SSI’s annual Best of the Best issue (July 2013) includes profiles of seven of the industry best-run installing security contracting companies. My interviews with executives and managers from runner-up Vivint covered much ground not included in print. Following is the third of a few bonus excerpts, with Vivint’s David Powell here talking employee recruitment and retention. Be on the lookout for more online extras from Vivint, as well as other Installer of the Year and Integrated Installation of the Year winners and finalists.
How does Vivint evaluate and recruit new employees? What qualities are important?
David Powell, Vivint Vice President of Human Resources: Vivint takes its recruiting evaluations of new employees very seriously. We have high standards and expectations of all employees and are constantly on the lookout for professionals with great customer service skills. Additionally, we look for honest, hard workers full of integrity and a passion not just for what they do, but for life. To make sure each new employee is truly Vivint material and meets company standards, our recruiters guide them through a rigorous interview process. Each employee completes an on-demand video interview prior to phone and in-person interviews. We also complete a thorough background check on each perspective employee to make sure they have no misdemeanors or felonies. If at any point they do not meet our standards, we do not hire them.
How does Vivint make sure its personnel are properly trained?
Powell: Vivint’s trainers strive to give new employees the knowledge and skills that will make them successful in their jobs by focusing on four areas: new hire training, ongoing training, on-the-job resources, and leadership development. We also focus our training on doing rather than telling, meaning we tell employees what they need to know and then give them the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to accomplish the job in a controlled, safe environment. This helps leadership truly see how effective they will be and course correct if needed. Training is tracked and reported so we can hold employees accountable for what they’ve learned. We also strive to identify high potential employees and help them grow and develop their careers at the company.
What does Vivint do to keep its employees motivated and fulfilled?
Powell: Vivint’s “work hard, play hard” philosophy resonates within its entire employee base. Todd Pedersen, Vivint’s CEO and founder, was taught by his father that if you treat those that work for you like gold, everything else will fall into place. Todd took that message to heart and founded Vivint on a philosophy of respect at every employee level. At Vivint’s state-of-the-art facility, employees have access to an onsite health facility, free lunch at a full-service café, recreational and exercise facilities, and employee benefits. Employees are encouraged to make personal priorities to achieve individually and as a company, thus building a community-minded environment. In 2011, Vivint won the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence, which recognizes the quality of the workplace and evaluates company HR procedures, benefits and compensation programs, culture, employee flexibility policies, and overall employee morale.