We’ve been thinking about this a lot at Tricension for the last several months because we’re in growth mode. But it’s always a conversation topic, because we’re always looking to hire the best people. Fortunately, we have several excellent search partners who are starting to identify strong candidates and our selection process has been consistently identifying which of them can propel us to ever-increasing levels of productivity and revenue growth.
While no process is ever fool-proof, we have identified characteristics that make our development staff tick and we believe are paramount for any CRM developer.
If I had to choose between one world-class developer with a bad attitude or ten interns who wanted to learn, I’d choose the interns any day. In fact, I’d take one eager intern over the best CRM developer who just wants a paycheck. Programming is hard and clients often challenge us to approach problems in new ways using new methodologies. CRM companies that willingly accept these challenges can expect their revenue to grow and, more importantly, their clients to walk away satisfied. For that, you need people who want to be there and want to get the job done.
2. Culture fit
Of all the characteristics of a great CRM developer, this is the hardest to define. Tricension does things a certain way for reasons both logical and suspect. Some developers will like the Tricension way, some won’t. We want to find those who do.
3. Would I work with this person?
There are people with whom I’d gladly golf, yet would not want to work with, and would not want to work with our clients. All of our CRM developers are expected to deal with clients at some level and so we have to ask ourselves: Were we in the client’s shoes, would we want this person calling us about CRM? If not, they’re not a great fit.
4. Loves to code
Great CRM developers have a diverse range of talents. Tricension has enough musicians to form a band and enough cooks to start a competition BBQ team, but we also want people who write a little code on their own. We want people who know coding and love coding, to make sure our clients get the right CRM solutions. If someone just has to solve a problem through programming outside of work, imagine how good they’ll be problem solving with programming at work.
5. Problem solving
At the end of the day, we need problem solvers — because our CRM clients need problem solvers. Our people may not yet know how to write a third party application to bulk load contacts and associated sales contracts into CRM, but if they have the ability to logically think through the problem, they can learn how, and they’ll be driven to get it done.
What’s missing? Technical experience. From where I’m sitting, I can see two junior developers who were hired with less than six months of programming. Despite the lack of experience, they are contributing to the success of the company because they want to be here, they want to grow and learn, and they want to do their best. Our senior developers are fantastic, too, but the attitudes of our junior developers makes them just as valuable to this company and our clients.