HR Tech Interview with Charlie Bean, Chief Administrative Officer at InMarket

How should HR and business leaders rearrange their employee and work policies to lead to long-term self-growth and better near-term productivity? Charlie Bean, Chief Administrative Officer at InMarket shares a few practices from InMarket’s own model in this quick chat:


Tell us a little about yourself Charlie…take us through a day at work at InMarket – what’s that like now in today’s ‘’new normal’’?

First off, thank you so much for having me! I’m looking forward to chatting today. So as you mentioned, I work with InMarket. For the folks who may not be familiar with InMarket, InMarket is a leader in 360-degree consumer intelligence and real-time activation for thousands of major brands. In plain speak we help brands better understand who their customers are and enable them to speak to them via relevant communications in real-time.  To do that well we are an organization of more than 200 people across the country obsessed with discovery and more specifically discovering what matters.  That includes discovering what matters for our clients, brands and agencies, for our clients customers and in my role, discovering what matters for our employees.

As InMarket’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), where suffice it to say, I wear many hats, including operations, and risk management and budget allocation, overseeing human resources and people management is perhaps the most rewarding. As you can imagine, the past 10 months have been a period of tremendous learning, both in our business and in our efforts to build a rapidly growing team. Admittedly, most of my time has been spent rethinking our company culture as we integrate multiple acquisitions while also adjusting to the new normal including working from home in the face of a global pandemic.

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In the past four months alone, our company acquired assets from NinthDecimal and Key Ring, which saw the addition of over 100+  new employees to our company, bringing our total to over 200. Now, onboarding this many employees is challenging enough en masse, but in a remote environment the challenge could seem even more daunting. By honing in on our company values and focusing on the individuals joining our team, we were able to make this a seamless, efficient process. Ultimately, amidst each of these challenges we adapted and came together as a team to form new connections, fortify existing ones, and continue to grow our team and footprint across the adtech space.

Can you share a few best practices that you’ve followed when it comes to leading through turbulent times through the years: what are some of the top thoughts you’d share for team and business leaders in tech as they navigate business through a global pandemic?

I would have to say my foremost tip for team leaders would be to lead with empathy. As we near one year since the first time our offices closed, nothing is normal, and our escapes from the constantly changing news cycle are few and far between. Moreover, people are not working traditional nine-to-five days, with many balancing childcare and remote school at the same time. Empathy is quickly becoming the most essential trait we can have in a work environment.

It’s also never been more important to practice transparency as a leadership team and hold yourself accountable to your team. Often times, this openness can trickle down to the rest of the team and create a culture that’s more open and friendly. At InMarket, we work every day to build programs and structure our teams so that we can empower our employees to feel open and engaged with one another. One team member, Jason Krane, took this idea of team building and levity in the workday by dressing up in fun costumes, like Mario or Captain America, for our regular team Zoom meetings. Speaking from experience, it definitely made us all excited to check in for our regular weekly meetings knowing we had team members there who would make the experience that much better.

We’d love to hear about your top people culture and most successful company culture programs…over the years: some of the top strategies you’ve driven?

One of our company core values is being a “Good Peep” – even under pressure!  Based on this core value we created our “MVPeep” (Most Valuable Peep) nomination program.  Team members can nominate another team member when they have seen their co-worker demonstrate any one of our core values! We do weekly drawings to give out prizes to the winning MVPeep! This allows us to celebrate one another and builds a culture of caring, kindness and empathy.

InMarket believes in supporting our team members’ desire for professional and personal growth and we do so with our Agile Development Funds program. The premise of our program is, based on tenure, an employee has access to an allowance of up to $3k to use towards classes, webinars, books, etc. that provides an opportunity to learn and grow. This positively impacts our recruitment and retention of incredible talent.

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We also have a company-matching program for contributions that our team members make to non-profit and charity organizations. We want to support our good peeps doing good things for the community. Most recently we created our Diversity & Inclusion Alliance that is taking on the challenges that deserve our collective efforts to make changes for the better. Some of the actions have been and continue to be supporting volunteerism events, pro-bono campaigns for awareness and change, having powerful guest speakers and reading books together just to name a few. InMarket will also be coordinating a company-wide volunteer event to celebrate  Juneteenth.

Finally, we hosted Wellness Week that included healthy snack ideas, meditation and yoga sessions as well as group walks.  We enjoyed virtual holiday events to include chocolate tastings, specialty cocktail making, and a Mentalist.  We’ve continued these activities into 2021 with a 2-week fitness challenge and an Escape Room.

As HR leaders respond to the business needs of the new normal; what are some of the top thoughts you’d share with them when it comes to implementing HR Tech or other technologies to drive business goals and strengthen employee practices and policies in our new normal?

Remote working and the balancing act that is maintaining productivity and keeping our heads afloat in the developing news cycle is still a challenge. Which is why InMarket is prioritizing people-driven employee policy and practices. Every action and decision we make as team and business leaders should begin with how it furthers efforts to support employees.

My most important tip is to focus employee policies on development, growth, and career enrichment, rather than productivity to-do’s. This is so top of mind because of our focus on empathy. With everything happening in the world, the last thing employees need is another box to check. Instead, we should be using our business resources to ensure they have access and the ability to further their development as a professional. This was the real impetus for our Agile Development Funds program. We had to take a step back and think about what real value we could offer our team that would help them grow personally and professionally.

It is also important to ensure team members are not only safe, but comfortable working from home, which is why InMarket implemented a WFH reimbursement allowance for each employee so that they could purchase office equipment (chairs, desks, monitors, etc) to improve their at home work environment.

In today’s remote environment, it’s easy to become siloed and just go through the motions. As employers, it’s our responsibility to encourage growth every day.

What are some of the top employee engagement practices and trends that you feel should be fundamental to businesses in 2021?

2020 has been an incredible learning experience for HR leaders to challenge our preconceived notions of what makes up work. Throughout this year of monumental change, we realized that we could translate our working cultures to entirely remote. In 2021, I expect even more changes to occur, as the return to offices will be later than expected – if at all for a number of companies.

There’s no shortage of trends beginning to pop up, but one I believe will gain a lot of traction and attention is removing the 9-5 constraints of work to a more flexible, project-oriented structure. This shift will surely not come to light without its challenges, but as we migrate resources away from office and begin hiring nation-wide, our communication will become more asynchronous and less focused on real-time. While it seems long removed from our current position, we will transition from a focus on adaptation to a focus on engagement that’s separate from traditional forms of communication, and this framework shift will play a crucial role.

Before we wrap up, we’d love to hear a little about InMarket’s employee and company culture…

I have been with InMarket for 9+ years now and one of the reasons why I have remained here is truly the good peeps that I work with. We genuinely care about each other and are helpful to each other whenever and wherever possible. We not only celebrate our own wins, but each other’s as well. It is a culture of going above and beyond to achieve great success.  We believe we have something great and we’re always looking for ways to make it even better – constant improvement. InMarket invests in external resources and relationships to constantly bring new ideas to the table – in the end, it is all about discovering what matters at home as well as at the office.

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And lastly, a few of your biggest takeaways and tips on working effectively from anywhere….and adjusting to the new normal.

Some of my biggest takeaways for how to work anywhere are built around engagement. We no longer have the luxury of chatting by the water cooler to build relationships with our colleagues. Now more than ever, we have to be intentional about each and every interaction with our coworkers and create opportunities to create the same conversation that you’d find around the water cooler in a safe, socially distanced manner. One way I like to do this is to make sure that we’re able to put in face time with colleagues by setting up video chats.  I also like to have these chats via phone so we can do them as “walk-n-talks” to get outside and away from our desks! When our WFH scenario began, I started sending handwritten notes to all of our peeps on their birthdays and workiversaries! It brings me joy to write them and with the responses I have received, it is having the joyous effect on my team members that I had hoped it would!


InMarket is a leader in 360-degree consumer intelligence and real-time activation for thousands of major brands.


Charlie Bean has over 25 years of operations, team building and project management experience in the network hosting, satellite communications, retail, and aerospace industries.  Charlie brings to InMarket a strategic focus for the day-to-day operations as well as a strong people-first approach to HR. Before joining InMarket, Charlie implemented and managed successful operations and customer-focused teams for three different East coast-based start-up companies. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Strayer University and is certified by the Project Management Institute as a project management professional. In her spare time, Charlie provides volunteer support to several local non-profit organizations.

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