Join Our Flock: What Being a SWAN is All About

Irv Shapiro Founder & Executive Chairman, DialogTech

I start in the kitchen where I grab some juice and a bowl of cereal from the complimentary cereal bar. Back at my desk, with Twitter and Facebook on one monitor of my Mac and Gmail open on the other, I work through my emails and voicemails. When a client calls with a question about SourceTrak™, the DialogTech keyword level call tracking solution, I’m able to provide several suggestions after talking with Michelle who sits across the pod from me.

The rest of my day involves talking with more clients about our newest product features, brainstorming with talented colleagues, challenging the new intern in a game of ping-pong I’m still undefeated and meeting in the kitchen for a quick company standup meeting with our CEO.

While I’m working hard, I love working at DialogTech. I’ve never worked anywhere else where I feel as challenged and supported as I feel here.

The scene described above isn’t from the script of a high-budget career film. It’s just one example of what we do and how we work every day at DialogTech. And I would know. I’m Irv Shapiro, the CEO and founder of DialogTech.

Before forming DialogTech in 2005, I founded Metamor Technologies in 1985 and Edventions in 1999. We first built Metamor with the idea that people would be our differentiator. Experience has only strengthened this perspective and helped to engrain it in my leadership style.

Today, our people as the differentiator approach is evident in both DialogTech’s core values and our day-to-day practices. We believe this so much so that we state it at the top of our core values statement: We will be the easiest company you have ever worked with, whether you are an employee, customer or investor.

We hire SWANs
I truly believe that the best way to grow a company is to build it with great people. As a CEO, my job consists of recruiting top talent and acting as the head coach. But how can we be sure we get the best of the best? Easy. We always look for candidates who are Smarter than average, hard Working, Ambitious and Nice or SWANs, as we like to call them.

When SWANs have a challenge, they don’t sit in their cube and stew on it alone. Instead, they invite coworkers to brainstorm about solutions or ask a manager for advice. SWANs are talented and resourceful. They have a can-do spirit that’s second to none. Our collaborative workspace and open doors helps to ensure our SWANs feel comfortable asking questions and engaging with others. Sometimes the best solutions happen around a pinball machine or on the in-house putting green.

Working Smart
Anything we can do at DialogTech to help employees work smarter or easier, we do.

When you walk into the DialogTech offices, you might notice that we have unfinished, loft-like ceilings. That’s because when we moved in, I felt it was a better use of our budget to supply employee with MacBooks and second monitors than to finish off the ceilings. Fancy ceilings and walnut desks or MacBooks with second monitors? It seemed like an obvious choice to me.

Because all of our employees are SWANs, we know they work hard and that their talent and time is valuable. That’s why we invest in disability and health insurance where we pay 70% of your costs and in all the little extras including a cereal bar and free beverages. We also provide some really fun creature comforts. Anyone up for a quick game of foosball or pop-a-shot?

Our goal (no pun intended) is to try to make DialogTech the easiest environment our employees have ever worked in both with amenities and by having a great group of people to work alongside. Smart people enjoy working with other smart people.

Are you a SWAN?
Now that you’ve learned a bit about us, if you think we’re cut from the same cloth, here are some tips you can use to showcase just how much of a SWAN you are in your interview:

  1. Be an expert: If you’re a recent college graduate, you may not have a lot (or any) on-the-job experience. That’s okay. But by being a genuine expert in something, it shows that you’re ambitious. So whether it’s baseball cards, interior design or the history of Star Wars, take a moment to consider what you’re most passionate about outside of work.
  2. Know your stuff: Almost every interview advice blog recommends doing research about a company to exemplify thoroughness. Here’s why we recommend it: our most successful employees are successful because they know our products inside and out. Doing your research shows us you could be one of those people, too.
  3. Be nice: It doesn’t take a genius to know it’s better to work with likable people. Don’t be afraid to let your true personality shine through in your interview and we’ll be sure to do the same.

So if you’re ready to work along side other smart, ambitious, hard-working and nice people like yourself, browse our openings we’d love to meet you!