11 May 15 Industry Insights
The story behind Box is the stuff of Silicon Valley fairy tales. Four childhood friends, four college dropouts, a garage, and remarkable success.
The founding four at their first “office”
Founded in 2005, Box provides a secure, scalable content-sharing platform for over 20 million users, and 225,000 businesses, including 99% of the Fortune 500. It offers a number of functionalities similar to those of consumer tools such as Dropbox and Google Docs, but with security controls that enforce user and data access policies, offering enterprises more control over staff access to data and IT visibility into how content moves within their organizations and beyond.
In 2012 Box opened a London office to help the company work more closely with its growing number of clients across Europe.
Aaron Levie, CEO, in the foyer of their swanky London office
We’ve had the pleasure of helping Box with their UK recruitment since they opened their London office in 2012, so we thought we’d share with you the inside scoop on their EMEA expansion. Below is the transcript of an informal Q&A with Thomas Murcia, EMEA Recruitment Manager at Box and Simon Evans, Director of Cloud.
Thomas Murcia, EMEA Recruitment Manager
Hi Thomas, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview! Let’s dive straight in. How has the company grown since it opened its UK office in 2012?
Hi Simon, no problem. Well, London was our first European office and at first there was only one Boxer - our MD! We’ve been growing very rapidly since and now we have over 100 Boxers in EMEA and new offices in Paris and Munich.
That’s very impressive growth - What other successes have you had in that time?
Over the last two years we have quickly grown our sales team and signed milestone deals with key customers across a number of industries while developing the Box brand. We’ve also created a strong Customer Success team to build on that success and help our customers get the best out of Box!
What do you think has been the key to that success?
I think there are three key things that have driven our success: our customers, our people and our culture. We have an incredible customer base; our team of EMEA Boxers are dedicated to our common goal; and our highly dynamic and collaborative work culture also allows us to be very agile and aligned to our customers’ needs.
What were the challenges Box faced when opening in the UK?
Our brand is strong in the US but didn’t have the same level of recognition in EMEA, so this was something we needed to work on. Recruitment has also been a major challenge over the last two years. We strive to hire the best talent who suit our work culture, and we’re looking for multi-lingual Boxers to sell across EMEA from our London office – so the right people aren’t easy to come by. We didn’t have a local internal recruitment team, so growing the team at speed has also been quite a challenge.
Have those challenges changed as you’ve grown?
I’d say those challenges are mostly behind us in the UK, although of course we’re still always on the lookout for top tech talent to work in our London office. The main challenge is now hiring the best talent locally and increasing brand awareness in other European countries.
I’ve always enjoyed recruiting for Box because of the fun Boxers seem to have and company culture has always been a key criteria in your hiring. In the time we’ve worked with Box you have hired a people from a variety of backgrounds with a wide range of personalities. What makes a ‘Boxer’?
You’re right – there’s a lot of diversity at Box, but we always look to hire people who would be a strong cultural fit. One of our core values is 'Get stuff done’, and another is 'Take risks. Fail fast'. It’s a very execution-oriented and entrepreneurial environment, so I would say that entrepreneurial spirit, drive, and ability to go above and beyond what is expected is what makes people successful at Box.
How have you maintained this culture during a period of relatively rapid growth?
We think one of the key things to maintaining our culture is focusing on hiring Boxers who reflect our values, so our recruitment process is designed to make sure we only hire people who have a strong cultural fit to Box. We have competencies assessments, and usually involve people from different parts of the business. We even involve some of our early US Boxers in the interview process!
Now to put you in the spotlight. What excites you (and others) about working for Box?
Good question! What excites me the most is coming to work with a team of smart and energetic people in a very stimulating work environment and in a very cool office. Every day is different at Box and we get to have fun while making an impact on our organisation and on our customers’ businesses.
The London tech job market is extremely buoyant at the moment and good candidates typically have several options when they are looking for their next exciting opportunity. How do you ensure that Box is able to attract the talent it wants?
The tech job market is hugely competitive, but we’re finding that our culture – where Boxers are encouraged to be entrepreneurial and have the opportunity to make a significant difference – helps differentiate us from our competitors. Many candidates are looking for companies that can offer huge career growth opportunities, with the mentality and culture of a start-up but the stability of a more established organization. This is something we can offer, as well as some great benefits such as free lunches, birthdays off, medical cover and competitive pension plans. It’s definitely an exciting time to join Box in EMEA!
Looking for new job opportunities in the cloud solutions sector? Contact Simon Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our current roles with some of the leading companies and tech start-ups in the cloud solutions sector.