When hiring new people, we primarily look for four things; People that just build things, use learning as a tool, pursue the truth and are passionate about our vision.
First, it is important that they just build things. We don't care about people that love to build things. Everyone on our team just builds things. They get an idea for a product, process, business or experience, and they just build it. We are very interested to know what people have built and why. We are looking for their ability to identify a need, scope the solution, and organize the resources necessary to develop the solution. We expect every CAN employee to be an executive, because they are expected to make decisions everyday that impact the future of the organization.
Second, they must use learning as a tool. We don't care about people who love learning. At CAN the ability to learn almost anything is essential to success. When we get a new client or encounter a new problem, we figure out what needs to be done, learn how to do it, and then do it. Working at CAN would be very frustrating for someone that uses knowledge as a tool. We don't pay people for what they know, we pay people for what they can learn.
Third, they must pursue the truth. We need people that not only pursue that truth, but embrace it without hiding from uncomfortable facts. Our clients pay us to change their organizations to help them work smarter. Often, CAN's research uncovers uncomfortable truths about our client's business, and it is our job to expose that truth. More often than not this is very uncomfortable, and our people must be able to confront these truths while operating with an executive level of consideration.
Fourth, they need to be passionate about our vision. CAN's vision is to develop simple systems to help all companies work smart. We do not need technicians that are in love with technology. We need people that see technology as a tool, and are passionate about building simple tools that everyone can use. Also, we need people that are passionate about business.
These criteria apply to every position, and are internal to the culture of CAN. Having clearing defined what we look for when hiring people allows us to hire people based on their alignment to our culture, instead of their specific skills or education. While this makes finding the right people very difficult, it has created an environment that is rife with creativity and original ideas. Everyone is pursuing the same goals with same culture and different skills, experiences and education.
CAN is not for everyone, but we don't need everyone.