Karishma Patel Buford – VP of Global Talent Management

Karishma Patel Buford – VP of Global Talent Management

KARISHMA PATEL BUFORD

VP of Global Talent Management
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2016

As a global leader, I have found Karishma to proactively get to know each teammate both personally and professionally; she adapts her leadership style to meet individual needs. She also goes “hard” for her team and goes above and beyond to ensure that any obstacles in the way are broken down for their success (and the success of the initiative). She has been a tremendous add to Groupon and a great representation of someone who lives/models our Values every day. – Cassandra Black: Senior Lead, Talent and Inclusion & Diversity

Tell us about your leadership style. 

If you asked my team, I’m sure they would start and end with “driver,” which is always something to watch out for to avoid micromanaging or burning out my team in the process! I’m sure they would also say that I focus on the big picture and making an impact and that I am fearless in fighting the good fight.  

And what’s the most important quality in a teammate for your organization?

Focus on the solution, instead of just the problem. And follow through!

Talk about the time you realized your work was making a big impact. 

Since the question is the first time, I have to go back…way back to a very personal experience that changed my life and trajectory. I was in my 4th year of college and had just decided I was going to transfer out of my Biomedical Engineering major into Psychology. I was testing the waters by engaging in some extracurricular programs like volunteering at a crisis hotline and interning at the psych unit at UVa. It was a Sunday night when I had received a call at the crisis center from a father who had just taken his wife to the ER for a nervous breakdown and had come home to put his kids to bed. With a gun in his hand, he was ready to take his own life. The fact that he called first let me know there was a chance to save him. We spent two hours talking on the phone and at one point, I pointed out some conflicts in his thinking: that he believed his wife when she blamed him for their troubles but never when she told him she loved him. Somehow, simply helping him see the disconnect in his thinking was a breakthrough.

When the calls end in these situations, you never really know what happens next. But, the next day, I went on to my internship to interview a patient who had just been admitted the night before. After a few questions, it was clear that this was the wife of the man I had spoken to only 12 hours before. Two days later, he visited and I watched all four of them playing together with even a sense of calm. I knew then that I was meant to influence others, to change minds, and maybe even change hearts to make a difference in the world.  

How has working at Groupon impacted you?

Groupon has been an amazing ride in two short years. I’ve grown more as a leader and professional in these two years than ever before thanks to new experiences that have stretched me, lots of feedback from my customers and team, and most importantly, an incredible sense of pride for what my teams have accomplished through their unwavering focus and commitment.

Who are your biggest influences?

My family. My father who has taught me about excellence and striving for more; my mother who taught me compassion; my husband who has taught me about forgiveness and resilience; and my kids who have taught me about patience and true love.

Speaking of your family…what do your kids think you do?

Probably summarized as building great leaders. And now, as my role has expanded…hiring them!

What’s the last book you read?  

I just finished Ray Dalio’s Principles. It is spot on in terms of building a culture from the ground up and what really matters in building a high-performance organization.

Describe a unique breakthrough moment in your time at Groupon.

I think my team will be OK with me saying this because it was a great aha! moment for all of us. At our recent Talent Development & Diversity offsite, the entire global team got together. One of our lightbulbs was that in our super fast-paced environment—and though we talk all the time virtually—we really did not have a clear sense of each other’s challenges in different regions of the world. Because Groupon is headquartered in the US, the perception is that things run more smoothly with fewer challenges on this side of the pond. The reality is that we all have our challenges no matter where we sit, they are just different. So it’s important to always ask about what those are, have empathy, and collaborate together to figure out how to support each other as a team.

Describe your job in 10 words or less.

Support the business in attracting, selecting, developing, and retaining great talent. (11!)

Inspired by Karishma's story?

 

Work with her!

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

This is really tough to nail down to just one piece of advice. I have been fortunate to have found many amazing mentors in my career who have given me a great deal of wisdom and coaching along the way. The best advice is played out in the Jim Carrey movie, Yes Man. Say “yes” – even if it’s scary or if it means some short-term pain. Say “yes” to the experience if you want to have a life and career of endless possibilities. In short, own the experience! That was SO not on purpose. ; )

What have you done when you’ve encountered setbacks in your career?

Dust yourself off and try again. (Aaliyah, RIP.)

What’s your favorite local business?

Toss up between Big & Little’s—which is two blocks from my house and a Friday night go-to—and River North Car Detailing that does magic when faced with the aftermath of a three-year-old and a ten-month-old.   

What’s the last Groupon you used?

Team dinner at Sapori Trattoria in Chicago.

We know you love what you do at Groupon…but if you could try any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

Oprah. Meeting and talking with people about their journeys, what they’ve learned, and how they have and will change the world…there’s really nothing more inspiring. 

Sarah Duffy, Senior Corporate Recruiter

Sarah Duffy, Senior Corporate Recruiter

SARAH DUFFY

Senior Corporate Recruiter
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2012

Sarah—or “Duffy” as she’s fondly called on the Recruiting team—brings her contagious enthusiasm to the People Blog and reflects on 6 years of building teams at Groupon.

What are some best practices for candidates to keep in mind while they’re applying or interviewing here?

Make sure you read about Groupon and especially all the stories from the employees on our People Blog! (You’re already in it if you’re reading this, so be sure to poke around!) It’s a great way to learn about the team you’re interviewing for and what people say about working at Groupon. Also, think about what’s important to you in your next opportunity, whether it be specifics about the job, your team, your manager, or the office. Be prepared to ask many questions and learn a ton!

