The Character Traits Austin Tech Companies Look for in Candidates
It can seem like companies only want to hire unicorns, at least according to the seemingly endless list of required and “nice to have” skills and experience in many job postings. Don’t get us wrong –– it’s wise to list the foundational skills and experience necessary to do a job. It just shouldn’t be the only thing companies hire for. And luckily it’s not, especially in Austin.
Many Austin tech companies look for character traits you’re more likely to find on a cover letter rather than a resume when recruiting. For example, do you consider yourself a “gritty” person, someone who goes outside of their comfort zone and takes on tough challenges for the good of the team? If so, you’d be a perfect fit at VR company Immersed, whose culture values people who work together to solve tough problems and push the company’s mission forward.
Maybe you’d call yourself “curious” instead. In that case, AdAction would like to see your resume. The mobile app performance marketing company operates a rotational program that helps those early in their careers discover their path. Those who are constantly looking to do what hasn’t been done will find a home at Passage, a company bringing biometric authentication to the masses, a goal that can only be reached with “innovative” thinkers.
Ready to see where your grit, curiosity and innovative mind can take your career? Then continue reading.
What they do: Two Barrels handles the tech, marketing, operations and a whole lot of other functions for its parent company, Registered Agents Inc, which provides registered agent services to business owners.
Their workforce in one word: Resourceful.
We hire people who need to know “what” and “why” and are comfortable working out the “how” for themselves. It involves a lot of willingness to try, even if you get it wrong a few times along the way. Over time we’ve built up a culture of people collectively interested in figuring things out and open to trying a variety of solutions.
The downside of this is ambiguity. There are plenty of people who prefer to have their work laid out for them with clear expectations. In our culture, those types only fit into a few key roles. In general our people are comfortable with ambiguity as long as their efforts are producing results.
Why their industry is so exciting right now: More people than ever are launching their own business, and we help with the foundational steps to make the journey a little easier by guiding them through the regulatory interface at the federal, state and county levels. We help our clients form business entities with their secretary of state, register for tax status with the IRS, manage service of process with registered agent service and offer virtual office, vehicle registrations trademarks and other services to help businesses as they scale.
What they do: Passage’s technology is designed to give developers the ability to quickly and easily replace password-based logins with biometric authentication.
Their workforce in one word: Innovative.
We’re fundamentally rethinking how people log into apps and websites, and that level of technical innovation spills over into everything we do. Whether we’re designing a new user experience, implementing a new microservice or finding ways to share Passage with developers, we’re constantly challenging existing playbooks and looking for ways to change the status quo. I look for teammates who are excited about new trends, ideas and technologies because they’re passionate about forward progress and making tomorrow better than yesterday.
Why their industry is so exciting right now: We’re an identity company making it easy for developers to implement device-based biometric authentication. Identity is one of the most important parts of the internet. As more of our lives are online, it’s critical that people can log into apps and websites simply and securely. Biometric logins advance both of those needs by combining fantastic security with the ease of Face ID, Windows Hello or any other authentication system built into your device. Go to a website, use Touch ID and you’re in. That’s the future of the internet. We’re excited to help make it happen.
What they do: Apty helps companies with digital transformation through its no-code platform that sits on top of software like Workday, Jira and ADP and provides employees training and guidance.
Their workforce in one word: Determined.
Our team is full of sharp, driven and — most importantly — compassionate people who understand why their work matters without discounting the value of having fun while doing it. The team has built an atmosphere where everyone’s voice matters, we are constantly learning from one another and there is unanimous belief in what we are trying to accomplish, all without the feeling of blindly sipping the Kool-Aid.
When considering prospective colleagues, mindset, humility, intellectual curiosity and grit outweigh bullet points on a resume. We are building something special and want to invest in people with high potential and the hunger to succeed. While the entire organization believes in our product, the true competitive differentiator that will lead to Apty’s success is its people.
Why their industry is so exciting right now: We solve a very large, complex, expensive and growing problem for companies in a simple and logical way. The exciting part is the total addressable market for digital adoption is already in the tens of billions with only a single-digit fraction of the market penetrated. Digital transformation has been an incredible challenge over the last few years, and we’ve tapped into the reality that for companies to succeed in transforming, they need a better way to support and drive their people to succeed in making it happen.
