Privacy Notice for Employees



Harnham Search and Selection Limited

Privacy Notice – Employees, Contractors and Workers

1.                 This Notice

1.1              We take the privacy and security of our staff’s personal information seriously. This notice explains our practices regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information we hold about employees, contractors and workers and applicants for roles with us.

1.2              This notice applies to all current and former employees, contractors and workers (“you”) of Harnham Search and Selection Limited (“we” or “us”).

1.3              This privacy notice does not apply to information we hold in relation to our candidates for roles with our clients, clients or third parties which is covered by a separate privacy notice available on our website.

1.4              This notice does not form part of any contract of employment or other contract to provide services. We may update this notice at any time.

1.5              This notice is governed by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) from 25 May 2018.

1.6              This notice applies to personal data we hold about you. “personal data” means information that relates to you as an identified or identifiable person.  

2.                 Legal basis on which we process personal data

2.1              Personal data we hold about you will be lawfully processed based on one of the following legal reasons (known as a “legal basis”):

2.1.1         Because you have consented to the processing;

2.1.2         Because the processing is necessary in order for us to comply with our obligations under a contract between you and us; or

2.1.3         Because the processing is necessary for a “legitimate interest”, a legitimate interest in this context means a valid interest we have as your employer which is not overridden by your interests in data privacy and security.

3.                 Data which we collect

3.1              We may collect and process the following personal data about you:

3.1.1         Personal contact details such as name, title, addresses, telephone numbers, and personal email addresses.

3.1.2         Date of birth

3.1.3         Gender

3.1.4         Marital status and dependants

3.1.5         Next of kin and emergency contact information

3.1.6         National Insurance number

3.1.7         Bank account details, payroll records and tax status information

3.1.8         Salary, annual leave, pension and benefits information

3.1.9         Start date

3.1.10      Location of employment or workplace

3.1.11      Copy of your passport

3.1.12      Recruitment information (including copies of right to work documentation, references and other information included in a CV or cover letter or as part of the application process)

3.1.13      Employment records (including job titles, work history, working hours, training records and professional memberships)

3.1.14      Compensation history

3.1.15      Performance information

3.1.16      Disciplinary and grievance information

3.1.17      CCTV footage, and other information obtained through electronic means such as swipecard records

3.1.18      Information about your use of our information and communications systems

3.1.19      Photographs.

3.2              We may also collect, store and use the following "special categories" of more sensitive personal information:

3.2.1         Information about your race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and political opinions

3.2.2         Information about your health, including any medical condition, health and sickness records.

3.2.3         Information about criminal convictions and offences.

4.                 How we collect your data

4.1              We collect personal information about employees, workers and contactors through the application and recruitment process, either directly from candidates or sometimes from an employment agency or background check provider.

4.2              We may sometimes collect additional information from third parties including former employers, credit reference agencies or other background check agencies

4.3              We will collect additional personal information in the course of job-related activities throughout the period of you working for us.

4.4              From time to time we may collect sensitive data via a hard copy or online diversity monitoring form if we do so then we will seek to obtain your consent for processing this data.  

5.                 How we use your personal data

5.1              We may use your information to:

5.1.1         Making a decision about your recruitment or appointment

5.1.2         Determining the terms on which you work for us

5.1.3         Checking you are legally entitled to work in the UK

5.1.4         Paying you and, if you are an employee, deducting tax and National Insurance contributions

5.1.5         Providing employment benefits to you

5.1.6         Liaising with your pension provider if necessary

5.1.7         Administering the contract we have entered into with you

5.1.8         Business management and planning, including accounting and auditing

5.1.9         Conducting performance reviews, managing performance and determining performance requirements

5.1.10      Making decisions about salary reviews and compensation

5.1.11      Assessing qualifications for a particular job or task, including decisions about promotions

5.1.12      Gathering evidence for possible grievance or disciplinary hearings

5.1.13      Making decisions about your continued employment or engagement

5.1.14      Making arrangements for the termination of our working relationship

5.1.15      Education, training and development requirements

5.1.16      Dealing with legal disputes involving you, or other employees, workers and contractors, including accidents at work

5.1.17      Ascertaining your fitness to work

5.1.18      Managing sickness absence

5.1.19      Complying with health and safety obligations

5.1.20      To prevent fraud

5.1.21      To monitor your use of our information and communication systems to ensure compliance with our IT policies

5.1.22      To ensure network and information security, including preventing unauthorised access to our computer and electronic communications systems and preventing malicious software distribution

5.1.23      To conduct data analytics studies to review and better understand employee retention and attrition rates

5.1.24      Equal opportunities monitoring

5.2              Each type of processing listed above is based on our legitimate interest and the performance of our contract with you. These grounds for processing will overlap and there may be several grounds which justify our use of your personal information.

