Location: Acton, MA
Industry: Technology and professional services
Thomas M. Cates
THE IMPORTANCE OF INTANGIBLES
The Brookeside Group, Inc. was founded to help B2B companies build mutually beneficial, profitable relationships with their clients. That takes a workforce of talented, committed people. “Potential new Brookesiders have to run a gauntlet of interviews, one on one and with a group, where we try to find out if the candidate is a great fit,” says CEO Thomas M. Cates. In addition to reviewing resumes, Brookeside looks for the intangibles, says Cates: “Is this person intellectually curious? Do they have high standards? Would I be uncomfortable if they sat next to the CEO of our largest client at dinner?” The company also likes to throw curveballs to see how candidates will react. For example, Cates once challenged a candidate to plan a themed office lunch on the spot. The candidate came through, and turned out to be a great hire.
Quick Tip “If you work together, help when you can, don’t keep score, and trust that … it will all be more than OK if you simply commit to doing great work together, that will make you a great leader.”
At the same time, maintaining a small, team atmosphere during periods of fast growth has been a challenge for Brookeside. “We started with literally six desks crammed into one basement room. Today, we occupy the entire building,” says Cates. “As we get bigger and busier, and people are running 100 miles an hour, we have to create opportunities to reconnect, share our experiences, and learn from each other. We are generally successful, but it takes work.”