How we’re building our People Strategy at Airlift, and why this isn’t just a fancy way to say HR.

August 28, 2021

Airlift is doing many things differently — our People Strategy team sits at the heart of the innovation in our values, our operating principles, and our culture. The team consists of a diverse set of individuals that have one thing in common: the drive to build excellence into a scaling organization and the commitment to build a workplace that we would love to work at everyday.


Today, I wanted to share how we plan to build excellence in a scaling organization, one that is recruiting and expanding at high velocity.


Recruitment bets should be on potential over experience.


Our approach toward recruitment is to seek potential; our view is that potential trumps experience any day. Our recruitment process, therefore, evaluates candidates not based on what they have done previously; instead, we focus on what they can do. The way we evaluate potential is by banking on empathy and always focusing on the “why” behind things.


Our interview process is designed such that the candidate gets to know the team at Airlift (and vice versa). In many roles, we are not looking to check specific boxes or seek unique skills; instead, we are seeking high potential candidates that can learn new things very quickly.


At every level, there is broad consensus at Airlift that recruiting a world-class team will make the biggest difference.


Airlift aims to offer a best-in-class 360-experience for teammates.


From the point that someone begins engaging with us as a candidate to welcoming them onboard, seeing them through celebrations and challenges at Airlift and sometimes seeing them off to their next milestone, we aim to build an environment that we would personally love to be a part of.


To ensure this, Airlift is intentional about investing in teammates, providing them with the right people-management, building the right communication structures that scale a transparent culture, and creating a top-class talent development program in the form of Airlift University.


Additionally, our team holds a weekly All Hands — this is a critical point that brings the entire team together, discussing our company-level strategy, performance and priorities. The best managers are able to tie the work of their team with the bigger picture. Designing the weekly All Hands is one of many ways in which People Strategy ensures strong communication lines across a scaling organization.


A framework-driven approach to process optimization and policy.


In our quest to be the most customer-centric organization in the world, Airlift must also embrace a team-first philosophy. We believe that acting in the best interest of our teammates is actually closely aligned with driving value for shareholders. Ultimately, the calibre of the team that we build will make all the difference — assembling a people-first environment is the most effective way to achieve that.


How are compensation packages structured? What should be the process for compensation re-evaluation? What should be the basis of quarterly performance reviews? How should Airlift think about learning and development (L&D)? From the highly strategic to the everyday processes, People Strategy is building the foundation for a world-class organization with the right design principles and thinking frameworks in place.


Additionally, process excellence is another area where People Strategy spends a lot of time and effort. Where an existing process seems too tedious, we move quickly to scrap it. We seek initiative to rebuild rather than embracing the status quo.


People Strategy at Airlift is built on the fundamental belief that people are not just ‘resources’ — they are individuals choosing to be on a mission with us.


With people sharing their lives with Airlift, we believe we owe it to the team to strategize, innovate and intentionally scale a work environment and culture that supports them, builds the right team around them, enables them to be their best selves and provides them a best-in-class experience. People Strategy at Airlift then is not just a fancy way to say HR — instead, it is our core execution engine that builds and shapes the team, which, then, drives business results.


We are thrilled to be building something special from the ground up. If you are interested in joining this team and making a difference, please feel free to drop us an email at