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How I Scaled My Team

How I Scaled My Team

Author: Romi Davidor

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Have you ever wondered how unicorns scale their teams? How do team leaders handle upskilling? or how do they hire top talents and freelancers in today's workforce revolution?

We did!

That's why Shahar Erez, Co-founder, and CEO of Stoke Talent, and Romi Davidor, Stoke’s Marketing Manager, started a podcast just for it. 


How I Scaled My Team uncovers how executives of some of the fastest-growing tech companies build teams for success. In each episode, we will learn how to hire top talents, when to restructure your team, how to manage a successful reorg, leverage working with freelancers, and much more..




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20 Episodes
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In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi look back at the conversations they’ve had this season with CEOs, founders, VPs and team leaders from some of the fastest growing tech companies in the world. They hear their stories, their highs and lows and their best advice on how best to scale a team. This season started when the economic market was at its peak and over the past nine months the conversations have touched on the impact that the change in economics has had on businesses and in particular, scaling teams. With all the current uncertainty, growing inflation and the ever changing landscape, this is the perfect time to gain knowledge and advice from these leaders, in the hope that you can overcome this period positively.Shahar and Romi will return soon to speak to more leaders about the impact it’s having on them, as well as how they successfully scale their businesses.Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, Romi talks with Maggie Hott, Director of Sales at Webflow.   Since joining the company in 2021, Maggie has seen significant growth in the sales team. In the last 6 months alone, it has grown from 10 to 100 people. The success of this can be attributed to Maggie’s comprehensive hiring process, something which she believes is the single most important thing that a company needs to get right. Scaling teams is an imperative part of growth, but when the financial climate is as troublesome as it currently is, should companies still be focussing on expanding their teams? Maggie explains why she’s made the tough decision to slow down the growth of the sales team at Webflow, in the hope that she never has to let go of employees. Maggie is super passionate about paternal leave and supporting parents coming back to work. In 2021 there were historic numbers of women that left their jobs, resulting in the lowest participation in work for women since 1988. She says that very few companies get it right for mums returning to work and shares her suggestions on ways to support them best. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Lotte Vester, Head of Organisational Strategy at Asana. Like many tech companies, Asana is a fairly flat organisation with very few staff having titles. Whilst it isn’t unique in the industry, Lotte explains how the only way this structure can work is if it is supported by the right culture.Fortunately, this is something that Asana are very intentional about, aided by their Voice of Employee programme, which evaluates decisions and goals set by individuals and the company. Lotte adds that for the culture to be effective, it is important to have open and curious leaders who are comfortable giving responsibility and critique to their staff. Asana pride themselves on creating flexible working for their staff, something which they proudly offered even before the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite them seeing value in face-to-face interaction and working collaboratively in an office, they believe that whatever gets the work done best is the most effective way. But is that attitude always best?Having previously worked at Facebook, Lotte has experienced companies growing rapidly, in both headcount and revenue. At the social media company, their key value was ‘move fast and break things’ - somewhat of a unique take. Lotte explains how employees were expected to make mistakes and if you didn’t, you probably weren’t moving fast enough, something which she feels is a valuable concept as you grow.  Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Ariel Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder of TripActions. TripActions have shown impressive growth since their launch, now boasting nearly 3,000 employees. But this hasn’t come without its challenges. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the company had no choice but to let staff go. In addition, trying to retain staff when thriving tech giants attempted to poach them was a significant challenge. Ariel explains that they never saw it as scaling down but instead used the unique opportunity to take more market share and continue to build their product.  Scaling a team often requires some difficult decisions, such as letting go of good people if they’re not going to take you to the next level. Ariel highlights why transparency when letting people go helps to set expectations. One of TripActions most successful decisions was to hire key employees from hypergrowth companies such as Uber and WeWork, according to Ariel. Having people who were used to growing businesses hundreds of percentages every year significantly aided the company when they began their significant hypergrowth. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Noga Halperin, Chief Revenue Officer of SciPlay. When Noga joined the gaming company seven years ago, they had two small centralised marketing teams in the States and in Israel. She took the unusual approach of growing teams in different locations across the globe, before deciding to centralise everything in one place. Noga explains why she went against the norm and the benefits it had on the company’s growth. SciPlay have a 51:49 balance when it comes to culture, meaning that a new hire must fit the company culture better than whether they can perform well in the role. But how is that sustainable when growing a company so significantly?  Maintaining good relationships with not only employees, but others in the industry, is something that Noga prides herself on. She is an advocate for old school networking and explains that even if someone isn’t looking to change jobs right now, you never know when they could become beneficial to growing your team. Prioritising what’s best for the company over what benefits someone else or yourself is Noga’s top tip for successful scaling. But how easy is it to see the bigger picture? Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Jonny Steel, Vice President of Marketing at Payoneer. When Jonny joined in 2014, Payoneer was a start-up with a centralised organisation. Eight years later and it has now grown to a significant global company. Jonny explains how growth hacking was paramount to the expansion and success of the business, and how it took them international. When looking at expanding globally, Jonny feels that relocating managers is a safe option. Payoneer instead pride themselves on their different approach. He discusses how hiring the best business leaders who know the local market can be a risk, but one worth taking.  When Payoneer’s platform went down, it left many people worried and unable to be paid. Jonny details how they turned their biggest crisis into loyalty for the company.  The key to scaling is not to be afraid, according to Jonny. But how do you recover if the risk doesn’t pay off? Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Nicholas Kontopoulos, Twilio’s VP Marketing for Asia Pacific and Japan. A marketing veteran with experience in 65+ countries, Nicholas has spent years building and scaling teams internationally. As a “Westerner operating in Asia”, he’s learned what works and what doesn’t when it comes to finding success in unfamiliar markets. Nicholas tells us about the importance of building an agile organizational structure and defining a clear purpose for your business to anchor around. He talks about the need to understand and appreciate differences and similarities between the countries you’re looking to expand into – what translates and what doesn’t – and why you should avoid the “cut and paste” approach to selling your brand across different territories. Nicholas is a firm believer that “culture eats strategy for lunch” – so how can you scale while staying true to your baseline culture? Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Eilon Reshef, Gong’s Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer. Gong have undergone significant growth in the past six years, accelerating from 10 employees to around 1200 in that short time. Eilon discusses the importance of hiring responsibly, why hiring fast is never beneficial and why it’s paramount to keep the bar high while scaling.   Strong operating principles are at the core of the company and they apply to customers and employees alike. How do you create “raving fans”? Eilon has specific advice. He also talks about how to make your guiding principles stick, and actually mean something right throughout your organization. Gong want employees to “enjoy the ride” - but how easy is that to achieve without taking a hit on revenue, especially in these tough economic times? Eilon continues to keep Gong lean, and isn’t a fan of excessive “party budgets”. What should your company do to strike the balance between employee happiness and driving profit? Eilon has suggestions. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Nir Goldstein, VP Sales at Monday. Monday has enjoyed phenomenal growth over recent years, rapidly scaling and expanding internationally. Nir’s role is to drive sales in EMEA + APAC, which has seen him build and manage multiple international sales teams. As well as explaining what skills, experience and attributes he looks for in new hires, he describes how Monday’s stellar growth impacted the way in which the company now recruits. Monday’s sales team recently changed their model from being salary-only to incorporate an incentivised approach – Nir talks through why that change occurred and how it’s impacted the business. He talks too about the mindset and organizational decisions needed for a company to be constantly “scale-ready” and offers thoughts on building loyalty within teams. Nir also explains the thinking behind Monday’s sales academy – why it was launched and what benefits it brings the company and its people. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Segev Baron, Senior Director of Engineering and Head of Israel R&D Center at Sage. Segev knows all about acquisitions from both sides – he’s worked at companies who have bought start-ups, and he’s been at start-ups that have been bought by bigger players. Acquisitions can bring uncertainty and excitement in equal measure – and successful mergers don’t happen by accident. The company being bought might experience greater opportunities and be able to scale quicker, but will have to adapt to being part of a different culture and learn to let go of some of the individualistic traits that made them attractive to the buyer. Meanwhile, buying companies want to harness the skills and new opportunities the start-up offers them, but will also want to assimilate them into the prevailing company culture. As Segev points out, few marketing departments want to be handling two different brands two years into an acquisition. So how do you know which people to bring with you on the new journey, and when it’s time to let others go? What immediate rewards can the larger company offer to retain the start-up team? And how soon should the process of merging the two entities begin for the best business outcome? Segev has thoughts on how to reap the benefits of the start-up ‘fighter jet’ mentality while existing within a new corporate ‘747’ reality. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, we talk with Jessica Williams, VP of People at Refine Labs, about how to maintain – and uproot – your organisational culture as you grow. All successful businesses reach a series of crossroads as they get bigger. Often, the strengths that led a start-up to its next stage come under threat from internal and external factors. It can be tempting to stay true to the values and ethos you started with, but this can just as easily hold you back.   So how can you know when to gradually evolve elements of your organisation’s set-up, and when might it be time to literally rewrite your rulebook? Jessica joined Refine Labs as Employee Number 30, and they now have four times that headcount. She’s got hard-won insights on when companies need to react in ways that can leave employees fearing change – and how to act to bring those employees along with you on your new journey. She’s also got good advice on how to stop your C-suite personnel acting like you’re still a small team once you’ve outgrown your original ambitions. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, we talked with Jonathan Shelmerdine, VP Product at SentinelOne, about their unique success story. SentinelOne’s path to hypergrowth looks easy from the outside, but like any successful business growth story, hard decisions had to be made at multiple stages. Jonathan highlights the importance of getting your strategy right – especially in a sector as competitive as B2B SaaS – but also of hiring the right people and having leaders “who know what good looks like”.  As he says, “you don't become the Golden State Warriors without having the right team, the right strategy, the right approach and the right balance between what you invest in”. Tracking the journey from start-up to success, Jonathan acknowledges that there’s a tipping point where companies have to change and even let go of some of the attributes that got them that far in the first place. So how do you phase out the entrepreneurship, innovation and ability “to do things your way” and adapt to being a bigger beast?    Achieving hypergrowth is one thing. But what do you do next? Jonathan’s got insight into how to sail a steady ship, while also forging forward. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this week’s episode, we talked to Vered Raviv Schwarz, COO and President at Guesty, about the trials and trepidations of business growth. Vered talks about how COOs are ultimately looking to build a well-oiled machine, which means there are numerous aspects that need putting in place. Starting off with the right foundations, already in the mindset that you will grow into a large organization. Along with thinking about processes, maintaining good handshakes between departments, and keeping compliance in the back of your mind.Once the foundations are laid, ask yourself – how are you evolving and growing within the role? Maybe you need to shift your mindsight from micro to macro to look at the bigger picture? Perhaps you even need to take a step back and let your team do the work they need to succeed?What about team building? The structure of the team should be monitored regularly - what's right now for the company and employees may not be so in a month's time. Nobody likes being the bad guy, but sometimes hard decisions need to be made…The point is, to successfully ‘fix’ a company or scale growth when needed, you need to try out new methods and take risks. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this episode, Yoav Vilner, Co-Founder and CEO of Walnut, talks to us about the importance of hiring sales and marketing executives early on. Why? To ensure business success.The hiring landscape has changed – many talented employees are feeling underwhelmed in their roles because they aren’t getting what they signed up for. But this presents an opportunity for other businesses to tap into this talent pool and give them the job satisfaction they crave. Hiring has to be methodical, regardless of the industry, audience, or business. B2B companies, for example, need to hire sales and marketing execs early on in the business venture. Why? Because the pipeline that talented execs can create within their first year can make or break your business. Likewise, businesses shouldn’t fall into the trap of only hiring the ‘techy’ people that haven’t really touched on the business side – sales and marketing execs are just as important as those you have in the product field – focus on operations. Key advice? Any leader who’s building a team, whether from scratch or during the process of growth, needs to set expectations right from the very beginning regarding where a person’s job will take them within the company. It avoids surprises down the road by ensuring everyone is on the same page.Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this episode, Micha Kaufman, Co-founder, and CEO of Fiverr, gave us an overview of the workforce revolution through his eyes. He starts his journey 12 years ago, when he founded Fiverr, and takes us right up until today, looking at the accelerations of this revolution by gen Z entering the workforce.During the first year of the pandemic, organizations lost control over people’s time. But then, companies started to think maybe time isn’t the only way to measure people, maybe we need to look at people’s impact and contributions? The organizations that don’t migrate their thinking towards this approach over the next 2-4 years are going to be left behind. So, we got straight to the point and asked Micha, “Is full-time employment dead?”His answer? “Absolutely, yes!”In his opinion, it’s only a matter of 5-10 years – the old social construct of how businesses work with talent is set to change forever. