JOHN KASANG

HR Business Partner
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2011

John has lost count of the number of roles he’s had here. He’s a shining example of career mobility at Groupon, starting off as a temp in Editorial and making his way into HR by way of Recruiting. What’s next? Maybe blueberry farmer.

What’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?

I coached swimming at my local pool and one of the parents whose children I coached worked for a temp agency that had a position at Groupon. Diving for pennies was pretty fun, but I thought I’d give an office job a try!

What positions have you worked here?

I was hired as a temp to be a Merchant Center Creator and my full-time offer in March 2012 was for Quality Assurance in the Editorial department. From there I moved into an Associate Site Editor role and then I moved into HR.

Can you explain a bit about what each job entailed?

  • As a Merchant Center Creator (MCC) I opened up a central repository for merchants that would host their data from their deals. In Quality Assurance, we checked the facts! I was part detective, part internet troll, and part mathematician as we wanted everything on the deal to be correct. Finally, as an Associate Site Editor, we made edits to deals that were live on the site.
  • Jumping into HR, I started off as a Recruiting Coordinator. I scheduled interviews, gave tours, booked travel, created offer letters, and partnered with a recruiter as their right-hand man. I eventually was promoted to Recruiter, Recruiter II, and then a Senior Recruiter leading our Customer Service, Risk Management, and Consumer Fraud talent acquisition. It was fascinating, fast-paced, and I was able to not only able to hire in Chicago but throughout the country.
  • Now I am the HR Business Partner for our Finance, Communications, and Legal Department. As an HRBP I am here to formulate partnerships across HR functions to drive initiatives and help with things like Benefits, Compensation, and Talent and Development. I am here to support & champion our employees!

Why did you want to jump from Editorial to HR and how did you go about doing that?

I toyed with the idea of working in the non-profit sector before coming to Groupon. I enjoy the complexities of people; we all have big goals, some problems, and challenges in our life and HR seemed to be the place to marry that in the public sector.

I'm moving to London.

How did each job prepare you for the next one?

I had some incredible managers who fed my hunger to grow and let me fail forward.

How many jobs have you had?

Gosh, I don’t know…about six or seven. I lost count.

How have you navigated your career moves at Groupon?

I live by the motto, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” Relationships are a huge part of building your career. Taking the extra step to recognize efforts and intentions along with life events goes a long way in creating open communication and opportunity.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

Our business exists in a diverse world, and our employees mirror that! We want to build a diverse and inclusive workplace and give that population the means to grow and become better suited to serve that community.

Have you won any awards?

Does Best Beard count?!

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

Working with a global team always keeps me on my toes because employment laws and regulations vary country to country, state to state, even sometimes city to city. It’s important to be detail-focused so nothing slips through the cracks.

Can you talk about what your global work entails? What teams and/or teammates do you work with and where are they located?

Finance, Legal, and Comms have folks all over the world: Chennai, Bangalore, Warsaw, Milan, Dublin, London, and more. I partner with the business and local HR support on a variety of topics.

Are you a member of an Employee Resource Group?

I’m the Professional Development Chair for Groupon for Latinos.

Can you talk about what it means to be the Professional Development Chair for Groupon for Latinos? Why are you involved? Why is it important to Groupon?

There are so many intersections of diversity and inclusion and part of that is understanding that they exist and how to embrace and celebrate them. Personal and professional development stretch our horizons and drive us to be life learners. With that, I want to bring more to our Groupon for Latinos community along with other amazing ERGs. We are better, more imaginative, and inventive with more knowledge in our back pockets!

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? What are your hobbies?

I’m an avid kombucha brewer, plant whisperer, competitive walker, non-competitive rollerblader, and lover of all vegetables.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

I kind of want to be a blueberry farmer, though I’m not really sure why…

What’s your favorite local business?

Adams and Sons, best plant store in town!