5.3              If you fail to provide certain information when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have entered into with you (such as paying you or providing a benefit), or we may be prevented from complying with our legal obligations (such as to ensure the health and safety of our workers).

6.                 Sensitive Data

6.1              Under the GDPR certain "special categories" of particularly sensitive personal information require higher levels of protection. We need to have further justification for collecting, storing and using this type of personal information. We may process special categories of personal information in the following circumstances:

6.1.1         In limited circumstances, with your explicit written consent.

6.1.2         Where we need to carry out our legal obligations and in line with our data protection policy.

6.1.3         Where it is needed in the public interest, such as for equal opportunities monitoring or in relation to a pension scheme, and in line with our data protection policy.

6.1.4         Where it is needed to assess your working capacity on health grounds, subject to appropriate confidentiality safeguards.

6.1.5         We may collect information about criminal convictions if it is appropriate given the nature of the role and where we are legally able to do so.

6.2              Less commonly, we may process this type of information where it is needed in relation to legal claims or where it is needed to protect your interests (or someone else's interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public.

6.3              We will use your particularly sensitive personal information in the following ways:

6.3.1         We will use information relating to leaves of absence, which may include sickness absence or family related leaves, to comply with employment and other laws.

6.3.2         We will use information about your physical or mental health, or disability status, to ensure your health and safety in the workplace and to assess your fitness to work, to provide appropriate workplace adjustments, to monitor and manage sickness absence and to administer benefits.

6.3.3         We will use information about your race or national or ethnic origin, religious, philosophical or moral beliefs, or your gender identification or sexual orientation, to ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting.

6.4              We do not need your consent if we use special categories of your personal information in accordance with our written policy to carry out our legal obligations or exercise specific rights in the field of employment law.

6.5              In some circumstances, we may approach you for your written consent to allow us to process certain particularly sensitive data (for instance for diversity monitoring purposes). If we do so, we will provide you with full details of the information that we would like and the reason we need it, so that you can carefully consider whether you wish to consent. You should be aware that it is not a condition of your contract with us that you agree to any request for consent from us.

7.                 Sharing your information

7.1              We will share your personal information with third parties where required by law, where it is necessary to administer the working relationship with you or where we have another legitimate interest in doing so.

7.2              We may share your information with certain suppliers or other group companies who are assisting us with human resources, the management of employee benefits or payroll services. We may also share your information with other group companies for general management purposes.

7.3              All our third-party service providers and other entities in the group are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information in line with our policies. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

7.4              We may also share your information:

7.4.1         if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation (for example, if required to do so by a court order or for the purposes of prevention of fraud or other crime);

7.4.2         we may transfer your personal information to a third party as part of a sale of some or all of our business and assets to any third party or as part of any business restructuring or reorganisation, but we will take steps with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected;

7.4.3         to protect our rights, property and safety, or the rights, property and safety of our users or any other third parties.

7.5              Other than as set out above, we will not disclose any of your personal information unless you give us permission to do so. If we do supply your personal information to a third party we will take steps to ensure that your privacy rights are protected and that third party complies with the terms of this notice.

8.                 Security

8.1              We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that appropriate technical and organisational measures are carried out in order to safeguard the information we collect from you and protect against unlawful access and accidental loss or damage. These measures may include (as necessary):

8.1.1         protecting our servers by both hardware and software firewalls;

8.1.2         locating our data processing storage facilities in secure locations;

8.1.3         encrypting all data stored on our server with an industry standard encryption method that encrypts the data between your computer and our server so that in the event of your network being insecure no data is passed in a format that could easily be deciphered;

8.1.4         when necessary, disposing of or deleting your data so it is done so securely;

8.1.5         regularly backing up and encrypting all data we hold.

