DC’s Trustify on the Importance of Recruiting a Diverse Team

January 14, 2016

9:05 am

The Trustify origin story would make a great movie. Cofounders Jennifer Mellon and Danny Boice were both seasoned entrepreneurs in their own worlds. It was fated (if you believe in that kind of thing) that they would meet, fall in love, blend their families, and start a company together. Now they successfully run Trustify, an on-demand private investigator startup, while juggling a growing family.

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Image: Trustify

While they are both rockstars in their own rights, the company would not be where it is today without their incredible team – which is more than 50 percent women.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Trustify VP, Jennifer Mellon, about the growth of the company, and how they’ve managed to attract and retain so much amazing female talent. Mellon comes from a mostly non-profit background, but entrepreneurship is in her blood. It’s so ingrained in who she is, that she even started two companies while raising two small children.

A Strategic Hiring Process

Mellon said that they cast a wide net when hiring, but are very strategic in who they end up bringing on board. It’s not like they made it a goal to hire more women, rather that having a diverse team was a top priority. They also make it a point to get the input from many members of the team before making a new hire.

“We’re gonna always look for the best,” said Mellon. “And we’ve noticed, when we cast our net wide that the best talent is women.”

A Focus on Work Life Balance

Mellon wants Trustify to be seen as a safe haven for women who want to, or already have children. As a busy mom herself, she knows that the struggle is real. She also knows the stress that women deal with when they are not sure if their jobs are secure.

It sounds like common sense, but Mellon noted that “we’re able to  get the best work out of people when they feel respected.”  She wants her employees to have a sense of “I feel just as invested in you because you have invested in me.” She and Boice know that people are most productive and happiest when they can have flexibility in their schedules. Trustify’s work is ’round the clock, and Mellon and Boice keep crazy hours themselves, so they can’t, nor do they want to enforce strict 9-5 hours for their team. 

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Image: Trustify

A Culture of Giving Back

Some businesses might be most familiar with the ABCs (Always Be Closing), but Trustify’s motto might as well be “Always Be Giving.” Charitable work is part of the culture, plain and simple. They’ve instituted an 8 for 8 policy. Every time team members participate in one of Trustify’s group volunteer days, they each get 8 hours of paid-time off to give back at a charity of their choosing.

Trustify has also begun doing pro-bono work for organizations that could use their help but might not have the budget to higher a private investigator. They kicked off this initiative in the fall with Becky’s Fund, an organization that helps survivors of domestic violence.

Trustify has experienced quite a bit of growth in the short time they’ve been around and they seem to have nowhere to go but up (probably thanks to all of their amazing female talent).

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Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy

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