Hi! I'm Sarah Koo, head of product at Gem, where we're on a mission to help recruiting teams engage and hire top talent.
I’ve been at Gem for 4 years now, and have loved every day of it. Before joining Gem, I wasn’t looking for a new job – I had been the first employee at a tiny startup that was acquired by Workday, and while I knew I wasn’t going to stay at Workday forever, I got to keep working with some of my favorite people on new and exciting products. My time at Workday also gave me a unique perspective on what I believed then and still believe is Gem’s huge opportunity, which is ultimately what convinced me to join as its first PM:
- Investing in human capital is one of the single highest ROI things you can do as a business, and
- The future of enterprise software is efficient and intuitive.
Since joining Gem, I’ve found that we live out both of those things everyday.
The former is something we help our 1000+ customers do at scale by enabling them to hire the best people for the business. But it’s also something we exhibit in our company continuously: our founders invested early in our culture by organizing a series of unconscious bias trainings when we were only a 30 person company; we offer coaching for all managers; and we foster an incredibly inclusive place to work through our benefits & perks, thoughtful policies, and celebrated diversity.
The latter is not a radical statement – I’m not the first or last to talk about the consumerization of enterprise software, but I think those who can execute on that well are few and far between. Enterprise software exists to make businesses more efficient, and yet the number of workers who enjoy using their software or think that it makes them individually more efficient is minuscule. Humans are capable of so much more than they actually do day-to-day, but we’re bogged down by administrative chores and clunky software, leaving us with little time to do the things that we’re uniquely well-suited to do for the business. What was the last piece of software you used that made you think “that was awesome – that saved me so much time and effort”?
The future of work is probably an overused term, but I think we’ve barely scratched the surface of what it means to truly revolutionize work. I was drawn to Gem because of how we prioritize the end-user experience in service of upleveling the entire business – I get to find new ways to make recruiters more productive and happier, which in turn makes their businesses run more efficiently and produces higher quality companies across the world. The number of recruiters who’ve told me that they’d pay for Gem out of their own pocket if they had to gives me confidence that we’re changing the way recruiters work for the better, leading to better outcomes for all.
When I’m not thinking about the next problem I get to solve for recruiting teams, I’m often spending time outside, trying a new recipe, attempting to garden, or ogling other people’s dogs. I also like to get away from the San Francisco “summers” by escaping to my home turf of Seattle when I can.
Ask me anything about product, recruiting (especially DEI, the candidate experience, and hiring managers 👀), or throw out a wildcard question if you like.