Alexa Grellet on becoming a co-founder, the importance of D&I and why she loves her incredible team
Alexa had only been working at HR DataHub for six months when the founder invited her to share in his journey and join as a co-founder of the company. We sat down with Alexa to chat about her journey so far, how companies can better use data to overcome their issues and her hopes for HR DataHub’s future.
Tell us about your work with HR DataHub?
We are an HR intelligence platform, so we bring data to people’s lives so that they can make really good decisions when they are trying to manage people. The company came about because my co-founder, David, spent his entire career working in HR and managing huge groups, and trying to do cool things but he never had the information that he needed to understand what people are doing, how much are they paying people, what initiatives are they doing that are making a difference…Turns out it’s really hard to find this kind of info.
If you work in marketing, you can literally go online and in two mins, you can see how your website is doing compared to other people etc. However, when you’re trying to manage people you have no idea, and so it’s hard to be fair, competitive, diverse - all this good stuff, if you have no clue from outside what you already know. So he decided that he could use technology to do this way more efficiently, and smarter. The market changes all the time, so a report once a year is not going to cut it if you’re trying to be agile or innovative so that’s how the company started. The response has been incredible! People are like ‘yes, I need this information. I need to know how to attract Gen Z talent!' You always need more knowledge to be good at your job, and we offer that!
There’s been a particular focus on D&I over the past few years, how do you think companies can do better in championing D&I?
I think there are two things. Firstly, they should align what they are doing to what they say their intentions are, intentions on their own don’t do anything. And secondly, I would say baby steps are the way to go. Sometimes organisations feel a bit weird about being perceived as not doing enough, so they put out statements like ‘I’m going to do all these super ambitious things’ but they fall short of that all the time because they are coming from way back. What they are saying is they want to revolutionise this and that, but it’s important to start small. Figure out where your biggest problems are, and start there. My perspective is that the more data you have, the more likely you are to know what your problem is, otherwise it’s just going to be subjective. Are people getting stuck in roles for a long time without promotion? Do your employee engagement scores suck? Or, are you not hiring in a way that is inclusive, diverse, new and different? Be better informed, and do work on your internal culture.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
My team, hands down! I genuinely love the people I work with, I think they are amazing. We work hard to show that we care for each other on a holistic level. I care about your work, the challenges you’re having, the person you are, what you’re doing in your personal life, and I think that brings the team to life. That’s the best part of my job.
What would you consider to be your biggest career highlight?
When I became a co-founder at HR DataHub, that was a highlight! I didn’t start that way. The company existed way before me, and I came in as an employee. I kind of treated the company as if it was my own from the start, and applied myself and I am really proud of that. Six months later, the founder asked me to be his co-founder, that was a huge thing for me. There is nothing more validating than someone saying ‘you’ve had such an impact on the company, that I want to share this with you’ which is huge! He literally gave away part of his company to me, and I felt really proud of that.
What are your hopes for the future of the company?
I hope that we make a difference. I hope that we will look back, even in a year, and the people that started working with us today, actually use data to make decisions about how they manage people, that’s what I want. Beyond all the operational stuff, I want everyone who trusts us now, when we are really little, and we are trying to do great things, to look back and say ‘that was cool, I’m glad that I’m a part of that!’
Words: Grace Goslin
hundo has joined HR DataHub and a coalition of world-class experts to address the data gap in D&I. The D&I Index will allow employers to compare their D&I data to others in their sector, and use the data to suggest meaningful steps on how to improve their diversity at all levels. Read all about it here.