Since opening an Austin office nine years ago, global IT reseller SHI International has been one of Austin’s fastest growing tech-centered companies.
Today, the company has 820 employees at its offices on South MoPac Boulevard, and it has plans to keep growing.
Over the past year, SHI has hired 220 people, and it plans to add up to 300 more over the next five years.
To accommodate the growth, SHI, whose parent company is based in Somerset, N.J., is looking for land to build a new 250,000-square-foot Austin headquarters, which will be a 40 percent increase from its current space.
The vast majority of the Austin positions are telephone sales workers who sell a range of information technology products including cloud solutions to middle-tier companies.
The company tends to hire goal-driven sales people just out of college, which is why Austin attracted SHI in the first place.
“Our model in Austin is an aggressive college recruiting program, and there are so many schools -- from UT to A&M to Texas State and Texas Tech -- where we find great talent,” Hal Jagger, vice president and general manager of corporate sales and services.
But as the company ramps up hiring, it’s also looking outside of Texas, and it’s finding recruiting to Austin easier to do than when SHI first opened here.
“Now kids from all over the country are wanting to come to Austin because they come for events like ACL and they want to stay,” Jagger said. “We have expanded our college recruiting across the country to schools like Auburn, Indiana University and Michigan State.”
To attract top talent, the company is also working to build career paths for grads who start out working the phones.
“Here in Austin the jobs are primarily entry level sales and entry level pre-sales technical engineering roles,” Jagger said. “They learn the business and customer communications skills that way, and we’re creating new sales, marketing and technical service leadership opportunities where they can move up.”
SHI International, which has more than 3,000 workers worldwide, was No. 43 on Forbes’ 2017 list of largest private companies. The company posted $7.5 billion in revenue in 2016, according to Forbes.
The Austin division will post annual revenue of $2.7 billion in 2017, Jagger said.
The company’s growth is being driven by a shift by companies to cloud-based technology, he said. As a result, “the traditional IT reseller channel structure is changing and customers are looking for partners who can provide expertise in a hybrid environment. That’s why we’re investing in Austin -- to take a greater share of this market.”