My name is Emily Hunt, and I recently graduated from McGill University with a degree in political science and history. A majority of my professional experience up to this point has been in the public sector, as an intern in law enforcement and Congressional offices.
This was the background that I brought to the table when I applied to Coveo, so naturally there were some questions surrounding my motivation for joining a company specializing in cloud-based AI powered search and recommendations. “A political scientist walks into a tech company” sounds like the setup for a joke, but it actually aptly represents how Coveo differentiates itself in order to be the best at what it does.
When I was initially questioned about why I wanted to join Coveo, this is how I answered: All of my work and academic experience ultimately comes down to an interest in people. I have a passion for understanding why people think and behave the way that they do. My studies in political science allowed me to analyze human behavior in-depth on a grand scale, and my work experience is how I discovered that I could utilize that knowledge to make people’s lives better.
I initially sought to join Coveo because the work that they do and the goals that they have appeared to match mine. It seemed as though they truly recognized the value in difference. Over the course of my interview process, it became even more apparent that the company seeks to understand people in order to provide for them in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them.
Coveo takes its interview process very seriously – and it shows in whom they hire. Each interviewee is vetted by:
- Multiple interviews with people from across the company. I spoke with my peers, as well as members of the leadership team.
- A writing challenge. This assignment gave me a great preview of what my job would entail. Technical tests differ depending on the department to which you are applying.
- Cognitive aptitude tests. One of the final steps was a few tests to make sure that I had the personality fit for Coveo.
Are you up to the challenge? Explore our open positions, and come innovate with us!
All aboard the #CoveoLife
Next came my “onboarding” at Coveo, a three-day orientation for new employees. It was clear to see that the power of differentiation is indeed something Coveo understands and brilliantly ties into the development of their work culture.
From the moment I arrived, I was amazed by the level of diversity of my onboarding class. We came from across the globe, spoke an impressive number of languages, and held a wide range of interests. French, English, and Spanish filled the air simultaneously, and we even learned how to say Dumbledore in Chinese (Dèngbùlìduō). I had the pleasure of meeting my new colleagues from San Francisco, New York, London, Montreal, Quebec City, and countless of remote locations.
We all had wildly different professional and personal experiences, ranging from touring as a rock ‘n’ roll drummer to time as a firefighter before attending university to auditioning for an Indiana Jones movie as a child. This diversity was not coincidental and did not go unrecognized. It was clearly deliberate in that it was acknowledged and promoted throughout the entire onboarding program. We were provided with multiple opportunities to share our life stories and explore those of others. This was when I discovered that a political scientist walking into a tech company is not an exception, but instead follows Coveo’s rules to a T.
Passion. Inclusion. Collaboration. Integrity.
Every time I spoke to a fellow onboarder, or a current employee, their eyes lit up when they talked about the work they were doing and their plans for the future at Coveo. Each person readily took ownership of their respective tasks, and presented their progress thus far with enviable fervor.
With passion as the great unifier, inclusion came naturally. The first presentations on the first day of onboarding were all from C-level executives: CEO Louis Têtu gave us a company overview; President, Co-Founder and CTO Laurent Simoneau discussed technology; COO Guy Gauvin explored operations and sales; and CMO Mark Floisand broke down marketing at Coveo.
Just as inclusion followed passion, so did collaboration. Each presentation, demo, lab, and activity required us to interact and come together to develop a deeper understanding of the work that each department does. Ideas can manifest in isolation, but innovation requires crossover. That was made perfectly clear from the business case group presentations we gave on our last day. We had spent the entirety of the session taking in information, and the final presentations allowed us to express our newfound knowledge in a way that we could not have done on our own.
Passion, inclusion, and collaboration were not limited to the confines of the conference room. Team dinners allowed us to become even closer, transforming us from colleagues into friends as well. We ventured into Old Quebec City to explore the wonders of the string light-lit streets by night, and clinked glasses at a Coveo-exclusive cinq à sept as we said cheers in honor each other’s future endeavors.
My onboarding experience was personalized, and as a result it deeply resonated with me. This world, business and technology, is entirely new to me, but it does not matter because Coveo values me for who I am and who I can become. They are not looking to fit me in a box, but rather add my own unique value to the company. They understand that people are unique, and seek to deliver experiences to their employees that are equally unique, therefore relevant and meaningful to them.
Just as they differentiate in how they structure the workplace in order to provide a meaningful experience for their employees, they also differentiate their solutions by leveraging AI and ML to personalize user experiences.
True integrity is displayed in the incorporation and consistency of their values across all areas: interview, workplace, and product. It is no mere coincidence that Coveo was named Employer of the Year and Company of the Year by the Federation of Chamber of Commerce of Quebec in 2019. My onboarding experience revealed that this success comes from the drive to put people first, making it powerful proof of all that Coveo is capable of now and in the future by virtue of its core identity.
For a preview of the #CoveoLife onboarding experience, watch the video below!