8.2              We will ensure that our staff are aware of their privacy and data security obligations. We will take reasonable steps to ensure that the employees of third parties working on our behalf are aware of their privacy and data security obligations.

8.3              This notice and our procedures for handling personal data will be reviewed as necessary.

9.                 Data Retention

9.1              Our current data retention policy is to delete or destroy (to the extent we are able to) the personal data we hold about you in accordance with the following:

Category of personal data

Length of retention

Health and safety records (e.g. an accident book) being held at our premises

10 years from the date on which the relevant information was collected.

Records relevant for tax purposes including records of pay and benefits

8 years from the end of the financial year to which the records relate.

Applicant records (where no employment or engagement has resulted)

2 years from the date of your interview with us

Records relating to human resources

7 years from the end of your employment with us

Records relating to pensions

7 years from the end of your employment with us in the case of personal pension records 80 years from the end of your employment with us in the case of occupational pension records

 

9.2              For any category of personal data not specifically defined in this Notice, and unless otherwise specified by applicable law, the required retention period for any personal data will be deemed to be 7 years from the date of receipt by us of that data.

9.3              The retention periods stated in this Notice can be prolonged or shortened as may be required (for example, in the event that legal proceedings apply to the data or if there is an on-going investigation into the data).

9.4              We review the personal data (and the categories of personal data) we are holding on a regular basis to ensure the data we are holding is still relevant to our business and is accurate. If we discover that certain data we are holding is no longer necessary or accurate, we will take reasonable steps to correct or delete this data as may be required.

9.5              If you wish to request that data we hold about you is amended or deleted, please refer to clause 10 below, which explains your privacy rights.

10.              Your privacy rights

10.1           The GDPR gives you the following rights in respect of personal data we hold about you:

The right to be informed

You have a right to know about our personal data protection and data processing activities, details of which are contained in this notice.

The right of access

You can make what is known as a Subject Access Request (“SAR”) to request information about the personal data we hold about you (free of charge, save for reasonable expenses for repeat requests). If you wish to make a SAR please contact us as described below.

The right to correction

Please inform us if information we hold about you is incomplete or inaccurate in any way and we will update our records as soon as possible, but in any event within one month.

We will take reasonable steps to communicate the change to any third parties to whom we have passed the same information.

The right to erasure (the ‘right to be forgotten’)

You may ask us to delete or remove personal data if there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), if we may have processed your information unlawfully or if we are required to delete your personal data to comply with local law.

The data may continue to exist in backup form, but we will take steps to ensure that it will not be accessible.

We will communicate the erasure to any third parties to whom we have passed the same information.

We may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

The right to restrict processing

You can request that we no longer process your personal data in certain ways, whilst not requiring us to the delete the same data.

The right to data portability

You have right to receive copies of personal data we hold about you in a commonly used and easily storable format (please let us know a format which suits you). You may also request that we transfer your personal data directly to third party (where technically possible).

The right to object

Unless we have overriding legitimate grounds for such processing, you may object to us using your personal data if you feel your fundamental rights and freedoms are impacted. You may also object if we use your personal data for direct marketing purposes (including profiling) or for research or statistical purposes. Please notify your objection to us and we will gladly cease such processing, unless we have overriding legitimate grounds.

Rights with respect to automated decision-making and profiling

You have a right not to be subject to automated decision-making (including profiling) when those decisions have a legal (or similarly significant effect) on you. You are not entitled to this right when the automated processing is necessary for us to perform our obligations under a contract with you, it is permitted by law, or if you have given your explicit consent.

Right to withdraw consent

If we are relying on your consent as the basis on which we are processing your personal data, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. Even if you have not expressly given your consent to our processing, you also have the right to object (see above).

 

10.2           All SARs and other requests or notifications in respect of your above rights must be sent to us in writing to Marion van Vlierden, Harnham Search and Selection Limited, 3rd Floor, Melbury House, 51 Wimbledon Hill Road, Wimbledon, London, England, SW19 7QW, dataprotection@harnham.com.

10.3           We will endeavour to comply with such requests as soon as possible but in any event we will comply within one month of receipt (unless a longer period of time to respond is reasonable by virtue of the complexity or number of your requests).

