During this season of economic uncertainty, the benefits of working for a company with strong growth are clear. Beyond the company line, it’s also helpful to know that company values extend to wanting to see employees succeed – not just company profits. Frontier Technologies Inc. has built a successful business model based on just that – values first. And it has benefited from impressive 30-95% growth over the past seven years.
ClearanceJobs recently sat down to chat with Tim Hinds, vice president of human resources at FTI. While FTI had a strong foundation working with the Air Force through its small business innovation research program, they’ve had significant success in turning phase one and two contracts into phase three contracts, and developing sole source contracts with government customers.
“That ability has really allowed us to take off and explode over basically the last five years, like a high-tech start-up in many ways,” noted Hinds. “Even though we’ve been in business for 35 years, there’s a great foundation that was laid to build the company’s capabilities and the decision analysis tools that we use.”
FTI has gone from 10 employees to over 400, with massive growth in just the past year. For candidates, that means great mission, focus, and diversity of opportunities, as well as job security – a definite advantage of working in the national security sector today.
“We also have a tremendous amount of opportunity for career growth,” said Hinds. “As we keep growing, we need people to go from junior level to more senior level positions and take on more responsibility. We invest in training, both informal through online learning platforms to formal development and leadership training.”
For the contracting space, FTI is unique – their business model isn’t based on contracting cycles where work is constantly turning over to other contractors – and that’s why they see employees who have been with the company for not just years, but decades.
“We’re very stable. We’re very secure in what we do. It’s a very, very unique environment and culture,” said Hinds. “And we’re just so blessed to be able to provide the opportunities and provide the security and sustainability for people to grow their careers and know that they’re doing something meaningful. I look at our culture as kind of the heartbeat of the company. And if you want to work for a company that’s got a soul, then FTI is the place for for you.”
FTI is a private, high-growth defense contractor anchored by four guiding principles: core values, commitment, compassion, and charity.
“The culture is at the forefront, and it really guides all of our decision-making,” said Hinds. “It guides our leaders in the decisions they make, and it helps guide us in terms of the work we do – because we believe that the work we do is mission-critical, and our nation’s security is something that our founder believed strongly in supporting.”
Supporting national security at FTI includes a commitment to helping transitioning service members not just find quality employment, but make a holistic transition.
“You have to not only transition from a work standpoint, but also how you work and how you engage and how you interact with people and how you look at structure and leadership principles,” said Hinds. “We’re fortunate to have a lot of leaders in the company that have made that transition successfully and who are mentors to people coming in to help them as they go through that process.”
Mentorship can be key for veterans making the transition, and FTI has invested into their employee and onboarding process, even hiring a veteran to join their recruiting team and specifically work to help onboard veterans and ensure their success. That includes events specifically for service members, talking not just about job opportunities, but also what new employees should expect in their first six months at a job, what they should look for in an employer, and how to navigate the terminal leave process.
“We make sure the management team has a 30-60-90 day plan. Not just about the goals and objectives from a work standpoint, but how to immerse that person into the company culture,” said Hinds. The special onboarding process and services afforded to veterans extends to how FTI looks to hire and expand leadership opportunities – it tries to make those path available within the company, so professionals don’t feel like they need to go out to go up.
“We’ve got a commitment to continue to help grow our leaders so we’re not hiring them externally,” said Hinds. “A lot of our people have an opportunity to go and participate in new programs, new work, do research activities, and potentially even develop new technologies, which for those in the technical world is something that is very invaluable because they want to be able to not only use the coolest technology in the marketplace, but they also want to go and develop new technology, as well. And so we give people that opportunity.”
Hinds describes it as both a vertical and horizontal career trajectory – giving employees exposure to new areas, so they’re not ‘segmented or siloed’ but are able to grow in their own skills, and the positions they work in and the agencies they support.
“When you get into FTI, it truly is an opportunity to have a home to use the knowledge and the skills you have to be able to do really cool work for really important customers that impacts national security and touches the lives of civilians across the country,” said Hinds. “And, and to be able to have meaningful work, compensated well, to have a culture and a quality of life that you can feel proud to talk about with anybody that asks you – I think that’s really who we are and it’s who we will be forever.”