Lack of a domestic credit history keeps millions of immigrants from realizing their dreams. Award-winning fintech Nova Credit helps newcomers apply for financial services using their international credit history from countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, among others. Nova Credit translates international credit data into a single standard format familiar to underwriters, who use it to evaluate applications for credit products. Through this approach, we unlock new futures for immigrants and new customers for the institutions that serve them.
More broadly, our mission is to power a fair and inclusive financial system for the world, one in which reliable data and technology empowers people to be represented fairly, regardless of their country of origin. We started our journey serving the financial needs of newcomers to the U.S. and are now expanding that capability to not only advance credit access for newcomers globally but also support credit access for all those discouraged by the current credit system.
- Transparent: As a business, Nova Credit allows individuals to own their international credit histories so that they can leverage that data to access the financial services they need to establish themselves in a new place. This belief in the power of data and information is central to the way that we operate internally, as well. All employees have access to key performance indicators via Slack channels and shared dashboards. Board decks are shared - as our readouts from Board meetings. And our People team shares a range of data often considered “too sensitive” to share broadly: diversity statistics, monthly, engagement survey results, and attrition information.
- Inclusive: Our DEI vision for Nova Credit is to build a diverse, connected community of Novans within which all employees, regardless of their identity, experience, or background, are included and have access to the resources they need to succeed. Allowing for a diverse population of Novans to thrive means taking a flexible approach, something that the myriad challenges of the pandemic only reinforced. We aim to empower a range of individuals within Nova Credit to help contribute to this inclusive culture by providing team bonding budgets, empowering our ERGs with dedicated resources (coaching and budgets), and making “Nova building” a core dimension of our performance evaluation process.
- Mission-Driven: Nova Credit is solving a real-world problem and having real-world impact on newcomers. Novans know their work will make an impact, so they contribute with empathy and create with this core mission in mind. We start every All Hands meeting with our mission and end with a story of customer impact. We routinely share and discuss current events at work, knowing how deeply they can affect our diverse employee community as well as the customer communities we serve.
☀️ Benefits & Perks
- Relocation assistance
- Visa support, especially given our work is dedicated to creating a world beyond borders
- Healthcare for you + 50% dependent coverage for medical, dental, and vision.
- We offer 16 weeks of parental leave. Mothers also have access to a mother’s room at the Nova Credit office.
- Unlimited vacation
- Flexible hours
- Each Novan gets a $1500 stipend/year to support professional development.
- On your work anniversary, you’ll receive reimbursement for a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world.
- Employees have the opportunity to pay for eligible commuter transportation and parking using pre-tax dollars and there is $75/month contribution by Nova Credit to commuter benefits account
- Employees have the option to make pre-tax contributions to a retirement investment account
- Employees may request a flexible or predictable working arrangement to assist with caregiving responsibilities
- There is a $50/month contribution by Nova Credit towards your cell phone bill and $30/month to cover wireless internet bills as we work from home.
✏️ Interview process
We like to follow a structured hiring process to ensure equity and fairness. The typical hiring process is listed below. While this process varies for some roles, the schedule applies to most prospective employees. The duration of the application process varies depending on Nova Credit’s needs and candidate timelines.
- Phone screen with recruiter or hiring manager
- Call with hiring manager (or other Novan)
- Skills assessment
- Onsite (virtual until Fall 2021)
If a candidate is rejected, they will receive a notification via phone or email from either the recruiter or the hiring manager. We aim to provide context on the rejection whenever possible and also strive to communicate with empathy and fairness.
📈 Career growth
We embrace a growth mindset and believe that talents can be developed through hard work and feedback. We strive to support all Novans in their growth and development and assess performance with the goal of supporting one another’s growth. We are committed to doing so fairly and equitably. We do this in a few ways:
- Despite out small size, we have clearly defined levels across functions across four dimensions: results, teamwork, Nova-building, and (when relevant) management.
- We run twice annual structured performance reviews and include 360 feedback. Our training for these review cycles includes a special focus on equity and combating bias.
- We ensure checks for bias on performance ratings and compensation decisions.
- Our performance and compensation philosophy and practices are carefully documented and shared with all Novans.
🖖 Work / life balance
Like many companies, Nova Credit has been remote for the majority of the pandemic and will transition back to physical offices in a hybrid capacity in the Fall of 2021.
The pandemic has challenged our concept of work/life balance. At Nova Credit we have focused on creating sustainability, reducing burnout, and maintaining flexibility. We believe that achieving sustainability is something that is shared across individual Novans, managers, and company leadership.
We encourage individuals to identify what sustainability means to them, to document their working preferences and communicate them openly to their managers and team members. When circumstances change at home or at work - as they often do - we encourage Novans to have open conversations with their managers about how to prioritize their work and, crucially, what work to shed. We recognize that for some individuals sustainability will mean early mornings and late nights because it allows them to pick-ups and dropoffs for their children. For others sustainability might mean quiet, Slack-free nights.
We also work with managers to reinforce the importance of establishing clear norms and expectations with their teams (e.g., around when sending / responding to Slacks or emails) and, when we see changes in staffing or company priorities (startup life!), to be clear and ruthless about prioritization. When external events or personal circumstances may be putting pressure on Novans, we work with managers to encourage them to check in with their teams and proactively identify opportunities to re-evaluate their workloads and deadlines.
Finally, we recognize that as an organization we can create the conditions for a culture of sustainable work to thrive. We work toward no-meeting Wednesdays and push leadership to model this practice. We have instituted biweekly half-day Fridays and coordinated summer and winter vacations so that everyone can rest.
Finding ways to empower individuals, teams, and the broader Nova community to work sustainability continues to be a key priority and a work in progress and something every Novan contributes to improving.
✨ Work style
We strive to foster a fun-loving, open-minded culture through various traditions over the years—from succulent workshops during your first week and the annual “Noscars” awards ceremony recognizing extraordinary work to employee-hosted Brown Bag Lunches and bi-annual company off-sites everywhere from Lake Tahoe, Half Moon Bay, and beyond.
We also recognize that there is not a one-size-fits all model to creating community among our employees, and so we strive to enable smaller communities to thrive within Nova Credit. Teams and Employee Resource Groups leverage dedicated budgets to organize events, trainings, and teambuilding activities that meet their unique needs and allow Novans of all backgrounds to find community within our organization.
Though these traditions have evolved in a remote world, we are eager to find new ways to socialize and connect with team members on both coasts—both in the “Zoomiverse” and eventually in person again as we plan to move to a hybrid model in the fall of 2021.
If you’re curious about what it’s like working at Nova Credit, please reply to this post with questions or send @jtwang, @irsal, @addy, @meliperti, @mmacisaac, @msileo, and @cloris a message.