Created by Inc. Studio and commissioned by
Fair is more than a company name. It is a mission statement and a core value. The Fair app allows people to shop for cars by choosing monthly payments they can aford. Customers
sign for the vehicle they want with their fnger
and return it when they wish, without having
to take out a loan or fll out paperwork. Often,
customers can get a Fair car even if they have
less-than-perfect, or even non-existent credit.
As the moniker suggests, Fair strives to do right
by everyone—its customers, its partners, and its employees.
Founder and CEO Scott Painter says Fair is the result of a
career-long crusade to make buying and owning a car better.
His past ventures have all been leading up to this. When he
founded Fair three years ago, he knew he had the necessary
technology and capital. But he also knew that wasn’t enough.
To succeed would take a culture that could attract incredible
people, and retain them, too. So, he brought in Lisa Russell,
co-founder and EVP of People and Culture, to create it.
Together, they built a workplace where people feel valued.
Shepherding a culture
Writing your values on a blackboard is one thing. Bringing them
to life is another. Both vision and execution earned Fair its spot
on the Inc. Best Workplaces list. HR roles often report to the
COO, but from the beginning, Russell has reported to Painter,
which sends a signal: people matter. She takes part in all executive leadership meetings, so she can advise on how every
decision will afect employee well-being.
Russell admits that shepherding a culture is hard, ongoing
work—especially since the company is growing so fast. Fair has
500 employees and ofces in Santa Monica, Calif. and Phoenix,
Ariz. Russell leads a team of 18. When hiring for her group, she
uses the same approach she enacts for the company at large:
she considers cultural ft, not just skills. Fair employees are
smart and high-performing, but, more important, they are kind
and compassionate. They care about the human condition, and
the company mission. To fnd these gems, the People team
uses assessment testing, multiple rounds of interviews, and
instinct—a tool that should not be overlooked. Painter admits
that anytime he has gone against Russell’s advice on a hire,
he has regretted it.
Treat your people well
Fair’s emphasis on transparency also refects its high regard for
its people. It regularly runs Fair Family Lunches, where team
members, including Painter, share freely. He talks openly about
raising capital and says employees often comment on how refreshing they fnd his honesty. Fair’s culture of openness benefts
the business because people feel comfortable giving feedback.
Their honesty helps to improve the technology, operations, and
the culture itself. It also curbs ofce politics.
The people focus has paid of. Fair’s reputation as a great
place to do your best work attracts “amazing humans.” This is
critical, since Fair will double in employee size over the next 12
months. Its 96 percent retention rate is another testament to
the caliber of the workplace it has created.
By valuing its people, Fair has built a culture that is worthy
of its name. And Painter has found his fellow crusaders—
people, like him, who are ready to change the future of car
ownership by making it fairer.
A Santa Monica-based car subscription app, Fair has made culture central
to its mission—from its aggressively transparent company-wide meetings to
regular team-bonding activities like its “blind foursome” lunches.
Fair’s biggest asset is
its brand, and that
starts with its culture