11.              Data Breaches

11.1           If personal data we hold about you is subject to a breach or unauthorised disclosure or access, we will report this to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and/or our Legal and Compliance Manager.

11.2           If a breach is likely to result in a risk to your data rights and freedoms, we will notify you as soon as possible.

12.              Transferring your information outside Europe

12.1           We do not expect to transfer your personal data outside of the EEA. However there may be circumstances in which we need to do so (for instance if our servers are based outside of the EEA or if your work is international in nature).

12.2           We may transfer your personal data to group companies who are outside of the EEA but if we do so we will ensure that the group companies have entered into a binding agreement with us to secure your rights in relation to the data.

12.3           If we transfer your information outside of the EEA, and the third country or international organisation in question has not been deemed by the EU Commission to have adequate data protection laws, we will provide appropriate safeguards and your privacy rights will continue to be enforceable against us as outlined in this notice.

13.              Contact us

13.1           If at any time you would like to contact us with your views about our privacy practices, or with any enquiry or complaint relating to your personal information or how it is handled, you can do so via the following email address Marion van Vlierden, dataprotection@harnham.com.

 

If we are unable to resolve any issues you may have or you would like to make a further complaint, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office by visiting http://www.ico.org.uk/ for further assistance.

 

Big Data In Politics – Win, Lose, Or Draw

Big Data In Politics – Win, Lose, Or Draw

In the movie Definitely, Maybe starring Ryan Reynolds, there’s a scene in which he must sell tables for a political campaign dinner fundraiser. He makes call after call with no luck. Finally, in frustration, he speaks plainly and finds a connection between the politician and the prospective donor. In an instant, he understands. Make the connection and you can’t go wrong. This is the 90’s version of micro-targeting. Online advertising today has honed targeted Marketing to an art form and it’s infused every industry from Fisherman’s Wharf to Wall Street to Washington. Messages are crafted on detailed profiles of what makes us unique such as hopes, fears, dreams, emotional triggers, and more which is then taken out of the hands of humans. Enter such deep, personal details into automated technologies and you’ll get automated reactions. How did we get here? Ever since Cicero’s brother, Quintus, who approached politics with a do anything to win mindset, we’ve been working toward this point. But, when it comes to technological advances within politics, George Simmel put it best when he wrote around 1915, “the vast intensive and extensive growth of our technology…entangles us in a web of means, and means toward means, more and more intermediate stages, causing us to lose sight of our real ultimate ends.”  What does this mean? It means we have moved so quickly and with such intensity as we push inwards while reaching outward, we get tangled up in our own systems. Before we know it, it’s difficult to separate the means from their ends, and we lose sight of our purpose. In other words, it can be hard to keep our sense of direction with our constant distraction of tasks, systems, and processes. According to Simmel, this would soon morph into what he called a ‘fragmentary character.’ Like a mosaic, we put the pieces back together and assemble the bits to fit our concept of the world.   The Digitizing of Campaigns Traditional campaigning has traditionally looked much like the movie scene mentioned above with phone banks, whiteboards, and handmade signs. But, today, things are changing. Everyone has at least one smart device which can sync information in real time to a range of devices. Algorithms and predictive modeling help reduce the guesswork, though gut feeling and instinct still prevail. At least, for now. Our machines are learning how to learn about us and define what we believe and wish to see by historical Data, or rather our past behaviors. Where psychographic profiling meets micro-targeting. What was once only seen in the Marketing world has now entered politics. Just like marketers want to know what people are interested in, so to do politicians wish to know what voters think. To do this, both industries will study behavioral and attitudinal profiles to help understand a demographic better or discern a gap in the marketplace. In consumer research, companies rely on psychographic micro-targeting to reach smaller groups and individuals. The key question here is to ask is to what extent are politicians prepared to pass laws that restrict their own opportunities to know more about voters. Just as the next generation of voters are coming, so too are the next generation of tools being developed.  One Final Thought… Over the last 20 years or so, we have built an immense Data structure from mobile devices to social media to modelling processes and more. With this kind of connectivity combined with fragmentary media, the use of Data Analysis has a big role to play going forward. If we seek change in our political and social infrastructures, we will have to reimagine the structures currently in place. From algorithmic modelling to AI and Machine Learning, the possibilities for new ideologies has emerged blurring the lines between context and production in which Data underpins capitalism. As those in Data Analytics continue to pursue an uninterrupted (read: non-fragmentary) vision of the world, we find ourselves at a new stage in history of where both looking back and looking forward at the same time informs our future.   Where would you like to go? If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or contact one of our expert consultants to find out more:  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

