Welcome 2018!

By on January 5th, 2018 in Company News, Culture

Happy New Year! As we look back at 2017, we are thankful for a year full of growth for the company and for our team.  We hit some amazing milestones that could not have been possible without a smart, strong, passionate and dedicated team.

December is a month of celebrations, and we had an amazing holiday party to end the year.  We shed our casual work attire and had fun dressing to the nines and dancing the night away.

Of course, December is also a great time to give back and help those less fortunate.  We partnered with the San Francisco Fire Department for their Annual SFFD Holiday Toy Drive and were able to provide gifts to a number of program recipients. There are a few of us here at TrueAccord who benefitted from this program as kids, so it was awesome to see things come full circle. The SFFD Toy Program has been in operation since 1949 and strives to ensure all kids have a great holiday season full of toys. The team loved the idea of giving back and we hope to do more events like this in the future.

Our team continues to grow, we welcomed the final hires for 2017: Aviv Peretz, Senior Data Scientist / Cherlynne Serafino-King, Talen Acquisition Partner /Rocky Chau, Customer Engagement Specialist

Looking forward to what 2018 has in store.

Life at TrueAccord: November Edition

By on December 8th, 2017 in Company News, Culture

It’s been a really busy month for us at TrueAccord, and we’re a little late in posting, we almost can’t believe it’s December.  We’ve had some incredible highlights from November, the biggest was closing our Series B, which is going to help us grow our team and continue with our mission to change the debt collection space for good.  We have tons of open positions, and lots more coming next year.

Our team continues to grow, with a bunch of new team members coming on board: Marques Moore (Front Office Assistant), Jacob Hunt (Integration Engineer), Juan Gonzalez (Integration Engineer), Robert Rodriguez (Customer Success Manager), Jas Kao (Client Success Specialist), and Young Xu (Product Manager).

Of course, we always take the time for our happy hours and celebrating!  Nothing says November more than pumpkins and turkey.

As the weather cools down and the holiday season is just around the corner, we took some time to warm up with some jazz, sweets and hot chocolate.

My First Month On The TrueAccord Engineering Team

By on December 4th, 2017 in Culture, Engineering and Data, Industry Insights

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I started at TrueAccord. About eleven months ago, my husband and I moved to Bay Area from Australia. It took us a few months to settle down with two young kids, a 5 years old girl and a 18-month-old boy. Three months ago I decided to look for a job as my final step of settling down. As you can imagine, reaching out for a good job opportunity has never been easy. So when my friend who happened to work at next door of our San Jose office told me TrueAccord is hiring an engineer, I immediately applied it and got an offer after a few interviews.

Settling in a new job is not easy and it takes time and effort to process a ton of new information. I received a warm welcome and plenty of help from everybody. Through a short but informative onboarding process, I got to know the people with different backgrounds and perspectives and felt their energy and enthusiasm about the industry. With their help and support, I feel comfortable and ready for the challenges yet to come. The fact that the company is committed to maintaining a diverse workforce and ensuring an inclusive work environment is very attractive. I am really excited to join a multicultural environment like this.

My onboarding journey started with an orientation in our headquarters at San Francisco. I was introduced to the various teams I’d be working with, (engineering, data science, analytics, product)  and got to know them, what projects they were working on and the collaboration among them. I was so impressed with how well structured and organized TrueAccord is a startup company, where you can see well-established collaborations between teams, clearly defined procedures to help saving time and resources. Now, I was ready to start in our San Jose office, where the engineering team is based, and officially became a member of this innovative and collaborative team.

My first task was to set up my development environment, which was more challenging than I thought it would be. It took some time to get everything up and running. It was not the smoothest setup I experienced but it was a great opportunity for me to learn and understand our tech stack and development environment. It was also a great opportunity to see how supportive my team was in helping me get through this somewhat frustrating process, they jumped in to troubleshoot so I could get up and running quickly.

Setting up the workstation was just the start of the bigger journey. There was so much information I need to absorb to do my job. Coming from a Java background, the first thing I had to tackle was learning Scala since our main backend system depends on it. In addition to that, there are so many related technologies I needed to get my hand on. Again, my team was there to make sure I succeed, especially my manager, who make a great plan for me to help me navigate the process. Great discussions happened every week about our system and tech stack between myself and my teammates, which allowed me to jump in and start on some real tasks.

It has been a great month. There were challenges, frustrations, and excitements. I feel lucky that TrueAccord offered me my first job in the US. I am so thankful to everyone that helped me in this great journey. With such a great start, I believe I’m on the right track of fast and effective ramping, and I look forward to contributing more to our project.

