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Tax nerds can be gritty, too

Hiring Visual

Ask anybody trying to hire in the current market and they’ll usually start off with the all-too-common: “It’s tough finding good people right now.”

I feel that same pain. I’ve kissed a lot of frogs in my past, and I’m tired of waiting for that prince. Finding good people IS hard. I’ve made hiring mistakes in my past that taught me some valuable lessons.

First, pedigree means NOTHING. I don’t care where you went to college, or grad school, or prep school (yes, this is still something some people include on their resume). And depending on the job we’re hiring for I don’t care if you went to school at all. I’ll be the first to admit that college and grad school provide numerous foundational and academic benefits that are too many to list (disclaimer: I attended both). And yes, even mentioning your prep/private school can help make a connection. However, some of the best people I have ever hired didn’t come from polished schools that consistently end up in U.S. News and World Report rankings.

More importantly, I have hired based on resume and GPA and been burned. Sometimes the prototypical “perfect on paper” new hire ends up acting entitled and becomes toxic to the culture and team. There is good science and research behind “trusting your gut” when making decisions, and I still believe when it comes to making a judgement call on people I meet, that feeling is going to happen in the first 5 minutes. 

Admittedly, that is much harder to do over a Zoom call these days, which is why I personally can’t make a hiring decision without at least looking someone in the eye, in person. Obviously, the question of “can you do this job” needs to be answered one way or the other, but my point is, unless the role you’re hiring for requires a very specific technical skill that also requires someone to spend their entire day isolated from the rest of the team, there are other more pressing traits to focus on. So, what are Cavalry’s top two candidate requirements when hiring? Grit and culture.

Grit can be defined in many ways, but I associate it most closely with being resourceful and determined. Grit means seeing a problem and finding a solution or identifying the resources you need to help you find that solution. Grit means being determined to overcome whatever obstacle is in your way and never letting self-doubt or “the haters” stop you from achieving your goals.

Culture means do you fit in with the current team as well as our company’s vision and ethos. If you’re on our team, you are valued, and you’ve proven your worth. That is something you earn as a team member, and until convinced otherwise, as a team member you are always given deference when we consider who else we bring into that team. If I think someone’s personality will prove toxic or erode the efficacy of the current team in place, we’re moving on to the next candidate. No resume in the world is going to get you in the door if you won’t work well with others.

If you’ve got grit and think you’d fit into an egalitarian culture of go-getters, keep an eye on our careers page – we’d love to find out.

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