Going Green With Big Data

Going Green With Big Data

Greta Thunberg sailed the Atlantic to come the UN to talk about climate change. Her mother, a renowned opera singer, has given up air travel to support her daughter’s efforts. There is a zero-waste movement to lessen our trash and help alleviate the carbon footprints from our buying, traveling and more. These are steps humans have made. Yet technological advances may make it possible to flip the script for the environment and Big Data has a big role to play.   What are Some of the Advances Taking Place? Technological advances have brought us breakthroughs in modern science and in every industry. Now, we are at a time and place in where our technologies cam help tackle climate change. From modeling to predictions, we can begin to build not just a map of environmental concerns, but begin to build a road toward a solution. Below are just a few of the ways technology is being used to advance solutions for climate change. AI modeling makes it easier to identify problemsPredictive Analytics models can create different scenarios to see ‘what happens if?’Big Data is used to identify areas which need immediate attention This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using technology to predict and identify climate concerns. While some parts of the world contribute more to the problem than others, Big Data has made it possible to draw conclusions where the hardest hit areas are and is key to addressing the problem. But whatever Data brings, the information is useless if it isn’t used to formulate and put forward better environmental practices and policies.  Ways to Upscale Urban Data Science  Manhattan, Berlin, and New Delhi, as varied as they are, have one thing in common. They’re often sites for case studies when it comes to analyzing our environment. However, our advances continue to improve and we’re able to learn from state-of-the-art Data infrastructures. These can include such things as social media data combined with earth observations to see how they might better integrate. A research publication in Berlin suggest three routes for expanding knowledge. They are: Mainstream Data collectionsAmplify Big Data and Machine Learning to scale solutions and maintain privacyUse computational methods to analyze qualitative Data With these advances in place, there is a chance urban climate solutions could effect change on a global scale. With the proper Data of urban areas in place, including that of related greenhouse gases, socio-economic issues, and climate threats, Data professionals can get a clearer picture of what needs to be done. Building on the advances that are in place with the integrated technologies of AI, Predictive Analytics, and Big Data helps make big strides in combatting climate change. According to reports, only about 100 cities make up 20% of the global carbon footprint. Yet 97% of climate concerns are focused in urban areas. There’s still a lot which remains to be done to combat the greatest issue of our age, but working hand in hand – machine and human – we just might find ourselves on reprieve and the chance to leave the world better than we found it for the next generation. The next Greta Thunbergs of the world. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics, we may have a role for you. Check out our current opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more.  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

Data Engineer Or Software Engineer: What Does Your Business Need?