Who or what inspires you?

Motivational speeches. I know it might be weird, but they get me excited…especially hearing from women in leadership here at Groupon! I love attending speaker panels with Women@Groupon or any other professional development speakers we’ve had. Hearing their stories and how they’ve climbed the corporate ladder is very motivating and inspiring!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

That It was different, fun, and unlike any other office I’d walked into! Everyone I met was truly passionate about the company and showed they loved being there.

What’s awesome about the teams you work with?

You have the opportunity to be creative and innovative every day! This environment is always changing, so you’ll consistently be challenged and always learning along the way. It’s an environment that people love coming to and you will too! People have positive attitudes, they work hard, and they want to reach end goals. It’s contagious and I love it!

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

I’m recruiting great talent every day and the talent we have is what makes Groupon great!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory? The most random thing you’ve witnessed at the office?

One year on Halloween, one of our recruiters decided to dress up (and act) like our office mannequin. It scared quite a few people coming into the office!

What’s your favorite conference room?

There are a lot of amazing Groupon stories. What are you most proud of?

I’m proud to say I’ve been here in recruiting at Groupon for 6 years now! I’ve especially loved being able to help build our global interview guide over the last year. I’ve also been part of revamping our interview training and running the training throughout the year for our hiring managers. It has allowed me to build many new relationships, be part of building our one playbook for talent acquisition, and have the chance to apply it within the business. I love working towards making us better every day!

Anything a candidate should know about how to work with you or what to expect from the recruiting process?

Be yourself and ask questions!

What’s something that candidates are surprised to learn about Groupon?

I think most candidates come in surprised when they notice it’s not your normal office you see every day. We’re casual, we have an open space that allows you to collaborate, there is always a positive vibe, and people genuinely enjoy being here!

What’s the #1 thing you wish all candidates did?

Research the company and have questions ready for the job and Groupon!

Tell us about your involvement with Women@Groupon!

What I love most about being a member of W@G is having the chance to learn new things and network with people I haven’t met yet within the company. It gives you the chance to meet with so many other great people in the company you haven’t worked with and a chance to learn what another area within the company is doing.

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

I would be a bride again because I loved my wedding dress and would want to wear it all over again! I loved dancing in that dress!

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’m going to Europe for the first time this summer!

Meet Rachel our ‘Boomerang’ EA

Meet Rachel our ‘Boomerang’ EA

RACHEL CLANCY

Executive Assistant
Dublin
Joined: 2015

Our Boomerang EA, Rachel juggles timezones, diaries, team events and supports no fewer than two of our Senior Business Leaders – so she’s busy alright! But she loves her job – read on to see why!

_______________________________

Tell us about your Groupon story so far.

Long version or short..? 🙂

I originally joined Groupon in 2015 as the Talent Acquisition Coordinator in the Dublin office. I worked with so many fantastic people all over EMEA from scheduling interviews worldwide to organising travel for candidates, helping some relocate to welcoming them and showing them around our cool Dublin office – I loved every minute of it! I took a mini hiatus in October 2016 until January 2017 to train as an Executive Assistant elsewhere before becoming ‘Boomerang’ and returning to Groupon.

My first day back last year I truly felt like I had come home. I love the people here. I work as an Executive Assistant and currently support two of our Senior Business Leaders who are amazing people to work with! They inspire me everyday – so smart, motivated and human.  My role involves but is not limited to scheduling meetings worldwide, sending agendas for meetings, taking minutes, booking rooms in various locations, pulling together decks, booking travel, organising team events / summits, helping with adhoc requests. I adore my job: no two days are ever the same!

 

What’s the secret to succeeding at Groupon? What type of person tends to excel here?

I think to work here you need to be adaptable, proactive and flexible. This is a rapidly changing environment so you need to be ready for anything! In saying that it is so much fun to work here! I think a sense of humour is so important too! We laugh every day!!

 

What is Groupon like as a workplace for women? Does it feel like a diverse, inclusive space?

I think Groupon is a fantastic place for women to work. We have women working in all areas of the business and many female Senior Leaders who are all inspirational to work with and for. We are lucky to have such an inclusive and diverse work space. We work in a company where flexibility is encouraged which is so important in this day and age.

 

“It can be hard at times as we seem to be hardwired to try and have it all and these women show us all we can have challenging, stimulating and successful careers as well as personal lives.”

How significant is it that we are launching Women@Groupon?

I think is fantastic we are launching Women@Groupon. It is a way for us to share our experiences and knowledge and encourage and support each other.  It is inspiring to see women excelling in their careers but having a work / life balance too. It can be hard at times as we seem to be hardwired to try and have it all and these women show us all we can have challenging, stimulating and successful careers as well as personal lives. Super exciting times for the new ERG here in Dublin!

What excites you about your work? What’s on the horizon that keeps you engaged and interested?

I love people! They are what motivates me. I buzz off their energy and the people in the Dublin office are a fantastic bunch – so smart, creative, fun, kind, courageous and funny. I love building relationships with my Execs, their fab teams and all the people I come into contact with really. I know that I am here to help them and enable them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities, so understanding their roles better and why they need my help keeps me motivated!

      

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in the office?

