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Created on 27.02.2019

How this small IT company recruits specialists

Finding specialists in the IT sector is a challenge. Roger Müller, CEO of acc solutions AG, explains the solutions the company has come up with to recruit and retain good staff.

Roger Müller, CEO des IT-Kleinunternehmens acc solutions, leitet ein Teammeeting mit vor Ort anwesenden und virtuellen Teilnehmern.

Mr Müller, how difficult is it to find specialists in your sector?

It’s an extremely tough environment. The competition for specialists is fierce, especially in software development. Applicants all possess the same profile, but are not all equally well trained which further complicates matters.

What steps do you take to find suitable employees?

We adopt various approaches. We use the network of our employees whenever possible. We also advertise internship positions for degree or master’s theses on our website. This gives students the opportunity to implement exciting cases for and with our customers on a part-time basis. The close cooperation with universities of applied sciences and traditional universities has proven successful. My role as a guest lecturer also gives me the chance to present what we do to the students. However, we don’t just focus on young people. The CFO of a major corporation had to take early retirement. We were fortunate enough to recruit him. We very much appreciate this vastly experienced executive’s expertise.

How do you persuade potential employees to join your company?

We have a flat hierarchy and good team spirit. Everything is very direct and decisions can be made at one meeting. As we’re independent, we decide where the journey goes ourselves. That makes it exciting and dynamic. People with lots of get-up-and-go benefit from the flexibility and freedom that a SME offers.

What do you expect from your staff? What do you focus on when making appointment decisions?

On one hand, that they share our values and fit into our team well in terms of personality. On the other, with our high-precision and customer-oriented approach as we work closely with our customers and support them with all business processes. Customer satisfaction is our top priority.

How do you prepare for a job interview?

We have very clear processes and pre-defined questionnaires/checklists for every step in the recruitment process (first interview, second interview etc.). Well-structured interviews are vital to ensure we cover all the key points. We aim to establish long-term employment relationships which is why we place so much emphasis on things being absolutely right for both parties.

What do you focus on when making appointment decisions?

We find out a lot about the person, their attitude and abilities during the interviews. We also set applicants tasks to see what approach they adopt and how they resolve problems. We also introduce the applicant to every team member as the chemistry has to be right in a small team. For management positions, we call in an external HR consultant to carry out a professional assessment.

How do you welcome new employees on their first day at work?

I like to welcome our new team members personally. The new employee should immediately feel comfortable in the team so we all go to eat together on their first day of work. We also like to surprise new members of staff with a small welcome gift.

What do you focus on during the onboarding phase?

By ensuring our culture and processes are understood and put into practice. That’s the only way things can work in a SME. I like to compare us and what we do with flying. Like a pilot who has to check everything is OK before take-off, we also confirm that every step has been completed with checklists. This means new employees fly in co-pilot mode initially. When they’re ready, they can fly on their own.

How do you retain staff at your company?

Firstly, using personal development planning (PDP). As part of PDP, we hold a discussion with every employee to determine where their interests lie and the areas in which they would like to undergo further training etc. We agree goals together and then review whether they have been attained. We place great emphasis on basic and advanced training. Secondly, we have a unique culture. We’re a small team that achieves great things. That’s something to be proud of. We also show our staff that we appreciate their efforts through team events, for example. We celebrated our ten-year anniversary last year with a three-day trip to Belgrade. Experiences like that help create strong bonds.

About Roger Müller

Roger Müller, Geschäftsführer der acc solutions ag

The link will open in a new window acc solutions AG in Bolligen near Berne was founded by Roger Müller in 2008. The 12-strong team optimizes entire business processes for its customers. The IT partner analyzes business models, identifies requirements and presents individual solutions. Its own web-based, modular Service Champion software enables all processes in the value chain to be optimally structured.

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