Baltimore Business Journal| Best Places to Work, micro, first place: ClearView Group

Location: Hunt Valley

Managing director and CEO: Brian M. Davis

Number of employees: 21

Previous years as a finalist: 2014

Describe your company culture in five words.
Transparent, honest, respectful, candid, trusting.

Tell us three specific ways you ensure all of your employees know they are valued.
We deliver what we promise to our employees, we never lie to them, and they never have to guess what we’re thinking. Every employee at ClearView knows that they are an active participant in our growth. We don’t have to be all things to all people – but we do have to be all things to our people.

What concrete steps do your senior leaders take to create a great work environment for all employees?
Most companies focus on doing specific things to point to the fact that they are a good company and a fun place to work – they tell you about the pool table in the cafeteria or the company picnic to illustrate that. We spend more time focusing on what actually makes people happy. If someone has a bad day, it means they are worried about something – so we try to eliminate the worry. Worry just wastes energy and kills culture. We don’t eliminate competitiveness in our environment. Instead, we just create a place where people can truly be themselves.

Give us some specific examples of how your company creates opportunities for individual development and career growth at all levels of the company.
We are business people first. We don’t necessarily hire according to a specific job description. Instead, we look for skill sets that are transferable — we like to say that we like to hire “Swiss Army knives.” We are always looking for new service lines so we can support our clients more effectively, so we encourage our employees to get the training and certifications needed to support those services. We have open discussions about what’s next in our growth. We make sure that our employees know that they are only limited by their own ability and desire.

How would you describe your company in 30 seconds to someone you meet at a cocktail party?
Accounting firms are typically run by accountants who are scorekeepers for business people. At ClearView, we are business people first — we just happen to be experts at accounting and taxation. We bring a real-world business mind to the table to help our clients solve their most challenging problems.

What are the most popular perks you offer to employees?
We believe that the biggest perks are peace of mind, transparency, and loyalty. You don’t always find those everywhere, and we want our employees to know that they can count on those every day. We also have great perks like annual Firm trips (this year’s is in Cancun), happy hours, gym memberships, healthy foods in the kitchen and more. But mostly, we really believe our values set us apart.

How does being a Best Place to Work affect your bottom line?
By being a Best Place to Work, we know we will be able to attract and retain truly exceptional people. We like to say that we don’t recruit people — we just share our story, and let the candidates decide if this is the right place for them. That way, we don’t need to re-recruit our people every day.

Article courtesy of Jonathan Munshaw the associate editor of the Baltimore Business Journal.

Published Sep 17, 2015, 1:45pm EDT

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