There are so many…..haha!  We have had Fancy Dress catwalk competitions (imagine Batman and Robin, Buzz Lightyear and Catwoman strutting across the canteen), PieDay the 13th (Ever wanted to smush a pie in your manager’s face – this was your chance!), Tarot card readers, real cats nesting under the floor of one of our meetings rooms (yes REAL cats!). Bring your dog to work day is fun too! But I think one of the strangest or most fun things is Christmas in our office. We go ALL out – we have had igloos, the Stranger Things Creature on the walls, Snowmen made from plastic cups, mini ski slopes, Santa stuck in the chimney to Santa’s Grotto (including snow, mulled wine, reindeer, real life Santa and an armchair from one of the team’s homes!)

 

What does your mother think you do?

Talk to people and organise things…. vague! 🙂 She knows I enjoy a good chat and that I need to engage with people to do my job and that I organise event type things a lot.  I think she also thinks in Tech companies like ours we sit on bean bags, chat and drink coffee all day!

“I feel truly lucky to work in our Groupon Dublin office. We have such a wonderful group of people that make coming to work every day educational, stimulating and fun!”

Meet Sarah from our EMEA Recruitment Team

Meet Sarah from our EMEA Recruitment Team

SARAH O’NEILL

 

Recruiter for Netherlands & Belgium
Based in Dublin
Joined: 2015

 

Entrepreneurial spirit and a killer aim when throwing custard pies: some of the skills that help Sarah succeed at Groupon.

Tell us about your Groupon story so far.

I joined Groupon 2.5 years ago as a Talent Sourcer for the Corporate side of the business. My role quickly progressed to a full cycle Recruiter giving me the chance to build strong relationships with other TA team members as well as hiring managers and work on loads of different types of roles for our business across EMEA. Basically, whatever required an extra pair of hands or was of urgency, I was happy to jump on board with!

In the past year, I moved to the Netherlands and Belgium markets (though I’m based in Dublin) where I lead all recruiting as their dedicated Recruiter and Talent Partner. It’s a challenging role at times considering the language and location barriers but it works well and my hiring team are a blast to work with!

What’s the secret to succeeding at Groupon? 

I would say things like Tenacity, Resilience and Grit are qualities that help people excel at Groupon and someone with an entrepreneurial spirit tends to do well here. I’d also say, don’t take yourself too seriously!

What is Groupon for women? Does it feel like a diverse, inclusive workspace?

In my experience Groupon is a great employer for women: there is a genuine, human side to the Managers and Leadership Team who clearly understand that sometimes life gets in the way of the standard 9-6 working hours. Groupon’s International Business is led by many strong women and they help shape our inclusive culture. During my time here I have met and worked with many women who have shaped me professionally and who I will call upon as mentors for the rest of my career – you know who you are!

 

There is a genuine, human side to the Managers and Leadership Team who clearly understand that sometimes life gets in the way of the standard 9-6 working hours.

 

Last year Sarah joined the team in Warsaw for a couple of months to assist on Customer Service hiring.

How significant is it that we are launching Women@Groupon?

The launch of Women@Groupon is hugely significant for our current and future employees: to have our male and female colleagues advocate for women in the workplace, for parity and for empowerment is truly inspiring to say the least. Makes it hard to believe that only 100 years ago we couldn’t even vote, how times have changed!

 

What’s on the horizon at work that keeps you engaged and interested?

I’m driven by relationships and people, I get really excited about building teams of quality people and seeing them flourish and I also love seeing my Hiring Managers get really excited about their new starters! Groupon is always moving, changing and adapting which keeps me engaged and excited and pushes me to constantly strive for improvement. My hiring managers and stakeholders in NL/BE are like another team that I truly feel connected to: I have their best interests at heart and want the best for their teams, so that keeps me on my toes too.

 

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in the office?

I think I have become accustomed to the weird and wonderful things that happen in the big green “World of Groupon” but a stand-out memory would be from when I first joined and took part in a charity contest – right in the middle of the canteen – where we basically ‘pie’d’ a group of people, one of which was my manager at the time. I came from a pretty corporate background so that was crazy to me, it was for charity though so all in the name of a good cause!

 

In a little over 2 years Groupon has as brought me to work in Poland, London, Dublin and Amsterdam and now with Belgium in the mix too, the exposure to international recruitment and the opportunities it presents are endless: the sky is the limit and the people are amazing!

 

Carlos Vale – Head of Diversity Recruitment

Carlos Vale – Head of Diversity Recruitment

CARLOS VALE

Head of Diversity Recruitment
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

If you see Carlos, give him a high five for snagging a spot on the Latinos 40 Under 40 list—an amazing accomplishment! We’re proud of the work he’s doing to make Groupon a more inclusive work environment. 👏👏🏾👏🏿

So it’s only been a few months, but what’s your favorite Groupon memory so far?

I think my favorite Groupon memory so far would have to be going to the Arlington Park Race Track with the Talent Acquisition team. I think I had been here for about two weeks, which provided a perfect opportunity to connect with everyone–it was a blast!

Tell us about your job! What do you love about what you do?

In short, I lead Groupon’s global diversity recruiting strategy in order to build robust pipelines of diverse talent for critical positions across all levels. As an ambassador of Groupon’s dedication to a more diverse and inclusive workplace, my role requires a highly relationship-driven approach to building and sustaining a deep and broad network of connections both inside and outside Groupon. Finally, through working cross-functionally with Recruiting, HR, and Talent Development while driving deeper collaboration with Groupon’s Employee Resource Groups, my role helps provide the framework for all business groups to embrace diversity.

No small feat, we’re sure! What’s challenging about your work?

