April 20, 2016
[Working in Boston Tech] Scaling Culture at Rapid7

Today in our Working in Boston Tech series, we hear from the team at Rapid7 in Boston.

Rapid7 went public last year and has been one of the pillar companies in the Boston tech scene.  Even though the company has scaled significantly, they are serious about maintaining the integrity of their culture, which is outlined in their Moose Manifesto.

Make sure you check out Rapid7's BIZZpage for their job openings, as they are hiring across all functions in the company.

For our readers who might not be familiar with Rapid7, what do you do?  How many employees do you have globally and specifically in Boston?

Our tagline is “engineering better security.” In a nutshell, Rapid7 provides IT security data and analytics software and services to help organizations reduce the risk of a breach, detect and respond to attacks, and build effective IT security programs. The company was founded in 2000, and went public in July 2015.  

We have more than 800 employees worldwide – and are continuing to grow. Here in Massachusetts we have two offices: one in Boston and one in Cambridge. They have about 350 employees combined. 

By reading your Moose Manifesto, it seems like Rapid7 has thought a lot about its culture and the traits that make people successful.  Can you share some of the details from the Moose Manifesto here?

As a company that’s growing at a rapid pace, we’re making a conscious effort to ensure our culture doesn’t get left behind. We think of this as “scaling with soul.” To help, we created our Moose Manifesto, which was written completely by our people, for our people (more about the “Moose” thing in the next question). It’s our way of explaining our mission, purpose, and what makes us unique, and giving insight on what success looks like. 

The Moose Manifesto digs into the four central qualities that we consider when looking for great people to hire: Attitude, Aptitude, Skills, and Culture Fit. It also explains our five Core Values, which are the belief system that sustain us and drive us forward: Customer Partnership, Teamwork, Individual Excellence, Continuous Learning, and Disciplined Risk Taking. These principles, which our Moose represent and experience every day, allow us to scale and evolve – regardless of location, team, or role.

Why are Rapid7 employees referred to as Moose?  How did that come about?

“Moose” can be either plural or singular – it’s spelled the same way in each instance – so we consider ourselves “One Moose.” It stems from the idea that we thrive by capitalizing on our differences. We each do our part to contribute to the building of a phenomenal company, so when someone says "Great job, Moose!" they are referring to the individual as well as the team behind them. 

The moose iconography has really caught on. You’ll find moose drawings and stuffed animals throughout the various offices. Rapid7 even holds the Guinness World Record for “largest guitar pick mosaic”….you can probably guess what animal we chose to depict:

What’s the best way to get a job with Rapid7?

We’re hiring across almost all departments – check out our careers page to view current openings and submit your application. 

When evaluating candidates, we search for people who embody Rapid7’s core principles. If you want a job here, make sure you convey a sense of passion. We seek bright minds who will take disciplined risks and embrace continuous learning. Check your ego at the door – we want to maintain a collaborative atmosphere in which everyone is open to new perspectives and ideas. Show us that you’re someone who values others’ opinions. 

What can someone expect during the interview process?

We value our unique culture and it’s imperative that our culture is conveyed in your very first interaction with Rapid7. That means making sure that every candidate has a superior interviewing experience regardless of whether or not they get the job. 

We make sure that our interview process is timely, ensuring that the recruiter call, manager call, and on-site final interview all occur within 7-10 business days. Our interviewers are well prepared and we provide the utmost transparency throughout the process. Ask yourself, how often have you interviewed at a company with a drawn-out interview process, whose way of saying “no” is to never get back to you? We are NOT that company. 

If you accept an offer, expect a smooth hand-off between Talent Acquisition and People Strategy to ensure that all of your onboarding questions are answered. You’ll be fully prepared to hit the ground running on Day 1 as our newest Moose. 

What can people expect over the course of their career at Rapid7?

We believe that every company should make four key promises to its people: transparency, an inspiring vision, realistic expectation-setting, and a culture to believe in. If you work here, expect us to deliver on that philosophy. 

You’ll also forge strong bonds with your colleagues. We expect all Moose to view relationships with coworkers as a true partnership. To that end, we ask everyone to regularly share feedback to strengthen the partnership and build trust. This means your manager won’t wait until your annual performance review to address all the great (or not so great) things you’ve done in your role. 

Lastly, as a growing company, we know that simply dictating a process for cultural evolution isn’t effective. People need to internalize it. That’s why, this past year, we brought almost 800 members of our team together from all over the world for global kickoff: to learn, connect, and build relationships. 

Are there any favorite activities that the employees do outside of the office?

Athletic events are big – particularly Celtics and Red Sox games. A group of Moose have also competed in Tough Mudder challenges. Other activities include monthly Thirsty Thursdays, summer outings, holiday parties (this year we had it at the House of Blues), team-building events like cooking classes, and charitable work via Rapid7 Gives Back. 

What TV or movie would best describe the working environment and employees at Rapid7?

Movies that reflect our core values come to mind. Rapid7 supports a culture of continuous learning and improvement, much like the Harry Potter films (plus, who wouldn’t want to work at Hogwarts?). The Mighty Ducks, because we value teamwork. Rocky, for determination and commitment to individual excellence. And Mulan, for disciplined risk taking.  

Do you have any unique benefits or perks? 

The Moose Tank program offers additional compensation for achieving stretch goals – and contributing something above and beyond the scope of your everyday role. We also offer an unlimited vacation policy, discounts at local fitness studios, ad hoc hackathons, a global wellness initiative (which includes reimbursements), in-office manicure appointments, tickets to sports games, and a monthly free parking raffle. 

What’s on tap or in your fridge?

It all depends on what we’re celebrating! If it’s Beer Cart Friday, you’ll find lots of local staples like Downeast Cider, Sam Adams, and Harpoon. Our Cambridge office does occasional whiskey tastings. Recently, an in-office happy hour featured manhattans and cosmopolitans. And you can still find the occasional champagne bottle tucked away somewhere, from when we toasted our IPO. 

Food-wise, our café area offers a selection of snack food (including some healthier options like nuts and dried fruit), much of which is complimentary. During Town Hall – a monthly, company-wide Q&A with our CEO and various members of the leadership team – the office gets free lunch ordered from popular local restaurants like Sam LaGrassa’s. 

Keith Cline is the founder of VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter: @kcline6.