When we announced our strategic targets in March, we speculated recruiting some 20-30 new bilots this year. Against all odds, in a cold economic climate, we expect to continue on our growth path. We anticipated employing some 110 people by the end of the year, so reaching the 100 marker in September should surprise nobody.
When our founding partners gave birth to Bilot in 2005, they had some wild ideas about the potential of the then miniscule Bilot and that someday, maybe not so far in the future, Bilot might be quite a relevant player in the market and probably somewhat larger than back in the day.
On September 1st, Bilot celebrated its eighth birthday three weeks later it is time to greet the company’s 100th employee. To me, an even bigger feat is that over these eight years, Bilot has lost so few of its employees to its rivals or elsewhere. Our attrition rate is staggeringly low, far lower than industry standards.
From time to time I get asked some sticky questions. Are we able to renew ourselves? Is excellent employee retention really a feat for a relatively young growth company? Will reaching the mythical 100 employees milestone be the start of a completely different ball-game? How does growth impact corporate values and atmosphere? For how long can growth be sustained? Is there some intrinsic value in growth? Is there a risk low attrition i.e. “old blood”?
These are indeed relevant questions. In reverse order; growth is the side product of doing the right things and doing them right. A cliché, but so true… As long as we stay true to our values and our vision, we believe we can retain growth. Our customers value our nose for innovation, intuition, sincerity, quality-of-work, expertize and employer reputation. To-date, we have never lost a customer and we value this loyalty.
Of course the game does change after 100 employees, but so it has all along. Who said it is easy in our industry to jump from 3 employees to 20 in 2 years; or from 20 to 100 in the next five years? As long as we adapt to growth, in our own way, and appreciate that we need new structures, systems and some new processes to support efficient collaboration, and keep the atmosphere genuinely positive and energetic – growth is no obstacle.
As long as we keep investing in training and cross-skilling our employees, encouraging them to stretch their comfort-zone and develop themselves, providing them with exciting new job opportunities and appreciating their contribution, our path will not erode.
Old blood is experience. Old blood combined with new talent is a killer cocktail. We encourage our veterans to encourage our younger professionals to courageously take the bull by its horns and exceed their own expectations. And thanks to a very dynamic market, demanding customers and rapid development of technology, we have had to renew ourselves with up-skilling and cross-skilling. Our people are quick learners and have an enormous appetite for new things.
To sum it up, so far so good. We will keep our steady course, our feet firmly on the ground and our heads high up where the air is thin. And hopefully busting a myth or two along the way.