Bee the change you seek
Sure, it’s a puntastic motto for a company who has a beehive as their logo. But for Hivint those five words inform the way they work, the way they treat each other and every single aspect of the organization.
For those not in the know, Hivint is an Australian success story! Oh, and they’re also a consultancy firm specialising in cyber security.
The organization is only a few years old and they’ve already been named Australia’s fastest growing cyber security company by AFR Fast Starters and Deloitte’s Tech Fast 50 lists, and according to Hivint there’s one main reason for their success.
The answer: valuing and prioritizing their people!
“In an industry that is technology centric, we put people first and this is enshrined in our core values putting our clients and staff on an equal top priority at all times.”
“Put plainly, if our staff are happy it is reflected in their work and in turn our customers are happy, hakuna matata, the circle of life. We communicate and listen to our people, we empower them to make decisions and take ownership.”
Hire people who care and want to learn
The Hivint careers page reads: You don’t have to have a degree, lots of certifications, or some magic number of years’ experience, BUT you do have to give a shit to work at Hivint because what we do matters.
It’s a sentiment that is echoed in every facet of the company from their talent acquisition and recruitment to revolutionary initiatives like their development program.
“Number one for us is you’ve got to give a shit - you really have to care,” explains Sarah Oquist, Strategic HR Projects Lead at Hivint.
“Cyber security is a massively evolving industry and to work in it you have to be someone who is prepared to never stop learning. When we hire we look for people who are willing to develop and learn because our industry is moving so fast and there are new risks to master every day.”
New hires are told from the outset that they can expect development in proportion with their input. How much they put in, is how much they can expect to get out of it.
Employees subscribe to the idea that everyone has to be a teacher and everyone has to be a learner, and it's an ideology that has created a community-like vibe within the office where everyone is very open and generous with their knowledge and their time.
Never stop learning: Develop your people!
Cyber security is an incredibly expensive industry to work in, employees require costly certifications and clearances to work in this field. But the upside is that most people working in the industry are hungry to learn and keep learning.
It's a virtue that Hivint not only values, but is seriously committed to nurturing.
To encourage self-learning the organization implemented a development program where every member of staff receives $5,000 and five days off to pursue further education.
What sets Hivint's development program apart from, well, pretty much all other organizations is their lack of limitations. Employees aren't cornered into developing themselves as cyber security worker bees (sorry, couldn't help myself!), they have the freedom to spend the money and time on courses or training that also adds value to their personal lives.
“It’s up to them what they use it for, how they use it and when they use it. For example we’ve had people use it for voice lessons because they’re doing videos for work and want to learn how to project their voice better - but they’re also doing acting on the side in their personal lives. At Hivint we believe in building the whole person – professionally and personally.”
Does it work?
To put it shortly: hell yeah it does!
"Our business is based on people, in fact, it's only our people. Without them we are nothing."
Hivint's unwavering belief in and support of their people has seen them reach their dizzying heights of success without any sales people.
Yes, that's right. No sales people. Not one!
The organization's success is purely the result of their people producing good work - which results in happy clients who share their praises with others.
Treat your employees like adults
If you're wondering how to empower your people to take ownership and build up your organization in the same way that Hivint has, they say it all boils down to one thing.
Stop seeing your employees as a one dimensional number or 'human capital'. See (and value!) the whole person.
To put it simply, in Hivint's own words:
"We treat people like adults and expect them to act like adults."