INNOVATION IN STAFFING: HOW TO BUILD A
RESILIENT COMPANY Sarah Mitchell
You would expect a woman like Alison Atkins to embrace innovation. The geologist turned computer programmer has spent her entire career surrounded by smart people and big ideas. But it’s not software, productivity or yields that get Atkins excited. If you want to see her face light up,talk about building a resilient company. “People talk about innovation as being purely around technology. For me, innovation is any change you can make that pivots things for the best,” she says. Atkins is Director of Operations at acQuire Technology Solutions, an international software company specialising in Geoscientific Information Management (GIM) products and services. Originating in Perth, Western Australia, acQuire currently employs 120 staff working in seven offices around the globe, with support centres operating in each major time zone.
INNOVATION IN HIRING After more than 16 years at acQuire, Atkins knows integrity, respect and trust foster business innovation. The employee-owned company dedicates considerable time and resources to hiring employees with skills to work in a complex technical environment. 12 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016
Finding people with the right cultural fit to become part of the close-knit team is just as important. That means recruiting people with the same core philosophies.
“When you’ve got the right culture and everyone has a core vision, it’s easier to work towards a common goal,” says Atkins.
It also means the hiring process can be lengthy. Once a person with the right skills is identified, they’re shortlisted and interviewed much like any other company. If they’re identified as a professional fit for a specific role, they go through a cultural interview. “We want to know if they align with our values and we align with theirs,” says Atkins. “Brutal honesty is one of our values and everyone is encouraged to voice their opinions.”
“That can be quite confronting if you don’t understand how transparent we are as an