Working at FloodFlash: Behind the scenes with Zara Kreimeia

FloodFlash has had a busy year. Since our Series A round earlier in the year, we’ve set new claims records during Storm Franklin, smashed monthly premium targets and introduced our new portal feature Smart Quote. None of this would have happened without our fantastic team – which is growing fast. Getting new members of the team up to speed in our sparkling new office doesn’t happen by accident. Luckily, our Office and People Manager Zara Kreimeia is on hand. We caught up with her to ask about her role and what it’s really like to work at FloodFlash…

FF: Hi Zara! You’ve been working at FloodFlash for over three years – what led you to joining?

ZK: Before FloodFlash, I was doing a pic’n’mix of roles that made the best of my organisation and other people skills. These ranged from office management to being a personal and executive assistant, and from early years teaching to nannying! All these roles gave me the opportunity to learn so much about the people I work with. 

I officially joined the team in June 2021. Before that, I was a consultant Executive Assistant (EA), which means I acted as an EA to multiple businesses – including FloodFlash. I spent two years working closely with Adam and Ian, learning about FloodFlash, its mission, and the team behind it all.

It is fairly uncommon for early-stage start-ups to have an in-house HR function. So being an executive assistant to start-ups meant I also ran the HR and People admin by default. My interest grew in this area and I began a CIPD qualification in People Management. When we discussed me joining FloodFlash full time (a no-brainer decision for me!), I mentioned my passion for all things People. Adam and Ian welcomed and encouraged that learning, and this People and Office Management role came to life!

FF: What does your role entail?

ZK: In my role, I tread along three fairly defined lines:

  1. People Manager: overseeing the people function throughout the employee lifecycle. This includes recruitment and onboarding, line manager support, benefits, performance, and retention.
  2. Executive Assistant: supporting our co-founders. This includes calendar management, travel coordination, research, admin support, and managing projects that support their work.
  3. Office manager: ensuring our office is a great space for the team to work in. This involves liaising with our office facilitation team (Kitt), dealing with any issues, and keeping the snack shelf fully stocked!

Everything else fits somewhere in between – like organising the Summer and Christmas parties.

The team after the FloodFlash sports day earlier this year.
As Office and People Manager at a fast-growth start-up, Zara’s has a variety of responsibilities – including organising company-wide events. Here’s the team after the (characteristically wet) Summer party earlier this year.

FF: We’ve had several new faces join FloodFlash since the Series A – can you tell us a bit more about the hiring process?

ZK: With 14 new team members in the last 12 months, we’ve certainly been busy! Each department head is responsible for finding the people they need and want to join the team. I help facilitate the process. 

Recently, our company careers portal got an overhaul. Rather than focussing on years of experience or a particular education, we wanted to show what FloodFlash was like as an employer, and what we needed our growing team to deliver. For more senior roles we may have some suggested skill sets and prior experience, but we’re also open to hearing from anyone who feels they can help us get to where we need to be.

To help us, we agreed on the four key values we want FloodFlash team members to display:

‍♀️ Own the outcome

Use evidence

Be helpful

Be brave.

We rolled these out internally and we made a video to share these with our new potential hires.

We agreed on the four key values we want FloodFlash team members to have.

FF: What does the interview involve?

ZK: We believe that an interview is about making sure we’re the right place for a candidate as much as it is ensuring they’re the person who will fill the role brilliantly. Once we agreed on our values, we spruced up our interview process to incorporate them. Our process is split into three sections:

  1. Skills and Technical round: to see if candidates have the skills needed for the role. 
  2. Fit and Values interview: to see how candidates have showcased our values in their previous experiences.
  3. Ask me anything: a chance for candidates to ask any burning questions they have about FloodFlash and what it’s like to work here.

Since we restructured our interview process, it became much more organised and has been described as intense, enjoyable and insightful!

FF: Earlier this year, we were included in the Insurance Business 5-Star DE&I awards. Why do you feel this is so important?

ZK: Diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I) has been highlighted as an area that needs work by many companies and industries. The insurance industry is certainly one of these, but I’m proud that we are taking action to keep the industry moving in the right direction.

Our hiring process is a key area where we have worked on DE&I at FloodFlash. We can’t be passive and just hope that underrepresented people see and apply to our roles. Using resources like Otta and Hired helps us to diversify our search. Perhaps more importantly, being transparent about elements such as salary ranges and benefits is critical to ensure a wider range of applicants. Focusing on the what the role will entail and encouraging those who don’t match all our suggested skills and experience to apply is also important. There is a commonly cited statistic that women only apply to jobs when they meet 100% of the job requirements, while men apply to jobs when they meet 60%. While a generalisation, there is increasing evidence to suggest this is true. 

The Nursery Workplace payment scheme is one of the tax benefits that working at FloodFlash gives you.
Transparency around salary ranges and benefits helps to ensure a wider range of applicants. One of these benefits is the Nursery Workplace payment scheme, which offers tax savings for employees with young children.

While we still have work to do, it was fantastic to be recognised in the 5-Star DE&I awards. I have no interest in DE&I as a box-ticking exercise. DE&I in any team brings together an abundance of individual strength, potential and perspectives, offering opportunity to bring more rounded solutions to our table. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it can only benefit FloodFlash’s continued success. 

FF: What makes FloodFlash a great place to work?

ZK: As cliché as it may sound, the people! A wonderfully varied, energetic, intelligent, and keen team that I learn from every single day. The team here are passionate about protecting businesses and people from the cost of catastrophic flooding who would otherwise be left at risk.

Other than that, the free Thursday lunches certainly help!

FF: What are you most excited about as the team continues to grow?

ZK: The ways in which we, as a start-up, can help shape someone’s career and their experience of work. That will become more challenging and exciting to see how the company and every team member can grow as we scale – but I’m excited to see that happen!

FF: What would you say to anyone considering applying to FloodFlash?

ZK: We’re less interested in making hires that ‘fit our culture’ and meet 100% of the requirements would rather hear from all kinds of people who can add to us, teach us, learn from us and continue to help us to protect people from catastrophic flood-loss. 

Interested in working at FloodFlash? Check out our current roles here – and don’t be afraid of applying!