Fronteer Spotlight: A chat with Gwen Waichman – Tech| Customer Service
Our Fronteer Spotlight series highlights some of our awesome team, the work we do, and what inspires us every day. Interested in joining us? Check out the openings on our jobs page.
Gwen: I first heard about Front from a former co-worker at Dropbox — rave reviews about an “exceptional CEO” and “a team I would love” and a “product that will solve email.” Given that this came from a very talented salesperson who could likely sell me sand on a beach, I was very skeptical. But after I saw a demo of the product, my jaw dropped. WHERE HAS THIS APP BEEN AND WHY HAVE I NOT BEEN USING IT?! I immediately identified with the pain points Front is solving for, particularly in a highly collaborative field like recruiting with heavy email traffic. I was intrigued and agreed to meet the CEO, Mathilde, and the rest of the team. I knew it was the right fit and the rest is history.
“After I saw a demo of the product, my jaw dropped. WHERE HAS THIS APP BEEN AND WHY HAVE I NOT BEEN USING IT?!” – Gwen Waichman
G: I started gravitating towards recruiting in college. I was obsessed with recruiting for my a cappella group, The Class Notes (nerdy, I know). It was a very competitive climate (over 12 groups on campus!) so I spent a lot of time
thinking obsessing about how to build our brand on campus, attract the best singers, and convince them to join. Some of my favorite memories in college were around our audition process — helping people feel comfortable so they could showcase the best of their abilities, seeing potential in freshmen, and advocating to bring people on board. Over the years, I loved seeing performers grow and the group improve significantly overall. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked on the extremely personal aspect of recruiting, the highs and lows that come along with it, and the lifelong friendships I’ve made along the way.
After college, I pursued recruiting professionally at Capital One and then Dropbox. I joined Dropbox at 250 employees and left at around 1500 employees, so I became interested in joining an early-stage startup as the first and sole recruiter. The times in my life when I’ve grown the most have been when I was uncomfortable and pushed outside of my comfort zone, so it seemed like a good idea. I should be very clear that I was as terrified as I was excited! It turned out to be even more challenging and rewarding than I expected, and I’m very glad I took the leap.
”I should be very clear that I was as terrified as I was excited! It turned out to be even more challenging and rewarding than I expected, and I’m very glad I took the leap.” – Gwen Waichman
G: Everyone wants to make an impact in this world (or at least I haven’t met anyone yet who says otherwise 😛). I measure my impact by building high performing teams who make an exponentially bigger impact than anything I can accomplish on my own. Seeing the people I hire be happy and successful is extremely gratifying. And it never gets old! People are so different. Positions and teams change. Company needs evolve. You have to constantly adapt, and there’s so much to learn, which keeps things interesting. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to call myself a recruiting expert.
G: Share drafts! Share drafts! I want to shout it from the rooftops! Everyone should have the ability to share drafts, particularly in a field like recruiting that’s external-facing and highly collaborative internally. I can collaborate with hiring managers and teammates on email drafts directly (no copy-pasting from a doc or having to go back and forth with multiple emails). I also love ghost writing (I can give our busy CEO some time back, for example, and then I can easily follow along without having to bug her to loop me in).
“Share drafts! Share drafts! I want to shout it from the rooftops! Everyone should have the ability to share drafts, particularly in a field like recruiting that’s external-facing and highly collaborative internally.” – Gwen Waichman
G: Ahhh, there are so many good memories — it’s hard to pick one! In December 2017, I teamed up with Meghan from our sales team to plan a Front musical production. We both love to sing and are big musical theater fans, and thankfully Front is very supportive of our passions. Given the French roots of our company, Les Misérables was an obvious, but ambitious, choice. It required a ton of time and effort to plan with plenty of silly challenges along the way (when you get a dozen people on a rooftop marching in unison, you might get some noise complaints from the people below 😬).
In the end, we pulled it off and had a blast! Though we were working on something wildly different than our day jobs, it still felt familiar to what we do every day — working hard together to build something bigger than ourselves, and having a ridiculous amount of fun along the way.