Baltic HR&ED Tech Accelerator continues the acceleration program for HR-Tech and ED-Tech talents. Throughout the 8-week program period, we will be sharing the interviews with participating startups that present their concept and share ambitious plans for the future.
This week, we enjoyed interviewing Lina Sokolova, the CEO & Co-founder of HRBOX, an HR platform created with love for people! Lina explains the behind-reason of the HRBOX creation and how it works.
Once, a factory worker, the HRBOX client, recognized Lina as a creator of HRBOX and ran to hug and thank her. He explained how the HRBOX solution helped him to feel important & needed to even a large-team company. Read the whole interview to find out more gems of the HRBOX!
What is HRBOX?
HRBOX is a solution for any growing company that cares about its teams and further business development.
If a company struggles with making your team happier and more efficient, you would highly benefit from the HRBOX software.
Each company can adjust the software to suit their needs and is customizable and does not require additional tech specialists to set up. It is simple, professional, and made with pure love.
HRBOX is an all-inclusive HR tool in one “box”
How did you come up with this idea?
Last 17 years, I have been working for extensive Russian IT, e-comm, and retail companies, where I developed an extensive background in the HR sector.
In each company, I had to not only build the HR processes but also had to automate them. Each one of them shared a common problem — the automation of the HR processes is:
Painful or agonizing.
By having this background, I decided to help my colleagues create a digital platform with a fundamentally new approach. The main consideration points were a user-friendly, accessible, and maintainable solution that does not require any additional tech support.
The platform must be easy to integrate and adapt to daily operations and be easily customizable to suit the company’s needs. And of course, it must be well thought from an HR perspective and done with love for people. That is how HRBOX was born.
A brief summary of market you work in
Initially, when entering the market, we hypothesized that our platform would be relevant to high turnover e-comm and retail companies that need a consistent and quick adaptation of new employees to educate them on new products and sales skills.
Usually, these companies have multiple branches and tend to have miscommunication between the managerial and operational staff — they lack a centralized data storage platform. Against all odds, our first client made adjustments to our confidence: the Russian representative office of the manufacturing concern Deceuninck from Belgium.
Currently, we have over 20 companies from a range of industries, including production, retail, e-comm, digital and IT, and FinTech. Now, we understand our platform can cater to the needs of any industry. But still, we know that it is better to focus on one main segment, and now we are trying to choose which one.
Our ICP is the HR manager of a growing company, and often — CEOs of the company, who are deeply immersed in HR and understand that a contribution to the team’s development will bring supplementary business efficiency.
Competitive advantages of HRBOX
The majority of our competitors are focused on targeting one or two HR problems. In comparison, we wanted to create a platform that enables us to show the employee’s entire life cycle within the company. It also creates a space where any employee in the company can access information about the company, its staff, policies, training, products, etc.
We managed to include a wide range of HR-tools, analytics, and transparent communications. Simultaneously, our platform is very affordable even for SM businesses, and it does not require additional specialists to maintain it.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet?
My business partner Yuri is responsible for a technical aspect of the project — software architect with experience creating unique corporate products for personnel management and business process automation systems. We met during our first HRMS project for one of the companies we worked for at the time.
We also have three talented developers on our team, a customer service manager and a sales manager who has just joined us. Of course, we use outsourcing services for issues such as legal, recruitment, document, and accounting.
An interesting fact about our company is that we all live and work in different cities. We have never met in person altogether for a year and a half of the company’s existence. I hope that in March 2021, we will make enough money to put together an offline party in honor of our 2nd anniversary. If only the situation with the COVID-19 is evened out, of course.
Share the craziest story related to your customers
So far, we do not have crazy stories but definitely have some funny ones. One time, I was invited to a meeting at the factory of one of our clients. There I was given a tour of the entire production. I was very impressed with the very clean premises. Everything was done with love. It was obvious that people took great care of the workplace.
So, we went into one of the production halls, where several workers were discussing some issues. We greeted them, and they looked at us, responded politely, and returned to their discussion. And suddenly, as if having understood something, one of them turned to us and asked in a very stern voice: Is it you who created our Dextra?! Somehow, they created their own name for HRBOX. I realized that this was the moment of truth and already prepared to run away, but could not stop myself from getting the feedback of the end-users. I say: “Yes, how do you find it?”
He almost rushed to hug me and thank me, telling me that their entire team of the factory began to feel like they were an essential part of a huge team, and felt very needed to the company. Also, they were proud that their photos were on the portal among the best employees. He even printed a photo of his “achievements” from the portal and brought it home to share it with his family!
So it turned out that our product can be useful not only for office workers and managers but for all employees in general.
Where do you see your startup in five years?
I believe that in 1,5 years of our company’s history, we have already created something valuable for companies and their people. That something brought benefits to all the stakeholders.
Therefore, we sincerely believe that in five years, we will be operating on the global market, have international offices, and continue to develop our product with love for people.
Describe your biggest struggles at the moment
We are hostages to our own growth, and therefore our main problem now is the limited number of hours in a day.
Joking apart, we understand that we need to build a transparent value proposition, and frankly saying, we do not have a clear understanding of how to do it correctly.
It is also time to invest in marketing and build a systematic sales process. Here we do not have any experience as well, so we try to find some mentors with this respect.
Thank you, Lina!
Interviewer: Kristina Kirkliauskaite, the Communication Manager at Baltic Sandbox.