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The CPO Perspective: Silicon Valley Tales of Hyper-growth

By Caitlin Allen

Lorie Boyd began her People Ops journey in college recruiting at Oracle, and went on to hire many of the early Salesforce team after she joined them as employee #90. After managing recruiting at other companies like Deem and Zendesk, she transitioned in people leadership. She’s currently Chief People Officer at Turo Inc.

Reflecting on her diverse experiences, Lorie shared the accessible lessons she’s learned along the way — ranging from best practices in recruiting college graduates, shaping a thriving hybrid employee experience… and crying for the first time during her most recent performance review. 

This blog has been adapted from that conversation and covers:

  • How to find the best college graduates for your business
  • Building a thriving team in a hyper growth environment
  • Creating an inclusive employee experience regardless of location

To hear the full episode, visit this page, or subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.


How to find the best college graduates for your business

After her time at Salesforce, Lorie found herself in college admissions. She spent several years in the field, then moved to a position at a high school helping students prepare for college. This experience led her to one major realization: recruiting from Ivy League schools can be great, but there is immense talent elsewhere.

“Ivy League colleges are incredibly selective, admitting only about 4% of students,” Lorie says. “So these amazingly, incredibly talented students are landing at other schools.”

By limiting your talent and recruiting search to ten highly selective schools, you’re cutting out potential talent that chose other institutions. 

There are other things you should consider when searching for the best talent, too, according to Lorie. Start by defining what “best” means to your organization.

Instead of looking for a stamp from a university on potential talent’s resumes, look instead for skills built and nurtured by staff and faculty. Find schools that align with what you’re looking to build into your culture and talent, and begin your recruiting process there. 


Building a thriving team in a hyper growth environment

The team required to build a well-functioning, successful business in a hyper growth environment will look different than those in other more steady environments. For example, employees must have the ability to adapt quickly and collaborate, particularly in earlier-stage companies. Lorie learned what building a great team took when she served at Salesforce as the 90th employee, helping the team to double in a single year.

“You need creative folks, you need pioneering folks, you need builders and risk-takers who are thoughtful about the risks,” she says. “Find people who can roll up their sleeves and aren’t afraid to try something new.”

When working within a high-growth environment, willingness and ability to learn are paramount. Employees that rely on a roadmap or are more comfortable following an exact playbook may not be as comfortable and fitting.

“Early-stage companies going through hyper growth are career and resume builders because you get access to so much opportunity,” Lorie says. “You just have to want to learn, build more skills and take advantage of it.”


Creating an inclusive employee experience regardless of location

Shifting to a hybrid or remote work environment doesn’t have to limit your culture — but it does mean it’ll look a little different. When Turo shifted to remote work, Lorie and other leaders communicated that employees would be expected to return to the office in the future. But once that time came, leaders tuned in and listened to employee feedback, ultimately deciding a distributed workforce wasn’t a bad thing.

Lorie’s team continues to help Turo adapt their previously in-office culture to a hybrid one. Her desire is to ensure that employees, regardless of their working location, have an inclusive experience — and her team is currently focused on making sure opportunities are equally distributed to all workers.

When working in an in-office setting, says Lorie, collaboration happens much more organically. Sitting next to someone, seeing them in the break room or having other opportunities to connect brings about the ability to work together on projects, ultimately providing the opportunity for more growth, recognition and development.

“We always try to keep those remote folks, who are just as talented and qualified, top of mind when distributing work or offering recognition, making sure we don't overlook them for promotion just because they're not physically on-site,” Lorie says. 

If you enjoyed this post, you’d appreciate our conversation, where we talk with Lorie and take a deep dive into the topics covered here and beyond, including avoiding layoffs by redistributing talent, implementing DEI initiatives that go beyond demographics, and more. Take a moment to listen to the full High Growth Matters episode. If you like what you hear, please consider leaving us a rating and bookmarking the podcast to be notified each time we publish a new episode.


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