Apty makes sure employees are successful in quickly learning and using the technology required to do their jobs correctly, every time. Technology training will soon be a thing of the past. Apty’s digital adoption platform is the future.
What they do: Studio X is a Shell-backed innovation studio where technologists, scientists and entrepreneurs develop new products and tools for the energy exploration industry.
Their workforce in one word: Egoless.
Right now we are building three products within a startup as part of a larger goal to accelerate the pace of innovation within the energy industry. Having no ego allows all of us to work together on extremely challenging goals. This trait is key for those looking to join the company. At Studio X, our culture inspires each of us to give 110 percent every day. Together with our other values, we are able to innovate and thrive in a fast-paced high-growth environment.
Why their industry is so exciting right now: The energy industry is an exciting place to work because there is so much to discover and many areas where we can innovate, and Studio X is accelerating the pace of innovation. Whether it’s developing algorithms, providing remote resources so geologists can work anywhere in the world or accelerating startups with innovative ideas, there’s no better time to be in the industry. As one of the first employees, I find the work extremely rewarding.
What they do: QuotaPath gives sellers more time to sell through its automated commission tracking platform, which is used to create compensation plans and forecast earnings.
Their workforce in one word: Curious.
Everyone at QuotaPath is interested in the “why,” which I love! Being around so many passionate people who always want to know more creates such a rich, exciting environment to work in. It’s not just in engineering, either. Our monthly “Bite & Bytes” invite the entire company to learn about different areas of the business and what they’re working on. Our most recent event featured our director of demand generation and revops manager, who offered an inside look into our sales funnel process. They are always so informative and engaging.
What professional development looks like at QuotaPath: I’ve grown in two ways. First, I’ve grown technically thanks to working with so many brilliant engineers who thoughtfully consider new technologies and if/how we should implement them. The second is having a broader understanding of and appreciation for the unique challenges that a startup faces. Being part of a company and watching it grow from 10 to 50-plus has been incredibly exciting. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
What they do: Businesses use Gotransverse’s cloud-based billing platform to offer their services and products on a subscription basis.
Their workforce in one word: Authentic.
Since joining Gotransverse one year ago, I have learned that authenticity is core to the company’s culture. I am fortunate to work with genuine, dedicated and passionate people — real people who add value daily and want to help our customers. This authenticity builds trust between teams, trust with our customers and trust with leadership, all of which makes Gotransverse a great place to work. There is something intrinsically valuable in a company that has distinguished itself through the authentic team it has created.
Why their industry is so exciting right now: SaaS billing is flourishing and has become more than just a billing solution to customers. Gotransverse is helping elevate the industry standard. For example, Gotransverse provides cloud-based software that enables companies to operate a subscription business model, including rolling out usage-based pricing and monetization on a massive scale. We offer an intelligent billing and subscription management platform that automates the subscription order-to-cash process, including billing, rating and revenue recognition, enabling companies to go to market quickly.
Product is core to the company, which makes working in product at Gotransverse that much more exciting. We are constantly learning from our customers, iterating and evolving the platform to help them grow and succeed.
What they do: Companies in the automotive, energy, software and many other industries use MVF’s data-driven customer generation platform to find new customers and launch in new markets.
Their workforce in one word: Supportive.
From day one, everyone on the sales team has gone out of their way to help me, whether it’s joining calls, providing feedback on proposals or collaborating on tips and tricks. Our team is set up in a way that if one person brings on a great new account, it lifts up the rest of the group. It feels very much like a team effort rather than competing against one another.
What professional development looks like at MVF: During my time at MVF I have grown as a salesperson through the opportunity to sell into a wide variety of industries. My portfolio spans from medical devices to business software. This has exposed me to a wide range of situations that have helped me grow on a regular basis.
What they do: 2K is a gaming company known for the NBA 2K, Borderlands and WWE series, among many others.
Their workforce in one word: Dynamic.
Gaming is a fast-paced and challenging environment, and in order to survive, one must be dynamic. It’s great to be surrounded by colleagues who manage to keep a positive attitude in a constantly changing environment. I look for colleagues who are courageous, willing to take risks, speak up, learn and make mistakes. I also like to work with people who are entrepreneurial, able to see the bigger picture and can make good business decisions. Working with someone who is reliable, dependable and who I can trust the job will get done is important, too. Being adaptable and able to adjust to change is also necessary, as is being curious and eager to learn and level up.
Why their industry is so exciting right now: At 2K, I’m immersed in gaming and get to be a part of exciting and challenging projects. Every day is a privilege because I get to engage, learn, help teams and am part of producing amazing titles. It’s a great industry to be a part of because it challenges you and keeps you on your toes.
My experience at 2K is similar to the gamer’s experience. You enter new worlds, or meet people from various cross-functional teams and studios; collect tools, as in learn new software and strategies; get defeated; connect with other players; learn new skills, like how to leverage various 2K technology, systems, and processes; gain rewards, which come in the form of swag and game credit mentions; and level up.
What they do: FLASH is building parking infrastructure for future of mobility, with technology that connects the entire ecosystem’s supply of parking assets with the demand of users.
Their workforce in one word: Curious.
My colleagues are always challenging the status quo and continually pushing boundaries. It is always good to challenge why we are doing what we are doing and have a general curiosity about how to make things better.
What professional development looks like at FLASH: My skill set has grown because I have become more ambitious and curious and continue to challenge the status quo. This has helped me push my own boundaries, and I always strive to be better and become better at what I am doing. Also, there is a strong emphasis on teamwork. The way we work in teams has helped us do things that I normally would not have done.
What they do: SailPoint uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate and manage employee access to data and applications.
Their workforce in one word: Not only does everyone on our team get along very well, but we share responsibility to reach our objectives! While this mutual cooperation is evident in the high-quality outcomes of the team’s work, I find our willingness to help each other improve to be the most extraordinary and beneficial element that strengthens our cohesion and success. The SailPoint crew wants to deliver the highest-quality product to our customers. This means understanding how customers use our product now, how they hope to use it in the future and ensuring they have reliable access to SailPoint’s capabilities.
These challenges excite our team, and my colleagues are always willing to set aside time to brainstorm new ideas and mentor each other on new techniques and technologies. The team’s openness to collaborate and trust in each other’s support is the foundation of our positive work environment.
What professional development looks like at SailPoint: Over my last year at SailPoint I have had the opportunity to work with many talented people who take pride in their work and have an exciting vision for the future. In my first weeks at SailPoint, I was immediately given the freedom and trust to build my team and champion them to success. Easily, the most satisfying part of my job is seeing an employee grow their career or succeed at one of their projects.
Through each step of this journey, SailPoint has offered mentorship that has drastically increased my leadership and organizational skills. Someone was always available to answer a question or offer a new perspective. Coming from environments where asking for advice was seen as a nuisance at best and failure at worst, SailPoint’s culture gave me the tools to accelerate my skill acquisition and career growth.
What they do: Immersed is a virtual reality company whose technology is designed to enable remote employees to work more efficiently and collaboratively.
Their workforce in one word: Gritty.
Our team is mission-focused and family oriented, two things that aren’t mutually exclusive here. Everyone in the company has a founder mentality: No problem is someone else’s problem and we work together for the common good of the company and mission. We genuinely feel we are uniquely positioned to change the way people “go to work” and supplement human interactions and experiences.
At Immersed, we hire for character, then aptitude and then skill set. We preach internally that we value people over product, always. It makes no sense devaluing people to create a product when the product was intended for people in the first place. In keeping with this standard, we do not compromise on high-character individuals for the sake of skills. We also intend on hiring lifelong learners, which is why our second point in hiring is for people with high aptitudes. After these two points, we then begin to hire for raw skill and ability.
Why their industry is so exciting right now: There isn’t another industry with the awareness and attention that Web3, or Metaverse, is currently receiving. The brightest minds are continually flocking to this space, so much so that even Facebook rebranded to reflect the future growth and evolution of the internet. Immersed is uniquely positioned in the sense that there is no other application or use case that puts people in the interactive virtual world for 40 hours a week.
We also stand apart because we are not just a game. We are a real-world application that provides a better working experience for anyone who uses a laptop. The opportunities from this launching point are massive. Our product is also a solution for those who are not interested in the virtual world. As soon as augmented reality glasses become mainstream we’ll be the premier software for all things work-related.
What they do: iOS and Android app developers use AdAction’s performance marketing platform to acquire more users and downloads.
Their workforce in one word: Curious.
I didn’t know much about the industry when I started at AdAction in 2016, but I’ve always been curious and I’ve found the same to be true about my colleagues. AdAction has doubled in size since the pandemic began and shifted to a virtual environment.
