Translated from original version in AméricaEconomía
Garfield: "We want to recruit 80 engineers in the next two or three years "
ServiceRocket President, Andrea Garfield, visited Santiago de Chile, where she helped establish one of the company's 5 global offices. Her next goal is to hire about 30 engineers by the end of 2013 who want to know how to do business in Silicon Valley for the company.
By Daniela Arce
Founded 12 years ago by Robert Castaneda with offices in Palo Alto, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur, ServiceRocket has now arrived in Chile. The company's goal is to find new talent, which will add to a current 100 engineers and a new center of operation.
This is a company that promises to differentiate itself from its competition through values: Delight the Customer, Think Team, Share the Knowledge, Focus on the Outcome and Talk Straight. It wasn't for nothing that the company was awarded first place in employee engagement at the Human Resources Excellence Awards in Malaysia. Garfield explains that it is crucial for employees to enjoy themselves and to wake up looking forward to their day in the office. In addition, Andrea also emphasizes that it is equally vital that employees are flexible and armed with knowledge on a wide variety of topics. Many Rocketeers have the opportunity to move, not only within the company performing different functions, but also to the offices ServiceRocket has established around the world .
What is ServiceRocket's focus?
We work with large and fast-growing companies that are dedicated to developing software. We take care of a lot of the support, training, services and implementations for these software companies that allows them to focus on making their products successful. We say, 'engage yourself in what you do and we'll train your end customers to help them get the most out of your software'. For instance, we make e-learning courses that carry the branding of the client.
You're already based in Palo Alto with offices in Sydney and Kuala Lumpur. Why settle in Chile?
Chile provides a timezone that allows pairs well with ServiceRocket's other offices to provide 24-7 service . Furthermore, Chile offers stability within the region. We did a lot of research elsewhere, including the U.S. West Coast and Central America, but Chile really met all of our requirements. Also, it closely resembles the business environment we work with in Malaysia, in areas such as government, political and economic stability, and banking. Chile became a perfect equation. We also love the country and culture. We have found that culturally it is quite suitable to what we were looking for.
How was the installation process of the company in Chile?
After realizing that Chile could be an alternative , the CEO arrived and experienced Santiago. He then made our first regional hire, Rodrigo Luna, who was the first stone in place and has helped take care of logistics work. This trial period lasted three months before two members of our Malaysian team came and trialled the timezone. The experiment was a success. Rob (CEO) moved with his family to Chile for five weeks to take care of additional practicalities and we were off and running.
After this period of exploration came our first recruitment (Pedro). Now we're beginning to interview engineers. We conducted over 120 interviews.
We expect to have something similar to our Malaysian team installed here in Chile. The idea is to transmit the culture of the company to those who are first recruited. ServiceRocket is as much about culture as it is about work.
We expect to hire about 30 engineers and support people by the end of 2013. In two or three years we plan to add 80 professionals .
What professional profile are looking for in Chile?
One reason why we looked at this country is because it is becoming cosmopolitan, which fits with our global company. We have 32 nationalities working. Most important are the benefits those with this global perspective , those who have traveled and therefore understand the world . We are sure that this helps to better understand our customers, who are well : people globalized , multi- cultures.
It's not easy to find talent paired with a global mindset... what did you expect from the region?
The most important expectation is values. We understand that the profile of engineers is often more introverted. So how important is a person who loves customer service , you are very connected to what customers need.
The people who work here must want to help, teach and work with all kinds of people. This is because our values are delivered to the customer. Think Team, Share the Knowledge, Focus on the Outcome, Delight the Customer and Talk Straight. That last one is very important; be direct and say things when they are going through.
Beyond that, nothing is imposed. It must belong to those in the company. People who come here should have a very positive attitude. It's inherent that our employees have a very global vision for their work, that they learn and are willing to have fun. I have a good time at work. We include this among the requirements to be considered in the recruitment process- the rest can be learned. This is because our teams are trained and motivated so that they can go teach others on technical issues.
What is the style of ServiceRocket work?
There are no boundaries. We're all working remotely with clients. When we travel there is a company space Rocketeers can use. We provide a flat which, for us, is preferable over a hotel, for example. This sort of sharing helps you feel at home. All departments share the same intranet so when a Rocketeer arrives they don't have to ask for different credentials. This is to ensure that globalization can be promoted no matter where you live.
What are your plans for the company in this country?
In the short term we expect to grow to 80 people. When the office is fully operating in late 2013 it will become another hub and center of rotation. This will allow us to generate an exchange of personnel. Besides, everyone wants to come to Chile. And Chileans have to travel because they will form part of the training system. For example, for us it is key to know Palo Alto. And in this rotation system it is vital that everyone is comfortable.
What are the projections of the company?
In the medium term we want to grow a London office, which is already functioning on a small scale. The potential is extraordinary, next year the focus will be there. In the long term we have not planned to open a new office in Latin America because if we want to grow we are focused in Chile.
Why apply to work for ServiceRocket?
ServiceRocket does not have a very direct competitor because we have established ourselves as a rather unique brand. It works well for us because we design our own processes. We engage in the design, development and engineering. We are open to anyone being able to do anything. We had a person who came in to take over a network and then we realized he was very talented and spent time coaching others. He then passed through the areas of design, training, management and then into sales. In five years he has been able to do everything. The opportunity is there. In this company the range is quite wide. There are no limits, we are open for those who wish to diversify.
Doing business in Silicon Valley with some very large tech companies is also rewarding. It is the geographical cradle of the software industry. This is the best place to showcase work, not just for visibility but also to know what the most important companies in the world are doing and to learn from them and recognize trends.