If lucky, financial software development company PIEtech Inc. is able to recruit a two-fer — an employee with a background in both financial planning and software development.
But not content to rely on luck, the company is creating its own dual specialists through an internship program.
“We get software development interns and business analyst interns,” said Kelly Jordan, the company’s human resources manager.
“When we bring them in, they get a really heavy exposure to the financial services industry and different topics that are related to our industry. So they get a lot of financial knowledge.
“With our (software) development interns, we teach them either a language or some piece of development software that they’ve never used before. Then we have them create code from scratch working with our business analyst interns so that they all have projects to take with them at the end of the summer that are all industry-related,” Jordan said.
Five years ago, the Powhatan County-based company had just about 40 employees and didn’t need an internship program, Jordan said.
Now with 143 employees, the fast-growing company is focused on having experts to fill future needs. The company hires about nine college interns per summer, she said.
The internship program “primes them to be successful when they come in and work full time,” Jordan said.
“We’ve hired three and made offers to five,” Jordan said, of the interns whom they have offered permanent positions. The two who are not on board yet are on the pipeline.
“We will let them start as sophomores so not all of them are eligible for full-time positions when they finish (the internship.) We have one that is starting (a permanent position) in June. We have an offer out to another who does not graduate until December 2018,” Jordan said.
Once new employees are on board, the company offers them opportunities to continue to grow professionally. For instance, 20 employees at the company recently completed a 10-month program to become certified financial planners.
“Every month for 10 months they would take a Thursday, Friday and Saturday and go to this class instead of coming to work. We also promote from within when we have new opportunities open up,” Jordan said.
“We really allow our employees to choose areas of interest within their roles that they want to pursue and support them in pursuing them,” Jordan said.
The company is also focused on work-life balance and creating a work environment that includes opportunities for down time.
Employees are allocated $250 every year to be donated to a charity they feel strongly about.
Dress is casual at the company’s offices in Powhatan and at a training center in Midlothian, and both locations are dog-friendly.
For break time or blowing off steam, there’s ping-pong, gaming systems, scooters and more.
“The dogs are also helpful. If you are having a rough day, just go find somebody’s dog to snuggle with for a bit,” Jordan said.