What Do We look For in Applicants? E.S.P.C

I love E.S.P.N….E.S.P.C.!

Three things I look for when vetting applicants, regardless of role.

During the past 12 months, my team and I have been involved in hiring over 120 people here at SessionM – Software Engineers, Project Managers, Sales Executives, Accountants, Customer Success Managers, Interns, local staff, remote employees, international hires… you name it! And while each role comes with a core set of domain or functional skill requirements, there are three attributes I look for in every candidate, no matter the profile I am recruiting for:

1. E.S. for “Entrepreneurial Spirit”

“Working for a rapidly scaling tech venture is amazing and the speed of growth is incredible, but it can feel a little bit like crawling through broken glass sometimes,” said one of the executives when I first interviewed at SessionM, with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. I immediately thought to myself, “I want in. Tell me more!” 

With a growing list of large global customers, several international offices, and well above 200 team members, we can hardly be called a ‘start-up’, but the general vibe around the office, how we operate, and the type of challenges we are trying to solve are all definitely start-up-like! 

Having a healthy dose of entrepreneurial spirit and wanting to work in a fast-paced, rapidly growing environment that’s sometimes a bit unstructured, and, at times, even slightly messy, is critical! In fact, if you have done this before, and loved it, you’ve got my attention! 

2. P for “Positivity”

During our recent search for a new member of our IT team, I met with Jason Luce, our SVP of Engineering, to discuss our ideal candidate profile. Jason said, “I want someone that solves problems enthusiastically and when they hear, ‘Hey, the printer just broke,’ they say,  ‘I’ll help fix it and how can we avoid this happening unnecessarily in the future” I love that description and mindset! 

Positivity matters. A lot! That doesn’t mean we smile every time a problem comes up or don’t get frustrated when setbacks occur, but it makes all the difference to meet challenges with a ‘We’ve got this’ or ‘We’ll figure this out’ mindset. 

Growing a business is hard, and it means that every so often we’ll need to take a few steps backward on our journey to the top, but a positive, can-do attitude gives you wings – and makes work so much more fun!

3. C for “Communication”

This is a big one! And I don’t mean necessarily how well someone communicates, if they speak with an accent (our staff consists of 15+ nationalities), what they sound like, or if they prefer to communicate in-person versus over the phone or digitally. What is critical to me is that we find applicants that love, or want to, communicate with team members, other groups, customers, and leadership. We need team members who aren’t afraid to engage with the people around them, and who enjoy the process of collaborating and working through solutions together. (If you are an introvert, no worries – I am one, too! We provide plenty of channels to communicate and speak up!). 

A good analogy is the relationship between two Alpine climbers trying to scale a wall together. The tandem may not say all that much, but they do communicate – often, and extremely effectively. Having their eyes firmly set on the top of the wall, they discuss route variations, consider each other’s strengths and weaknesses, come up with a plan, and then they go for it! If they run into any unforeseen obstacles, they talk through their options – and then keep moving. Upwards!

As a team, we are on an amazing journey. A journey that involves lots of challenges, occasional setbacks, and huge opportunities. If we communicate, engage with each other, and work as a team, I know we’ll ultimately be able to scale that wall successfully!

So…if you appreciate communicating, have a positive mindset, and are excited about entrepreneurship, please head over to our careers page and see what roles we may have open that could align well with your future goals! I am looking forward to hearing from you!