportunity to work with.

“At hx, you can learn from people no matter what you do,” says Lucy. “Even when you’re not expecting it to happen.”

Our Product Manager Utsav Tiwary has always enjoyed hacking about with things in his spare time – and now he gets to do it here at hx

Utsav’s love for innovation quickly became apparent to the rest of the team during his first hackathon, in which he immediately started building out prototypes of things that he thought would be useful. But after seeing the level of hacks that his team members were creating, he felt inspired to work on some of his more complex ideas.

His first hack was connecting Renew to Google Home. This meant that users could carry out underwriting using voice commands. There were a few blockers, and ultimately the project didn’t work, but nevertheless Utsav felt extremely motivated by how much people valued his ideas.

As well as impressing his colleagues, these hacks helped Utsav to improve his technical knowledge and his skills in presenting and demonstrating his ideas. hx has also been invited to give talks based on Utsav’s creative hacks, which has encouraged us to push the boundaries of our Renew platform and showcase them to the rest of the market.

For a peek into how Utsav’s creative hacks work, you can take a look at his parametric insurance hack on our YouTube channel.

If all of this sounds fun and exciting to you and you think you’d fit in with the rest of the team, the great news is that we’re still hiring!

Want to join the team?

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