Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: July 30, 2018 Fact Book 2018

‘I have lived and built my life here’

File Photo / Tim Greenway
Joshua Broder, CEO of Tilson Technology in Portland, invested in a new headquarters in Portland. The company now has 400 employees, including 115 in Maine.

In 2017, Tilson Technology Management moved from its offices on Commercial Street to a new 16,000-square-foot space at 16 Middle St., also in Portland. Tilson plans to add up to 100 employees in the next three years. Mainebiz spoke with CEO Joshua Broder about his decision to expand in Maine.

Mainebiz: You have clients and employees nationwide. Why invest in Maine?

Joshua Broder: Maine is our home. We have around 400 employees across 17 locations, but 115 of them area in Maine. Labor is tight in Portland, but it is all across the country. We have been successful at adding high performing team members in Portland, year over year. We are only our people — starting over in a new city with different people is not an option. We have offices all over the country and continue to hire into them, but we won’t let go of the great people we have in Portland, or force a move. We love our hometown.

MB: What factors went into choosing Portland for your new headquarters?

JB: We first had to decide we wanted better space. From there, we had to decide if we wanted to stay in Portland or move to the suburbs. While we could have saved money moving to the suburbs, staying in Portland was a no-brainer for us. As a services company, workforce is our most important differentiator and greatest challenge, and we wanted a place that was going to be welcoming to in-town employees walking to work, and our whole team who enjoys the culture, food and nightlife in town. Many of our Portland-area employees are millennials living in town, but even our suburban dwelling employees like a great lunch spot or a cocktail with colleagues after work.

MB: Has recruitment been a challenge?

JB: We have been fabulously successful attracting and retaining entry-level and mid-career employees to work at our Portland HQ by having a strong team culture, expectation for excellence with a peer group to back it up, and by offering a lot of responsibility on day one, and opportunity to advance quickly. Tilson is constantly growing and taking on new, larger and more complex projects, so people get promoted quickly, get to learn new domains and technology, and get to work with new teams. Our former receptionist is running multi-million dollar projects on the cutting edge of wireless networking, and is widely respected nationally by her clients and peers. Our engineering director started as a project assistant, within a year was running a multi-million dollar project, a year later was a director running our new national wireless construction division, and now, just a few years later is selling and executing on eight-figure technology projects with 150 people working for her.

MB: What have been the most effective strategies for recruiting and retaining talent?

JB: Hiring veterans and hiring the best people and respecting the peer group by insuring our best employees are surrounded by their equals. Building an alumni network and celebrating the success of employees who find their next steps elsewhere. Tilson is a place where the peer group sets the pace. When we have employees interview, we have them meet several Tilson employees and get a sense for the people they will be working with. We know that for high-octane people, they can feel the vibe and know they have found their tribe. Also, Tilson has worked with the University of Southern Maine, University of Maine, and Southern Maine Community College on interns and recruits. Tilson’s engineering director, Kelly Brewer, is an adjunct professor at USM, and has teamed with educational institutions to build a world class engineering team in Portland. It has been incredibly effective — dozens of employees through those programs. We do the same thing in other cities around the country.

MB: What recruiting strategies haven’t worked?

JB: Hiring high-octane accomplished people who are not also team focused, hiring senior level people from large companies. We have doer-leaders. Professional managers who don’t also do, don’t make it in our team environment.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF