CIO.COM - May 18 - When Carol Mahoney met with Zoosk's founders Shayan Zadeh and Alex Mehr in 2014, she believed it was to finalize a post-IPO talent strategy. Zoosk was founded in 2007. It is #1 dating app in the world with 33M users. The company was set for an IPO but Zadeh and Mehr had other plans. They handed over executive control to former CFO Kelly Steckelberg, and scuttled plans for the IPO. A new strategy had to be implemented. "We were so focused on revenue growth because of this IPO that no one ever thought about the customers," said Mahoney. By January 8, Zoosk had reduced its workforce by ~15%. "We knew we needed four things:
- To serve customers better
- To boost engagement of the employees we'd kept on
- Set out our mission
- To achieve sustainable growth
We realized we had to over-communicate with employees about everything that was happening. We use Slack, an enterprise collaboration platform. Another area where employees demanded transparency was in compensation. In a tight talent market like San Fran, Zoosk had to focus on their differentiators. The company allows dogs in their office. There are weekly happy hours with beer on tap, parties and an extensive emphasis on volunteering in the community. Zoosk also promote the company's Hack Days, which are three-day hackathons to develop new ideas.