In this field, building, assessing, and reworking strategy is always challenging no matter how supportive the organization may be. There isn’t a magic solution to this, and sometimes it feels like a shape-shifting puzzle–you think you’ve found the right piece, and surely, it changes shape right before your eyes; now, you are trying to figure out where the new piece fits. I love it, though–I’m a person totally driven by solving challenges!

So what makes your role at Groupon unique?

Although some iterations of my role exist outside of Groupon, the reason why I’m here is that I feel like I am generally given the opportunity to identify challenges/opportunities and come up solutions that are heard by many across the organization, including the CEO and other senior leaders. Most people wish they could have the opportunity to meet with their CHRO on a weekly basis, and possibly meet with their CEO and General Counsel on a monthly basis, but all of those things have been quite normal during my first months here.

Tell us about your first impression of Groupon as an employer.

My first impression…was that this is a great place to build things, as well as build on things. Here, I have the opportunity to create new things as well as build on some of the amazing things that have been previously started/accomplished.

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would probably want to be the CEO of Groupon for a day, just to see what a day in their life is like. How early do they get up? How many meetings are they in? How do they find balance during the day to eat, or chat with their family? These are all questions I would love to know!

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

Our customers, employees, merchants, and investors come from many backgrounds. Through diversity recruitment, we are able to bring in diverse top talent that can help in the areas of talent, culture, and marketplace–all of these areas help us be better equipped to identify additional opportunities and resolve challenges more quickly through the diversity of thought.

Talk about our ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) and your experience working with them.

ERGs are central to our I&D mission of making Groupon a great place to work for every employee. In my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to do some amazing things with and through our ERGs–I’ll keep it to one example, though. When I first started, I wanted to put together an on-site event where we could invite diverse top talent to network and learn more about Groupon, while also ensuring that they were able to walk away with something. Once going through initial negotiations, I brought it to our ERGs to see if/how they could help–the results were great. In November, we co-hosted an event with the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), attended by almost 100 professionals of all levels that were able to engage with our CFO, folks from our Talent Acquisition team, and employees from multiple departments. The coolest thing is that this was coordinated by Groupon en Espanol, and supported by Groupon4Vets and Women@Groupon!

Who or what inspires you?

I’m definitely motivated by visionary leaders who have overcome odds and have helped to make a difference in some way, shape, or form. I’m also motivated by the desire to be a good role model for my nieces and nephews. Finally, I’m motivated to pay it forward to others by providing and exposing me to opportunities, just as many have done for me.

Where can we find you outside of work?

I looooove playing volleyball–indoors, outdoors, and anything in between!

What’s your favorite local business?

I would say King Spa is my favorite local business. It’s nice to be able to feel like you can get away, locally. Also, it reminds me of my year in Japan in 2000, and that alone is worth the Groupon to get out to King Spa!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Different people, all coming together here, supporting local

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I lived in Japan for a year as a Rotary Youth Exchange student and absolutely loved the experience!

Daryl Billingsley – HRIS Analyst

Daryl Billingsley – HRIS Analyst

DARYL BILLINGSLEY

HRIS Analyst
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2015

If you ever need someone to talk HRIS -or- majestic birds with, Daryl is your go-to guy.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Every workday is a new experience.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it?

I provide support for Workday (HCM) system-related functions via configuration and/or reporting.

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

Initially, increasing efficiency by creating more of a collaborative work environment.

Who or what inspires you? 

People still believing in HUMANity and my awesome BBoyz (sons).

What was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

Did I really just see someone in shorts, flip-flops, piercings, and exposed tattoos in a corporate meeting?! I thought it was a young, progressive, and promising startup.

What’s your favorite conference room name?

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

Cost-effectiveness, increased efficiency, timeliness, and reporting analytics.

There are a lot of amazing stories at Groupon. What are you most proud of?

I’m always proud of my HRIS and HR colleagues, but I’m most proud of my engagement in helping Groupon assist in rebuilding communal efforts and increasing diversity.

Have you won any awards? 

AJ Iniguez (from the Employment Brand team) told me I was awesome once.

What do your parents think you do?

Play on my laptop between meetings.

So you’re one of the co-chairs of B.I.G.! Tell us about your involvement with the ERG. 

I joined B.I.G. in order to assist in rebuilding our communal efforts, champion inclusion and diversity initiatives, and provide tools for professional development for the minority population.

What did you do before joining Groupon?

I worked fort a liquor distributor!

You have a life outside of Groupon, obviously, so what keeps you busy outside of work?

Rec with my sons, sports with my friends, and mastering the art of understanding that everyone is probably right in their opinion (regardless of logic).  😉

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would record dope vocals in a professional recording booth. I’m sure my bath-time vocals would give people in the studio all the chills, as they give me the chills. (Brrrr, that dude is COLD!)

So why Groupon? What keeps you excited to come to work every day?

Groupon is unique in itself and there is something to be said in doing your part to increase a corporation’s overall efficiency. Plus, who doesn’t want to have the option of wearing shorts to work? 😉

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Wait just a minute – –

There is a flying G-Cat – –

Where’s the sunroof switch

(Very nice!)

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I love to watch majestic birds. No, seriously, they’re awesome.

Lindsey Womack – Human Resources Business Partner

Lindsey Womack – Human Resources Business Partner

LINDSEY WOMACK

Human Resources Business Partner
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

Lindsey has held many roles in her time here (we count 5), all of which have enabled her to make a positive impact on the lives and experiences of local merchants, her direct reports, and finally the employees of Groupon. (We’re sensing a trend here.)

