In October 2022, Halborn appointed its first Chief People Officer: Laura Cooper. Laura will be spearheading all things related to People including Workforce Planning and Strategy, Talent Acquisition, Performance, Development, Culture and Engagement.
Based in New Jersey, Laura started her career as an Attorney before transitioning to HR on Wall Street for Salomon Brothers, Samsung and NICE Systems. In 2017 she transitioned from large global corporate to the dynamic VC startup space and continued her trajectory into the world of crypto and Web3.
We sat down with Laura for a quick interview on her new role as CPO at Halborn.
- What does being a Chief People Officer mean to you?
So many amazing things, and in terms of the company, it means I have the privilege of working with the executive team to ensure the business moves forward and thrives while creating the best experience for the dedicated employee population who work here. It means that I have the privilege of standing as a champion of our culture, mission and vision.
- Why did you choose to come work for Halborn?
I knew Halborn from my previous CPO role. Halborn helped us protect ourselves and our clients with spectacular work that showed us risks and threats we otherwise wouldn’t know we had. I was so impressed with the company as well as the co-founders Rob Behnke and Steve Walbroehl. The elite nature of the engineers who work here, the invaluable products and services Halborn offers to the market were all significant drivers in the decision.
- You’ve gone from martech to fintech to Web3. What interests you the most about the world of Web3?
Web3 is changing the way we interact in many fundamental ways, but especially in business. I love the freedom that Web3 brings. The Web3 networks are permissionless where users and providers don’t need centralized controlling organizations. It’s so different from how we used to operate, always with central parties and middle organizations. I love being part of this disruptive and innovative world.
- What are some of the challenges you think you’ll face when recruiting offensive security engineers?
It’s an extremely competitive market and the need for strong offensive security engineers is never going to go away. The risks are always advancing and changing so we have to be just as agile in finding the talent to meet those challenges. My goal is to help Halborn maintain the elite cyber security it provides as well as become the absolute best place to work for offensive security engineers.
- What’s one of the best kept secrets of HR professionals?
So much of what we do is deeply confidential, but HR professionals are always driving the business forward. Most people see only 25% of what we do for an organization because the other 75% is beneath the surface. We do so much more than the organization overtly sees. So, I’m afraid I have to answer that what happens with People has to stay with People!
- What are some of the talents or skills you look out for when hiring in tech?
What I look for is the ideal combination between what people do (their experience) and how people do it (their behavior). Great teammates for Halborn are not only very strong in their experience, they also are wonderful to work with. Friendly, accountable, curious and autonomous are some of the great traits of our team.
- Have your personal passions ever influenced your approach to work?
Yes, I studied philosophy in college and am a huge follower of the principles of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and others who wrote extensively on how to live and work in harmony with the people around you and, at the same time, push yourself to your fullest potential. The four Stoicism tenets of Wisdom, Temperance, Courage and Justice are things I practice every day both personally and at work.