Over the last 25+ years I have worked with some amazingly talented people at some of Australia’s largest Finance, Software and Insurance companies, in roles spanning C-level management, go-to-market strategy, planning and senior Corporate Leadership. I completed an MBA in 2013 whilst simultaneously launching two businesses and raising 3 gorgeous children. Over the past 8 years, I have been been recognised as an Entrepreneur and Disruptor, and for the high-growth success of Digivizer. But alongside celebrating my own wins, I've always tried to give back to others looking to launch and build their own businesses.
Today, Digivizer is now a 55+ person business with an established presence in 14 countries. We provide creative services and technology to Global brands like Microsoft, Lenovo, Intel, Google, Optus, Bethesda as well as a number of Australian fast growth companies.
I put the success of Digivizer down to the talent we’ve hired and the culture we have built. As a smaller, lesser known company, or start-up, you need to find creative ways to attract, engage, motivate and reward especially when you are competing for talent against big name corporations and established brands, with attractive salaries and big budgets.
This has been a core focus of mine at Digivizer. We’ve spent significant time working on our hiring strategies, recruiting for the very best talent and finding ways to appeal to them. Over the years, my experience has helped me narrow down to the top five key skills or traits we look for. All 5 need to be met or we keep looking. These are:
Small businesses and startups often attract the smartest people in the market because they offer opportunities to make a real difference from Day One and for the most part, smart people are hungry to make a change. To do things never attempted or delivered before in newer, more flexible ways we ever thought possible. It will take work to keep these people however – it means understanding everyone as a unique individual, having a clearly-articulated vision for the company, having well-defined opportunities to contribute, to share success, and to reward when the big prize is won (and with smaller prizes along the way). You can have the world’s smartest person, but they must also have the agility to be able to handle anything that is thrown to them.
I’ve learnt to look beyond technical skills in the search for new talent, delving a little deeper and looking for offline experience, attitude, and personal and behavioural attributes like entrepreneurial spirit, preparedness to embrace uncertainty, and being prepared to commit to a cause and creatively problem-solve. Vision, and that ‘elusive great idea’, might provide the spark, but the fire that follows will only be kept alight by talented people doing clever things, who are prepared to collaborate with other talented people. By looking for those people, we have ended up with a team of men and women, young and old at Digivizer, from diverse ethnic backgrounds - from China to Sri Lanka, India to New Zealand. I’ve realized that meaningful diversity comes from opportunity, and from hiring the best-possible skills that we can, from wherever we can. True diversity has been integral to the success of Digivizer. And talent is the raw element that leverages all that diversity towards the vision we as a company aspire for.
We regularly poll our team on what they value, and consistently one of the strongest values is our desire and ability to be Infinite Learners. The biggest value you can offer your talent is better than a “MBA every day”. We involve our team in setting development goals and expose them into inputting into strategy, planning, pricing, even our values (and our recruitment strategy) - all the key decisions! The more they feel they can influence change and do things better, the greater the learning mindset and ability to pivot fast.
Business success is about actually getting things done. At every level of the business, it is important to develop a meaningful plan with key measures of success. Then, this needs to be translated into actions and specific, measurable, deliverables. You need to measure all that you do and refine on the way. I love Eisenhower’s quote on planning:
"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."
However it is more critical to measure and reward outcome and what gets done, rather than effort and intent. This is an important distinction that also allows us to support flexibility - we’re focussed entirely on the right thing being delivered (not where or how people work to get there).
Pretty self-explanatory I’m sure! We have no room for ego, rudeness or disrespect. Our team will call people out if they see poor behaviour and we continuously find ways to ensure maximum sharing, collaboration, integration, x-project management to keep our organisation as flat as we can.
For businesses looking to attract top talent in the future of work, hiring should start with these top 5 traits and characteristics. At Digivizer, our values are crafted by our employees themselves. They are non-negotiable, focusing on “one team, one dream”, truth and transparency, responsibility, courage and growth. We ensure everyone is clear about our vision, our objectives, our values, our success measures and that we care mostly about our customers success. We then continually check on progress with everyone. Nothing beats survey data around employee engagement, performance, and satisfaction and how well we live our values, to ensure we get this part of our business right and the best it can be. Our leadership mantra is simple - grow people and you grow business. Spending time understanding and providing challenges for people, is the surest way to deliver growth.
The talent pool of Weployees are pre-screened for all the soft skills mentioned above, and are ready to hit the ground running to help grow your business too.
When there is extra paperwork to get through in the run up to the End of Financial Year and the finance team is lean, it can be a struggle to manage the BAU and keep the business ticking over. Calling in a contingent staff member via Weploy is a great way to support your Full-Time staff.
TONY: What does the future of work mean to you?
RUBY: The future of work basically comes down to freedom of choice and flexibility. It’s actually this whole new unlocked generation where people should feel free to set up their working lives to suit them. I think it rolls into the gig economy, being able to represent different employer brands, and it being actually quite normal. It gives us, as individuals, freedom of choice in how we want to work and who we want to work for.
Sitting on the panel at the Hubspot GROW event, I was posed a question that made me stop and think...