Breton Simmons-Krafft




Breton Simmons-Krafft, Director of Talent Management and Diversity, “Using industry-leading standards and best practices turns OppLoans into a place where people can define their own careers.”


As someone who’s still fairly new to OppLoans—I started in February of this year—I sometimes marvel at how many things the company has already done so well when it comes to attracting talent and creating a positive internal culture.

And as a member of the brand-new OppLoans People Team, all that natural talent and success makes me even more excited for the great employee-focused training and programming we have in store. We’re taking things that OppLoans already does well, and turning them into a sustainable, operationalized program for employee success.

In the current business landscape, talent is more fleeting than it has ever been. Top-level hires rarely stay at companies for longer than two years. And in order to attract top talent, it helps to know that. Instead of promising someone that they will be here for a long time, I look at the OppLoans as a place for people to have career-defining moments.

Regardless of how long someone is at OppLoans, the opportunities and the experiences they have here can alter their trajectories for the better and help them move their careers in a positive direction.

I came to OppLoans through our Chief People Officer, Karishma Buford, who I had worked with previously. After spending several years working for a number of different companies in Silicon Valley, I decided to start my own diversity and HR consulting business. Of course, that was the moment when Karishma came through with an invitation to work full-time at OppLoans as Director of Talent Management & Diversity.

The more I looked into OppLoans, the more excited I became about the opportunity to join the team. I saw a company with a real commitment to their customers. I saw a company that had already managed to pull in people that care a great deal about the mission and have insanely good instincts—the kind that, frankly, you just can’t teach.

When you work in this field, you often get brought into companies after they’ve grown extremely fast, they’ve neglected to invest in HR, and now everything is burning down. But in hiring Karishma and myself, OppLoans was being proactive. The company is already doing great—both financially and culturally—and now they want to do even better.

As Director of Talent Management & Diversity, that’s what I’m here to do. And as we build out our People Team, we’re rolling out new initiatives that include in-depth manager training, strengthening our internal pipelines, building a more diverse workforce, career coaching, and partnering with LinkedIn Learning to provide our employees with access to over 13,000 online courses.

Using industry-leading standards and best practices is turning OppLoans into a place where people can define their own careers.

When I look at how I’ve defined my own career, it’s always been about being business-interested. When I raise my hand, it’s never to say, “I deserve more,” but instead “I can do more for the company.”

And the few times that I made a great business case for why I should be doing more and was told no, I left. I gave very honest feedback, too, about how I wasn’t sure that what those people wanted was best for the business or the customer.

At OppLoans, that’s not something I have to worry about. Everyone here is extremely committed to doing what’s best for our customers. Delivering a five-star customer experience is far and away our greatest strength as a company. The more talented hires we make and the more tools we provide to help employees have career-defining moments, the better off our customers will be.