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Columbia Business Monthly

2019 SC 25 Fastest Growing Companies: No. 13 Kopis USA

Nov 19, 2019 02:21PM

LEADERSHIP Andrew Kurtz | President & CEO

INDUSTRY Software Development

LOCATION Greenville

FOUNDED 1999

What is the one thing that you would want others to know about your company?

We operate under four core values: Lead. Respect. Impact. Simplify. 

We are very passionate about having an impact on businesses by solving challenging problems with technology and by doing so in terms of our core values. 

What interview questions do you ask or what hiring techniques do you use to hire the right candidate? How important is finding good talent in your company? Have you been able to find the talent you need in South Carolina? 

We look for alignment with our culture and core values—finding the exact right set of skills is not as important as being a good fit for the team and showing the ability to learn and grow. 

Almost every hire we’ve made in the last five years has been local to South Carolina. Our interview process is about the person before the technical skills. Don’t get me wrong, the skills are important, but the culture fit is even more so. Our first interview is a conversation over coffee where we really try to get to know who someone is, what they are passionate about, and how that aligns with our core values. 

During the second phase of our interview process, potential candidates meet with a cross-section of our leadership and development teams to dive more deeply into their technical background and experience. Finding good talent is paramount to our success, and it’s a process we take very seriously. We have relocated some people in from out of state when that alignment of passion and skills has been a fit, but for the most part, we have had success with hiring local Greenvillians. 

What lessons did you learn the hard way? If you could go back five or 10 years what advice would you tell yourself?

One of the most important lessons is to be on the lookout for overpromising and underdelivering. This can manifest in many ways, so focusing on self-awareness and setting good expectations is critical to success. I would go back and tell myself to continue to stay focused on what you can control and to keep an eye out for team members who should be given more leadership opportunities.

Have you acquired or merged with a company as part of your growth plan? What advice would you give to a company considering the same?

Yes, we have gone through two acquisitions, each of which was very different. Be prepared to walk the walk of your culture and core values. With a new group of people, it is more important than ever that culture/core values are discussed frequently and are top of mind to more quickly get everyone on the same page.

What marketing tips would you offer other companies? 

Be willing to try different ideas out and see how they work. It feels like in Greenville especially, a lot of leads are driven through personal connections. We really try to connect within the community and foster relationships through serving on boards, attending local events and giving back as one of our main marketing mechanisms. We also partner with Complete PR, and they’ve been great placing media opportunities in front of us that we normally wouldn’t have known about. General branding is powerful, and a lot of people focus more on campaigns and immediate ROI, but marketing is at minimum a two-year game and you have to get your name out first and foremost before you can even focus on pushing super-specific services.