C.E.O & Chairman of YapStone, Matt Golis and Tom Villante, both share with us what it is that YapStone values as a company and encourage you to be a part of the collective community that YapStone stands for. The company fosters a true sense of connection and gives employees meaningful objectives to target on a day to day basis — everyone has purpose at YapStone.
1. What kind of positions will YapStone be hiring for in 2014 and how does that reflect the direction of the company?
Matt: YapStone is planning to hire in virtually every department, but many of the new positions will be in the technology department. We’re hiring engineers, QA people, database and product people – individuals who can support the new payment processing products and initiatives that we’re launching this year.
Tom: We’re going to continue our strategy of being a technology company that creates payment solutions and not simply a payment service provider. We typically grow our customer base and increase our revenue through partnerships with leading websites and software providers. We provide integrated payment processing solutions that require a high level of engineering. It’s this that reflects the direction of the company.
2. Company culture is a big factor in determining one’s fit for a job. Describe the YapStone culture in 3 words — how do these qualities differentiate us from other culture driven companies?
Tom: Innovative, collaborative, and rewarding.
Innovation is something we work hard to promote. We’re completely breaking new ground, working in new industries, and doing things with payment solutions that no company has ever done. It’s really exciting and is a great recruiting tool.
Collaboration at YapStone happens within departments, as well as across them. Everything here is geared towards collaboration in a way that fosters creativity.
Because we’re attracting talented people from the tech and payment industries, the concept of reward is pivotal. Top talent, hungry for tangible satisfaction, can be frustrated by a lengthy product cycle. At YapStone, projects can be completed at an accelerated rate with deployment often happening in months not years. I believe it’s very rewarding for people to see the fruits of their efforts and see projects actually happen at a much faster pace.
Matt: Innovation, family environment, and growth.
At YapStone, we’re focused on fostering a more innovative culture. We want to create and implement something that’s never been done before in the markets we serve. That way, we’ll be a step ahead of any payment service providers entering the market later on.
People should enjoy working together. One of the things I’ve been hearing a lot, particularly with some of our new management, is how much people care for each other. The fostering of a family environment is definitely something key that characterizes our culture.
Professional growth opportunities are really important. We started laying that foundation last year by bringing people from Clients Services and giving them the opportunity to move to other departments. I think we should continue on that path. Part of that is going to involve enhancing new hire training, and talking more about the history of the company and what we’re trying to do. No matter what role people assume when they join the company, they should have the opportunity to change their path as they pursue professional growth.
3. Complete this sentence: If someone wants to work at YapStone, they better know ___
Tom: How to work as a team and communicate effectively.
Matt: How to think on their feet.
We really want to allow people to excel and take ownership of the projects they’re involved in. That requires thinking on their feet. We need people who are able to problem solve – individuals who can look at diverse challenges and figure them out. I think that’s critical. Any company that’s in a high growth mode needs to support smart, super talented people in order to achieve. We’re just moving too fast and don’t have time to show everyone how to do everything. If they don’t know it, they need to learn it – and learn it quickly.
4. What are some of the traits that our best hires have in common?
Tom: The first is a positive attitude. I would put that far above domain expertise in terms of importance. What is their overall attitude? When a problem crops up, how do they approach it: do they panic or complain, or do they use it as an opportunity to come up with a creative solution? Secondly, we look for people who have intellectual curiosity, individuals who want to learn all aspects of the payment solution business, and not just focus on the task at hand. We want people who understand how their jobs affect the rest of the organization, and look at what they do a little bit more holistically.
Matt: The best hires definitely have that holistic view – “I may work in operations but I understand the roles that finance plays and I understand the roles that technology plays and we work well together.” The ability to collaborate is critical, as is a positive attitude and the willingness to take on more responsibility. When you’ve got people that say, “Hey, I was able to take care of that piece of the project, I can see these things that need to get done and I’m going to just go after it and do it,” then you know that you’ve hired well. I think these are the qualities that best hires have always exhibited.
5. When someone does get hired at YapStone, what can they expect to discover here?
Matt: They’re going to find a very thoughtful group of people who really do care about how the company evolves. I think they will also feel like this is a fantastic opportunity – particularly people who live around Walnut Creek. This is the fastest growing company in this area and at YapStone you can really be a part of something that’s growing. Everyone who’s here has a vital role to play and everyone contributes in their own unique way. It’s an opportunity where you can really shine and excel, and I think ultimately everyone has a professional growth opportunity here if they want to pursue it. As long as we offer opportunities to people and people can be a part of something that is growing and exciting, the culture is going to take care of itself to a certain extent.
Tom: Hires can expect an attitude that’s predicated on “anything is possible.” They can expect to grow professionally – that they will be able to stretch beyond their comfort zone. They will be expected to work hard, but have fun at the same time. We have team-building things that we do. We get together for baseball games and other fun events. Even during the workday, we try to keep things light. People perform better when they’re at ease and not worried about making a mistake. At YapStone people are part of a winning team. We’ve been winning for the last 14 years, and we have no intention of changing that.
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