Monday November 17, 2014 0 comments
By Steve Porter
DENVER - During Denver Startup Week in September, OneReach Managing Partner Elias Parker and coworkers wore shirts declaring "We're Hiring" on the front (and "'I love working at OneReach' - You, 2015" on the back).
For Parker and OneReach, it was a golden opportunity to spread the word to a large group of tech-savvy DSW attendees about possible employment at the four-year-old cloud communications company.
"We grew about 30 percent this year in terms of size, and half of those people were added that week," Parker said.
Parker doesn't usually wear a shirt advertising OneReach's hiring needs, but he thought it was the right thing to do during Denver Startup Week.
"I think context is everything in that example," he said. "In that environment, there are lots of peers involved in startups or who want to be."
Parker said attracting new employees is not that difficult, but they must be the 'right' people for the team.
"It's certainly not hard for us to find people, but, like any company, it's hard to find great people," he said.
Parker said the typical path for filling out a new company's growing workforce is for the founders and original hires to bring in qualified existing connections. But eventually that pool runs dry.
"There's always a period in a company's growth when you get farther into it and you need more people than your employees can refer," he said.
But mere skills proficiency is not the only criteria many companies consider when making new hires. For companies like OneReach, it's also about finding people who fit into the company's culture.
"Probably the simplest way to describe it is we have a great team of people and everybody gives a sh*t - everybody really wants to be there and focus on what we're accomplishing as a team," he said.
In four-plus years and 30 employees, Parker said OneReach has only had two people leave the company. He credits that to hiring employees who truly want to work at OneReach and who fit into its culture.
"To me, that is majorly significant and why people stay - not because they just needed a job."
Parker said OneReach also looks for people who will make a real contribution to the success of the company.
"It's expected that you weigh in and it's not optional," he said. "What we say here is everybody takes their give-a-sh*t pills -- that there's no excuses and you have to be real."
For Parker and OneReach, finding and hiring the right people is one of the most important things a company can do.
"These are important things to figure out as companies grow," he said. "We put a lot of energy and time in to be sure this person belongs here and that they feel they belong here," he said.
And is all that time and energy worth it?
"It does end up being worth it, because in the end it costs a lot more to get it wrong."