Life at TrueAccord: October Edition

By on November 2nd, 2017 in Company News, Culture

October has been chalk full of fun, continued growth, and a few firsts here at TrueAccord.  Our weekly themed happy hours continue, and this month we had a wine and cheese tasting, introducing our pallets to some French wines to swirl and sniff for a much-needed break in the middle of the week.

With our rapid growth, we are looking to grow our team and attended a few career fairs, including the SF LGTB fair at LinkedIn.

Another first, we hosted an SF Bay Area Machine Learning meetup at our office and had a packed house of 110 attendees, lots of networking, tech talks, and of course great food and beer.  Meetups are a huge part of the SF tech culture and a great way to talk about what we do by bringing in a crowd into our office to help our hiring and brand awareness efforts.  Check out Chief Innovation Officer/co-founder, Nadav Samet talk about how we use machine learning to humanize debt collection.

We added quite a few new members, soon will be entering the triple digits!

Lauren Sawicki, Director of collections, Parris Preston, Customer Support Specialist, Veronica Tong, Data Entry Specialist, Marc Jackson, Technical Recruiter, Patsy Cunningham, Compliance Auditor, Yelizaveta Geurkova, Customer Support Specialist, Trisha Cole, Customer Support Specialist, Karina Munoz, Customer Support Specialist, and James Reynolds, Customer Support Specialist.

Consumer in Crisis: What To Do When Disaster Strikes

By on October 24th, 2017 in Company News, Culture, Debt Collection, Industry Insights, User Experience

Hurricanes, wildfires, floods. We’ve certainly seen our fair share of natural disasters in the past few months. Sometimes, disasters are more personal such as losing a job, losing a loved one or facing an unexpected medical condition. When these crises happen, financial institutions and debt collectors want to do whatever they can to ease the burden, if only for a short time. The key? Communicating early, communicating often, and asking for relief whenever it is available.

It may be hard to imagine that our bank or lender cares about our circumstances. That is often not true. Financial institutions work within communities and understand the need to support them. That’s true for debt collection as well.

The premise we work with is that people want to pay their debt, they just need the right tools. They also need to be treated like people which is why we offer personalized approaches to each customers’ unique situation.

When paying debt is not possible, it’s in everyone’s interest to find other solutions. At TrueAccord, many clients proactively ask us to stop collecting in crisis-struck areas, and we often do so ourselves. Hardship programs allow us to provide longer and even more flexible payment plans, delay collection attempts and sometimes pause collection efforts for a long period of time.

Many consumers don’t hear about these options – or even consider that there may be another solution available to them – because they choose to disengage with financial institutions and debt collectors. This can make a bad situation worse. We, and your bank, may not be aware of your situation. We understand that calling us may be the last thing on your mind. That’s why you can email us, and in some cases text or write to us on social media. Reaching out will allow you to get in front of the situation early. For your financial institution, it will help them support you sooner and more effectively.

If you are in a crisis, talk to your bank, talk to TrueAccord, and explore your options. While we may not be able to solve every problem, we’re here to help as much as we can.

 

Life at TrueAccord: September Edition

By on October 2nd, 2017 in Company News, Culture

September has been a busy month at TrueAccord. We wanted to share some of the highlights as we take a break from it all and enjoy some themed food and drinks at our weekly happy hour. Since September in SF is one of the nicest months, we took our happy hour to a rooftop BBQ in SOMA, we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hold on to summer for a bit longer and enjoy a great evening with our coworkers.

We are also growing quickly, all our teams are expanding, and we added some key hires in September to help us delight our customers and build a platform for financial health. We added David Han (Implementation Manager), Tim Collins (Chief Compliance Officer), Gopi Karunamoorthy (Accounting Assistant), Adam Gomez (Senior People Operations Associate), Matt Botts (Customer Success Manager), Lilia Paz (Customer Engagement Specialist) Nick Bright (Customer Engagement Specialist), Tyler Watt (Customer Engagement Specialist). Come work with us!

Meet Our Engagement Team Members

By on August 29th, 2017 in Company News, Culture

TrueAccord’s mission is to reinvent the debt collections space by delivering great consumer experiences that empower consumers to regain control of their financial health and help them to better manage their financial future.  We are reinventing debt collection with data driven, personalized, digital first collections.  

While technology is helping reinvent debt collection and forge a better way to communicate with consumers, not all personal interactions can, nor should be replaced.  This is where our customer engagement team is making a huge impact in the process and engaging with customers to help them through a difficult time.  

Meet a few of our engagement team members and hear their stories.  

Meet Dean-Austin Mayor

   

Tell me a bit about yourself?

“I graduated from Santa Clara University in 2016, I studied psychology and music. I wanted to apply my degree to help people. The mission really attracted me to the company, it was about helping people and it was the real thing here.”

Why TrueAccord?

