Employees’ Choice Awards: Finding the right people at Macadamian

Mark Brownlee
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To Shafique Shamji, building a profitable company and a workplace where people want to contribute dovetails one with the other.

Shafique Samji is the managing director of Macadamian.

The chance to work with Macadamian’s high-profile clients – Twitter, the PGA Tour and Ericsson are among those listed on the company’s website – goes along with referrals from employees who already work there to facilitate one of the company’s most important processes: hiring.

“The company kind of sells itself in terms of what we do,” says Mr. Shamji, Macadamian’s managing director.

That doesn’t mean that recruiting is easy, though. Mr. Shamji says the company puts a lot of time into hiring the people that it’s been adding in droves in past years.

Company officials also regularly go to events throughout the Ottawa-Gatineau area in search of people who could be a fit with the company in the future.

“The key is we’re looking for people all the time, even when there’s no need,” he says. “We have a lot of relationships with people that, when the time is right, we will bring them on board.”

Macadamian also offers a lot of perks to keep employees satisfied after they’re hired.

The company offers biweekly pizza lunches, during which managers recognize new employees. Macadamian also gives out quarterly prizes, which it refers to as the Academy Awards, to outstanding workers.

If we find somebody that is interesting and good and could be a potential fit, we keep them in mind and actually touch base with them and we keep that relationship open so that when we do have a need, it’s not a cold call again.

Employees can also apply to get 15 hours per quarter to work on projects of their own choosing to go along with an “employee-friendly” benefits plan and available dollars to help workers register in fitness programs.

“All of those things I think put together result in a very engaged employee base that can sit there and say, ‘Yeah, you know what, I’m happy to work here, I’m engaged, I like what I do and you know what, if I don’t, I know I can leave.’ And people don’t,” says Mr. Shamji.


Founded: 1997

Employees: 105, plus contractors

What they’re doing right:

Constantly looking for new talent

Biweekly pizza lunches

Quarterly awards

An “employee-friendly” benefits plan

Making money available for employees to register in fitness programs

Organizations: Ericsson

Geographic location: Ottawa, Gatineau

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