People often ask me what we look for in candidates at COE. How do we know that Sam will be a better employee than Vanessa when they have the same technical background? What distinguishes an “A+” candidate from a “B” candidate? With NYC’s Silicon Alley attracting a lot of top technical talent, there is an abundance of candidates who can do the job (on paper). To narrow the field, there are six key traits we look for in future COE employees. It’s these values that separate us from other software services and development companies.
Employees who are passionate about what they do and their company tend to stay longer and are dedicated to producing great work. I often see many candidates who have the technical ability for a role but don’t seem too enthusiastic about what they do. In essence, they’re just looking for a job, not a career. At COE, we aim to help develop our employees’ careers and build strong, lasting relationships.
When asked how to determine if a candidate is really passionate or just trying to get “a job,” I immediately think of some of our software developers. These individuals didn’t necessarily start out their careers in development. They may have been in finance or music or design, but always had an interest in computers and development on the side. They enjoyed developing so much that they decided to focus on it as a career. Their GitHub pages don’t just show projects they have worked on in school or development boot camps, but also stuff they are passionate about and work on in their spare time.
Collaboration is probably the word most often used around COE. You often seen our employees huddled around each other’s desk working on solving challenges. On a daily basis, an employee working with one client might walk over to their colleague working with another client to ask for help on how they solved a similar project. And it’s not just integration analysts working with one other, many of our employees collaborate across departments (see any of our “Day in the Life” blog posts for more on that).
We feel this free flow of ideas is what drives success for our organization. Our internal Sharepoint also shows off our collaborative approach. It houses many documents that our consultants have created to help their colleagues. You can find a summary of a project completed by an employee’s peer that might be similar to the one they are working on at the current time. These guidelines and principles can help the employee produce a higher quality solution for the client.
Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” We encourage our employees to think outside the box and discuss their ideas and visions openly. On a daily basis our business is positively impacted by ideas our employees share with management. For example, a consultant might have a quicker, more effective solution to a client’s problem than had been used in the past. Or a software developer may have a new, innovative approach to a project that turns out to be the best option. Whatever the situation, we foster a culture that promotes an enthusiastic, entrepreneurial spirit with all of our employees.
COE employees are taught to value themselves, their colleagues, and clients. Best practices are always enforced and honesty is always the best policy. We look for candidates who prioritize the company’s goals and will always work toward the betterment of themselves and the firm. There are many times where doing the right or ethical thing can be challenging to our employees, especially when working with clients. Our managers encourage their teams to openly discuss any challenges that might come up and work together to come up with the best approaches.
In any aspect of business an unexpected situation might occur. At COE, this could be at a client site or even in the office when a server unexpectedly goes down. In a professional environment, being able to adapt to any situation (both bad and good) is crucial to success. Some clear examples of adaptability are when our consultants are asked to move from one project to another unexpectedly. This could occur because a colleague is sick or a client is demanding more than anticipated and extra help is needed. Seeing our team rise to these occasions and support their colleagues adds to our positive corporate culture. Sometimes even stepping into a situation for 10-15 minutes might make all the difference when it comes to the success of a project.
6. Excellent Communicator
Being able to communicate effectively and succinctly with peers as well as clients is so important in the workplace. Employees in today’s digital age face the challenges of sending and receiving messages in person, via phone, email, text message, and social media. We are constantly communicating via email or in person so it’s important to make sure we’re doing so effectively and with good grammar. It is easy to run through spelling and grammar check before shooting out that note to a CTO. When interviewing, eye contact and listening skills are also critical and showing off those abilities will give you the best chance for success when working one-on-one with a client on-site.
Our people are the foundation of our success here. We’ve learned over the years that if you possess the traits we listed above, you’ll fit right into our spirited and vibrant culture. And we’re always looking to add new initiatives that we encourage our employees to participate in—like wellness and self-care. COE is an exciting and fun place to work because our employees share these traits and work together towards making our company a first-class organization.
Interested in joining our team? Click here to check out the latest job openings and apply today.