Team Work Makes The Dream Work Rethink how you go about hiring for your enterprise.

By Omar Jackson

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At Berkeley Assets, our office culture is quite different from the average private equity (PE) firm. Everything moves like clockwork without any tension, with friendly remarks passed around, professional phone calls made, and movement all around. The average age of the Berkeley Assets employee is also lower than the expected bracket found in finance industries, especially in PE firms. Considering the company raises significant capital, which is deployed across a vast range of development deals, and also boasts of a proven track record, the team efficiency has had a flawless success rate. From hiring people from outside of the PE industry, to crafting an office culture like no other in the industry, here's my alternative approach to building a team that defines the success of the modern day Berkeley Assets:

1. Choose the person over the CV
For us at Berkeley Assets, a CV is just part of the hiring process- in essence, it does not play an essential role. We hire personality over the resume, and the key is to make the right impression. Their appearance, how they present themselves, and how they answer questions is paramount. The attitude is the deal breaker; therefore, look at the person as an asset to the company profile, and not at the list of their experience. Experience in the field is a plus, but not a necessity to land the job. Every employee at Berkeley Assets is a reflection of the business, therefore the above is key. Our team represent and communicate our brand to our clients, current and prospective.

2. Look for the necessary skillsets
The primary skill that every potential employee should have is a positive and strong attitude– that's top of the list for being part of Berkeley Assets. If the employee has the right attitude, they will acquire any necessary skills and knowledge for the job, and master them. You can train a person on certain aspects of the job; however, you cannot build an attitude.

3. Invest in your team
We believe in investing in the team, finding people who can bring in new ideas, and yet be able to learn certain work ethics. Be supportive and invest time in people, because once they achieve their goals, they become invaluable members of the team, without bad habits. If we take someone on, we invest in them heavily; their thirst and desire to succeed and meet their own goals, is far more rewarding for the firm, as opposed to employees set in their ways, not wanting to be flexible, or develop in their ways of working.

4. Create an office culture
Globally, culture is at the forefront, as this is something that transcends through the entire firm. Every single person must be able to fit into the team. In contrast to a competitive and stern office culture, we form an atmosphere of respect and support. While having aligned communication, anyone from the team can drop a note or e-mail to the managing partner if necessary- we don't have unnecessary boundaries, it's a team in the truest sense. It's "work hard, play hard," but as a team. There's nothing more motivating for an employee than to celebrate wins of the firm, and each other– it builds relationships that far surpass the office hours.

5. Lead by example
Earn respect by the work you do as a leader, and the team will offer their all out of respect for you. Internally, they will see it as a duty to earn yours and the team's respect back, motivating them to work harder than they typically would.

Related: Five Strategic Team Management Tips To Boost Your Business

Omar Jackson

Founder, OJ Lifestyle and Partner, Berkeley Assets

Omar Jackson is the founder of OJ Lifestyle and a Partner at Berkeley Assets. At Berkeley Assets, Omar oversees all opportunities to maximize the potential of their diversified portfolio on behalf of investors and institutions. He has set up and run numerous successful businesses in the UK and the Middle East, sourcing investment for startups and acting on behalf of a portfolio of clients. He is responsible for leading a transformational change within the organization towards a goal of making private equity more accessible and transparent. 

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