We are in a time in which what we do with Data matters. Over the last few years, we have seen a rapid rise in the number of Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers as businesses look to find deeper insights and improve their strategies. But, without proper access to the right Data that has been processed and massaged, Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers would be unable to do their job properly.   So who are the people who work in the background and are responsible to make sure all of this works? The quick answer is Data Engineers!... or is it? In reality, there are two similar, yet different profiles who can help help a company achieve their Data-driven goals.  Data Engineers  When people think of Data Engineers, they think of people who make Data more accessible to others within an organization. Their responsibility is to make sure the end user of the Data, whether it be an Analyst, Data Scientist, or an executive, can get accurate Data from which the business can make insightful decisions. They are experts when it comes to data modeling, often working with SQL.  Frequently, “modern” Data Engineers work with a number of tools including Spark, Kafka, and AWS (or any cloud provider), whilst some newer Databases/Data Warehouses include Mongo DB and Snowflake. Companies are choosing to leverage these technologies and update their stack because it allows Data teams to move at a much faster pace and be able to deliver results to their stakeholders.   An enterprise looking for a Data Engineer will need someone to focus more on their Data Warehouse and utilize their strong knowledge of querying information, whilst constantly working to ingest/process Data. Data Engineers also focus more on Data Flow and knowing how each Data sets works in collaboration with one another.    Software Engineers - Data Similar to a Data Engineers, Software Engineers - Data ( who I will refer to as Software Data Engineers in this article) also build out Data Pipelines. These individuals might go by different names like Platform or Infrastructure Engineer. They have to be good with SQL and Data Modeling, working with similar technologies such as Spark, AWS, and Hadoop. What separates Software Data Engineers from Data Engineers is the necessity to look at things from a macro-level. They are responsible for building out the cluster manager and scheduler, the distributed cluster system, and implementing code to make things function faster and more efficiently.  Software Data Engineers are also better programers. Frequently, they will work in Python, Java, Scala, and more recently, Golang. They also work with DevOps tools such as Docker, Kubernetes, or some sort of CI/CD tool like Jenkins. These skills are critical as Software Data Engineers are constantly testing and deploying new services to make systems more efficient.   This is important to understand, especially when incorporating Data Science and Machine Learning teams. If Data Scientists or Machine Learning Engineers do not have a strong Software Engineers in place to build their platforms, the models they build won’t be fully maximized. They also have to be able to scale out systems as their platform grows in order to handle more Data, while finding ways to make improvements. Software Data Engineers will also be looking to work with Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers in order to understand the prerequisites of what is needed to support a Machine Learning model.   Which is right for your business?  If you are looking for someone who can focus extensively on pulling Data from a Data source or API, before transforming or “massaging” the Data, and then moving it elsewhere, then you are looking for a Data Engineer. Quality Data Engineers will be really good at querying Data and Data Modeling and will also be good at working with Data Warehouses and using visualization tools like Tableau or Looker.   If you need someone who can wear multiple hats and build highly scalable and distributed systems, you are looking for a Software Data Engineer. It's more common to see this role in smaller companies and teams, since Hiring Managers often need someone who can do multiple tasks due to budget constraints and the need for a leaner team. They will also be better coders and have some experience working with DevOps tools. Although they might be able to do more than a Data Engineer, Software Data Engineers may not be as strong when it comes to the nitty gritty parts of Data Engineering, in particular querying Data and working within a Data Warehouse.  It is always a challenge knowing which type of job to recruit for. It is not uncommon to see job posts where companies advertise that they are looking for a Data Engineer, but in reality are looking for a Software Data Engineer or Machine Learning Platform Engineer. In order to bring the right candidates to your door, it is crucial to have an understanding of what responsibilities you are looking to be fulfilled. That's not to say a Data Engineer can't work with Docker or Kubernetes. Engineers are working in a time where they need to become proficient with multiple tools and be constantly honing their skills to keep up with the competition. However, it is this demand to keep up with the latest tech trends and choices that makes finding the right candidate difficult. Hiring Managers need to identify which skills are essential for the role from the start, and which can be easily picked up on the job. Hiring teams should focus on an individual's past experience and the projects they have worked on, rather than looking at their previous job titles.  If you're looking to hire a Data Engineer or a Software Data Engineer, or to find a new role in this area, we may be able to help.  Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch if you have any questions. 