Tell us about your job! What do you do and what do you love about it?

As an HRBP, I support my business groups by helping them retain and grow talent. I enjoy working with people and finding ways to help employees grow in their career.

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on in your time here?

I worked on a project with many team members from the business, recruiting, and HR to update our Onboarding program. This was a challenging project because it was global, and we were working with teams in different countries and timezones to streamline our processes. We wanted to ensure the new hire experience is the same no matter what office or team you join.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

In 2010, there was a monkey dressed like Santa Claus that came to the office. There are always crazy things happening in the office and you never know what to expect: Zombies on Halloween, T-Rex running down the aisles, Steve Harvey, All-4-One singing in the lobby, the Abominable Snowman, etc.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I first came to Groupon’s office in 2010 just a few days after moving to Chicago from Florida where I worked for a small company. I was drawn to the energy of the team, which at the time was dubbed the fastest-growing company ever!

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

I impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit by helping the business grow and retain talent.

There are a lot of awesome Groupon employee stories. What are you most proud of?

I started in 2010 as a Sales Representative and have been through many roles at Groupon including Account Manager, Team Lead, Divisional Sales Manager, and Human Resources Business Partner. While in my manager roles, I created processes to streamline onboarding for new hires in Merchant Support and created a program for Merchant Development to ensure recent graduates of our Onboarding program had the resources (mentors, training, etc.) they needed in order to be successful in their role. I’m proud of the programs I was able to create in sales and the career I have been able to build for myself at Groupon.

Have you won any awards during your time here?

President’s Club 2014! Also—funny story about President’s Club—my husband also works at Groupon (we met in college, but ended up here together). When I had found out that I won President’s Club, I let my husband, Jon, know that he would be my plus one. A couple days later, they sent out an email to all of the winners to join in a celebration, and my husband was on the email, too! Turns out we had both won that same year!

You’re a member of Women@Groupon; why did you join? What do you get out of it?

I joined Women@Groupon to expand my network and meet career-driven individuals who could offer different points of view. In 2013, I applied for the first mentor program for W@G and had a great mentor from our Legal department. It was so helpful to have my mentor’s perspective while I was going through my career changes at Groupon.

So backtracking a bit, how did you end up at Groupon from Florida?

Before Groupon, I worked as an Education Consultant at an audio-visual integration company in Orlando, FL. I sold A/V equipment such as projectors, screens, interactive whiteboards, and clicker systems to schools. My sister lived in Chicago and I wanted to experience living outside of Florida, so I packed up and moved without having a job, which was a little nerve-wracking. My sister told me about Groupon being the fastest-growing company ever at the time, and I decided to apply for a Sales role.

What are you up to when you’re not working?

I love to travel and have many places on my “to go” list. I also travel to Florida quite frequently to visit friends and family. I like to explore Chicago, try new restaurants, and love going to Broadway shows. I’m usually looking for a new workout to try and I also recently took up an adult tumbling class.

What’s your favorite view from the office?

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would love to be a Cirque De Soleil performer and miraculously be able to do all of the stunts.

What’s your favorite local business?

Kibbitznest in Lincoln Park: it’s a cafe/bar with nostalgic games, coffee, wine, light bites, and CDs and records that you can play.

What do you love about Groupon?

I love what Groupon can do for local businesses. When I was an Account Manager, I spoke to so many business owners and heard great success stories of how Groupon helped their business. Many businesses were able to expand in product or services.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I was in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York when I was in high school; it is my favorite tradition to watch it every year.

Brent Eaton – Corporate Recruiter

Brent Eaton – Corporate Recruiter

BRENT EATON

Corporate Recruiter
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2015

The best advice Brent received before interviewing for his role at Groupon? Be yourself—and he is 100% that in his story and wants his candidates to do the same!

What teams do you recruit for?

Finance and Legal

What advice do you have for candidates who are heading into an interview at Groupon?

The best advice I could give someone while interviewing here is to be yourself. I was told that by my recruiter when I was hired, and I’m still here almost 3 years later!

What’s awesome about Finance at Groupon? Why join?

There are 4 big selling points for Finance here:

    1. The ability to make an actual impact and drive change. A lot of candidates come from larger, more structured companies. Typically, those companies are more established in their processes. Groupon’s open and collaborative environment in combination with having less rigid structure allows finance employees at all levels to share their ideas to improve process and procedures. We’re a 9-year-old company, so there is a lot we can still build!
    2. The culture! Our office is not your typical cubicle setting. The finance team sits together in an open-floor environment, fostering a more collaborative and exciting culture.
    3. It’s fast-paced. Like…really fast-paced. Each role has specific responsibilities they’re tasked with achieving. however, that’s not all your role will entail. Groupon is constantly evolving every day and the Finance team is given ad hoc projects on a daily basis. No day at Groupon is every the same!
    4. The ability to move around the company. We have many examples of people moving to a different team (or location!) within Finance or to the business. Both avenues are great to broaden one’s skill set. Check out Ron and Steve’s stories as examples of internal mobility!

What should a candidate expect from you during the recruiting process?

Honesty. Throughout the recruiting process, candidates should expect me to be candid with them. If a candidate does not move forward in the process, I believe it is important to provide specific feedback to help them with personal development. I’m here to help!

What’s something that candidates are surprised to learn about Groupon?

