Matchmaking at Interapt: 6 Qualities We Actively Seek in New Employees

At Interapt, we are renowned for fostering creativity, conceptual thinking and innovation. As with any innovation-friendly companies you can think of — Apple or Southwest Airlines or IDEO, for example — we take great care in cultivating our human capital to match our company culture.

We always maintain a careful balance that sustains our family-like environment. In full disclosure, our employees usually start out making below market salaries, but they do so willingly because they see the big picture; they love the way we innovate. We are transparent with our goals and our financials, and we share those with our employees. We are the hive mind all working towards the same goal.

To that end, there are certain traits we always look for in new employees:

1. Hunger. We want employees who are hungry to work here because they tend to make things better. They are giving us their full mindshare. They are dedicated, energetic and innovative. They are always asking themselves, “How can I make this better? How can I improve this process or idea?”

2. Entrepreneurial. At Interapt, you won’t hear our employees saying “That’s not my job,” or “That’s not in my job description.” Here, everything is everyone’s job. We are like a family here, all working toward the same goals. We define an entrepreneurial mindset as that special person willing to do everything from the highly-skilled requirements to chief bottle washer, without complaint or derision.

3. Flexibility. We seek out people who can execute quickly and nimbly. We want people who won’t become frazzled when stressful situations arise. Our team has the flexibility to handle ever-changing directives on the fly. We also encourage people within our organization to try new areas if they are interested in doing so, such as a graphic designer who wants to try out marketing strategy work.

4. Optimists. While our employees need to be realistic, they must see the glass as half full. They must understand that if at first they fail, that’s one less wrong answer in the way of reaching the right answer. The other part of optimism and a generally happy work demeanor is how that builds up the other individuals on the team. Happiness is contagious. We want to make each other better. In the end, that type of collaborative camaraderie helps the innovation process.

5. Tech-savvy. This trait is not required for all of our employees, but our development team needs to own deep PHP programming skills. Ideally, they’ve worked with one of the “Big Five” in the consulting field. We want user experience experts, as well as experts in the social space, mobile space, and cloud solutions space; they must understand building scalable architecture. We deliver for our clients more than we are asked to provide. If a client needs us to scale up for 1,000 users, we’ll create a product that is scalable for 100,000 users. We are ready for the events our clients aren’t even aware yet that are coming on the horizon. We see the horizon for our clients. That’s part of combining the tech-savvy trait with the entrepreneurial vision. When clients give us the work requirements, we’re often the company who asks the questions that no one else is asking. That’s how we land much of our business.

6. Integrity. Even if we don’t win the popularity contest with our clients by being the “yes men,” we would rather turn away the money and tell the emperor he is wearing no clothes. We’ve had clients ask us to develop products in the social space who aren’t thinking ahead as to whether or not it’s even a good idea. We will challenge those assumptions. Perhaps they want a new app for their paying customers that we know already exists for free through Facebook or Google. We always say “no” to these projects. Yes, we can build this for them, but it goes against our integrity. We want out employees to feel the same way.

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