Polygon taps Airbnb’s director of HR to spearhead its decentralized workforce



Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Polygon (MATIC) has announced the hiring of Bhumika Srivastava in a bid to consolidate its strategy and cultural ambitions for the company’s 500-employee global workforce.

Serving as the head of human resources and director for employee experience at Airbnb for the past five years, Srivastava arrives with an illustrious portfolio and plethora of experience from her work in Web2, having occupied senior roles at Adobe, Yahoo, Tesco PLC, and Snapdeal.

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Srivastava’s appointment marks a consistent trend in Polygon’s hiring strategy of prominent figures within the Web2 space, such as the former head of gaming at Youtube, Ryan Wyatt, being hired as CEO of Polygon Studios in January and, more recently, Tyler Sellhorn being brought on to promote Polygon’s decentralized working model as head of remote. 

In an interview with Cointelegraph conducted on Zoom, Srivastava spoke candidly about the necessities of leadership, Polygon’s parabolic employee growth over the past year, and her ambitions to cultivate a thriving decentralized culture which operates with sustainable high-performance. 

Cointelegraph: Albeit only being in the role for two days, how do you expect your position with Polygon to differ from that of Airbnb? And what are your anticipations in transitioning into the Web3 space? 

Srivastava: “I would say that Web2 to Web3 is very redefining for HR. […] The teams are distributed, remote-first, working in a hybrid space, and everyone is responsible for their own piece of work.

What will be different is creating an employee experience for distributed teams, a sense of engagement belonging to the teams which are working in silos, and also empowering teams to take decisions to work in an agile fashion, and not just, you know, ingrained in a very structured way of processes.” 

CT: What do you believe are your best qualities as a leader, and what’s your timeline of achievement? 

Srivastava: “I think short-term results and motivation [are] definitely required, especially in a startup. We have a line of sight for about two to three months. How do you create clarity on the priority-setting for your employees? You pay for their performance – rewarding them in the short term is going to be critical. 

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As for the long term, how do you engage the workforce to retain [them]? How do they get a sense of purpose in defining and achieving the vision for the organization in the long run?”

“So, it’s going to be a combination of both. How do we achieve both short term in terms of attraction and retention, and long term in terms of belonging and engagement?” 

CT: Are you planning to interact and engage your employees in the Metaverse space, or will it be solely via video conferencing platforms such as Zoom? 

Srivastava: “I don’t have to have that experience. It’s new for me, and a transition, but I’m really excited to try out new things in the Web3 space.” 

CT: Polygon has recorded an employee increase of 400% over the past year to 500 team members. Do you believe that’s a sustainable strategy moving forward bearing in mind the current crypto bear market, and increase in layoffs we’re seeing at companies such as Coinbase and Gemini? 

Srivastava: “We are very conscious of the way we are operating. We want to scale the organization, and not just the number of people that we want to hire, [but] to create high-performing, lean teams. For now, I won’t say that we are going to continue with a 400% growth rate, but whatever makes sense for us to create a sustainable Web3 platform, we will definitely do that.” 

Related: Polygon launches ‘Supernet’ chains, pledges $100M to Web3 developers

CT: What do you believe will be your biggest challenges in the role, and what are your biggest ambitions? 

Srivastava: “I would say in terms of the biggest challenge, […] how do we create an ecosystem where we are able to employ people, keeping in mind the legality and regulations of a particular country? 

“The second one is bringing together all the teams who are based across the world in a remote-first environment and create a sense of teamwork, cohesiveness, engagement and a sense of purpose.” 

So, these are two top-of-mind things at the moment. And then later on, how do we re-look at HR technology for a Web3 organization, especially given how distributed platforms are working?”