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A Look Inside: Tales from Yelp and its People



With over 5,000 employees—distributed globally—it may sound daunting to understand how we all work together. That’s why in 2022 we introduced “A Look Inside,” a bimonthly event series, where we showcased folks in various departments at Yelp. In this series, people learned what a typical day looks like in the life of a Local Sales rep; how writing postmortems helps our Engineering team learn from failures; and how Yelp’s Community team is able to host hundreds of events a year.

In January, we kicked off the series with a look into our Sales and Customer Success organizations. Did you know that over half of our employees work in a sales-related role? We heard from five employees who have a combined Yelp tenure of close to 30 years! Tom M., Yelp’s VP of Customer Success, talked with the panelists about what a typical day looks like for them; how they navigate the—oftentimes demanding—world of sales; and how they retrospectively make sense of their Yelp careers. Everyone agrees that the Yelp value that fits this team best is Play Well With Others.

Next up, in April, was our User Operations team. This is a behind-the-scenes group at Yelp, yet they play a crucial role in maintaining Yelp’s integrity and contributing to our reputation as one of the most trusted review platforms. Noorie M., VP of UserOps, spoke with five members of her team about their day-to-day work, including the challenges they face while moderating Yelp’s content: “We see a lot of inappropriate content and personal attacks.” For example, a user taking “digs at a restaurant’s employee’s mannerism or what they look like.”  

From protecting Yelp’s integrity to protecting our financial assets, we invited our CFO, David S., to introduce us to different members of his team. The Finance department is a collaborative team and we learned about how they touch every aspect of Yelp’s business. Ever since going fully remote, each team in the Finance organization has found their own unique way of bringing their team members together. The Tax and Treasury team, for example, loves playing virtual Pictionary, and we now know that everyone on this team is highly competitive. Similarly, our Collections team hosts regular virtual breaks that include spelling bees or Jeopardy happy hours. 

Our Engineering and Product org was next in line. In July, Trisha W., VP of Information Technology, spoke with five colleagues, asking them about their dream Yelp product. One panelist said that she’s hoping for Yelp’s waitlist feature to roll out to the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia). Beyond that, they all agreed that Yelp’s culture is unique in the tech world. One employee, who recently “boomeranged” back to Yelp after leaving the company for a short time, said that, “Yelp’s culture is beyond anything I’ve ever seen anywhere else.” He pointed out that “just changing the terminology from sick days to wellness days has made a huge impact on the work culture.”

In September, it was time to interview our Community team. This team was Yelp’s original marketing arm that set out to spread the word about Yelp via in-person events and ingenious marketing campaigns across the globe. Tara L., VP of Community Expansion and Yelp Trends, kicked off the conversation saying that she’s celebrating her 13th Yelpiversary; she joined Yelp in 2009 as our D.C. community manager: “It was a dream job, to be able to help celebrate my city and host quirky and unique events with business owners all over the city.” 

Last but not least, in November, we asked John R., Senior Director, People Operations Business Partner, to shed some light on the People Ops team. As opposed to the myth that the People Ops team is the equivalent of the principal’s office, we learned that our People Ops team is truly employee facing, and they get to know everyone as best as they can. This team shows up every day to help our employees navigate difficult situations and build their careers at Yelp. We’re anticipating even more fun nuggets of knowledge in future iterations of “A Look Inside.” 

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