Sean Byrnes, CEO Of Outlier.Ai, On Creating A Business With Values

Sean Byrnes, CEO Of Outlier.Ai, On Creating A Business With Values

We sat down with Sean Byrnes, CEO of Outlier, an Analytics solution provider, to learn more about Outlier and its values. He also shared us with the power a candidate has when applying and interviewing for jobs in the tech industry today as well as how employers can retain their top talent. How long has Outlier been in business? We’ve been in business about four years. Prior to starting Outlier, I had another company called Flurry which we sold in 2014. When we sold it, I took a year off to reset my internal counter. I needed to reorient my work/life balance and then, when I felt I was in good shape to get back into things, we kicked off the launch of Outlier.  When you began Outlier, did you plan to map out your values of diversity, inclusion, transparency, and work/life balance? Or did it evolve as the company grew? Planning out our values is one of the first things my co-founder, Mike Kim, did when we were starting the company. It was intentional. We sat down and wrote down those values you see on the website.   I learned a lot in my previous company and there were a lot of things I did which followed the values we have which we didn’t follow intentionally. It just felt…right. Growing up in New York, a very diverse place, having a diverse team always felt more natural to me than a homogenous team. Add to that, having just spent a year with my new daughter and adjusting to being a parent and what that meant; it put things in perspective.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this. There’s no reward for running a company well. There’s no reward for following good practices and treating your employers with respect. In fact, the reason I started my first company was that I’d worked a lot of places that treated employers like resources or like widgets.  You put salary in one side and productivity comes out the other. I wanted to work somewhere that treated people like people. So, I started Flurry, and now have come into Outlier with a solid idea of our values and company culture. As important as tech skills are, there’s no data to support a feedback mechanism and predict success. Success comes from unexpected places.  So, by sitting down and writing out those values, we weren’t just signing up for a contract for how we would treat the people.  In our way, we were standing up as an example of how you can build a tech company that didn’t follow these bad habits.   Someone said, not too long ago, that the best employees stay in the same company for about 20-months before moving on to their next project. Often, it’s because the employee no longer feels creative.  In thinking through your company values statements, what would you say to a business who’s hoping to both attract and retain their top talent? Or do you think it’s better for these individuals to rotate off in order to keep things moving?  Tech companies typically have two problems: Companies are so desperate to keep going, they do whatever they can to survive. They promise themselves they’ll make compromises and fix the short cuts when the time is right.  So, they hire people who need not share their values or may not meet their criteria with a promise that when the company is successful, they will fix it and that time never comes. You’re never at a point where you’re so successful you can go back and remake those mistakes or fix them.For many, recruiting is a one-way system. You search for and hire a candidate, then another, and another without really putting much thought into it.  The reality is that you can’t build a high growth business that way. What you have to believe is that if you spend the time to find the great people that enjoy working on what you working on, where you treat them with respect, you give them not just responsibility but also the authority to do things that you create gravity. You create a world where the people you hire pull in the next group of people because people really want to work them, they want to be in that environment. A lot of our most recent hires here at Outlier are people that came to us, who wanted to work in this environment and when they saw how great our team are they want to add to that and it becomes a self-fulfilling cycle where the larger your core of great people the better your gravity is, the more great people it pulls in and so the gravity needs to expand and that’s how you build a high grow organization. You don’t build a high growth organization by having the best sourcing process, by having the largest recruiting team, the best employ onboarding. You grow the fastest if you can create a community and an environment people want to work in and when it becomes self-evident of that then you start to pull people in. And so those become the culmination.  How do the values that you’ve initiated affect your company? Have you found that those values foster a deeper loyalty and higher moral than in other places and other business that sound a little bit like yours?  We have a very low attrition rate. Yeah, people have left due to life changes, but otherwise we still have the same people we started with though their roles may have changed as we grew. There was nothing we set out to do, nothing on purpose to keep them, but just did things which felt right. In retrospect, it comes down to this. If you create an environment where people are learning, where they feel valued, and they enjoy the work, why would they leave? Where would you go? What could you prefer to that environment? I think by focusing on this early, it’s led to more employee retention.  My hope is that everybody’s who’s here will continue along the journey as we build the company together. Another example is our work/life balance. Both my co-founder and I are parents of young kids. My first few hires were parents of young kids. So, being family friendly has always been a core value of ours from the beginning.   Being family friendly is both a conceptual and a practical concept. Our policy is to be in the office three days per week and work from home two days per week. This gives our parents a chance to do things like take their kids to the doctor or attend a parent/teacher meeting. It’s become an enormously strong aspect for us because there’s a lot of people who have young kids and they don’t want to work in your stereotypical tech company. You know the one, the company who expects you to be in the office for twelve hours a day seven days a week.   Our employees like the challenge of building tech companies, but they need the flexibility we offer, too. So, just by having a simple stand of valuing people as people and parents as parents, means we have a competitive advantage in recruiting for roles. The senior people who can contribute at a very high level where they suddenly didn’t have any options and this is a chance for them to keep doing what they doing. They’re able to do what they love and not feel they have to compromise their family on its behalf.   It’s the kind of thing where very simple principles becomes an enormously strong competitive strong advantage in todays market. While it hasn’t been true for very long, it has definitely been the case so far for us. If you’re interested in Big Data and Analytics, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more.  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.