Q&A: Everlaw’s People Leader on Building One of the Bay Area’s Best Places to Work

On May 6, Everlaw was named a Bay Area Best Place to Work, ranking No. 2 for companies with 200-499 employees. The Bay Area Best Places to Work award celebrates organizations where employees willingly go above and beyond in their work, advocate for their workplace, and intend to stay into the future. 

In this Q&A, we go behind the scenes with Renita Sandosham, Everlaw’s VP People Experience, to learn what Everlawyers say makes the company a great place to work and what the People team is doing to create a “smorgasbord” of values-driven workplace activities.

Everlaw has been on a roll with winning company awards. What makes the SF Business Times “Best Places to Work” award stand out?

This award is determined by employees scoring their workplaces on whether they feel engaged and valued. It’s thrilling to be recognized by Everlawyers as a great workplace in such a competitive region known for its world-class companies. 

With more than 600 comments submitted, winning the award truly reflects the voices of our employees and shows how Everlawyers believe in the company today and are vested in its future.

 

It’s thrilling to be recognized by Everlawyers as a great workplace in such a competitive region known for its world-class companies.”

 

Peeling back the covers, what does this award reveal about Everlaw?

When the Business Times let us know that we had been selected as a best place to work, they sent a high-level summary of results and some employee comments. I love reading that feedback, and it gets to the heart of how Everlawyers feel. 

One of the comments really stuck with me:

“I feel fortunate to be here and I try to recruit everyone I know. We do good work in the world and we are treated well. It has been a dream for me.

This is very powerful. My role—and the larger talent team’s role—is to create a talent ecosystem that allows employees to thrive and be the best they can be. So when someone says they have found their dream job, that’s about as gratifying as it gets.

 

Since the pandemic’s start in March 2020, Everlaw has nearly doubled in size. How do you make sure the values are at the center of work when almost half of the company has joined remotely?

We set out to make our values at the center of everything we do. It starts with our CEO who meets with all of our new hires for 90 minutes every month to talk about our mission and values.  Most new hires are surprised at the investment of time that our most senior leaders make early in their onboarding. We believe that it’s critical that people embark on their journey with a deep understanding of values.

 

It’s great to see people acknowledge others who demonstrate our values. We have a recognition platform where you can give a shoutout to an employee and “pin” one of the 5 company values, known as Fistbump.  

Feeling recognized and valued, shouldn’t simply flow from reviews or managers but also from peer recognition. We’re proud to have a system that normalizes gratitude for small and big acts, and showcases values in action  

 

Feeling recognized and valued, shouldn’t simply flow from reviews or managers but also from peer recognition.”

 

What kinds of programs were successful in the pandemic? As we return to the office, which of these programs do you think will stick around and why? 

When we pivoted to remote work in March 2020, we immediately began building in more intentional moments for connection, knowing we’d be losing organic touchpoints of working in-person. We threw a lot of things out there because we didn’t want to lose momentum with collaboration. 

A favorite is Intermissions, an intentional 15-minute virtual space that connects random sets of Everlawyers to recreate those organic moments at the water cooler. We found that 15 minutes is just enough time to connect with someone you’ve never met before—perhaps about a project, restaurant, hobby, or upcoming vacation. 

 

What’s next for Everlaw’s People team?

We’re working hard on our transition to coordinated hybrid and preparing for our return to the office with a thoughtful model that provides a richer, deeper work experience. We’ll have three days when we are all in the office together: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. 

We believe that working together makes us a better company. When we come together, it’s easier to form new connections and identify new opportunities for collaboration, particularly as we grow as an organization. Our goal is that the coordinated hybrid approach makes work feel less transactional and more meaningful, while allowing for flexibility and distraction-free time during voluntary work-from-home days. 

Personally, I’m excited to showcase our Oakland headquarters to new and returning Everlawyers. The Facilities and Workspace teams have done a tremendous job with renovations and enhancements. 

 

Collaborative spaces evolve, and we’re looking to build inclusion and belonging with many kinds of interactions.” 

 

We added an entire floor during the pandemic with meeting rooms named after California parks that folks voted on. We’re excited to host in-person events in our larger meeting spaces, one of which is now equipped with a karaoke machine and disco ball! 

Some people will thrive on that energy, and others will prefer smaller group activities, and others will engage virtually on our work-from-home days. We want to create a smorgasbord of choices when it comes to social activities. We recognize that collaborative spaces evolve, and we’re looking to build inclusion and belonging with many kinds of interactions. 

 

Everlaw’s a small company with some sophisticated HR programs. How do you stay current with your knowledge of best practices?

We are fortunate to be a part of a thriving ecosystem of HR leaders and advisors through our venture capital investors, including TPG, CapitalG, Andreessen Horowitz and Menlo Ventures. We are part of a family of portfolio companies with HR leaders who are generous in sharing peer learnings on the tools, strategies, and resources they have explored and implemented. This was particularly invaluable at the onset of the pandemic, learning how other companies were tackling new issues from vaccine to mask strategies. 

More broadly, given how quickly the HR landscape is changing, it’s imperative to keep one eye continuously on trends in total rewards, performance management, L&D, talent systems and tools—all to help us stay true to our north star while scaling rapidly.

 

You’ve been at Everlaw for three years. What are some of the reasons you are proud to be an Everlawyer? What HR program are you most proud of?

I’m proud of how intentional we are with our People practices, particularly in our approach to driving diversity, equity, belonging and inclusion. We’ve worked hard to bring this lens in how we attract, hire, and nurture talent. 

 

I’m proud of how intentional we are with our People practices, particularly in our approach to driving diversity, equity, belonging and inclusion.”

 

Great outcomes—that is great, sustainable outcomes—don’t just come from good intentions. They come from stacking hands on the goals we want to accomplish and committing to build and execute on the processes and practices that will bring those outcomes.

I interview a lot of people and often candidates ask me, what keeps you at Everlaw? I tell them, I came for growth and impact; to build teams and to be challenged. I’m lucky I get to do this every day with an amazing team that keeps me grounded, accountable… and occasionally indulges my workplace karaoke passion!

 

 

Want to join one of the best places to work in the Bay Area? Everlaw is hiring!