“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
Founded in 2000 by Marine Corp veteran Chris Knott, INT Technologies quickly earned its way to become a leading technologies staffing firm. INT’s story is a fascinating tale based on Knott’s belief that the Golden Rule is not just a personal moral maxim, but is also a crucial element for success in the business world.
Following Knott’s Honorable Discharge from
Marine Corps, he attended college while simultaneously working various jobs in order to afford tuition. It was during this phase the Knott discovered that focusing on “customer first” was both highly appreciated and far too rare. It was from his early business experiences that he realized the advantages of combining both ethical behaviors with highly capable and adaptable delivery services in capturing and maintaining long-term business relationships.
As Knott entered into the world of IT services in the late 90’s, he found an industry reminiscent of the frontier gold rush days. The concepts of building long-term mutually beneficial business relationships seemed to take a back seat to short-term financial gains. As the IT services industry was still in an infancy stage Knott knew the opportunity existed for a company based on integrity, excellence and long term relationships to succeed.
Armed with a home equity loan and with the help of his cofounder, Rhonda Rutledge, INT Technologies was born with the motto “Technology Solutions with Integrity”.
Serving Clients Better
Rutledge began her career as a software developer, but given her strong interpersonal skills and technical acumen she found success in technical recruiting. Rutledge was also frustrated by the unethical behaviors of existing technical staffing agencies and instinctually knew that she and Knott could serve the clients better. Knott and Rutledge fought to prove their vision to Phoenix area based customers and were soon welcomed onto vendor lists at the State of Arizona, A major health care provider, a major regional power company, and one of the nation’s largest banking institutions. In that first year, despite only having two employees, INT Technologies was rated a top tier performer with that bank from among 20 national services providers. These two people out performed the top guns in the industry and achieved gold status in their first year! Knott was quoted as saying, “A promise of good business ethics that got us started the first year. Ethics plus performance allowed us to lead the vendor list the second year. And since then, it has been our high performing accomplishments and long-term commitment to our clients and employees that allows us to continue to service every one of those first year clients to this very day.“ Rutledge affirms Knott’s sentiments by saying, “The first few years were so important in making sure that our word was good and that we delivered. And we still ascribe to that theory today.”
Knott and Rutledge’s business vision and concepts have proven out again and again as INT Technologies quickly made its mark in the industry. 16 years later, INT has expanded its footprint from coast to coast with offices in San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Charlotte, Boston and New York. INT was honored five consecutive years in a row by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. and has been awarded SIA’s “Best Places to Work For”.
National Veterans Owned Business Association
One of the most interesting facts about INT is that they are certified as a National Veterans Owned Business Association. When asked what this means to Knott, he smiled and responded, “I am proud of having served in the Marines, but I am more proud of the dedication and sacrifice of the thousands of other veterans and the fact that we can offer them support and job opportunities so they can thrive after having served our country. We are always on the lookout for veterans and veteran charities.” Knott explains that with the increased need for cyber security there is a surplus of clients needing IT Security Professionals to help protect their assets. Many of these IT security candidates come from a military background, so INT is able to assist in placing veterans with specialized skills into long term projects or permanent positions. INT is also able to serve as diversity supplier to clients so that they too can be recognized for their giving to our country’s veterans.
Standing Tall Amongst Peers
When asked what makes INT different from its competitors, Knott did not hesitate to respond. He explained the Partnership Pyramid which illustrates the clients business needs at the very top, with every other aspect of the company flowing down from there. The clients are the absolute top priority, followed by the INT employees who serve those clients. “We must make this the place to work that attracts the best of the best so that our clients our properly served.” Knott and his management team are at the very bottom of the pyramid. Knott explains that management is there to support and help INT employees achieve success for their clients. INT’s priority pyramid greatly simplifies generating solutions for conflicting challenges. “Each challenge is checked on how it affects the various pieces of the business, starting from the top and down through. We find that the correct solution becomes apparent very quickly, and we never lose track of the client this way.”
Developing Robust Partnerships
Knott explains that there is not a business in existence today that is totally self-reliant. Companies must develop partnerships in order to succeed. The benefits of implementing his ideas into business partnerships have transformed INT into the “go-to” for companies seeking partners who they know they can trust to help them achieve their business objectives. The company’s clients know that INT is committed to serving them in a way that is designed around them. That INT will find solutions for their challenges that may strictly benefit their needs, even if it is not advantageous for INT in the short-term. This is because INT understands that the client’s partnership is a long term goal and goes well beyond one transaction. INT invests in their partners; and in return, INT’s partners trust them to act in their best interests.
INT’s Heroes are its Employees
INT understands the important role every employee plays in the company’s overall achievements and makes great efforts to reward its employees and consultant employees for exceptional performance. The company also has designated Consultant Managers whose sole duty is to communicate with the various consultants working at client sites to monitor their progress and maintain their happiness and well-being. INT terms their employees and employee consultants as INT heroes because INT is all about extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.
INT’s Unique Factor
INT is unique in that they only hire seasoned recruiters and account managers with an average minimum of five years of industry experience. The average tenure of the staff within the company is 13 years. Unlike many other agencies that use a more junior recruiter model, INT has made a strategic decision to invest in the best.
Unlike traditional staffing firms that focus on sending as many candidates as possible, INT’s team of senior professionals focus on providing only the most qualified candidates to their clients thereby saving the client time and money. Considering that a client may receive 25-50 resumes per competitive requisition, the time required of a client to simply narrow down that stack of resumes adds up to be an expensive proposition. Further screening can add up to hours of time that distract from focusing on their primary responsibilities and cost the client time and money. For large clients, this adds up to millions of dollars of managers’ time spent screening resumes and qualifying candidates, tasks that should be completed by the staffing firms they hire to provide these services. INT determined that one of its clients was spending over $1.2 million dollars for this task. INT proudly takes all phases of the process into its hands, only presenting the very best, most qualified, fully vetted candidates so that the hiring managers can focus on doing their work instead of burdening themselves with the full time task of recruiting. INT prides itself on providing quality candidates to the client to increase the efficiency of the hiring process and save the client time and money.
Good People Doing Good Business
Over the years INT has grown with its clients, opening up offices nationwide to better serve its ever expanding client base. With the current rate of progression, it seems as though the sky is the limit for INT Technologies. Knott believes that the key to continued success is INT’s holistic approach to growth. Simply put, “Its good people doing good business.” INT has a commitment to excellence, quality and integrity. INT is actually an abbreviation for integrity and it’s quite clear to see that the theme is woven into all aspects of how the company was built from the ground up and how it continues to maintain such high standards of honor and ethics. Knott was asked what message he wanted to relay to potential clients in the future and he stated, “Try us. Put us to the test and let us prove the truth of who we are and how we can perform for you.” Given INT’s success rate to date, it stands to reason that they will do exactly that… and then some!