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Working in Boston Tech at Acorio: Optimizing the ServiceNow Journey

Editor’s Note: This interview was originally published in VentureFizz. You can read the original article here.

At Acorio, we like to think we are a unique, customer-centric company full of inspired and enthusiastic people who enjoy coming to work every day.

That’s why we were thrilled when VentureFizz’s Jill Gregoriou sat down with Jen Miller, our Director of People Strategy, to learn more about our team culture and what makes us unique among the Boston tech community.

Jill Gregoriou: Hiring the right talent is important to a thriving culture. You’re bringing nearly two decades of talent acquisition experience to Acorio. How do you view Acorio’s culture and what qualities do you look for in potential candidates?

Jen Miller: At Acorio we know that having a stellar culture makes all the difference for attracting and retaining talent. I like to think our culture is organic, collaborative, and supportive. By encouraging the admiration and recognition of each other, we’ve fostered a driven, but cooperative community at Acorio.

To facilitate that culture, we’ve implemented systems, such as Bonusly, a peer reward tool, that capitalizes on our positive environment. Through Bonusly, employees can send micro-bonuses to recognize one another for their contributions or talents. Those points are then redeemable for rewards such as Starbucks gift cards, company gear, or available as charitable donations (for example, to Girls Who Code).

Our flexible culture is something else that sets us apart. Since we are searching for the best talent in our market, we made the decision early on to hire people regardless of their location. Even with nearly 50% of our staff remote, we still feel very much like a community. To do that, we leverage cutting-edge technology, such as Sococo remote office and Slack channels to allow remote employees to communicate the same way they would if they were sitting side-by-side. According to those employees, they really do feel as though they are at the HQ, despite not physically being in the office.

Still, we do like to get together as one team. Thankfully, our annual three-day summit gives us the opportunity to converge together in person to crowdsource, plan, train, and “bond.”

In terms of what we look for in candidates: For a company of our size we have spent serious time defining what, and who, we are looking for. Our core competencies consist of twelve different traits and skills: self-motivation, initiative, involvement, exceptional communication, flexibility, goal orientation, conscientiousness, problem-solving, resourcefulness, reliability, multitasking, and they need to be a team player.

We have developed a unique scorecard to systematically recruit and hire based on these twelve competencies.

JG: What are Acorio’s core values?

JM: Our business model for success revolves around our EPICC values – Excellence, Passion, Innovation, Collaboration, and Courage.

To break it down, we focus on:

  • Excellence because our work is of the highest quality, underpinned by expertise, integrity, and humility.
  • Passion because we love what we do and don’t take ourselves too seriously.
  • Innovation because we empower ourselves and customers to pioneer creative change.
  • Collaboration because we form a partnership with our customers, partners, and community, strengthening our collective power.
  • And, Courage because we are authentic and bravely speak truth to our customers and each other. We invite feedback.

JG: Is the team active and involved in the Boston tech community? Do you host or plan to host any events?

JM: Yes! We love getting to know people in our business and we actually took the initiative to start a ServiceNow Boston meetup and are currently planning a meetup for Q1! Our team is also active in local ServiceNow user groups (called SNUGs) and other start-up activities.

We are also expanding some women in leadership opportunities in the community. On a leadership team of ten, six are women, and our CEO has been deeply involved with women’s leadership programs since she was a Managing Director at Forrester Research in Cambridge. She has recently spoken at several events in the Northeast (though mostly NYC), and we are working with ServiceNow to open those opportunities into the Boston area in the future.

JG: What types of activities are employees involved in at or outside the office?

JM: We have a really diverse team; from the Austin Healy Club of America, to Tough Mudder competitors, to poetry readers, everyone is involved in several activities and hobbies outside of work. Being able to mix our interests together is always a fun part of our work environment.

One of our employees, Chris, plays adult league hockey, takes dance classes, and has an interest in art & design – on top of all this, he is also a yoga instructor. We get some pretty sweet perks; next week he’ll be teaching a yoga class during lunch time!

For hobbies, some of our employees enjoy playing chess, writing music, game development, improvisational acting, painting, arts & crafts. Someone on the Boston team races competitive sailboats in her spare time, and one of our employees, Dale, even runs Science Fiction Fan Conventions!

We also like to give back. This holiday season, we are championing a huge Toys for Tots drive nationally.

JG: Do you offer any unique benefits or perks? What’s on tap or in your fridge?

JM: We strive to promote innovation in our work environment, we actually created our own shark tank, which mimics the television show. Once a month, employees get the opportunity to present an innovation and have our leadership team fund it with cash and development time or resources to make it come to life.

Having a female CEO, especially in the tech world, has encouraged female empowerment internally as well. Acorio is active in fostering a positive environment for women and we are grateful for the Women’s group, which gathers women to inspire what we do for Acorio, what we do for the professional workplace to nurture community, leadership, and growth.

I would talk about the office perks in terms of work-life balance: the ability to work remotely, the opportunity to innovate as part of your daily job, our investment in learning and development across the company, and an extremely transparent management. We also offer a 401k, profit sharing, and all of our full-time employees are shareholders.

In the fridge… Hmmm. While we all enjoy sipping on the trendiest beers, we consider ourselves more of coffee connoisseurs – there’s always an afternoon Chemex, which this month is featuring Counter Culture Coffee out over Somerville, MA. We also have a healthy snack vending machine – and some also have some nice Irish Whiskey sitting around here somewhere.

JG: Finish this sentence: I love working at Acorio because…

“I love working at Acorio because my professional interests and skills are constantly being nurtured and at the same time pushed to the bleeding edge of my abilities. Acorio has helped me grow.” -Jeremy Mandle, ServiceNow Architect

“I love Acorio because we are devoted to quality.  A lot of companies say that because it sounds nice, but at Acorio, it’s true.  You see it in how we interact with our clients and each other, in how we communicate, in our growth plans, and in the decisions we make every day.  I love Acorio because I feel 100% supported in delivering quality and am surrounded by genuine, caring people with the same goal.  We are a tech company for humans.” –Aja DelGaudio, Associate Consultant / Jr. Developer

“I love working at Acorio because it is shaping who I am professionally and personally. Integrity, thoughtfulness, inspiration, empathy, intellect… this is what surrounds me every day and I couldn’t ask for a better place to start my career.” –Devon Scuteri, Senior Business Development Representative