Over the past eight years, I have probably interviewed over 200 prospective employees. While every conversation is different, there are always consistent “boiler plate” topics that are discussed- the history of the company, the vision for the future, potential job openings. The themes and messages behind these topics typically remain consistent; the history of the company can’t be re-written, the vision of the future remains consistent, and the open positions are pretty straight forward.
Where the conversation between me and a prospective employee turns unique is when we begin to discuss employee benefits. Why? Because different things are important to different people. Some people are driven by salary, others by work-life balance. The head of a household of five is very interested in our family healthcare plan, while a recent college graduate wants to hear about training and certification opportunities.
One benefit that intrigues all prospective employees is integrateIT’s commitment to charitable contributions and the community. Why is that? I’ve found it is the same reason I listed above- because different things are important to different people. If you view integrateIT’s website, you can see a sample of the diverse group of charities that our employees have supported over the years. A former soldier may be passionate about supporting our troops; a pet lover may be an advocate for supporting no-kill animal shelters. The list goes on and on.
integrateIT gives each employee a thousand dollars a year to contribute to a charity of their choice. I can proudly say that over the past three years alone, the company has contributed approximately $30,000 to various local and national charities. But writing a check, while invaluable, is easy.
Beginning in 2012, integrateIT entered a partnership with the Washington Literacy Center. integrateIT resources donate one thing that is more valuable than any financial contribution- their time. Over the past two years, we have conducted mock interviews with resources entering the job market. We have taught people how to use Microsoft products to write their first resumes. We have rid computers of viruses and cleared out operating systems to load software suites to teach people how to read. We have seen no greater satisfaction, both from our employees and those receiving our help, than the smiles on faces when someone prints their first resume, or reads for the first time.
It is this response that makes me want to do more. The Jason Beach Foundation is an organization that integrateIT has supported over the past few year, primarily through financial contributions. My goal is to help the Foundation further, and there is no greater contribution than time. At our last all hands meeting, I discussed this aspiration with our staff. Almost immediately, integrateIT resources started volunteering their time to build websites or help plan charitable events. The genuine enthusiasm of the staff made me proud, and I cannot wait to see our ideas turn into reality.
I am proud to see our company make a commitment to areas of our passion. I know that at the end of the day, this will be integrateIT’s lasting contribution. I encourage everyone to find their own passion to contribute to, be it with time, money, or other general support. The rewards are endless to all involved.