Candidates are most surprised about the opportunities to make an impact at Groupon. I hear from candidates all the time “My ideas get lost in the corporate ladder.” At Groupon, it doesn’t matter if you’re an analyst, manager, or director, we value everyone’s opinion. That is the only way we will be able to continue to innovate!

“Groupon’s open and collaborative environment in combination with having less rigid structure allows finance employees at all levels to share their ideas to improve process and procedures.”

Show us your favorite view from the office!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory happened last year. I received a gift card and a handwritten note from an employee I hired one year ago that day. He thanked me for recruiting him to Groupon and expressed how happy he was at that company. It was truly rewarding!

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

Our recruiting team is essential in building the daily habit in local commerce. We are tasked with finding the best talent from around the country for all departments. These individuals—at all levels—are equally important in building the daily habit. Without the talent, we wouldn’t be who we are today!

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

Crazy, but in a good way! When I saw the quirkiness of the office and the open floor setting, I was truly in shock.

What’s your biggest Groupon accomplishment?

I’m proud of the success stories from candidates I have hired. Many of them have excelled in the area I hired them in. Others have moved on to other areas of the business they did not start in. Those folks have expanded their skill set and made themselves more attractive for long-term growth. I couldn’t be happier in helping them achieve their career goals!

You of course love recruiting and would never want to do anything else…but if you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

If we are talking about Groupon, I would join the Groupon+ team. Being a part of a company-changing initiative would be so cool. In terms of a job outside of Groupon, I would definitely be a Sportscenter anchor. It is basically my dream job.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us. 

I enjoy public speaking. I come off as a quiet guy but I actually like to speak in front of crowds. As I grow in my career, I would love the opportunity to be a part of a panel at conferences, events, etc.

 

Mike Erickson – Corporate Recruiter

Mike Erickson – Corporate Recruiter

MIKE ERICKSON

Corporate Recruiter
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2013

You won’t believe what this recruiter wants you to do on a phone screen.

What teams do you recruit for?

Sales in Chicago and Phoenix

What’s your advice for someone interested in applying at Groupon?

Be yourself and only apply to roles that you are most interested in.

Anything a candidate should know about how to work with you during the recruiting process?

Be prepared to tell me why you’re excited about the role: I love chatting with folks who have that enthusiasm for the position that they are applying for!

What qualities do the most successful sales reps have?

First and foremost, ya gotta WANT to be in sales. Sales is tough: you have to know why you want to be in a sales role in order to succeed. Whether you are money motivated or passionate about helping small businesses, that “why” has to be a clear motivator for you to keep pushing through those tough sales days. Once you have that, I find that the people who know how to nail that balance being coachable and being self-sufficient are our strongest sales reps. We have a great team of mentors and leaders here who know how to be successful, but at the same time, they won’t make your calls for you. Striking that balance is key for finding that success.

What’s the #1 thing you wish all candidates did?

Beatbox during phone screens.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

Being a Sales Recruiter is usually a lot of crazy ups and downs in terms of volume. One of our craziest times was the opening of our sales office in Phoenix; everyone was all-hands-on-deck to get quality people in the office and making sales and it was all during the holiday season. We filled the office then and I continue to fill it today, now being the primary recruiter for the Phoenix office. I love that office a ton and I’m happy I get to interact with them on a daily basis!

Tell us more about the Phoenix office! What’s it like there?

The Phoenix office has such an infectious and positive energy to it. I’ve visited a handful of times recently, and as soon as you walk in the door it’s hard not to have a smile on your face. I will describe it as best as I can:

As you enter the office, you see the gleaming smile of our Sales Trainer, Jabril Baker, giving some solid sales advice while boppin’ to whatever jam is being played by Marlon Evans, one of the sales managers. I turn to my left and say “WAZZUP” to Kelly Light, the Site Director, and give Sam, the Phoenix HR Business Partner, a high five. I keep walkin’ past all the sales folks, giving as many finger guns as humanly possible, then make my way to the crown jewel of the office; the Coke Freestyle machine. I pour myself a refreshing beverage then head back to my makeshift desk space. As I’m about to start doing some work, my senses are absolutely overloaded with the fresh scent of the peanut-butter stuffed pretzels, the snack of snacks. I grab a handful and try to hold back happy tears. “This is paradise,” I say to no one in particular.

“The only Keane album I enjoyed was Strangeland.”

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

I get to hire people who help small businesses find success in an increasingly big-business world. I’m super into that. I love small businesses and we get to help them succeed.

Talk about your involvement with Blacks in Groupon (BiG) – what does your partnership with them look like?

I’m the talent partner for Blacks In Groupon (BiG). My goal is to provide resources to the group as to how to utilize their networks to bring in top talent, as well as being a resource for current members in terms of internal options if they want to search for a new role at the company.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I do a lot of comedy stuff here in Chicago, and in April of 2014 I had my first live show. I was so nervous to actually perform in front of people for the first time, and a few minutes before showtime, I look out into the audience and my entire recruiting team was in the front row. This was the first time it really hit me how lucky I was to work for this great company. Here was this team that barely knew me, front row of a show in which I danced around the stage like Paula Deen. I’ll never forget that for as long as I live.

Who inspires you?

Folks who wear shorts during the winter because “they don’t get cold.” Hehe, just kidding. I have been inspired by a wide variety of things, but mostly musical theater, baseball games, and my brother Samb.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

Whoa! What a cool place. How neat are these swinging chairs! Let me go to the 4th floor to check that out. Oh god, I am locked in a stairwell.

