What is it like to work at Graphcore?
As part of PM Jobs' Wonderful Workplaces initiative, we spoke to Sophie Froment, senior vice president of the people team at Bristol-based company, Graphcore, for insider insight into the working culture and why it’s a great time to join.
Graphcore is an exciting early stage startup. The company is developing the next generation of silicon processing chip designed to go in hardware that will be used for machine learning and artificial applications. It is currently recruiting for a senior HR specialist - information systems - a newly created role within the people team, to accommodate the company’s rapid growth.
From choosing the amount of holiday you take to working from home occasionally, the team culture is challenging yet rewarding. Sophie Froment tells us more.
Sophie, tell me about Graphcore and the work you do
Graphcore has designed a completely new type of processor, the Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU), designed from the ground up for machine intelligence. The IPU has a radically different architecture compared to current AI chips and is highly programmable, flexible and easy to work with due to our Poplar software stack.
We are well funded - we have raised $110 million to date – and are scaling fast. We are shipping product to early customers and demand is strong. We are supported by some of the world’s best investors and partner companies and we are now recognised as the leading innovator in processors for the new world of machine intelligence.
Our IPU lets innovators make new breakthroughs in AI to improve human potential. What we do, really makes a difference.
How would you describe the team culture?
We enjoy tackling hard problems and driving new breakthroughs together, learning from the other smart people around us, in an environment of mutual respect and trust.
We like the spirit of openness that exists, in a place where you are both encouraged and supported to speak up and where people have integrity and a sense of intellectual honesty.
"This is a place where you are trusted but where we also treat the responsibility that goes along with that seriously, and we like the fact that there is a lack of ego and a spirit of egalitarianism."
Exceptional people deserve the best we can provide, as well as the freedom to make choices that work for them and their loved ones. We trust people to work from home occasionally, or do the school run when they need to, and to choose the amount of holiday they take.
This is a place where you are trusted but where we also treat the responsibility that goes along with that seriously, and we like the fact that there is a lack of ego and a spirit of egalitarianism.
What other benefits do you offer?
Working at Graphcore is challenging and rewarding. In addition to your salary, we provide tangible benefits, including pension, health insurance and life cover. All employees receive share options, giving everyone a stake in the future success of the business.
Our office team is around to help out with the small stuff, so people can concentrate on what’s important both personally and professionally. We have a kitchen well stocked with healthy food, fruit, snacks and drinks, and our very own barista.
What is it like to work in Bristol?
Our Bristol home and HQ is in the heart of the city, named as the best place to live in Britain. You'll find us in the nearby covered market for great street food at lunchtime and in the local bars (likely Brew Dog) and restaurants after work. We're a 10 minute walk to the station or to the shops of Cabot Circus.
We’re proud to be a British company and our roots in this cosmopolitan city with a long history of technology, run deep. We also have an engineering centre in Oslo, Norway, and offices in London and Palo Alto, US – more coming soon.
What kind of person are you looking for?
We hire world class people, whether they have just graduated or are already at the top of their field - software engineers, AI researchers, chip designers - and we constantly challenge ourselves to produce our best work collaboratively together. We are not just looking for people with experience. We are looking for people with potential. We want people that are good, whoever you are. We want diversity. People we can learn from.
We welcome people of different backgrounds and experiences and are committed to building an inclusive work environment that makes Graphcore a great home for everyone. We are an equal opportunity employer and want to build a work environment where everyone is happy, productive and respectful so they can do their best work.
Sum up what makes Graphcore a 'wonderful workplace'
We believe intelligence is the future of computing. Our team is at the forefront of the machine intelligence revolution, enabling innovators from all industries and sectors to expand human potential with technology. What we do really makes a difference.
Want to build your employer brand? To find out how Wonderful Workplaces can help you showcase your wonderful workplace and attract the right talent, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the Wonderful Workplaces in HR careers hub here to see other companies we have profiled.