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Resourceful humans

How Hint’s VP of People Ops improved their remote onboarding experience

Brian Park
Founder & CEO at Foreword
Min read
Foreword logo - white
Resourceful humans

How Hint’s VP of People Ops improved their remote onboarding experience

Brian Park
Founder & CEO at Foreword
Min read
Foreword logoResourceful humans

How Hint’s VP of People Ops improved their remote onboarding experience

Expert-led workshops that employees crave. Without the busy work.

Welcome to our interview series where we chat with people leaders to learn a bit about what they're working on, spotlight exciting work happening in the people community, but also share some learnings.

Interview transcribed below

Today we have the real pleasure to speak with Tracy Kasin, the VP of People Operations and Talent at Hint. Tracy, welcome. 

Thank you Brian. So so happy to be here.

Just to level-set a little bit, how many folks are at Hint today? How big is the People team and how is it structured?

So we are about 200 employees right now and growing week-over-week. The People team is relatively slim, but we are robust. 

I have it set up where we've got our HR people support and then our talent acquisition. I've got two people on the talent acquisition team and we’ll have three people on the People support team including myself with both those two teams filtering up to me. 

I can imagine you and your team are  juggling a lot of things. Whether you look back or look ahead, are there any programs that you or your team has worked on that you're particularly proud of?

I would say our onboarding process is something that I feel really proud that we've been able to build year-over-year.

When I first started, it was one or two emails, some paperwork that’d get filled out, and you'll get an email from the HRIS System.

Prior to Covid that evolved into including a quick one hour meeting with new hires for anybody working at corporate. We sent them an Uber credit for a ride to the office because we really wanted to make their first day as stress free as possible. And of course there was the welcome lunch. 

But we were all in person then and our sales people also had their team so it was a little bit different when Covid hit and we really had to rethink that for our corporate folks because we were still hiring so much.

So over the past two years, we really have expanded that onboarding or orientation piece of it. We still do the typical onboarding: “this is Hint, this is who we are, this is how you get your benefits, etcetera.”

But now we do a 30-60-90 day check-in: “Hey, did you get your benefits card? Are you okay with your gas card and have you met with your team?” 

Also - rather than having lunch your first day in person, you'll get an Uber Eats gift card. Some teams have been doing a great job and they'll actually send out Uber Eats to everybody and they'll have a team ‘get-to-know-you’ lunch.

So that is something we really have honed. When we’ve lost people in the past couple of years, we hear feedback like: “hey, I still remember that first week that I was here and how supportive and welcomed I felt at Hint.”

So I would say the orientation onboarding process comes to mind here. We're still looking into how to make it better, but that's what I'm mostly proud of.

As someone that’s gone through terrible onboardings, that sounds great.  Have there been any things that’s been smoother or even more challenging as you were rolling this out relative to what you anticipated?

When you’re starting something new during Covid, it’s tough because you’re getting to know a new team, you’re getting to know a new job and feeling disconnected. 

With our onboarding, we were able to address that fear upfront for new hires and enter Hint smoothly, which has been great.

Something that didn't go as well is related to onboarding uniquely for our sales team because the expectation is you're going to jump in and hit the ground running. So we’ve had to ask ourselves how we can better manage that.

That’s an area we need to work on and earlier today I spoke with my team and they've got some great ideas of how we can manage those expectations for those particular hiring managers. Expressing that we understand their objectives but also iterating the importance of a great onboarding to enable folks to be more effective at their job sooner.

Looking ahead, what are you most excited about? Are there any particular programs or initiatives that you're looking ahead to that gets you amped up?


So just last week I was given the green light to implement a platform called Culture Amp - it’ll help us better serve employees. 

I am very excited about it because it’s less about what I want to do for employees, but more so about hearing from the employees themselves on how we're doing not only from a high level company standpoint, but with teams and individuals as well.

So I don't know what the future has in store for us, but I'm hoping to be able to launch that in the next few weeks, get the feedback and then announce the results in our April town hall. 

And then from there, putting those action plans into place so we can really continue to make Hint the best place to work.

That makes sense - the first step toward progress is often just getting visibility on things. To close out, what are some things that you think others can learn from?

I would say this question for me would be more targeted to a younger company starting out or a new HR professional starting at a company that maybe doesn't have a lot of the platforms in place.

Something that I wish I had learned earlier is the importance of data, how it’ll help you make better and more informed decisions, and oftentimes how it’ll likely help you get buy-in from leadership on an initiative.

So to do that I feel it's best to invest in your HR platforms. It's your HRIS, your applicant tracking system, something like Culture Amp as well.

And there are plenty of platforms that are very affordable for younger companies or for new HR leaders who don't have much of a budget.

But I feel like if I had known that sooner in my career as well as sooner in some roles I could have been more impactful, much faster.

Thank you so much for being generous with your time, with your insights, and I'm so excited to stay in touch. Thank you Tracy.

Thank you Brian, I really appreciate it.

Brian Park
Written by
Brian Park
As the CEO, among a million other things, Brian spends a lot of his time talking to Foreword users and People people. He occasionally writes about his experience as a startup founder as well as articles to help the community.


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