SmartRecruiters Blog

VIPs Recharge at the Battery

Unplugged from their first day at Hiring Success 18, our VIP list repaired to SF’s hippest rooftop social club, where the Bay’s elite gather to relax, imbibe, and sip in the views.

As the spring day’s last rays of light flickered over the hills surrounding San Francisco Bay, SmartRecruiters ushered Hiring Success 18’s top analysts, influencers, and CEOs to an invite-only rooftop bar to network, mingle, and tempt the wills of the conference hangover fates.

Reluctant to embrace the term ‘exclusive’, this is a club that would rather be known as a curated community, where a spectrum of backgrounds and generations are represented, in the spirit of true west coast meritocracy, of course.

“A private club can be the city’s replacement for the village pub,”  says Michael Birch, who founded the Battery in 2012 with his wife, Xochi. “It’s a place where you do, over time, get to know everyone and have a sense of emotional belonging… It’s not about being snooty.”

The power couple have founded several tech startups, including the social app Bebo, which, when it was sold in 2008 to AOL, was bigger than Facebook in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand. Now, from the bustle of the Bay Area’s core, Michael and Xochi are working to create the best IRL social network they can. With a level of disposable income only the Cooks or Zuckerbergs of the city could scoff at, The Birches wanted to bring together SF’s compartmentalized social scenes, and get back to the “pub family” they formed in their London days attending Imperial College and London University respectively – but commensurately upscaled to work in the Business District.

The Battery avoids the hoity-toity one would expect from buttoned-down social clubs in New York or London, with quirky touches like a library filled with books with custom covers emblazoned with the names of the members who recommended them, that makes even a skeptical outsider feel at ease about showing up for a fancy work event.

This sleek bar perched amongst some of the most coveted real estate in the world, was made homey by the palpable comradery of the assembled guests. The CEO of  Upwork, Stephane Kasriel set the tone for the evening with a heartfelt toast welcoming everyone to Hiring Success.

Kaya Payseno