Coworking with Zeb Daniel

He’s a senior people operations generalist at ParkMobile
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· 4 min read

On Wednesdays, we schedule our weekly 1:1 with HR Brew’s readers. Want to be featured in an upcoming edition? Click here to introduce yourself.

Zeb Daniel is a senior people operations generalist at the parking payment app ParkMobile, which was acquired by the Stockholm-based EasyPark Group in 2021. ParkMobile, which currently has around 170 employees and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, now competes for tech talent with giants like Microsoft and Google, but in our recent interview, Daniel told us why he thinks ParkMobile punches above its weight when it comes to recruiting and retention.

How would you describe your specific job to someone who doesn’t work in HR? I lead internal programs that give people the opportunity to get more out of work than just a paycheck. I help people learn and grow and discover new things they’re good at by seeking to understand what motivates them as a person and what untapped skills they possess.

What’s the best change you’ve made at a place you’ve worked? I’ve been instrumental in the recent acquisition of our company—especially following the departure of the entire HR staff. I’ve been leading change management as we’ve integrated more closely with our parent company out of Europe.

You had the entire HR staff leave at one point…What’s that been like? So, shortly after I started working for ParkMobile, we were acquired by a company based out of Sweden. And at that point, my manager had contributed and built up our HR team to the point that she wanted to go and kind of do the same thing at another company…There was a lot going on at that time, especially in the Atlanta tech market. There was high turnover for us because Atlanta had seen an influx of tech companies coming here. Microsoft opened an office in Atlanta down the street from us. Google is two blocks away now…So for us, [we’ve] seen a higher level of competition in the marketplace, which led to some turnover from our staff, but also gave us the opportunity to seek out some new tech talent.

How are you competing with bigger tech firms that are coming in? In our space, we very much allow employees a high level of autonomy. Whatever kind of product ideas or concepts that they want to bring to life, we give them the opportunity to do that. We have internal programs, [including] something called IO Week, and for our developers, that’s a time for them to really sit down and discuss what exciting features and new additions that they want to make to our software and our platforms. And those ideas, if they're viable for the business and we can support them, we’d like to bring them to life and to help them implement them into our products.

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What’s the biggest misconception people might have about your job? That I spend my time ordering flavored waters and snacks for the office in hopes the entire company will swarm back to their desks on the exact same day.

What’s the most fulfilling aspect of your job? Making sure the needs of others are met and that they’re tapping into all the wonderful and useful tools that are available to them through our company.

What trend in HR are you most optimistic about? Why? The work-from-anywhere model. I love the fact that I can vacation and work in the same day. The flexibility is something I’ve taken great use of. I’ve seen more of the country in the past two years than I have in most of my life because I don’t always have to take days off in order to see new places.

What trend in HR are you least optimistic about? Why? Blending the remote workforce and the in-office experience. No one has written the rule book, and it’s getting increasingly harder to engage remote workers while many others are partying in the office.

Tell us one new or old HR tech product or platform that’s made your life easier, and why: Lattice! The platform provides us all the tools we need to help managers facilitate the best and most in-depth performance reviews (with as little crying as possible!). Our employees love the pulse and engagement surveys we send out through Lattice, and it’s helped us shape the way we lead our business.

Want to be featured in an upcoming edition of Coworking? Click here to introduce yourself.

HR is challenging. HR news doesn’t have to be.

HR Brew keeps you effective in the fast-changing business environment.