Tapad

Tapad

New York, NY

www.tapad.com

Grade: A

SummaryGreat access to CEO, company has own constitution, great collaboration connectivity, unlimited vacation days policy, good perks and fun and of course a relaxing lounge with an artificial fireplace.

Intro: We have heard many reasons for why candidates choose Tapad over others, but think it boils down to three main things:

Innovative, connected and flexible culture: CEO Are Traasdahl and CTO Dag Liodden are dedicated to hiring the best and the brightest. As a result, that investment demands that we establish and nurture a culture that enables employees to thrive once they are here. We’ve even committed it in a self-authored document called the ‘Tapad Constitution.’ The signatures of every Tapad employee – the same folks who helped forge our constitution – can be seen on the document.

  • Staying connected is also a top priority at Tapad. Despite having 13 offices in five countries, Tapaders stay connected through weekly all-team updates, video chats, conference calls, office visits and even our remote-in robot, Tappy. In addition, for the annual holiday party, Tapad’s events team coordinates a party for each region on the same night as the main NYC event, ensuring we keep a strong sense of camaraderie among all the offices.
  • Tapad also utilizes an unlimited vacation day policy, allowing for a great work-life balance. We encourage constant transparency across all departments as well as an entrepreneurial spirit, and want our employees to take the initiative with no red tape.
  • In addition to providing growth and development opportunities at Tapad through continuing education and the “Tapad Talent Mobility Program,” the company also offers competitive wages.
  • Accessible leadership: Additionally, having Tapad’s CEO and CTO know their employees on a personal level and readily available to discuss company updates, issues, or brainstorm future ideas is a huge competitive advantage. Tapad brainstorms and executes as a team, and the company’s multiple opportunities to bond as a team in both professional and recreational settings encourage this.
  • Advanced technology: One of the most common answers we hear when asking engineers why they joined Tapad is their interest in our technology stack. As a 100% Scala shop for the backend and JavaScript on the front end, they recognize the advanced level of our developers and our ability to handle massive amounts of data. In addition, we make sure engineers have the chance to interview with Dag to ensure that they are well-connected with leadership. We have found that his leadership is another main reason why engineers choose Tapad over competitors, as they trust his decisions and know they can grow as a part of the Tapad team.

Impact statements:

  • CEO Are Traasdahl and CTO Dag Liodden are dedicated to hiring the best and the brightest. As a result, that investment demands that we establish and nurture a culture that enables employees to thrive once they are here. We’ve even committed it in a self-authored document called the ‘Tapad Constitution.’ The signatures of every Tapad employee – the same folks who helped forge our constitution – can be seen on the document.
  • Here at Tapad, we realize we live in a digital age and we are flexible around all of our employees’ individual lives. This means that, should any new hire need a special accommodation, Tapad works hard to ensure we do our best to address that need and make sure the onboarding process is as smooth and comfortable as possible, whether it’s being flexible with the start date, temporarily working remotely, etc.
  • The Tapad workplace has an open floor plan with no offices or cubicles, enabling our employees to easily collaborate and socialize. In addition, our executive team sits in the same open space as the rest of the team, ensuring that no one feels siloed
  • Tapad implemented Bonusly to encourage more team collaboration by enabling employees to reward their team members on collaborative efforts and positive interactions.
  • At Tapad we work very hard to recruit the best and brightest talent.
  • Tapad recognizes team members with both individual and team-focused awards for achieving defined and attainable company goals.
  • A Tapad hiring practice is to ensure recruitment of new team members who will inspire their teammates to do better, think harder and innovate more.
  • Tapad has a relaxing lounge with an artificial fireplace, record player, lounge chairs, sectional sofas, bean bags, as well as standing desks and lap desks throughout. For more active methods of re-booting, the office has Razor scooters, a DJ booth, wireless surround sound, several flat screen TVs, a bike rack, pull-up bar, soundproofed game room with XBox and Wii, ping-pong table, custom cornhole and a professional-grade foosball table for employees to enjoy as needed.
  • Additionally, CEO Are Traasdahl and CTO Dag Liodden know their employees on a personal level and are readily available to discuss company updates, issues or brainstorm future ideas.

Advancement Opportunities:

Tapad encourages their employees to continue advancing in their career paths and break out of their comfort zones in any way they can, and we ensure this in several ways:

  • The “Tapad Talent Mobility Program”: This program gives employees the flexibility to move cross-functionally within the company. Tapad is transparent internally about open opportunities and qualified team members who apply are given priority over external candidates during the interview process. This ensures that any employee, should they have the right skillset for the role, has the opportunity to expand their experience and move within the company. Should someone fit the bill, Tapad maps out a strategic plan to ensure it’s a smooth transition to their new role and that, ultimately, this keeps the employee on the path to professional success.
  • We subsidize relevant training and continuing education programs, as well as encourage mentorship. Additionally, Tapad has promoted several employees to regional manager, general manager, vice president, senior vice president, executive vice president, and C-level roles in lieu of hiring externally.