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops.Micha Kaufman is the Founder and CEO of Fiverr, the world's largest and fastest-growing marketplace for gigs and digital services. He is an angel investor, partner at Cerca VC, a startup mentor, and a contributor to prestigious publications including WIRED and Forbes. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The phrase "the war for talent" was first used in the late 1990s, to express that the competition for talented employees is becoming a huge barrier for companies. In the last decade, those conditions have only gotten worse, and it seems that today's battle is even more fierce.We talked to Sharon Bachar, CPO at Melio, a business-to-business payment platform specifically tailored to the needs of small businesses in the U.S., that joined the unicorn club in 2021 at a valuation of $1.3 billion. Sharon talked about how Melio is dealing with the war for talent, and the “authenticity approach” she suggests companies should embrace if they want to stay in the game. She shares her views on employer branding, the importance of architecting the recruitment process to provide a positive experience for all candidates, and even managing the experience of leaving the organization to turn your ex-employees into advocates. In addition, she explains how critical it is for companies to align on their story, goals and values internally, and how to implement the culture in everyday life activities to strengthen the message.Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
We must experience failure in order to grow. It is also inevitable. But maybe instead of trying to prevent it, we can actually accept it? Even encourage it? Perhaps failure is the thing that keeps us engaged and challenged in what we do? We talked to Benjamin Seror, CPO at Similarweb, who knows a thing or two about failures and successes. He joined Similarweb, a unicorn market analysis platform, from the early days as employee number 2 and built the product team from scratch while leveraging the lessons he learned from previous failures.He shared with us why he loves the dreaded question in interviews, "what is your biggest failure?" and how the answer can help you identify if your candidate is more focused on skills (a specialist) or outcomes (a generalist).Additionally, Benji shared with us his experience and insights on how to hire and develop talent, especially Gen Z who offer a new challenge to managers.Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Arbel came into Lightricks, a company that develops video and image editing mobile apps, as the new VP Product Management, with a clear vision to restructure the entire Product team. Quite a challenge, right? But It was clear to him that, in order to succeed in this process, he must work with the team, and not against them. In this episode, Arbel walked us through the entire re-org process, from the initial strategy brainstorm session to the internal communication part, all the way to execution. According to Arbel, a good manager today must be thinking constantly on how to give individuals various ways of promoting themselves. It can be internally, by owning an initiative, to representing Lightricks at a professional convention. Arbel tries to be very open with this team. He believes in the “everything on the table” kind of communication, which helps everyone feel comfortable addressing one another, enhancing the trust and connectivity between one another.Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
It’s no secret that retaining employees is significantly less expensive than hiring new talent. But how do you keep them engaged, connected and motivated in today’s ever-changing and unpredictable workplace? Well, that is a bit of a challenge.Adina Eckstein, COO at Lemonade, a unicorn tech insurance company, walked us through the delicate art of keeping people engaged. She shared with us Lemonade's unique organizational structure of squads, tribes and companies, which was designed to make employees feel empowered and motivated. But, they also have an interesting system of checks and balances. For example, once a branch becomes too big they’ll divide it into smaller teams, since intimacy is the name of the game. She gave examples on how this structure helps keep every person at Lemonade feel connected to the company at large and to their own specific goals as they grow from X to Y within Z years.In addition, she shared her unique view on the role of the COO - to oversee the scaling process of the company, and working closely with the CEO to understand the optimal structure and processes required to support the company’s goal while achieving high productivity and instilling the company’s culture.Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
How I scaled my Team uncovers how executives of some of the fastest-growing tech companies build teams for success. We have got amazing executives coming up on the show from SimilarWeb, Lemonade, Fiverr, Lightricks, and more, to share with us how they’re retaining great talent, handling Gen Z's different work requirements, coping with remote work, leveraging freelance talent, and more.Each episode will offer people food for thought on how to build teams in high-growth companies these days with all the changes.The show is hosted by Shahar Erez, Co-founder, and CEO of Stoke Talent, (just acquired by Fiverr), and Romi Davidor, Stoke’s marketing manager. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Comments (6)

Ali Ahmed

ok

May 14th
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Ali Ahmed

Thanks

May 13th
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HOLA AUNCAL

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Apr 12th
Reply

HOLA AUNCAL

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Apr 12th
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Mar 26th
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