THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY TOMMY BOUCHER, IT DIRECTOR AT COVEO, IS PART OF OUR GUEST BLOG SERIES. PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE FEATURED ON OUR BLOG.
In the world of software, recruiting is difficult. Good candidates already have good jobs, and companies are investing heavily to get their candidates. If you want to be able to recruit these candidates, you have to offer something different. We can’t all be video game companies...
I had the chance to visit the Devolutions office in Lavaltrie. Wow! Thank you for the opportunity to learn about your success.
First of all, what surprised me was the geographic choice. A few steps from Montreal, they have still decided to settle in Lavaltrie. To paraphrase an old saying, "A star among a sky full of stars goes unnoticed, but a star in the center of a completely black sky is impossible to miss." If Devolutions was in Montreal, they would be a star among many others, but in Lavaltrie they definitely have the most beautiful building in the village.
I went around the city, curious to see what could be found there, and I fell in love. What a wonderful place to live! How lucky for Devolutions employees to be able to acquire a home close to work, at an affordable price, with all the services needed. A great way to combine work and family! I am already on board with this idea. And what a chance for Lavaltrie to have a company that invests in the community. Devolutions will not stop there to help local entrepreneurship!
I asked Max Trottier, Director of Marketing (and employee #5), if recruiting was difficult given the distance from the major centers. He proudly replied that because of the lack of traffic in the opposite direction, as well as proximity to many nearby cities (even Trois-Rivières, he told me), Devolutions employees are not afraid to commute to work in exchange for a motivating company with awesome people. Max pointed out a few houses, visible from the parking lot of Devolutions, where several employees live, including one “full of trainees." What a good idea! Allowing people to live in the suburbs and walk to work, without worrying about traffic!
I was amazed to see that there were no closed offices! Everyone is in open spaces! Even David Hervieux, the CEO (and employee #1 :-P), was there in the center of the open office space. No differentiation between the top and bottom of the pyramid, everyone equals, in a good-looking office. Even though some teams are grouped in closed offices, no one has their own kingdom. No executive offices worth 10 times the price of the employee’s spaces – everyone is equal. What a beautiful message!
The pinball room is quite impressive. I did not think it was possible to get so many machines into such a small space. A person was playing when we passed by so I asked if it was used enough to justify the investment. Max told me that yes, it is, especially during the winter. Sometimes there are even several people on the same machine, but usually just one person each. The great thing is that everyone still speaks and interacts with each other while playing! That fact was confirmed by Joey Dupont, Marketing Coordinator (and employee #46). I'm not a pinball fan, but it definitely looks fun! Employees can play whenever they want – it's even encouraged!
There’s a terrace, BBQ, volleyball court, large yard, gym, video console – nothing is missing. They even have a full kitchen with an oven, said Joey proudly. Really, this office isn’t missing anything. It’s impossible to be indifferent after visiting this office. They are already thinking about their next expansion!
The visit took almost two hours, and was constantly interrupted by long and interesting discussions about the products. Each feature is the result of a request from a customer, David told me. He seems to really want to meet customer needs. Open to my ideas and passionate about their products, they continued to listen to me and to suffer my long monologues until we completed the tour of the office. Everyone was really nice, interesting, and passionate, and the atmosphere was incredible! When I left, I had the impression that my comments were going to go a long way. I look forward to the new features coming! = -) Sorry, David, for some of my remarks; I now really understand your reality better! What a great job!
I don’t know if they are recruiting now, but if I were you, I wouldn’t hesitate and send a resume – there’s nothing to lose! And if you don’t already use RDM, you are missing out!