At AdAction, we embrace new team members from all walks of life and their unique perspectives. My biggest tip to all new hires is to ask as many questions as possible and above all, be curious. It’s the best way to not only learn about the company but also to build relationships that otherwise can be difficult in a virtual world.
What professional development looks like at AdAction: I’ve had the luxury of working with nearly every department, which has allowed me to spread my wings and learn where I thrive. I feel like I can truly call myself an industry expert from all the different lenses I’ve been able to look through. Leadership embraces the importance of exposing employees to different channels, especially early in their careers. AdAction established a rotational program that lets new employees rotate between departments before defining what they want to accomplish in their career and add to their skill set. Alumnus of this program have grown into some of our leaders today.
What they do: Luxury Presence enables real estate agents to up their game online through a suite of products and services, including website design, content marketing tools and SEO optimization.
Their workforce in one word: Collaborative.
LP consists of highly-skilled individuals with various backgrounds and stories from all parts of the world. Each team member brings a unique, signature expertise to the table and has numerous opportunities to exercise it. We foster an environment built on regular asynchronous correspondence and recognition of our strengths and accomplishments. Everyone works to maintain complete, untethered access to virtually every department. It’s like a virtual open-floor plan with all of the upside and none of the downside.
The beauty of our collaborative culture is that it’s front and center from the first moment you walk through our virtual doors. A common and recurring point of feedback from new hires is that everyone around is supportive. The Luxury Presence team has done a terrific job fostering a collaborative culture, and the results speak for themselves through the many talented team members I have the pleasure of working with daily.
Why their industry is so exciting right now: To become the No. 1 real estate resource for their clients, agents need technology now more than ever. Agents who partner with technology to enhance their brand, fill their pipeline and automate their follow-up can shift their focus toward what matters most: cultivating personal relationships and having more meaningful conversations that lead to transactions.
Luxury Presence offers best-in-class designs and robust tools that give agents their time back and help them grow their businesses. For those with a creative, forward-thinking mind, the opportunities in this space are endless. It is incredibly fulfilling to be part of a winning team that continues to innovate on solutions to elevate the agent and ultimately help them transform their clients’ dreams into a reality.
What they do: Restore Hyper Wellness offers a variety of health treatments — including red light saunas, IV drip therapy and intramuscular shots — at its retail locations across the country.
Their workforce in one word: Grit.
Grit is what you must have at a company like Restore. Things are changing constantly with the rapid growth we’re experiencing, and you need to have the ability to grind it out when times are hard and always be willing to adapt. Those who don’t have the grit to persevere when things are tough get lost in the shuffle and will not stand out from the rest of the team. There is opportunity all over the place here. Identify something you know the company needs, take the initiative, become the expert in that area and you will succeed!
What professional development looks like at Restore Hyper Wellness.
Since joining Restore one-and-a-half years ago, my skill set and career have grown quite a bit. I came in to revamp and set up structure for our paid social and paid search operations. I started with two direct reports, am currently at five and will be adding another three team members before the end of Q2 2022. After a few short months, I took over our website operations. Now, I have oversight on all demand generation.
Due to the rapid growth of Restore — we’ve opened more than 70 new stores in less than two years — I have further developed my skill set in digital marketing, paid media, website analytics and more. When you join a company poised for rapid growth, you will always have the opportunity to further your career, especially if you’re proactive, fix things that are broken and just get stuff done!
What they do: LegalZoom offers a variety of business and personal legal services along with virtual consultations with lawyers.
Their workforce in one word: Resilient.
We tackle new challenges often with fresh, creative solutions. We rely on each other for help and are quick to jump at opportunities to assist one another, whether it’s learning something new or seeking guidance on whether we’re going down the right path. I tend to look for the same qualities when searching for potential colleagues. It’s unrealistic to expect that a candidate has used all the technologies we use at LegalZoom, so the ability and desire to learn and grow is what I look for.
Why their industry is so exciting right now: LegalZoom’s mission is to democratize law, with one of our goals being to bring affordable legal services to the public. With more people ditching their 9 to 5 and choosing entrepreneurship, LegalZoom is in a position to help people start new businesses. On the tech side, we always look for opportunities to use newer technologies to improve our processes and solve problems. We’re given the power to voice our opinions and give everyone’s thoughts a chance to be heard. We value different perspectives when making architectural and product decisions.