Dan Theirl is the Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Rubikloud Technologies based in Toronto, ON. With over 12 years of industry experience, he has helped hundreds of e-commerce stores succeed through online marketing services and products geared toward improving conversion and revenue.
As someone who has been a part of the tech and e-commerce industry for over 10 years, I have witnessed successful companies and not-so-successful companies ride the wave of growth. The information age is still in its early stages, disrupting, changing and impacting almost every industry and human being on this planet. The one thing I've found that sets apart companies riding the next wave of growth is who they hire and the culture they nurture.
As the Co-Founder and CPO at Rubikloud, I have been present for every single hire we have had. I have watched the company grow from three to over 30 people. Although every company culture is different, there are always a few key factors that we considered when hiring for the most successful candidate. It's a competitive industry to break into, but equally competitive to hire for. But building a solid foundation of engaged, ambitious and intelligent employees is key to long-term success in the information age. The next time you need to make a hire, look for these three key attributes in your candidates. Similarly, you should also always be building these attributes in your current team.
It is no secret that technology is always changing, so being intellectually curious is the most important thing you can do to be successful in tech. Your employees need to constantly learn more about what they're doing, the newest technology and the latest method. Encourage them to take courses and engage in meet-ups/groups in order to avoid complacency. Early on in my career, I saw the value in teaching myself to code. I felt enhancing my technical skills would make me better equipped for every aspect of my job. Many times since then, I have proven myself invaluable within an organization because I could talk to both sides and truly understand what was going on from a business and tech perspective. You can simply never stop learning. Adaptability could be the reason you are considered for promotion over a coworker. As a business owner, you must seek out these individuals who are engaged and ready to learn new skills quickly.
Adapting readily and easily is one of the hardest but most important attributes to embody in this ever-changing industry. The ability to go with the flow and change gears while in the middle of executing plans is a skill that's hard to come by in most employees. A startup really doesn't settle down into specific and predictable roles until much later, when profitability becomes the focus or even after a company's IPO. For us, a front-end engineer working on building designs could be asked to process and analyze data the next week. Client and product priorities constantly shift throughout the process of building a company, so employees need to adapt as your company grows. In fact, adaptability gives startups their natural competitive advantage.
Intellectual curiosity and adaptability go hand-in-hand with effectively planning ahead. Foresight is an especially valuable tool in business in an environment that is changing so quickly. From a technical perspective, engineers need to learn and foresee changes in new programming languages and open source tools. Digital marketers need to foresee where the industry is headed in order to reach their target market. Product managers need to see much further ahead to guide the product in the right direction, listening to the internal team, clients, prospects and external stakeholders. Great employees continue to develop new skills that they believe the company will need in the future. One great example of planning ahead from my experience is when our CTO decided to proactively learn Mandarin after work even though it was not a direct requirement for his position. A year later, it's proving to be a useful skill communicating with our clients on technical implementations.
Although there are many other great attributes that high-quality employees exhibit, these are the top three attributes that have contributed to our success at Rubikloud.