Paige Technologies combines tech and behavioral science for a perfect employment match.
By Kathryn Jones
It’s pretty much a given that an industry as innovative as information technology (IT) needs an innovative staffing agency to find the best recruits. But Paige Technologies knows it’s not a one-way street and also works diligently to ensure unemployed professionals find their dream jobs.
The Overland-based company’s proprietary system combines both technology and behavioral science to create the perfect match between employer and employee. An ideal pairing has everything to do with cultural compatibility, according to Paige Technologies Chief Organizational Alchemist and Partner Chris Wood. He discussed the company’s strategies in a recent interview with KC Business.
KCB: Tell us about your background.
CW: After graduating from the University of Missouri, I started out as an IT recruiter. I quickly fell in love with the industry and decided that I had found my career fit. I have worked for staffing companies of all sizes, from the biggest of the big to small startups just trying to find their way. I have held several roles in the industry, including recruiter, account manager, director of sales, senior manager and partner. Paige Technologies was founded in 2002, and my business partner and I took control of the company in 2011.
KCB: What is Paige Technologies’ specialty?
CW: Intelligent Pairing. We specialize in pairing technologists and employers based on skills needed as well as cultural fit. Paige Technologies is a wholistic workforce solutions provider. While staff augmentation is one of the services that we provide, it’s not the only one. We have a full suite of technology-based training and onboarding solutions that we provide to our clients and our consultants. Finally, we also have the ability to handle many types of outsourced mobile and Web development projects.
KCB: Why does the IT industry, in particular, need a progressive approach to staffing?
CW: We operate from a different side of the equation. The systems that we have built are designed to ensure a perfect pair. For too long the staffing industry has been all about “butts in seats” with a total disregard on whether or not it was the right butt in the right seat. We said, “No thank you” to that mindset. For those that continue to play in that space, we wish them the best of luck. Our customers asked us for more, and we have delivered.
KCB: What is the greatest mistake that companies make when filling a position?
CW: There are two interconnected mistakes that generally happen when filling a position. Most interviewers are actually very bad at interviewing a job candidate. The interview process makes them uncomfortable, and they would rather not ask the detailed questions necessary to uncover the true person that is being interviewed. Combine this with the fact that most organizations have a very dim view of what it actually means to be successful within their own organization, and the result is having no yardstick with which to measure potential employees. Bottom line: In most organizations, the interview process is nothing more than a roll of the dice.
KCB: What is Culture-Fit?
CW: Culture-Fit is the ability to measure the innate traits that lead to job satisfaction, also known as happiness. We have the ability to measure what motivates people, their actions that help achieve that motivation, their actions that derail their progress, how to solve problems and how much their heart factors into the equation. With a sense of how the head, heart and mind work together, we can then pair them with an employer that aligns appropriately.
KCB: How does Culture-Fit correlate to staffing the Millennial work force?
CW: The Millenial workforce continues to prove that they’re motivated by a lot more than just commerce. Science, tradition, affiliation and purpose are all very important to the Millenial generation. As an employer, if you cannot prove that you stand for something, you will struggle to attract and retain the workforce of tomorrow.
KCB: Could you provide an example of how you helped someone find the perfect fit?
CW: Because of what we do, technologists often call us asking what we know about employers in town. There was one such occasion recently in which a developer called one of our Sr. Talent Alchemists and inquired about what we knew about the culture inside of a local employer from which they had just received a job offer, independent of Paige. This technologist had already been through our Intelligent Pairing Assessment, so we knew the type of culture that she would be best suited for. Based on our knowledge of this employer, we were able to reassure the technologist that the employer was a fit and she should accept happily.
KCB: Your philosophy is not “making placements,” but building a sustainable community for the long-term success of KC. Why is this important?
CW: Paige Technologies is a KC company. Its owners are KC kids. We live here, and we are raising our families here. We want more than anything to be able to help impact our community by ensuring that our local economy remains vibrant and continues to grow. The importance of this desire is multi-dimensional but not complicated. As KC grows, we grow and anything less is not acceptable. We want to be a major part in continuing to build America’s most entrepreneurial city.
KCB: What are your plans moving forward?
CW: We have a lot of work to do. Our plans moving forward are to continue to work on building a better workforce in Kansas City. We are starting to uncover some very interesting insights into this market that we think will be beneficial to everyone. We will be releasing these insights to the public after we finish reviewing them with our current customers.