Vancouver's tech darling now has two offices, but which is cooler?
Hootsuite has a new office, again.
Located in the heart of Mount Pleasant at Main and 5th, the social media star’s second home is a mere two blocks from its other relatively new space, which it moved into just last year.
HQ2 is not unlike its sister office (HQ1) and the close proximity means there’s a lot of back-and-forth, says Sandy Pell, external communications manager, in a tour of the new locale on Tuesday. “I live closer to HQ2, so some mornings I’ll pop in here.”
It would have been nice to keep everyone in the same building, adds Pell, but the second office, which opened just over a month ago, was necessary. When your company is hiring up to 10 new people a week, finding a place for everyone to sit—or stand, as the company has many standing desks—gets tricky.
There are worse problems to have. Indeed, Hootsuite now has over 600 employees, the vast majority of whom work out of Vancouver—and the plan is to hire over a hundred more in the coming months.
Hootsuite receives over 500 resumes a week, according to Ambrosia Humphrey, VP of talent, but there’s often a mismatch between the sort of employees they’re looking for—currently, engineers and sales—and those applying. In the last couple years, they’ve been hiring slightly more experienced workers, boosting the company’s average age to 31 from 29.
The new office sticks with the Pacific Northwest theme of HQ1—with a twist. While that office has a homey cabin feel, the new one is “the ski hill in the summer,” says CEO Ryan Holmes, slumped in a beanbag chair at the centre of the new locale’s lounge, a fake fireplace behind him. Here, wooden stumps act as tables and carved antlers are turned into chandeliers—suitable, perhaps, for a CEO who’s made a point to stay in Canada.
All that said, “the nice offices are window-dressing,” according to Holmes. What matters are the company’s fundamentals. Humphrey echoes the sentiment: “People leave when they come for frills.”
The timing of Tuesday’s office tour comes just a day after a judge dismissed a conflict-of-interest petition against Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson related to HQ1, a former police building leased to Hootsuite by the city, claiming Robertson benefited from the arrangement. The court, however, disagreed with rival candidate Glen Chernen and the nine other filers, saying their allegations were “without foundation” and “can serve no useful purpose.”