PostHog is proud to be an international group of misfits. You can't disrupt an industry by thinking the same way as everyone else. At PostHog, everyone is committed to building a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and belonging.
Diversity & inclusion
Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique. While there are an infinite number of differences in humans, most people subconsciously define diversity by categories such as gender, race, age, and background.
Inclusion refers to the behaviors and social norms that make people feel welcome. This includes everyone being treated fairly and with respect, and ensuring that everyone has equal access to opportunities and is able to contribute fully to the company’s success.
We are aware that diversity & inclusion efforts are ongoing, and that we will never have it all figured out and ‘done’. This means we need to constantly learn and iterate. We will also make mistakes, but the important thing is that we learn from them and act with positive intent.
How diversity helps us
At PostHog, we view diversity as a tactic, like generous and transparent compensation, or communicating company goals to set context for our team. There is plenty of research into the link between highly diverse teams and increased performance and innovation.
How we support diversity
First, we do not tolerate discrimination, bullying or harassment. We have a grievance process in place.
While as a company, we will not support political or social causes, in order to seek as neutral-as-possible stance, we want employees to feel safe discussing their experiences, views and to have a way of finding community. We have recently started holding regular discussions between people with similar shared experiences in underrepresented groups to provide a space to do this - this means we create clear time and space boundaries, so whilst the company can still hit its goals and remain focused on shipping things, there is a safe opportunity to talk about wider issues.
We create specific ways to support underrepresented people at work. For example, if they wish to do so, employees are encouraged to share the name and pronouns they want others to use, and we will use them out of respect.
We use a range of tactics to maintain and increase the diversity of the PostHog team. Some of these are small, others require more effort. The People & Ops team are generally responsible for these, but anyone on the team is welcome to use these tactics.
From a recruitment perspective, we focus on diversifying the top of the recruitment funnel, i.e. encouraging more people from underrepresented groups to apply. At PostHog, the categories of people who we consider to be underrepresented are (in no particular order):
- People of color
- Members of the LGBTQ+ community
- Those with a disability, whether visible or not
We send all applicants an optional survey to complete as part of their application auto-reply email via Ashby, and will begin to report on this data regularly in Q4 2023. We are also working on a method to track this data throughout the interview process.
Diverse job boards
In addition to posting on our own website, LinkedIn, YC, and AngelList, we look for job boards that specifically target underrepresented groups. We are always testing and learning to see which are most effective. Previous places we have advertised include:
- Women Who Code
- Black Girls in Tech
- Tech Ladies
Attending events for underrepresented groups
Anyone on the team is welcome to attend events that support PostHog's growth, and this absolutely includes any event targeted at underrepresented groups in tech. If you are interested in attending one of these, please ask the People & Ops team! Previous events we have attended include:
- Lesbians Who Tech
The Rooney rule
Originally implemented by the National Football League (NFL) but increasingly used by companies, the basic Rooney rule requires at least one person of an underrepresented group to be considered for every open position.
At PostHog, we are committed to bringing at least one person in one of the above groups into the final stage of the interview process before making an offer to any candidate.
We are iterating on our use of the Rooney rule as we still have a few challenges:
- While some characteristics of underrepresentation will be visible in the recruitment process, others are not, which we need to be mindful of.
- For some roles (e.g. Full-Stack Engineer), we hire ongoingly. This makes the Rooney rule a little harder to make meaningful, but we also want to make sure to keep the pipeline as diverse as possible. Our rule of thumb is that we need to have had an underrepresented candidate at final stage in the previous 3 months for any role that is opening ongoingly.
- We need to work out how to be fast, deliver a great candidate experience, and also increase diversity in our hiring. This means that occasionally we should be open to not following the Rooney rule if the alternative is not hire at all for a critical role. If we decide to make an exception for a particular hire, we will transparently communicate to the team why the exception was made.
When we decide we would like to make an offer to a candidate, that acts as the trigger for Coua to check if we have followed the rule for a particular hire. If we haven't, we will then decide with James/Tim if we want to make an exception, and why. In the past we have also let candidates know (if practical) that this forms part of our process and that there may be a delay in their offer.
Adding pronouns to visible parts of your online profiles such as Meet, email, and Slack is a small action anyone on the team can take, as it can have a positive impact on trans and non-binary people by signaling to them that they are welcome at PostHog. This is because sharing your pronouns is a simple way to normalize not assuming someone's pronouns or gender. If you conduct a lot of interviews, you might like to include this alongside your Meet display name in particular.
Paid (and flexible) SuperDays
We pay people for SuperDays because we think this is the right thing to do, but it also has a diversity benefit, as it enables those who could not otherwise take a day off work to participate in our recruitment process. The SuperDay also allows candidates to see what it's really like working on the team before starting.
For those candidates that might have other commitments that make a full day impractical, we also offer the opportunity to split the SuperDay across multiple days, in order to fit with their schedule.
Building an inclusive place to work
These are some of the things we've implemented so far:
- All remote - so we can hire people from any country in the world. We have people in ~10 countries, with no office. We also provide everyone with $200/month to use on a coworking space of their choice, and $250/month to meet up with other team members.
- Asynchronous and transparent communication - so people can get the context they need to work effectively across multiple time zones and on schedules that suit them.
- Unlimited vacation policy with mandatory minimum time off - so you can fit work around your life.
- Flexible hours - so you can do the daily school run, or schedule a dentist appointment.
- Generous parental leave - so those raising families can do so while still working for us. We also extended our bereavement leave to cover pregnancy loss, as sometimes life doesn't work as we plan it.
- Very generous and transparent pay - to reduce the financial stress that often comes with working for startups, or prevents many from even applying.
- Anyone can contribute to our handbook - so if we miss something, others can ask for a change in our policy!
- Training budget for those in roles where we don't have lots of existing experience as a company.
- Life story Fridays (when we have a new team member, we'll ask them if they'd like to present their life story for up to 30min on a Friday) - so you have more context on the points of views of others in the team.
- Sponsored visas for those who need them to continue staying in the US or UK.
- Health insurance for those from countries that do not provide this freely.
Are you a potential candidate reading this? Let us know how we can do a better job!