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Jump on this huge project, and figure it out. How we hire, and what we teach our new recruits.

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Jump on this huge project, and figure it out. How we hire, and what we teach our new recruits.

Written by Jonathan Lambert on

Workhabit understands that extraordinary results first and foremost require hiring exclusively for exceptional personal character, for this is the one thing that cannot easily be changed. We seek to work for clients who hold themselves to an equivalent personal standard. We have found some of the most astounding people through this work, and it's what keeps us from running off and building another funded startup (done it, grass is greener). We make mistakes, but we admit them.

The speech I give everyone is this, "First, tell the truth to yourself about yourself. Then tell the truth about others to yourself. Then tell the truth about yourself to others. And finally, if you can, tell the truth to others about themselves." It is completely true that I have made my share of mistakes as a leader and entrepreneur. But it's in admitting them, and apologizing where appropriate and acting otherwise as I have to, that the company is formed.

We pride ourselves in our work. In fact, the focus is always on the work. This is how you avoid manipulation and consumption by the body politic. In fact, we drill into our newcomers that the work is done with craftsmanship, not quality. Quality is for assembly lines, to make sure the job is sufficiently completed within required specifications. Craftsmanship is for people who understand that it's about more than whether your project is complete. It's the "everything else most people don't think about..." until it's too late that makes it good Craftsmanship. And you made doing that job look painless, and easier than last time. Not that you're perfect. Just that this is your approach to work. This requires common sense, abiding by principles of individual responsibility, knowing when to push yourself and when to ask for help, and a great many other skills that can only be learned by being around people who have these traits and skills. That cycle of training and improvement is Workhabit.

Workhabit is a group of individuals who have shown real grit, accountability, and unrelenting technical and design execution for years without failure or exception, or who have shown a consistent track record of taking responsibility and getting better. Because that is the point of craft: to be a crafts person. To take your work as seriously as a profession, not a job. Our team members, many who have dedicated more than half a decade in an industry where a "career job" is a year, know how to deliver extraordinary results. How do I know? This company has shed 5 people for every person on staff (at least), and we have one of the most rigorous hiring processes I know of. It's a testimony to our inability to filter (hiring is hard) more than a testimony to exclusivity. We are striving to improve and measure our hiring process, because it's become one of the most difficult aspects of building this kind of company — how do you find these people? People either love it or hate it at Workhabit, and not much in between. It's exceptionally hard to build a career at Workhabit, but it's exceptionally rewarding if you choose to and are accepted. You will find fewer, but far more loyal friends, friends that last long beyond a mere job, in your career and your life beyond. The loyalty we have to people who have and continue to prove themselves is like being part of an elite force that gets it done, and you know your buddy has your back.

Our philosophy is that a great vision is realized only when every member of the team has a clear idea of what they're doing, and drives for an un-compromised outcome. As William Pollard said, "Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow." In addition to keeping up technically, you have to enforce the open mind, and allow even the quiet ones to have a measurable voice in company affairs. Many people who can measure and evaluate properly emerging technology are not the most vocal individuals.

Great work is done by considerate and sensitive people, as craftspeople are not as narrow as machines. Hard work and single-minded vision can take you anywhere, but life experiences and the learning and experience you gain from them, provide the introspection to be visionary in your outcomes. And sensitivities to others and your work is the only way beyond chance to create outcomes that exceed their original intentions, and those are the results we're looking for. Building the culture that supports visionary outcomes needs the passionate support of a talented team. Great work needs two things: a team that explores and works on their ideas together, and a team that simply expects world class work and dedication of it's members.

This is the business philosophy that built Workhabit. As Gary, the "silent founder," likes to say, "Workhabit is the Black Ops of Engineering." We're hiring. If this is the kind of environment you want to work in, get in touch. We're not going to hold your hand, but we'll cover your back. Because being the one who has to clean up after a bad performance is the worst use of talent there is.