“After interviewing with the team, I really believed the company was focused on the idea of helping people through a tough situation.  I would have the opportunity to empathize with people and give them a better experience.”

What keeps you coming back?

“The culture.  Everyone works together, people are smart, the energy is very positive here.  I’m exposed to working with other teams, it’s a very collaborative environment and we’re all working towards the same goal.   It’s a great place to be even if I have a tough day.”

Advice for someone considering a role?

“It takes a level of compassion to have patience and understand where people are coming from, so you can understand them and work with them.  But don’t take things personally, not everyone wants to work with us, so you will have to handle difficult situations. But there are so many customers that are so surprised by how nice we are and how different.”  

What are the benefits like?

“They really care about the employees and provide great benefits.   We also have weekly happy hours, and a culture committee that plans events.”

Meet Kelly Young

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

“I am a bay area native, and when I moved back after college I was looking for my first job, and wanted to get experience in a growth stage startup. I was looking for a place to learn and the opportunity to grow. I was intrigued by what TrueAccord does.”

Why TrueAccord?

“The interview process was very fast and engaging.  I talked to a lot of people during the interview process and it felt like people were genuine, friendly and took the time to get to know me. It seemed like a great place to work.”

What is the culture like?

“There is a culture of learning here and changing things for the better.  People are constantly coming up with new ideas and better ways of doing things.  It’s great to be part of a company where I can see my ideas come to life.”

“Everyone is really smart here, they work hard, but there is a great work/life balance.  We are focused and prioritize what needs to be done, and when faced with a difficult situation or challenge we come together as a team.”

“It’s a great place to gain experience and grow with the company, this role is a chance to get in on the ground floor.  I’ve seen a lot of agents move to other roles, growth is definitely a huge thing here.”

What is the role like?  

“It’s challenging but rewarding, we are helping people in difficult situations. A lot of consumers have been in debt multiple times and have dealt with traditional agencies, so they don’t expect us to be there to help, but that is exactly what we do.”

What are the benefits like?  

“It’s a great office in downtown SOMA, open space, standing desks, great snacks, lunches, dog-friendly.  We also have weekly themed happy hours on Wednesdays, a nice way to break up the week and have fun.”

Meet Serena Cabrera

Tell me a bit about yourself?

“Originally I’m from LA. I graduated from Berkeley and really liked the Bay Area and wanted to stay here.  A friend referred me in, and I didn’t know much about the company, but then I researched, umm debt collection, I was skeptical.  But once I talked to everyone and learned about the way TrueAccord is really trying to change the industry, I took the leap.”

Why TrueAccord?

“It was the people that really made me want to come here, everyone was friendly and open, and there were great benefits.”  

What’s the Culture Like?”

“It’s a very open culture of bringing up questions and ideas and everyone collaborates. I was learning a lot, and everyone was very supportive.”

What keeps you coming back?

“It’s a great place to learn, this has given me the opportunity to be in tech. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do, and there are great people here to learn from and have exposure to other departments and mobility. I’m interested in UX, and my manager is very supportive and I get to talk to Shannon (head of UX and content) and learn what she does.”

Advice for someone coming here?

“Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and ask questions, and you have access to everyone here, so it’s a great place to take advantage of that and to have your voice heard.”

What is it like to talk to customers?

“It feels good to help people and to be able to give them a different experience than they have with other agencies.  It’s important to empathize with each customer, everyone has a unique situation.”

Join our growing team!  

Apply Here

Diversity Builds Successful Teams in Tech

By on August 15th, 2017 in Company News, Culture, Industry Insights

The subject of diversity is a hot topic in leading tech companies today. Many of them would have you believe that cultural and gender diversity is an important subject that they actively promote. Frequently, they use diversity statements and marketing materials to advertise the importance of programs geared towards building diverse teams. All too often, these efforts end up being nothing more than empty words on a page.

While it may sound politically correct to support diversity and inclusion efforts, behind the scenes, many tech leaders dispute how important this work truly is. Throughout the years, I’ve been confronted with executives in leading enterprises who have privately denied the importance of diversity. In each of these situations, I’ve prevailed in making tangible changes that have proven the importance of diversity to the success of a company. As a result of these changes, we closed the gender compensation gap with women employees earning 99.8% of the total compensation of men, as well as increasing the population of minorities in leadership positions by 18% in a caucasian dominated environment.

Obtaining buy-in to adopt diversity from leaders who don’t understand its importance can be tricky and challenging. In my experience, the lack of buy-in is due to one fundamental issue. Most arguments in favor of diversity are usually based on subjective or social opinions. For example, in the following statement, “Diversity is good for companies because of today’s more accepting societal changes,” the subjectivity is undeniable.