What’s your favorite local business?

Southside Sub Shop in Elmira, NY. They have the best bread in the world. They also do this thing where they add just a smidge too much mayonnaise, but it mixes with the bread and hot peppers so well that you don’t even care at all.

What’s something that candidates are surprised to learn about Groupon?

The vast majority of the company has breakfast at least a few times a week.

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be?

My dream job is to be what Andy Richter is to Conan – the late night host’s sidekick.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

The only Keane album I enjoyed was Strangeland.

]

Laura Hicks – Corporate Recruiter

Laura Hicks – Corporate Recruiter

LAURA HICKS

Corporate Recruiter
London, UK
Joined: 2013

If you’ve interviewed for a role on our Coupons or Getaways team, you’ve probably met Laura. When she’s not busy recruiting for our “in-house startups” or modeling for the in-house photo studio, you can find her organizing volunteering events for the recruiting team or cheering on her alma mater Clemson from Chicago.

What Chicago teams or roles do you hire for?

Sales, HR, Operations, and Analytics

Do you have any advice for candidates interviewing at Groupon?

Be yourself! Groupon is full of unique personalities, backgrounds, and quirks so make sure that you showcase what makes you YOU throughout the interview process! Also, I try to be as straightforward and transparent as possible. Any questions? Just ask!

What’s the #1 thing you wish all candidates did?

Be prepared and ask questions!

What’s something that candidates are surprised to learn about your hiring team?

The Getaways and Coupons teams are true “startups within a startup” and offer a really unique opportunity to work with a tight-knit team and get in at the ground level of fast-growing, quickly-evolving groups.

What inspires you?

I’ve always had a passion for helping others and giving back. I’ve been fortunate to have been given awesome opportunities and experiences so far in my life, so I believe it’s important to pay that forward. Whether it be helping a candidate get their dream job or helping our local community through our volunteer efforts with the Employee Volunteer Program, I am inspired by the feeling of being part of something greater than myself and contributing towards the greater good!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

When Groupon first opened its in-house photo studio, I was asked to participate in a few of their photo shoots. The next thing you know I’m getting texts from friends from college and people I grew up with who had seen my photo on local Groupon deals, asking if I was a model for Groupon! It was equally embarrassing and hilarious…and will probably be my only claim to fame.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I’ll never forget the energy I felt walking through the doors of our office for my interview. It’s my favorite thing about working at Groupon and still what keeps me excited to come in every morning!

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

As a Recruiter, I serve as a brand ambassador for Groupon and help to find and attract the talent that will join our teams and help Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

When I started with Groupon as a Recruiting Coordinator it was my first role out of school and I knew very little about recruiting. Flash forward 4 years: I’ve been promoted twice and have had the opportunity to recruit for a large variety of teams and departments. I’m so proud to have helped build two of our fastest growing channels at Groupon: Getaways and Coupons!

Why’d you get involved in the Employee Volunteer Program?

When interviewing four years ago, one of the most important things that drew me to Groupon was the opportunity to get involved outside of your “day to day.” I became a trained member of our Employee Volunteer Program right away and have been able to plan volunteer events for my team as well as volunteer as a mentor with the Spark Program. Mentoring with Spark has been a wonderful experience and I feel lucky to have a manager that not only allows but values the opportunity to give my time to this program!

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

I’m obsessed with Kathie Lee & Hoda from the Today Show! It would be a dream come true to fill in as a co-host on their show.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

Although I reside in Chicago, I’m an ACC girl at heart and love all things Clemson Football. GO TIGERS!

The Magnificent 7: Team TA Poland

The Magnificent 7: Team TA Poland

WOMEN @ GROUPON

The People Behind The People

Nisrine, Gosia, Ewelina, Marlena, Ola, Angelika & Olimpia

22 November 2017

Divided between our offices in Warsaw and Katowice, our Poland TA Team are responsible for sourcing and hiring hundreds of Grouponers each year and ensuring each candidate has an enjoyable and memorable experience. Together they comprise a force to be reckoned with. Meet our awesome Magnificent 7!

Nisrine

I have done quite a few things from psychology to marketing but recruitment has always been a passion for me. I moved from Casablanca to lead the Team in Poland and help build our brand new Katowice site. Hiring for senior technical positions is always demanding and you have to learn as much as you can about the job or the candidate might get offended that you did not do your homework and hang up on you. The challenge is enormous but this team is rising to it and delivering the best new talent to Groupon. I don’t speak Polish (yet) but it’s definitely on my list!

“An average day? Cup of tea, chat, emails, interviews, meetings… then rinse and repeat!”

Ewelina

I studied journalism, PR and marketing at the University of Warsaw, so my original plan was to become a journalist. I spent my Erasmus exchange in Finland and took up postgraduate studies in journalism. My previous roles all involved me building strong relationships and being partly responsible for recruitment.

At one point when I was being interviewed for a role – not in Groupon – I distinctly remember thinking that the recruiter was asking really irrelevant questions and that I should be doing her job. One thing led to another and so here I am! At Groupon I’m responsible for Corporate roles in Poland, which include Analytics, Finance and Sales, and I also help the Team with SSC recruitment every once in a while.

My super power? Remaining optimistic in the face of near-impossible challenges!

