Charlotte Guzzo, Chief Operating Officer of Sano Genetics

Startup #LIFEAFTERCOVID. Sano Genetics

When the first quarantine shock eased, when the team more or less adapted to work from home mode and goes out to the virtual bar on Fridays via Zoom, willy-nilly, the question arises – what awaits us after quarantine ends? What will startups be like after pandemic?

We, being optimistic by nature, want to see the light at the end of the tunnel and therefore started the #lifeaftercovid series of interviews with start-ups that found their way through the crisis and learn from them:

  • what is their approach to team management?
  • what will happen to the hiring?
  • what help they expect to receive?

Our second respondent is Charlotte Guzzo, COO of Sano Genetics. Charlotte has a background in single-cell genomics research, studying childhood cancer. She co-founded Sano Genetics in 2017 while studying for her PhD at the Welcome Sanger Institute.

Sano Genetics is a patient-centric digital biobank that facilitates collection of health and genomic data from patients, providing fast and cost-effective recruitment and data sourcing for clinical trials and drug discovery R&D. Sano users can contribute their valuable time, data, and personal expertise on their condition to move research in personalised medicine forward.

Location: Cambridge

Team size: 10 people.

Hiring now?  Yes

1. Will your team remain remote after quarantine?

Some of our employees were already fully or part remote before coronavirus. We had a remote working policy in place and were always open to employees working remote, although the majority of us still come to the office on a regular basis. We do not yet know if our practices will change dramatically after the lockdown – we still see the benefit of having an office for meetings, team dynamics and social contact. But we may consider scaling down the size of the office or moving to hot desking.

2. Will your hiring speed remain the same as before the crisis?

We are definitely focusing on developing existing employees now. We have some bandwidth for hiring but have decided to scale down the speed of on boarding new hires to extend our runway as much as possible. We are aware of the talent we already have in-house and feel like the cost of losing a functioning and productive team would be significant.

3. Will you evaluate an impact of the crisis on your team?

Yes, we are certainly using this time to reflect on what matters to us as a company and what is just a habit. We will be seeking feedback from everyone to see what they liked or disliked about working from home, how the crisis has affected them and how we, as a company, can better prepare for crisis and make sure our team is taken care of when things become unstable.

4. What help do you expect to receive from recruiters after the crisis?

We currently use recruiters but also do a lot of online reaching out. We have hired a new staff member during the epidemics and on boarded him fully remotely. We do not anticipate this will change after the crisis and will still be using a mix of recruiters, network and reaching out. We are also geared up to on board people remotely. HR platforms may take a more important role if we start hiring for more remote positions.

Every week we will feature a new startup. Do you want to share a story of your startup #lifeaftercovid? Reach us on quoting “Startup story for blog” and we will get back to you!

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