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iVenture Solutions: Profile of a small company

Gray Mabry
[Photo: Ryan Ketterman]
“This is very important for a small business. Is this person a good fit for our culture? Does the person live up to our core values?”

— CEO Gray Mabry

Job interviews at iVenture Solutions generally start at 3:45 on Thursday afternoons. An applicant is sent off to meet with two senior staff members. After 25 minutes, the applicant rotates to another set of staffers and on it goes until he or she meets with six to eight senior members. Then all the applicants join managers to give them feedback and ask questions.

The round-robin is a feature of the 12-year-old Jacksonville tech support company. Openings tend to be for ground-floor jobs on a help desk, paying $32,000 to $38,000 per year. The company is hiring. While it uses job boards, the most recent hires came from referrals from current employees or business associates. CEO Gray Mabry is looking for tech school graduates with experience and appropriate certifications, two-year degree holders with some experience or four-year degree holders who generally have had interning experience. They generally are local hires and range in age from 18 to people making a midlife career change. Matt Herrin, 24, took a job in June after going through the round-robin interview. Herrin is training to be a remote help desk staffer. He spent six years as a network administrator for a trucking company and completed his bachelor’s in information technology and networking at the University of Phoenix in September before joining iVenture in June. He hopes to become a system engineer some day. Herrin, speaking in his second week on the job, says he has found iVenture “very employee-oriented.” “Everybody is very friendly here. I don’t think I’ve been in any work situation where everyone comes and meets the new guy.”

Says Mabry, “This is very important for a small business. Is this person a good fit for our culture? Does the person live up to our core values?” Mabry was a University of Florida telecommunications major who gravitated to data and digital-handling work while he was an intern at CNN. He and Mark Schnitzius founded iVenture in 2000. “It’s a lifelong mission for me that our company is a place people want to be and do their best,” Mabry says.