Olimpia

I am a graduate of Diplomacy – yes, Diplomacy! Of course becoming a Recruiter happened “by accident” when, during my last year of study, I started as an assistant for a recruitment agency where I worked with well-known brands like Google, 3M, Amazon and Volvo. Then I moved into HR in the gaming industry and, four years later, here I am at Groupon!

I’m a bit obsessed with planning. I’m kind of like Monica from FRIENDS 🙂

 

Gosia

I’m the Recruiter Dinosaur and the longest-tenured member of the team here at Groupon Poland. I started back in 2015 when we launched the Warsaw Shared Services Centre and since then our team has grown to join the wider EMEA Talent Acquisition Team meeting huge targets every month.

Moving to a brand new market like Katowice was an invaluable experience as a recruiter:  I’ve been able to gain insight into the  differences between there and Warsaw and I’ve also to had the opportunity to work on a brand new ‘green field site’ being built from scratch.

Believe in yourself: impossible is nothing!

Angelika

I am constantly looking for new challenges and opportunities to grow and Groupon has definitely provided me with plenty of them. My aim is to mix human resources management theory with hands-on experience in recruitment and, so far, all is going very well!

 

OLA

My first role in recruitment was in agency where I worked with the UK and German markets where I learned a lot about the SSC/BPO sector; experience which has really stood to me in my career at Groupon so far.

As the only German-speaking Recruiter on the team here, I support hiring for all German-speaking departments (Customer Service, Resolution & Merchant Services, Editorial, Risk and more) and I also work with IT roles as well as other languages.

Oddest TA experience so far? Well, we sometimes get asked really odd questions, like “have you a case for my laptop?” or “where is my delivery?”


Marlena

I’m Marlena and together with Angelika I’m part of the Katowice Team. I lived in Hertfordshire, England for the past 12 years but decided to move back to Poland recently upon receiving this amazing opportunity from Groupon in Katowice! I’ve been working within recruitment for 2 years and I’m very interested to develop my career in the area.

As one of the Recruiters for our lovely Katowice office, my role is to make the candidate experience as enjoyable and smooth as possible in order to find the right gems that will shine like diamonds in our company.

Think of me as a duck: calm and serene on the surface and hustling like crazy under water!

 

Lauren ‘Lo’ Jozefat – Corporate Recruiter

Lauren ‘Lo’ Jozefat – Corporate Recruiter

LAUREN ‘LO’ JOZEFAT

Senior Corporate Recruiter
Remote
Joined: 2011

Sales Recruiter Lo values transparency and open communication during the interview process…and cake doesn’t hurt, either.

What teams and locations do you primarily hire for?

Sales in Phoenix and Chicago

What are some best practices for candidates to keep in mind while they interview here?

Don’t just tell us what you think we want to hear! We truly want to make sure you are a good fit for the role and that this role would be a good fit for you. Honesty is a policy that goes both ways when interviewing, and we might even find a position that could be a better fit!

What should a candidate know about how to work with you during the recruiting process?

I appreciate transparency and know that interviewing can be tough if you currently have a job. Make sure to communicate clearly so we can move things along quickly!

What’s the #1 thing you wish all candidates did?

Accepted job offers to work with us!

What’s something that candidates are sometimes surprised to learn about Groupon?

The variety of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) we offer and how we encourage everyone to get involved outside of their day-to-day!

Time to brag a little. Tell us about your proudest accomplishment here so far.

I’m really proud of my career path at Groupon. I was a fashion major in college and if you would have told me I would be working for a tech company as a recruiter I would have balked. I was hired to help Groupon launch a fashion channel, which never came to fruition. During my first week of training, I was pulled aside and told that my job was now to help launch a project that “doesn’t have a name yet.” The project was Groupon Now, and while that endeavor isn’t around anymore, it was an incredible learning experience that took me from Sales to Account Management to Recruiting. I started recruiting for the positions/departments I used to work in and I can honestly say, I can’t see myself doing anything else now!

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

The employees I hire into sales are mainly on the front lines. By hiring the right people, we have an immediate effect on the local businesses that are featured every day. Without the amazing deals, our customers can’t keep shopping!

What are some of the most memorable things you’ve seen at the Groupon office?

I joined Groupon when there were a lot of crazy activities going on. I saw a mini horse in the lunchroom one day (I think they had dyed its mane green?), the return of “Groupawn” when one man lived off of only Groupons for an entire year, and a children’s choir walking around the floor singing pop songs.

Tell us about your involvement with Women@Groupon and the Employee Volunteer Program.

I joined Women@Groupon to find a mentor. I always heard stories about women growing from the mentors they had, and I did not have that experience yet. I have participated as both a mentor and mentee a few times! I also have been a major participant and advocate for the Employee Volunteer Program; I even lead a team during our Volunteer-a-thon competition in 2015. My favorite volunteer organizations are Dress for Success, Anti-Cruelty Society, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

To wait for my interview to start, I was brought to sit in a lunchroom where there was a baby shower going on. Everyone was having so much fun eating cake and taking time to enjoy each other and celebrate. It was exactly the type of place I wanted to be [eating cake].

What’s your favorite local business?

Cooking Fools! I bought a Groupon for a pasta-making class with my mom and it was one of the best experiences EVER. We had so much fun that I ended up buying her a pasta machine for Mother’s Day and we now make homemade ravioli as a family for the holidays.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

My great-great (maybe -great?) grandma was Miss Norway. My family lives in Chicago because she participated in the Columbian Exposition “Chicago World’s Fair,” fell in love with the city and never went back!