How Pinterest Partnered with WeWork to Open a Seattle Office in Record Time
72 desks in Denny Triangle
To sustain a period of hyper-growth, Pinterest needed to move into a new market--fast--to attract and retain top talent.
Recruiting top talent in a hyper-growth world
Pinterest, the visual discovery engine, had been headquartered in the Bay Area for five years when they began experiencing an unprecedented rate of growth. In order to sustain that rapid scale, the company needed to recruit top talent in sales and engineering. But San Francisco is a notoriously high-demand market for those roles, so Pinterest’s Head of Workplace, Jen Nguyen, started looking at a new location: Seattle.
“We thought that this would be a great opportunity to explore regions outside of the Bay Area, to accelerate recruiting in the technical roles,” says Nguyen. “And Seattle was going to be that test bed for us.”
“We had a challenge: How do we create a space that fosters both groups and makes them productive and inspired?”
Pinterest is a community-driven platform that prides themselves on inclusivity and diversity--and their workspaces are a reflection of that. The Pinterest headquarters in San Francisco is warm and bubbling with energy. Nguyen knew that in order to recruit and retain top talent, the Seattle space had to feel the same way.
But the forecasted headcount she was planning for was fluid and the talent pools were vastly different. Engineers needed quiet space to focus without distraction. Sales teams needed dynamic spaces to connect and host clients. It was hard to find a solution that could meet both needs.
Space that’s uniquely Pinterest--and uniquely agile
Nguyen partnered with WeWork to design and build a customised, private office tailored to her needs. By leveraging WeWork’s platform, she was able to create a space that reflected Pinterest’s mission and values in a highly sought-after Seattle neighbourhood. The WeWork team even visited the San Francisco headquarters to experience the unique Pinterest “community” Nguyen wanted to replicate.
“We look at WeWork as an extension of our team,” she says. “They get it and they understand our needs.”
Pinterest decided on a private location inside WeWork Denny Triangle, in the heart of Seattle amongst other high-profile companies. Nguyen collaborated with WeWork’s vertically integrated team of workplace strategists, designers, and construction managers to engineer the space for creativity and productivity.
- Prime real estate in a sought-after Seattle location
- Flexible terms and the ability to grow on demand
- Private space and entrance
- Interior design aligned to Pinterest’s brand
- Access to premium amenities and programming
“We look at WeWork as an extension of our team. They get it and they understand our needs.”
Space for a growing team…in record time
Nguyen says she “measures success by how fast the real estate has grown.” When the project began, Nguyen was looking for a five-person office. Within one year, it had grown to 55 people. And now, Pinterest has plans to further expand. What started as a test market has now become a new home.
The build was frictionless and fast. “Typically from procuring real estate to design and construction, it’s about 18 months. We went from 18 months to six months. It was as if magic happened,” Nguyen says.
The half-floor, private office is a dynamic space that can flex as Pinterest expands. By leveraging WeWork’s amenities like bike storage and activation space, Pinterest was also able to maximise their private workspace.
“We went from 18 months to six months. It was as if magic happened. ”
Pinterest’s space is as diverse as their employees; from quiet spaces for focused work, to common areas for hosting events and entertaining clients, there’s a place for everyone.
Pinterest and WeWork are currently partnering on 25 percent of Pinterest’s real estate portfolio across markets like Los Angeles, Detroit, and Berlin, with plans to expand that to 50 percent in the near future.
“I can't imagine moving forward with our real estate without a strategic partner like WeWork.”