Martin Hartshorne is an executive with the Midas touch. Everything he touches turns into gold which is why the founder of When I Work saw it best to appoint Hartshorne as the company’s CEO in 2020. In his previous post as the chief strategy officer at Ultimate Software, Hartshorne tripled the number of employees; revenue grew in the same proportion. His sights are ever on growth, and with him at the helm of When I Work, the company could not be in better hands. Let’s tell you a few facts about this CEO.
1. Why He Was Appointed as the CEO of When I Work
Ever since Chad Halvorson founded the company in 2010, he had remained the CEO until 2020, when he decided to hand over the reins to someone else. Halvorson could not find a better fit than Hartshorne, whose domain experience, proven track record, and founder experience made him an invaluable addition to the team. Hartshorne was excited to join the company and hoped to lead it into the next growth phase.
2. He Turned Election Day into a Paid Holiday at When I Work
According to The Business Journals, Hartshorne began making changes barely a month after transitioning into his position as the new CEO of When I Work. One of them was making Election Day a holiday, saying it was important for his employees to take time off work to vote or facilitate others to vote. As the article explains, although in Minnesota employees have the right to take a break from work to vote without losing vacation time, personal leave, or pay, no company is required to turn the day into a paid holiday.
3. He Appointed When I Work’s First CFO
In January 2021, Hartshorne explained that after spending a few months at When I Work as the CEO, he settled on having Greg Wallace as the new CFO. Wallace had been the company’s Vice President of Finance for six years before the promotion. During his tenure as VP of finance, Wallace helped When I Work grow its revenue by 900% and oversaw the Series A and B financing rounds. The CEO said he chose Wallace after realizing he needed a key financial partner at the C-Suite.
4. He is Ambitious
During his interview with StarTribune, Hartshorne revealed that his priority as the CEO is growth. He was determined to double the revenues despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented. On his appointment as the CEO, he said that When I Work has so much growth potential, and it was at an all-time high in revenue. Consequently, he disclosed that he planned to triple the revenues in five years.
5. He Adapts Quickly
Hartshorne that the reduction in workforce was more about taking caution due to the changes in the business environment the pandemic brought in the company. With most customers out of business or forced to take a break, it was only logical that When I Work had to keep its expenses low by going for a leaner workforce. However, Hartshorne quickly adjusted and sourced for other customers. He said that he found customers at a similar pace as the company did before the pandemic. As things started looking up, he started hiring again for various roles but insisted they had learned to manage with fewer employees.
6. He Loves Change
It is often said that change begins at the end of your comfort zone; hence, Hartshorne appreciated the challenges that came with the COVID-19 pandemic. He loves change, chaos, and new things, and 2020 provided that. The CEO explained that the pandemic became an accelerator for growth at When I Work. As a result, the company’s future was shifting at a much faster rate than before.
7. Why He Joined When I Work
Hartshorne has always been passionate about new technology; therefore, when he joined When I Work, it was because he saw the passion that the entire team had in making shift-based workplaces terrific for hourly workers. He said that the concept entailed having the employers collaborate with the employees in creating schedules and changes since the flexible scheduling worked for all involved. He is ever thinking about new technologies. Thus, the CEO has added services such as labor reports and payroll facilitation. With Hartshorne’s keen focus on growth, the sky is the limit.
8. His Opinion on How a Company Can Cultivate a Good Culture
Patrick Whitesell, co-CEO of WME, once said that you could have the right strategy, but without the right culture, you are dead. Culture motivates and retains employees, and Hartshorne seems to have cracked this code. He said that the most important thing a business can have is a good culture that comprises people genuinely caring about each other and sticking together no matter what. He, therefore, promised that at When I Work, they would continue striving to value each employee’s unique experiences and treating them with dignity.
9. He Got His MBA from Kellogg School of Management
Hartshorne earned his degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo. The institution is moderately selective, with an acceptance rate of 53%. It is ranked among the top 40 worldwide and is the largest in Canada, which could have motivated the CEO passionate about engineering to enroll. He then attended Kellogg School of Management, according to his LinkedIn profile. It is among the most prestigious schools in the United States. It is very selective with an acceptance rate of 20% thus interviews all its applicants.
10. He Was the Founder of EmployTouch, Inc.
EmployTouch, founded in 2011, rose to become one of the top 20 most innovative companies in Canada. Hartshorne was behind its successful growth until its acquisition by Ultimate Software. The CEO said that he was delighted to join Ultimate Software because it was an ideal match given that they were both committed to providing human capital management solutions. Upon his company’s acquisition, he became the chief strategy officer at Ultimate Software, where he worked for six years growing, its revenue from $350 million to over $1 billion.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee