InterWorks Vision & Roadmap Part 4: The Employee
Do you have what it takes?
I grew up in a small college town and spent most of my life in student housing. Most of my neighborhood friends were international students whose parents were in the country for the sole purpose of a college education and pursuing future opportunity. This gave me the mindset that most people in the world are ambitious, autonomous and self-motivated.
It wasn’t until I started hiring people and consulting for other companies that I started to truly understand that this was not the case.
Over the last 15 years, I’ve met thousands of employees in hundreds of various job roles. I’ve seen employees with only a high school education who are some of the hardest working and most resourceful people out there. I’ve seen upper management with Ivy League MBAs that lack any sort of practical knowledge, passion or talent. It became apparent to me that there are key attributes that determine what makes someone a great fit in our organization.
Although a company requires leadership and direction, a company’s success is driven by the employees. If you get the right people involved, a leader can set the direction and still succeed as the path and environment changes along the way. The vision of the company should be set by the leader, but it is the employees who will convert that vision into a reality.
My childhood and later business experience has shown that not just any team will do. The company must be made up of top level players for each job role, all using their individual talents and strengths to drive toward the goals of the company vision. This understanding led me in an attempt to define what makes the right employee.
It’s Who You Are, Not What You Know
Although we are a tech company, I was surprised to find that the attributes of our best employees had less to do with technical ability and more with core personality. These attributes include:
- Passion – Those who are passionate about their interests will become a master of their craft. We choose to find people whose passions coincide with certain aspects of their job roles.
- Detail – Attention to the details receives a great deal of emphasis at InterWorks. The small things always matter and finding people that understand where the details lie within the big picture is key to our success.
- Resourcefulness – We do not like unneeded structure, process and bureaucracy. By targeting employees who can make the most of their time with minimal direction, we are better equipped to grow organically.
- Service – Everyone at our office deals with clients to some extent, so we want to focus on bringing in those employees that truly care about the service or product we are offering.
- Agility- Technology changes at a rapid pace and we need the ability to quickly assimilate new technologies into our offerings. We expect everyone here to be able to learn with minimal outside assistance and become experts on very short notice.
- Attitude – Negative attitudes can bring an entire organization down, so we look only for those people that can make contributions with the right attitude.
- Work Ethic – Our company culture demands a ‘work hard, play hard’ mindset and this begins with the personality of every individual involved.
Of course we expect some minimum level of technical competence for a respective role, but I’ve found that meeting the above criteria is the tougher portion of finding the right person. With these attributes, the right person can gain the technical skills necessary to be the best. I have found that it does not work the other way.
InterWorks employees are a special breed. Do you have what it takes?