GABRIELA, HEAD OF PEOPLE
In your own words, please tell us what Thriva does.
What we are trying to do is put better health in people’s hands.
Ultimately, we’re flipping healthcare on its head. By making it easy and affordable to find out what’s really happening inside your body, we’re able to help people to get and stay on the front foot with their health.
We’ve created a service where people can, through blood tests and a range of other products, understand what’s happening with their health and using personalised, actionable insights, we help you make improvements. We want to support people to reach their goals, whether that’s running an Iron Man, living longer, or healthier lives to spend with your grandchildren.
What is your current role at Thriva, and what were you doing before?
I’ve been Thriva’s Head of People since January. I’ve always been interested in health – my PhD was in psychophysiology, but I’d decided a few years back to go into people teams, and moved into financial services. I really enjoyed working there, so I was only going to leave to join somewhere that really aligned with my personal mission, and that had a really big impact on people’s lives and the world.
Coming back into health, and thinking that we are helping people keep their health, was something very close to my heart. After meeting the team, I was impressed with their caring, mission-led culture and I was excited to join.
How did you make the journey from PhD to financial services and start-ups in general?
I’ve made a couple of transitions in my life, and my end goal has always been the same: helping people grow and learn. During my PhD I researched in psychophysiology and positive psychology but I eventually decided to leave because although I loved how intellectually stimulating this was, I wanted to have more of an impact.
I felt that coming into people teams would allow me that, especially in a start-up environment. Google was having researchers come into people teams at the same time, not just HR, so I thought this would be a great time to use my curiosity, learnings and psychology background to help people. That’s when I came into a fin tech organisation in London, when we were just 55 people. When I left last year there were over 400 of us, across 5 offices. That was very exciting, and I actually also worked with Movemeon there!
Could you talk a bit about the freelance role you filled through Movemeon?
We advertised for a Senior Operations Manager to join for a special project, for c. 6 months. We wanted someone who had that operational knowledge, but was also highly analytical and had a lot of experience at scale – someone able to work with big budgets and suppliers, and to negotiate with internal and external partners.
The whole process was incredibly fast – we ended up contracting the first or second person Max sent us. His shortlist was really spot-on!
What have you liked about recruiting for a freelance / interim position through Movemeon?
I really felt like there was a partnership. I talked through the brief; what we were looking for, the project length and salary ranges – which, being a series A and a 6-month project, has its own challenges… I didn’t feel overwhelmed with the people that came through. Max introduced me to candidates but then let me drive things with them, which helped me make things progress quickly.
There was a range of strengths from the candidates I interviewed – they all matched our requirements, but in different ways. I really appreciate that, especially when you are hiring for a role for the first time. In those cases, you see and think through which of those strengths is most important as you go.
It was also super quick; we closed the role in something like 14 days!
And why did you choose to advertise the role on a freelance basis, and why on Movemeon?
It was a project-based role, and the project was time-limited. But we would consider going from freelance to a perm contract.
I had previous experience with Movemeon, and you were also recommended to our CEO Hamish. Being project-based, we also thought that someone from a consulting background would be a good fit for the role.
And why did you choose our subscription product?
It was more affordable, even based on just this one hire – we wanted this initial contract to be 6 months, with the potential of extending it. We did the maths, and the subscription made it more affordable. And we were also thinking that if we wanted more hires for this specific project, a subscription would make it easier.
What was your impression of the quality of candidates on Movemeon?
There was a great variety within the parameters we set out, and this really came across during interviews. All the CVs I got were really spot-on, with really great experience.
What do you think makes Movemeon stand out from other agencies?
First, you are hands-off in the right way. Not feeling like I’m continuously being chased is really helpful, especially as I don’t have anyone else helping me, so I’m doing everything.
Second, I appreciate the flexible pricing model; being able to say we can decide closer to the date exactly what the pricing will be, depending on project length.
Finally, the calibre and community of candidates means that Movemeon allows you to tap into the market, including the more entrepreneurial profiles, without being overwhelmed.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Always prepare for interviews, but if you get there and you are not yourself, you might as well not interview. Not in the sense that you are abrasively yourself, but if you don’t let certain parts of you come out, maybe in later stages of interview, you’ll never find out whether your values align with the company’s.
And what’s the best piece of hiring advice you’ve ever received?
Think about what you need this role to do, what problem it needs to solve now. But then also think about where you need this role to be in 6 months or a year. Especially in fast-growing companies, you might need the first hire to be more senior than the immediate problem suggests so you can then bring and support other people.