Here at First Round, we’re always on the lookout for new ways to demystify the company-building process and share knowledge more widely — whether through interviews on the Review, new products like Discovery Assist that are custom-tailored to support founders, or curated learning programs like our recent inaugural Founding Designer Track and fan-favorite Angel Track.
The thread that ties each of these together is our fundamental belief that you learn the most from a mix of peers who are currently walking a similar path, and leaders who are a couple steps ahead and can help you find your footing. The past six-plus months have only underscored how important it is to hear from a variety of perspectives — we’re all building the plane as we fly, and no one person has all the answers.
That’s why we’ve become big fans of hosting unconferences. What we particularly love about this event format is that it flips the traditional conference on its head. Rather than an audience of many receiving the talking points of one, it’s a multi-dimensional discussion that maximizes learning touchpoints. When everyone’s empowered to take the proverbial mic, each attendee walks away with a punch list of new tactics to try out right away.
Over the years we’ve tinkered with the formula and brought together a handful of different groups, including First Round CEOs and CTOs, recruiters and, for the first time earlier this year, revenue leaders in a new remote format. Candidly, our first virtual unconference was a bit of an experiment, but we were heartened by the feedback we received and eager to bring this experience to a different group.
While each department is facing its own series of unique challenges, People Ops leaders in particular are feeling the squeeze — at the epicenter of it all, with everyone looking to them to define a path forward. COVID-19 has had a profound effect on teams’ ability to collaborate, on employees’ mental health, and on companies’ vision for the future. Some companies are rapidly scaling and are refining their remote onboarding processes. Others have had to navigate the difficult task of parting ways with employees, and most have had to figure out what to do with their physical office space.
In supporting each and every employee in the midst of rapidly-changing conditions, HR leaders are defining the future of the workplace in the coming months — and in doing so, facing some incredibly profound questions. By providing a forum for HR Directors, Heads of People Ops and VPs of HR to swap tactics, share learnings and open up about personal experiences, we hope to build the strongest community of HR leaders and company builders.
The First Round People Unconference is on Wednesday, October 28 from 11am-1pm PST. If this sounds like a conversation you need to be a part of, apply here to grab your spot.
This unconference will (unsurprisingly) be conducted virtually, and we’re excited to open up attendance beyond our established community in San Francisco. Most of your time will be spent in small breakout discussions, focused on extremely tactical content and lessons for creating the conditions for teams to thrive while working remotely, and other challenges tied to company-building and culture, with an eye towards 2021.
By attending our first People Unconference, you’ll get a chance to engage with the cream of the crop of HR leaders across different industries and growth stages, including leaders from companies like Superhuman, Elastic, Credit Karma, Chime, Benchling and Niantic.
Here’s a sampling of curated session topics you’ll be able to choose from that are top-of-mind for HR orgs:
- Increasing Remote Teams’ Effectiveness
- Compensation for Remote and Distributed Teams
- Elevating Remote Onboarding
- DEI for Remote or Hybrid Teams
- Back-to-Office Scenario Planning
- Supporting Employees’ Mental Health
- Competitive Health Benefits for 2021
- Evaluating Going Remote For Good
- Professional Development in a Pandemic