August 18, 2016

What makes great?

By: Victoria Maitland, Human Resources

At Comrade we value trusted relationships and doing high-quality work that transforms our clients’ businesses.  Our clients often express their appreciation of these values when they work with us. But what actually enables us to live these values? The answer is simple: our people.

We make great things happen by hiring comrades who share a common vision and values. We’ve found that this means looking for qualities that aren’t necessarily easy to scan for on a resume. It’s all about getting to the heart of who a candidate really is, not just what kind of work he or she has done in the past.

the #1 quality we look for in a potential comrade is passion.

For a company that has built a reputation on our depth of experience in financial services, technology and other industries, it may seem counterintuitive to hear us say that the #1 quality we look for in a potential comrade is passion.

To us this means the best people aren’t necessarily the ones with the “blue chip” resumes who went to the top colleges and have the perfect skills or work experience listed on their applications. We’ve learned that being the best takes passion – which is very difficult to quantify. Passionate people continue to push themselves to do the best work, they sweat the small stuff, and they are driven to both seek out and help solve the tough problems.

We believe that passionate people—the ones with fire in the belly—pick up expertise much more quickly than those with just the right match of skills. This doesn’t mean those we hire aren’t highly skilled at what they do, rather it speaks to how much we value passion as a leading indicator of success.

So how do we screen for passion? Here are a few things we look for:

  • Creativity: What gets you going—besides work—says a lot about who you are. We’re always keen to hear about the things you love to do. Our comrades are SCUBA divers, knitters, record label owners, kite boarders, bluegrass musicians, chefs, serial travelers and bona fide wine aficionados. So when someone sits down to talk with us, we always ask, “What do you like to do outside of work?”
  • Curiosity: Members of the Comrade team love to learn. When we ask, “So how did you go about acquiring that skill?” that is when we hear about someone’s drive and willingness to learn something new.
  • Motivation: We care about what drives people. What are they passionate about? Are they motivated by innovation? Are they intellectually curious? Do they know themselves—their strengths and their challenges?

At the end of the day, it’s about putting the passion into action.

We’re passionate about empowering people to be their best selves.

As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Learning never exhausts the mind.” Someone who loves to learn about our clients, empathizes with their customers, and puts their heart into creating experiences that transform their businesses – that is a true comrade. And our approach to HR reflects that. We’re not just looking for people to do a job. That’s why we go beyond the basic keyword filter to find people who want to be part of something special.

We’re passionate about empowering people to be their best selves. But they have to want it. They need to be hungry to learn, thirsty to grow and committed to giving their best.

That’s what makes great.  That’s what makes a comrade.