Frances Wilk is the Head of Talent Acquisition at Breather, a real estate tech company that gives people access to beautiful private workspaces.
Can you tell me a little about your role as Head of Talent Acquisition at Breather?
One of my favorite questions! People automatically think I’m a recruiter, and that my role only involves hiring people. Yes, I do hire people, but Talent Acquisition is so much more than that. We’re people-focused strategic thinkers, ensuring that we hire specific skill sets for long term planning, versus just filling a vacancy.
I make sure that Breather is able to scale and that we hire in the most efficient and effective way. Alongside my recruitment team, I’m ultimately responsible for hiring top talent for Breather, and ensuring that our employees embody our core values, before they even walk through the door.
What does culture mean at Breather?
Our culture means so much more than just the usual perks of dogs and pizza. We rely on our core values as the principles that keep us highly aligned. Having the entire company on the same page and working towards the same north star—shaping the future of work—is key to a company like Breather as we are a distributed company. We are headquartered in Montreal, with our US operations based in1` NYC. We also have satellite offices in other cities where we have Breather locations, including San Francisco and London.
Working across time zones and countries can be a challenge, but it’s also a perk. We believe wholeheartedly in having the right people in the right position, which means our team members don’t have to move across the country or relocate to work. But we do require they have a valid passport as travel is a big part of working at Breather, whether it’s to connect with team members for some valuable facetime or getting the entire company together for the annual holiday party, we bring our people together whenever we can.
Most companies will say the same, that they value diversity and are working to be better at being inclusive and we too are evolving our programs. We’ve created a task force to help frame what diversity means to Breather, and how we can continue to be better. Diversity is essential to Breather’s success, and a foundational part of both our internal culture and ongoing recruitment efforts.
With offices across the world, Breather’s teams aren’t just in different cities, but different countries too. How has having a global workforce impacted culture at Breather? How do you keep culture consistent with remote teams?
It's important that every office has its own identity and subcultures, but the intrinsic values that Breather is built upon still act as the foundation of those offices.
Our Montreal HQ will evidently have a different environment and culture than our NYC, SF or London offices, and we certainly don’t want to diminish that. Being able to rely on our core values helps keep us aligned, working towards the same goal.
Breather is known for creating beautiful spaces that help people work better. How are those same principles incorporated into the workspaces in your offices?
Our mission is to make the world’s spaces connected, accessible, and productive, and we want our offices to feel the same! We’re a real estate tech company, and we pride ourselves on building an amazing experience for our customers, but also for our employees. There are tons of public and private spaces within our offices that enable you to do your best work - comfy sofas, open kitchens, and private phone booths - whatever you need to be productive.
How do you encourage learning in the workplace?
We definitely encourage learning and development at Breather, and want you to expand your mind and do great work while you’re here. Our conference/event initiative allows full-time employees to attend one conference per year for free that he/she feels will help them in their everyday work and, as a result, help grow Breather. We also want to promote internally. For example most recently, one of our Customer Care associates joined the brand team as a junior designer. We like to keep things in the family to show employees that you don’t have to leave Breather for the next step in your career.
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