What it's like working at one of Forbes' best startup employers

Forbes named Paradox one of the best startup employers in the country. It is. Trust me, I work there.

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My first day at Paradox was on February 22, 2021. A week later, I did something I've never done in my career, through multiple companies, several different roles, and two cities halfway across the country: I actually texted my friends about how amazing it was.

To be clear, my friends do not work in the talent space; they do not care about recruitment marketing or AI recruiting assistants; they have almost certainly never contemplated the complex idiosyncrasies of high volume hiring. I knew this, yet I persisted — the Paradox experience had that big of an impact on me.

Why? Because, at Paradox, there is purpose behind everything. Paradox’s values aren’t a marketing tactic — they’re the DNA ingrained in every employee and magnified through a week-long new hire orientation carefully molded and moderated by the talent team. This orientation is purpose personified; every company executive, including CEO Aaron Matos, spends (at least) an hour explaining their function, answering questions, and laying down a clear infrastructure of knowledge and shared language. There’s also homework and group projects.

This is what I learned: Good companies have good employees who show up and do their job; great companies have a collection of hungry, smart people who selflessly work together towards a shared goal. Getting that right takes hard work (and a lot of time). Honestly, it took coming to Paradox for me to realize it.

So when Paradox was named one of Forbes’ Best Startup Employers in March 2021, it didn’t necessarily feel like a surprise. It felt like the culmination of hours and hours of purposeful planning, research, and focus on getting the people thing right.

When I found out about the honor I immediately thought about Paradox’s Chief Talent Officer Jessica Rush, who is sort of our team building architect. She is quite literally a people person. I asked her what she thought about the recognition.

“Given the work we do in HR technology, we have the amazing opportunity to work with so many incredible companies on their recruitment journeys to build great teams,” she said. “It's what we're truly passionate about and it's an honor to be recognized among the very best. It's a testament to the Paradox team and how each of our employees has contributed to what we've built together.”

One thing I appreciate about Jessica (and a lot of the Paradox employees, for that matter) is her earnestness and transparency. I think a lot of executives would use something like this as an affirmation of a job well done; a harbinger of complacency. But I could tell that Jessica was not only not content with where Paradox is today, but motivated to always do better. It’s literally written into our values.

“We still have much work to do,” she told me. “We're constantly looking at ways to improve our candidate experience, our employee experience, and to better support our team in their roles and through learning and development. We don't always get it right, but we're on a journey of constant improvement and we have high expectations for ourselves and for what Paradox can become.

We're just getting started.”

Written by
Erik Schmidt
Erik Schmidt

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