Medical benefits:

Tapad offers comprehensive health insurance packages that offer 80% – 100% paid medical benefits. In addition, we provide an above industry standard parental leave policy for both primary and secondary caregivers. To promote health and wellness, Tapad hosts quarterly wellness events, a bi-annual wellness overview and offers in-house flu shots. We also stock office pantries with healthy snacks, fresh fruit and a variety of beverages, as well as provide a well-rounded catered breakfast on Mondays and Fridays. To help employees stay active, we encourage them to participate in intramural sports such as softball, soccer, and volleyball as well as quarterly company-sponsored activities such as in-house massages, yoga classes and/or SoulCycle classes.

Community service/charitable causes:

For the last two years, Tapad has led a virtual food drive during the holiday season to support Food Bank for New York City. We have also sponsored activities for the Boy Scouts of America as well as the celebration of the 120th Boston Marathon. Our engineers have also been very active with community service, including volunteering for Girls Who Code to teach young women to code and encourage them to join the tech community, presenting for “Brooklyn Kids Learn About Data,” and hosting a workshop for the NYU Women in Computing group.

Additionally, we give back to the Nordic and Silicon Alley startup communities by working closely with the student entrepreneur group Spark NTNU as well as fostering the next wave of Norwegian entrepreneurs through The Propeller Program. The Propeller Program is a one-year mentorship initiative where five Norwegian startups are selected to work at Tapad HQ and receive C-level guidance and workshops aimed at helping them successfully launch their businesses in the US.

Measuring satisfaction:

Tapad strives to be diligent in collecting employee feedback and conducts several opportunities for employees to communicate their thoughts and concerns, including:

  • Employee Engagement Survey: Tapad distributes this survey every September, as well as surveys regarding various aspects of Tapad work life and culture throughout the year, to gauge employee satisfaction.
  • Peer-recognition Kudos system: Within the Product and Engineering teams, we have this system where employees can thank and congratulate their peers on work done well. These are collected weekly and physically distributed to recipients while also announced via e-mail. That person also gets the Kudos Drink Cart, which allows them to “host” a happy hour to celebrate their accomplishment.
  • Training and orientation surveys: To ensure a smooth onboarding process for new employees, all new team members are asked to give feedback about their orientation and training experience, and internal recruiting checks in with new hires after the first 30 days of their employment to see how things are going. New employees are asked if their experience is meeting their expectations, what the company can do better, etc. Additional one-on-one check-ins are also scheduled to follow up on feedback given.
  • 1:1 meetings: Each week employees meet with their hiring managers to determine, evaluate and reflect on their past and upcoming work. During these meetings employees are encouraged to discuss improvements and changes that can be made in order to ensure maximum productivity and satisfaction among the team.

The Tapad workplace has an open floor plan with no offices or cubicles, enabling our employees to easily collaborate and socialize. In addition, our executive team sits in the same open space as the rest of the team, ensuring that no one feels siloed. Any wall space can be used for collaborative work, including blank walls and columns with whiteboarding services, freeing up conference rooms for larger groups. All employees have access to standing desks and additional monitors if needed.

Tapad also prides itself on its eco-friendliness. The office has an eco-friendly carpet and is painted with non-toxic paint. Boardrooms are furnished with reclaimed wood tables, and the office kegerator keeps cans and bottles out of landfills.

The Tapad office atmosphere also encourages employees to “Work smart, play hard.” In our office one has access to a state of the art Ping-Pong table, Foosball, xbox, unlimited nitro cold brew, a fine bar selection, chalkboards and whiteboards, scooters for easy mobility around the office, and a limitless option of snacks and drinks.

Creative meeting places:

Our events team works hard to scope out the best restaurants or venues for team outings.

For example:

The LIC Foundry

Museum of Mathematics and Brooklyn Winery for the winter gatherings

Brooklyn Crab and Grand Banks at Pier 23 for summer outings

Barcade

Madison Square Park

GoldBar at The Clocktower and HandCraft for TapOuts

10 On The Park

NASDAQ MarketSite at Time Square for Tapad’s annual half-day summit

‘Unify Tech’

Scandinavia House

The Edition Hotel boardroom

ACE Hotel for offsite meetings

Perks:

One crucial perk is that Tapad offers employee match up to 3% of the base compensation for 401K. Under our insurance plans, employees can also receive reimbursement for six months of gym activity. Tapad keeps multiple healthy-leaning snack and beverage options stocked throughout their offices, as well as a commercial grade caffeine station with a Wega espresso machine and a kegerator for seasonal craft beer on tap. Tapad also brings in catered breakfast on Monday and Friday, and employees often make use of the oven in the kitchen to bake treats for the rest of the office.

