I worked at several places before Sampler, but I’ve never felt more at home anywhere else. I’d never really thought about how my leader would influence my day-to-day work, but when I met our CEO, Marie Chevrier, it all became clear.
Sampler is a Toronto-based tech company that uses software to deliver product samples—everything from cosmetics to baby products—to digitally targeted consumers all over the world. At Sampler, we have an inclusive culture that welcomes people from all backgrounds and encourages everyone to succeed. In turn, it’s set our company up for international success. Here’s how:
A couple of months ago, I sat down to crystalize what it meant to be part of the Sampler family, and I realized, it stems from Marie’s deep, respectable values. I joined Sampler because Marie was the person I would get to work with. She’s somebody who has always been relatable, transparent, has a lot of integrity and always puts the person across the table from her first. She’s created this environment where we don’t even notice the fact that Sampler is female-founded because everything feels so natural. She owns her role and makes everyone feel comfortable.
By having shared values, we naturally come together to work towards our shared vision: To deliver the best customer experience possible. We use our platform to connect brands with their target audiences, so they can get their samples into the right hands. We want to be the best and we believe we can be. We’re all focused and aligned across the organization because we care about our work and each other. That leadership comes from the top down. (We also like to enjoy the free samples in the lunch room!)
Teamwork and accountability
At Sampler, we don’t put people in boxes. Being part of the team often means stepping out of your pre-defined role and lending a hand to a colleague, so we win together. Everybody cares about each other here because we feel fulfilled from both a work and a community perspective.
Marie fosters this environment by treating everybody with respect on a professional and human level. That’s the core of what makes Sampler such a great place to work. (Plus, every day is “Bring your dog to work day!”)
Beyond our network, we hire from all sorts of places, even outside of Canada. We don’t look at the person’s gender or age when hiring; we find the best person for the role and by doing that, we’ve created a balanced workforce. About 25% of the people who work at Sampler are above the age of 35. We’ve managed to attract individuals with 15 years of experience to our team. Women make up 60% of our staff; half are visible minorities, and just over a third are both women and visible minorities.
At the end of the day, it’s the people who make Sampler what it is. Marie truly believes her employees are her biggest customers. So, when she’s looking for talent, she looks for the best person, not necessarily the best cover-letter experience. There have been times when Marie interviews a candidate for a certain role and it turns out, they’re a perfect fit for a different department. While experience is certainly an important skill to consider when hiring, Marie mainly looks for individuals who have the grit and heart to move the company forward.