The methodology for implementing changes is grounded in facts, but it is also based on the values of a company. I’ve found that when you use company values as a measuring stick in addition to logic and evidence, arguments in support for diversity are much more compelling. Arguing over whether or not diversity is a good or righteous is simply the wrong question to ask. A better one is, “How is the performance of our company linked to diversity?”

Once you ask this question you can begin to define what both “performance” and “diversity” mean in familiar terms. For example, you can define “performance” as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) i.e. profitability, and market share etc; and “diversity” – as the blending of multiple characteristics of a company’s talent. After doing this, you can connect characteristics to demographics such as gender, ethnicity, race, age, experience, education, and attitude. Finally, after clearly defining “performance” and “diversity” you can point to many leading case studies that substantiate all the benefits of a heterogeneous workplace.

At TrueAccord, we believe that diversity is not just advantageous, but paramount to our success. We’ve experienced firsthand how this work can strengthen a company, especially in the following areas:

 

Innovation

The diversity of thought and expression will help tech companies develop the courage it takes to move from what is familiar to what is different. When you bring people together with different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives at the early stages of a company, you can seed the importance of fostering inclusion which promotes new ways of thinking as your company grows. The bottom line here is that diverse teams generate creative ideas that will ultimately drive your company’s results, and a company that harnesses that diversity has a much higher chance of success.

Attracting Top-Talent

The rare opportunity to join a multicultural environment in tech is a key selling point when recruiting top-talent in the Bay Area. As a potential employee, first impressions can make or break your decision to join a team, walking into an office and seeing a diverse work force shows you that the company is committed to diversity. Working at a place that truly values this work is incredibly rewarding. The best talent comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Harnessing this talent to accomplish your company’s goals will unleash ideas and solutions that will remove many of the roadblocks for those who only hire the same type and class of individual.

Productivity

Hiring diverse teams increases the range of knowledge and skills within that team, as each individual brings knowledge from past experiences to the table. This breadth of collaborative knowledge can be the secret sauce that gives your company the key advantage in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry like tech.

Concrete steps to increase diversity in your company:

#1 Remove unconscious bias during interviews

The recruitment process must support cultural, age, and gender differences at every stage; it’s important that managers are trained to combat the less spoken about unconscious biases they hold. This will curb the unconscious ability for managers to treat qualified candidates unfairly.

At TrueAccord we counteract the unconscious bias by redacting names and education on resumes which directs the focus to practical skills and accomplishments. Interviews are conducted with diverse panelists who focus on competency based questions, putting less importance on factors such as ethnicity, age, gender or the school someone attended.

#2 Make diversity part of your company culture

We’ve found that placing a strong focus on diversity contributes to higher employee engagement and retention rates. This is extremely important as technical roles typically have higher turnover rates.

#3 Implement a zero-tolerance policy for prejudice and install “Collaboration” as a Core Value.

Saying that diversity is part of our identity is a promise we take seriously. We take a zero-tolerance approach towards any negative actions or beliefs related to personal identity.

We also made a commitment to not just accept, but to celebrate our differences. To make this real we have implemented a Diversity Committee with rotating members who regularly serve as a resource to our working community by providing education, information, referrals, advocacy, coordination and support for specific diversity-related events and activities throughout the company.

TrueAccord Culture 

One of the main challenges of managing diversity is the demographic changes in populations. The constantly changing demographic profile of the broader population means that organizations need to develop strategies that will meet the needs and desires of the communities they work within. At TrueAccord, we service all types of people in debt across the US. Our mission is to help consumers in debt by offering options and trust as an alternative to blame and conflict, and it has proven incredibly successful. And because we have a diverse population of employees that reflects the diversity of people we serve, we continue to experience tremendous growth. As of August 2017, we have an almost equal gender divide with 53.85% male and 46.15% female population. Our combined multicultural population consists of 60.29% staff compared to 39.71% caucasian employees. Compared to national leading industry surveys 28% female vs 72% male populations in proprietary software, 25% female vs 75% male populations in Information Technology, we are changing the perception of what populations tech companies employ.

 

While we’ve had and will continue to experience growing pains associated with our significant gains in revenue, we work to overcome obstacles by practicing full transparency when looking back on our mistakes. This type of transparency starts at a grassroots level. We’ve learned that creating feedback loops and cascade meetings works in a culture that incorporates inclusive behaviors. These behaviors extend to performance evaluations, training, and when remediating problems.

By building inclusive communication practices, encouraging differences in opinion, and not tolerating negative attitudes, we continue to increase the diversity of our teams as we scale and grow. Not only are we reinventing an 80-year-old industry through technology and values, we are also redefining what populations in tech companies can do when they are composed of people from different backgrounds, ages, and perspectives.