Object Partners Inc. has more than doubled its Omaha employee roster in its first five years.
How? The technology executives who founded the software consulting firm say they know what they’re looking for in employees — and they’ve found them in Omaha.
The company’s headquarters is in Minnesota, but its satellite office in the Big O plays a key role, including growth.
Object Partners primarily looks for very experienced, senior-level software engineers. But it also considers engineers with less experience who are able to communicate at the senior level.
“We look for individuals who are self-starters and driven to produce great software because they don’t know another way,” said Mark Ruch, director of consulting services. “Education level is not a primary measuring device. Technical knowledge and aptitude combined with experience and attitude are the more primary factors.”
The company doesn’t have a training program for employees. Instead, it has a handful of internal projects that could lay a foundation of technical knowledge in certain areas as an employee learns the ropes. Mostly, Ruch said, Object Partners relies on a employee to keep his or her skills up-to-date relative to their interest areas. Object Partners offers its software consultants a yearly education and training budget for conferences, training, books and other resources that allow for them to stay at the forefront of cutting-edge technology.
Once an employee is hired at Object Partners — OPI for short — few are in a hurry to leave. Ruch said the company’s ability to attract and retain employees may be attributed to the “outstanding benefits OPI gives its employees and the flat, open and honest organization at the top.” All pieces of OPI’s overhead, non-billing organization are geared to assist consultants on their ultimate career path. “We strive to put our consultants in jobs that challenge them intellectually as well as technically.”
Many OPI clients come to the software engineers with challenging issues that need solutions. They rely on Object Partners’ engineers to introduce tools and languages to their teams and expand their in-house knowledge base and technical capabilities, Ruch said. “If we are failing our employees in any of these areas, they have direct communications lines to sales, general managers and our president.”
Many of Object Partners’ employees are active in local and regional software development communities as speakers for meet-ups, conferences and corporate events.
OPI Omaha is in the early stages of creating an “introduction to programming” class for youths in hopes of planting seeds for more diversity in race and gender in the software industry. The company is working to team up with other community education programs to advance this practice.
In five years, OPI has grown from roughly 16 consultants to 34 based in Omaha. In addition to more than doubling its consulting staff, the Omaha office has two full-time salespeople and a general manager for the branch, for a total of 37.