Trista Taylor is no stranger to working at a fast-growing organization. But after joining Babylon at the end of last year, the director of product operations for the healthtech company described feeling like she was in new territory.
“It’s not something that I’ve seen. This is my fourth time at a growth stage company,” Taylor said.
Taylor is one of many hires that the company made last year. According to Chief People Officer Samira Lowman, Babylon hired around 1,300 employees in 2021.
“Two-thirds of that was net new hiring, versus backfilling,” the Chief People Officer said, while adding that acquisitions also brought aboard around 350 team members.
Lowman, like Taylor, came aboard last year, and estimates that the around-1,800-person organization she joined is now around 2,700-strong. According to Lowman, leadership has added roles across product, technology, sales and clinical operations as it continues expanding into the U.S.
Such expansion has brought about opportunities for parallel internal development. Taylor and VP of Growth and Engagement Jo Lim both, for example, mentioned looking to improve the ways their teams go about their work in a scalable manner this year — a topic Lim has unique insight into, having been the company’s first U.S. employee.
“Over time, we keep trying to refine our processes,” Lim said. “All of these internal pieces harmoniously coming together will allow us to really scale.”
A growing organization translates into prioritizing efforts like making sure that hiring is a “well-oiled machine” and shoring up employee onboarding to ensure that team members are on firm footing soon after coming aboard. Additionally, Lowman said that Babylon’s leadership team is focused on how culture will continue to materialize in the current work climate.
“I think every company is struggling with the question of when we will be able to be together.” Lowman, said. “Like every organization, we really have to figure out how to make this new hybrid model successful in terms of bringing our culture to life. Zoom helps you transact and get work done but it doesn’t help bring a culture to life.”
Built In Austin connected with Lim, Lowman and Taylor to learn more about their experiences at the growing healthtech company, how they’re aiming to scale their work and what potential hires to the organization can contribute to the team.
What is your role at Babylon?
Taylor: As director of product operations, I streamline process efficiencies across the entire product portfolio. I ensure that we have processes in place that allow us to scale as well as give us tooling, instrumentation and reporting to make decisions quickly.
Lim: I am part of our commercial team, which is part of our go-to-market function. There, I predominantly wear two hats. One is a revenue owner hat, where I find opportunities for us to deliver services and managing our relationship with one of our accounts, which is a national payer. We have multiple different services and lines of business across different products.
Lowman: As the chief people officer, I am responsible for delivering on our mission through our people. That means focusing on what I will call the growth, and health and well-being of our business and all of our employees. For bringing on incredible Babylonians and retaining existing ones. Ensuring all Babylonians have the tools and resources they need to be able to focus on delivering our incredibly ambitious and powerful mission.
What attracted you to Babylon?
Taylor: The mission and the people. I saw a huge opportunity to contribute to that mission. From a people perspective, I was really looking for diversity in individuals and diversity in thought that would help me grow and be a better professional.
Lim: I’ve been in healthcare for a while now. Equity in healthcare, in my view, is a human right. I feel like if Babylon is able to bring care and services to more people — especially right now, where we serve Medicaid members — it’s making a difference. That societal impact is close to my heart.
Lowman: For me, it was just a reinforcement of amazing people with such incredible passion, a leadership team that I wanted to be a part of, and learn and grow from, as well as the mission.
Tell us more about the growth that Babylon’s experienced and what’s been driving that.
Lim: Over the last four years in the U.S., we’ve seen a lot of growth as we have started to build out our solutions that resonate in the market with what payers, providers and other organizations in the healthcare landscape are looking for.
Lowman: We grew revenue by four times in 2021, from 80 million to 320 million. Eighty percent of that revenue growth came from the U.S. When you look at the areas of technology and healthcare coming together, there’s been huge expansion.
Taylor: Babylon is this beautiful mix of tech and services that is going to represent the winning tech companies in the future — the ones that get that paradigm right and continue to add in services, and then find ways to move those services through AI and technology where possible.
As the company grows, how does it effectively scale?
Taylor: One of the things that is really important is leaving behind processes that are pressure-tested and built with other collaborators in such a way that wherever I go, Babylon can leverage them. The second piece of that is helping the teams make sure they articulate the data and have access to the appropriate data to help them make decisions around product roadmap design and end-user value.
Lim: We try to define what good processes look like and get the right people together from across the business to continually refine processes and all of the necessary handoffs. We’ve been evolving these processes over time to keep making them better. We’re always trying to think about how to iterate so that we can scale quickly and efficiently.
“When you look at the areas of technology and healthcare coming together, there’s been huge expansion.”
Can you tell us a little bit about what the future holds for your respective teams?
Lim: A lot of new capabilities will be coming this year. They will be supporting our technology and clinical services offerings, My team will continue to focus on delivering value to partners and their members, ensuring that we are engaging people to focus on their healthcare needs, so that we can deliver great outcomes through a differentiated experience.
Taylor: The ability to leverage our services and find ways to make proactive automations is core to our strategy right now. The sky’s the limit for the capabilities that we would be able to deliver in the future.
Lowman: I fundamentally believe that the way we are structured in HR needs to change and that’s the work I want to be able to do. We need a model where you’re driving 80 percent of the complexities and questions and issues that come through HR through digital platforms. That helps HR people build their career through focusing on solving the business and complex problems.
What impact do you think new hires can make on the team?
Taylor: I am in a constant learning mode. I look to pass that on to candidates I hire and make sure that I’m a leader of high caliber, who they are excited and motivated to work for.
Lim: If people want to come and build — but I would say you need some gumption and you need some ‘go’ in you — then you can make a real impact while having fun. New Babylonians can bring valuable perspectives from other industries and their previous experiences.
“I am in a constant learning mode. I look to pass that on to candidates I hire and make sure that I’m a leader of high caliber, who they are excited and motivated to work for.”
How does the company’s growth translate into growth opportunities for individuals?
Lowman: If you think about three-to-four times growth every year, even if you stayed in the same role, growth is happening every single year because of the scale and the scope and the complexity of what you’re dealing with. That said, we are looking at opportunities for internal mobility all the time. We have work to do there. A lot of our functions, including finance, commercial and product and technology, are building out what we’re calling career ladders. That said, we are really trying to redefine them as more like career steps. Careers need to be thought of as lattices that help an employee grow in many different ways.
Lastly, Trista and Jo, what would you tell someone who is interested in joining Babylon? And Samira, from a hiring perspective, what makes someone a good potential fit at Babylon?
Taylor: How my peers and the leadership treat me is a breath of fresh air and is hugely motivational here. There’s a lot of meaning in the mission and how people treat each other at Babylon that I highly encourage somebody who’s looking for a career change to consider.
Lim: It’s a really incredible time for us right now with all the things that are happening, both in the U.S. and globally. If people want to make a difference by bringing healthcare to others in an innovative way, and want to be part of a team where people really care about each other, then come to Babylon!
Lowman: This is a place that is so rewarding and allows you as an individual to grow. We’re looking for people who are really experienced in their areas of expertise and know how to help a company grow and scale and be a part of this amazing journey.