Fun:

Tapad has a relaxing lounge with an artificial fireplace, record player, lounge chairs, sectional sofas, bean bags, as well as standing desks and lap desks throughout. For more active methods of re-booting, the office has Razor scooters, a DJ booth, wireless surround sound, several flat screen TVs, a bike rack, pull-up bar, soundproofed game room with XBox and Wii, ping-pong table, custom cornhole and a professional-grade foosball table for employees to enjoy as needed.

How corporate vision is communicated:

The Tapad corporate vision is driven by employees on all levels. In addition, CEO Are Traasdahl and CTO Dag Liodden know their employees on a personal level and are readily available to discuss company updates, issues or brainstorm future ideas.

Empowering employees:

Tapad strongly encourages employees to be transparent with each other and feel empowered to share ideas and feedback across different departments and levels of seniority. In fact, the company culture at Tapad is guided by an employee-developed “living” constitution. The constitution is open for changes by any and all team members, so that all employees feel they can contribute and be respected, appreciated and understood. For example, one of the tenants of the constitution is to “maintain open, cross-functional communication and collaboration.” To that end, Tapad holds daily cross-functional standing meetings (agile scrums), weekly cross-function commercialization meetings, and keeps open lines of communication between leadership and the rest of the team.

Tapad recognizes team members with both individual and team-focused awards for achieving defined and attainable company goals, for example:

  • Promotions and role changes are communicated internally on a quarterly basis
  • Tapad’s Marketing Communications team honors the most socially engaged employee as “Tapad Socialite” on a monthly basis.
  • Promotions are applauded at All-Team Meetings on a monthly basis
  • Quarterly awards are given for Media and Data business units, as well as sales-specific contests. Winners from these are shared company-wide via weekly internal team update, monthly all-team meeting and in the “What’s Tappening Deck” that displays in HQ.
  • Birthdays, work anniversaries, kudos and significant personal milestones (engagements, marriages, parents to be) are also acknowledged among Tapad employees with gifts or recognition. For birthdays, we hold a special team gathering at the end of every month to celebrate those who had a birthday in that month.
  • Bonus.ly enables employees to reward one another for a job well done. Employees can redeem their Bonus.ly points for gift cards to stores like Sephora, REI, Amazon, etc. At the end of month, the employee who received the most Bonus.ly points also receives an extra 100 points for the following month to give to others.

At Tapad, we realize how important it is for employees to feel like they have autonomy and purpose within their teams. One example of how we empower employees is having once a month all-hands meetings where different team members present in front of the company and offer updates on what their specific department is working on. Employees are also encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas with other teams, and often we feature their work on Tapad’s corporate as well as engineering blogs. This, in turn, gives employees exposure to the rest of the company and the confidence to present in front of the CEO, CTO and other executives. It shows that we are giving employees opportunities to grow and stretch themselves.

Ensuring well-being:

Standard work hours are 9-6, but we encourage flexibility within that timeframe as well as with remote work. If employees do their best work in the morning, we encourage them to come in earlier and leave earlier. We avoid the “watching the door” mentality as we don’t believe it brings out the best in our employees. Instead we want our employees to exercise freedom in accomplishing their work in a way that is comfortable to them.

Yes, as mentioned above, we encourage flexibility for our employees and avoid the “watching the door” mentality. Tapad employees also enjoy an “unlimited vacation” policy. Employees need only to arrange for time off ahead of time and provide ample information to their team to accomplish work without them. Here at Tapad, we believe that we are hiring responsible, high-performing employees. As a result, we are more concerned with the results they are producing rather than the hours they clock in the office. This shows our employees that we respect their work life balance and also want to encourage that balance.

Longevity:

Average tenure at Tapad is approximately 2 years.

Closing company statements: Tapad’s tech culture ensures that employees will not just grow the skills they already have, but also have the chance to learn new ones in the process. We use various open source programs and languages, and perhaps most importantly, we will teach employees the Scala programming language. While other companies require candidates to have experience in their main programming language, Tapad encourages people to join as a way to learn Scala. In turn, this shows the candidate that Tapad is more about being a community of engineers who are willing to assist each other. We also encourage a work hard, play hard environment to foster our collaborative team environment. Finally, candidates start to notice during the interview process they will be working engineers who have a startup mentality, that is balanced with large company initiatives and goals. We also provide clear-cut training and guidance on how to be promoted.

On the business side, it’s really selling that you get to work at a company that is the leader in cross-device engagement and constantly being innovative with new technology (such as our new VET metric). It’s selling the culture and the teams with whom new candidates will be working. They are going to have the ability to grow within the company and learn a lot as time goes on, as we love to promote within. Since being acquired last year, we also continue to see how that change has been the best of both worlds. We now have the backing of a big established entity but are also still operating separately now and moving forward as well as globally.

Back to the entire list of TMCnet 2016 Tech Culture Award winners.

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