“My work should make a difference”
by Andreas Nölting at May 27, 2019
Interview with Beatriz Crespo, Gennady Berezovsky, Bryan Costa, and founder and COO of Caspar Health, Benjamin Pochhammer.
As a UX designer, an app developer and a product owner, they could have walked into jobs almost anywhere in Berlin. Thankfully, Beatriz Crespo, Gennady Berezovsky and Bryan Costa chose to join the e-health startup Caspar Health. In this interview, these three experts explain why the social benefits of their work are so important to them and how co-founder Benjamin Pochhammer finds and wins over such rare talents.
Benjamin Pochhammer, Beatriz Crespo, Gennady Berezovsky, Bryan Costa
Benjamin Pochhammer, Founder and COO
As COO, I am responsible for staff development and operations at Caspar. The company’s three founders are committed to the three key values of transparency, honesty, and quality. I do everything I can to incorporate these values into every stage of our recruitment process. Our aim is to assemble a homogeneous team that shares our mission and buys into our vision. Having been on the startup scene for twelve years, I have never experienced such a challenging recruitment market. Hardly anyone sends unsolicited applications anymore. And job listings don’t generate the kinds of responses they used to. Today, as a company, you have to stand out from the crowd, be proactive, and take advantage of existing relationships and networks. Fortunately, our employees believe in us and recommend us to people they know. We appreciate their commitment and are happy to show our thanks with a bonus. As it happens, our two most recent hires were recommendations. It’s no secret that tech and data analysts are particularly sought after right now. We have a beautiful office in Berlin-Mitte and aspire to change society for the better – but we also know that we are competing with Google and other big names. Our development teams agree on goals and work to clearly defined sprint cycles. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter who achieves an objective or how. The main thing is that we are always moving forward together. We don’t look at the clock or where our colleagues are working from; we give them freedom, and we only measure results. We want colleagues who will look us in the eye without sugar-coating things. The biggest positive in our work is that we have a social mission that makes sense. Whenever we decide to expand the team, it’s our HR department that does most of the heavy lifting, of course, but it is still important for us to understand how our future colleagues tick before they join us, especially as we will all be working so closely together in the future. It is important for us to hire people who share our values and team spirit. That’s the only way we can always stay true to our values.
Beatriz Crespo, Spain, UX-Designer
I’m a product engineer and UX designer. I’ve been with Caspar Health for two years now and have a range of responsibilities, including usability, user experience and the customer journey. I chose Caspar because health and education are both really important to me on a personal level. These are essential aspects of daily life and they have a big impact on society. I like helping patients get healthy again – especially when they have restricted access to the therapies they need because they live in more remote regions. Thanks to Caspar’s digital services, we give patients access to the therapies they need, irrespective of where they live or what time of day or night it is. For example, someone I know has Parkinson’s. They really want to play an active role in improving their health. And knowing that I can help develop a system that lets patients be more independent, well, that’s something I can really buy into. And that’s where Caspar comes into its own. Patients do their exercises and maintain permanent contact with their medical and therapeutic teams. I know I could work for a different company, but I doubt I could be as passionate about anything else. Personally, I need to feel passionate about my job to give it my all. With Caspar, I can help people recover and at the same time fulfill my goal of working on solutions that benefit society as a whole, something I can be really proud of. At the same time, I also appreciate a pleasant working environment and being part of a highly motivated team. Thankfully, I have found both at Caspar. We are all committed to the same mission: developing and providing a product that has a positive impact on people’s lives. I feel that passion here every day. Especially as a creative person, I also love the fact that I can work from home two days a week. Working in different surroundings really stimulates me and helps me focus on the most important things in life and at work.
Gennady Berezovsky, Russia, App-Developer
I am responsible for Caspar’s mobile development team, which develops our apps for iPhone and Android. I was actually headhunted to join Caspar and didn’t take too much convincing to join a company that represents real values. My previous employer was in the eCommerce sector and the job was all about increasing conversion rates, sales and market share. Those aren’t the kinds of things that really drive or inspire me. I'm proud to have joined Caspar, a company with a positive vision and an important social goal. My work should make a difference. I want to help develop meaningful products. I like the fact that I can also work from home, but I rarely do so because I actually like going in to the office so much. My colleagues are on the same wavelength as me, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to work together so well. The most important thing for me is that I enjoy going to work every morning and feel like I’m doing something really beneficial for humanity.
Bryan Costa, South Africa, Product Owner
I was born in South Africa and then spent a good few years in Portugal. In 2015, I came to Berlin and have been working for Caspar since summer 2017. At Caspar, I’m a Product Owner, responsible for maximizing value and continuously developing the product. I have a technical and design background and used to run my own company. I developed software for NGOs. I’ve always believed my work should have a greater meaning. Professionally, I need to stay true to my personal values and be passionate about the product. After two years at Caspar, I can say with conviction that Caspar is indeed helping people to take active control of their health and regain their independence. Every patient who uses Caspar wants to feel better and get better. The fact that my work can help them achieve their goals is what drives me to do my best every single day. Caspar gives me the opportunity to change people’s lives for the better. I know from personal experience that some people with health problems have been unable to see a therapist regularly because of where they live or their personal circumstances. I know they would have been better off if Caspar had been available to them at the time. While I can’t change the past, I can actively work with my team to make sure patients don’t have similar experiences in the future. Apart from the positive social aspects of my job, I also like Caspar’s commitment to New Work. Caspar gives me the freedom I need to do my job to the best of my ability. I don’t know if I would enjoy working for a more traditional company, where the hours are fixed and you’re expected to be at your desk. Of course, we set goals at Caspar. But how we achieve them and how much time we need is up to us. All that really matters is that we deliver our projects by the agreed deadlines and to the agreed quality specifications.