TSG brought in college recruits in on October 28th for our office visits. Recruits came from a variety of colleges including Purdue, Notre Dame and University of Illinois. Part of their day was a briefing with our President and Founder – Dave Giordano. For this post, we will share some of their questions with answers from Dave.
Recruit – I am concerned about an “up or out” career path. Does TSG allow employees to stay at a certain level.
Dave – TSG does not have an “up or out” philosophy. We like to think that we have a different career path for every employee. If an employee would like to keep their hands in the technical components or move away from technical direction, we can support either career path.
Recruit – You went over the career path for the first four years as employees move to management. Do you have an issue with employees leaving after four years and, for employees that stay, do you still provide room to grow?
Dave – TSG is no different from other companies as employees leave for a variety of reasons both before and after 4 years. For the employees that stay with us as managers (4+ years), we like to continue to have them grow through additional account management, software product management and sales opportunities based on their strengths and career desires.
Recruit – What are the biggest challenges facing TSG right now?
Dave – TSG is very confident in our approach, clients and people. I would say the biggest challenge is the external factors (ex: economy, other technologies). Right now we feel SharePoint adoption by our ECM clients is the biggest threat. We are developing more and more skills in SharePoint to offer combined approaches with tools like Documentum as well as developing more expertise in SharePoint itself.
Recruit – You mentioned that (client) has been with you for 15 years. Why do you think they stay with TSG?
Dave – I always tell people that, as a consultant, you are one bad job from never working at a client again. For our long-term clients, we have shown our ability to deliver on time and underbudget that has built up a strong degree of trust that our competitors do not have. Our long term clients trust us with additional opportunities. TSG focuses on patience and persistence to help clients when they need our help but leave and do not “push” when they don’t need our help. Our approach builds a strong degree of trust.
Recruit – What advice would you give to soon-to-be college grads?
Dave – Focus on a career and not just that first job. A career is all about positioning yourself for success in the future, not just short-term goals. Realize that career success in your first job is determined by what you learn, who you meet, how you work with people – all of the solid building blocks of a long-term focus. The people you are working with will be part of your work history and could be an important part of your life. Pick a career/job that allows you to fulfill both work and life goals.
Recruit – How do we choose what client projects to accept? Do employees get to choose what projects they work on?
Dave – (Note – at this point Ben, TSG employee, came and simply answered “Yes”). In regards to client projects, we would like to think that we position/brand ourselves with clients so they know what we are qualified and capable of doing. If a client asks us to do something that we haven’t done before or is outside of our expertise, we will typically tell them early in the process. In regards to staffing, we (the managers) meet once a day at 8:45 to talk about who is where. The more input we get into what our staff are ready to do and what they want to do, the better we are at putting them in the right position. We realize that there is some “right time, right place” in regards to staffing but, given our large client base and multiple projects, we can often find a role/position that fits both team and individual needs.
Recriut – Do many TSG employee’s pursue graduate degrees?
Dave – TSG does support graduate degrees and have recently had one manager work on her graduate degree part-time while working at TSG. That being said, we haven’t had that many take advantage of it over that last 15 years.
While we did run out of time, Dave passed out his email address for further questions. Any questions and follow-up will be posted here.