Inside Yelp’s D.C. Headquarters
Are we in D.C.’s Chinatown neighborhood or the set of HBO’s Silicon Valley? From a gong in the middle of the office used to celebrate reaching team goals, to a coffee bar built exclusively for Yelp employees, I could barely tell the difference.
Happy, smiling millennials in jeans and plaid shirts are everywhere. Yelp’s values– BE UNBORING, BE AUTHENTIC, BE TENACIOUS, PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS, PROTECT THE SOURCE– are painted on the walls.
At lunchtime, people sit together at long, communal tables; talking about their personal and professional wins. And everyone says hello– even if they have no idea who you are.
Brenae Leary, Yelp’s PR Manager, says this welcoming, collaborative environment is built into their culture.
Meet The Mavens
Looking to join the Yelp team? You should introduce yourself to Ali Howard. At 5 feet tall, Howard packs a big punch as Yelp’s Senior Director and Head of Sales.
“I have a really big vision for what the D.C. office will become as part of Yelp’s fabric and DNA,” says Howard. “I’m excited to find people to become a part of that vision.”
On Hiring New Talent at YELP
“You’ll earn a set at Yelp and be successful if you’re highly coachable, have a hunger to learn and an ability to stay calm under pressure.”
“We look for people who are coachable, eager, and receptive for guidance from their manager rather than getting defensive. Sales is a mental game, so your ability to stay optimistic, level-headed, and driven day in and day out, has a direct correlation with your success.”
“We foster a culture of excellence across the board. Every person in our Washington, D.C. office; regardless of department, focuses on excellence in collective and individual achievements, excellence in acumen in their role, and excellence in growing and challenging themselves.”
“We have an opportunity to be smart and thoughtful about every decision we make– from personnel choices to growth strategy. We are building a culture of excellence that will lay the foundation of this office for years to come. A culture of excellence doesn’t ‘just happen,’ it is built by the small choices Yelp employee's make every day.”
The Perks of Being a Yelper
Mimi Do recently moved from Phoenix to Washington. Today she serves as a sales rep at Yelp and lives in a row house in Ledroit Park with a handful of her colleagues. Do is no doubt a hard worker, but her favorite thing about her budding Yelp career are the perks.
“Yelp is rare because managers and directors encourage us to use all our PTO (paid time off),” she says. “Without that level of commitment to the employees, I wouldn’t be able to travel as often as I do.”
“Our management team supports and builds camaraderie through off-site events that ultimately bring you closer to your teammates so that when there is adversity in the office, people have each other’s backs.”
Do chucks her success at Yelp to a mindset that is driven and focused.
“Once I acquire a skill, I want to be the best I can. I never want to be known as someone who is mediocre. Sales require's a certain mindset that I know I didn’t have before I worked at Yelp. I appreciate and constantly remind myself that becoming is better than being.”
Sales require's a certain mindset that I know I didn’t have before I worked at Yelp. I constantly remind myself that becoming is better than being. -Mimi Do
Diversity & Inclusion
Angela Hooks is young, black, female and thriving at the growing company. A public policy professional at Yelp, Hooks works on issues surrounding consumer free speech, competition, diversity & inclusion, and small business advocacy.
“We’re looking to host a plethora of politically relevant events in 2018,” says Hooks. “A lot of these will be open to the public and have great networking opportunities.”
“Obviously, tech — including Yelp — has a huge diversity problem that is talked about a lot but is far from being solved. I’m interested in working in the diversity space more in 2018 as it’s a priority for me personally, as well as for my team.”
Looking to join the Yelp D.C. team? Start here.
Photography by Ryan Dixon