Peter Drucker — otherwise known as the founder of modern management — was certainly correct. The 21st century job market will be dominated by knowledge workers.
Large companies, small business and startups are all looking for software, design and engineering talent. The challenge for these organizations is that demand for these positions continues to surge beyond supply.
The opportunity for these organizations is to create a unique workplace that provides value to both clients and employees.
Grand Rapids-based Elevator Up,
a local design and development firm, is a great example of a small business that is finding success by serving clients and creating an interesting workplace. In 2016, the firm is expected to roughly double its team with the addition of a product manager, UX designers, software developers, and project managers. The company also recently added a 1,300-square-foot office space on the fourth floor of 38 W. Fulton Street to anticipate the growth.
Tori VanDragt, studio manager credits the hiring of Marty Byle, in July 2015 for playing a big role in the firm’s growth. Byle is the first person at Elevator with a sole responsibility for business development, and his work has paid off with multiple new projects and clients.
VanDragt, says keeping up with the growth in a tight job market can be daunting, but Elevator Up continues to find ways to expand and add new staff.
"There is a lot of demand for talent in the technology industry and finding enough qualified candidates has been a challenge,” the studio manager says. “We must get creative with our hiring techniques and in the culture and benefits we offer as a company."
VanDragt says being purposeful in creating an organizational culture is key in finding the right people. She cites the entrepreneurial and collaborative culture at EU, where the team has opportunities to build and launch products internally and where everyone works directly with clients as two important aspects of their culture.
She also cites the firm’s emphasis on community service and engagement as being very a shared value.
"Most of our current employees are very involved in the tech community, from giving talks at local meetups to actually starting and/or running meetups,” she says. “If there is an event that I want to attend during the workday, I don’t have to worry about getting permission, it is already encouraged. We’re given flexibility in our schedule to be a part of this community."
To learn more about Elevator Up, including open positions you can visit their site here.
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor