A scaling Ottawa software firm and a top employer
3 mins | 750 words
By: Katie LeClair
Evidence Partners powers evidence-based research. This Ottawa software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm helps leading research organizations – universities, professional associations, pharmaceutical companies, etc. – conduct better, faster systemic reviews.
Founded in 2009 by Peter O’Blenis, Ian Stefanison, and Jonathan Barker, Evidence Partners was born from the idea that innovative technologies could improve healthcare research. Jonathan, Peter and Ian understood the challenges researchers face and recognized how technology could help. So, they built their software business determined to reduce workload and improve review transparency.
Today, Evidence Partners is one of Ottawa’s fastest-growing companies with customers that include the likes of John Hopkins University and the World Health Organization. In fact, the company’s product, DistillerSR, is now the world’s most widely used literature review software. It manages, tracks and streamlines the screening, data, extraction and reporting processes for organizations across the globe.
Evidence Partners has experienced success and steady growth, which led to an exciting 2019, a year that included the announcement of a new office space expansion in Kanata, Ontario and a Best Ottawa Business Award for Best Performance Export. The scale-up is showing no signs of slowing down with ambitious growth targets and hiring targets to match; their focus is not only on attracting new customers but attracting and retaining top talent.
The number of Evidence Partners employees has doubled within the last year. What’s most impressive is that the company has been able to build a high-performing and loyal team. How? A strong culture.
We (virtually) connected with Evidence Partners to ask what makes working there so great. Three themes consistently stood out: reliability, flexibility and authenticity.
Evidence Partners’ founders bootstrapped the company. This decision’s impact extends much further than finances – it’s what the organization’s core values and identity were built on.
The now rapidly growing scale-up was described as having “no chaos or uncertainty, just consistency and reliability.” From the beginning, the founders focused on building a company that operated based on its own success, and this ultimately made Evidence Partners a stable place to work. Internal communications further solidify this stability.
When it comes to internal communications, Evidence Partners doesn’t rest on its laurels. Weekly all-staff meetings keep the entire team up-to-date and informed. Employees can rely on the senior team to not only bring them on the journey but layout exactly where they’re headed.
Oh, and they add fun to the team and meeting mix too (they even host EP Olympics!). This fun is modelled by Evidence Partners’ CEO, an approachable and relatable leader.
“We’re changing the way critical research is being conducted – it is an incredible challenge and a lot of fun at the same time.” Peter O’Blenis, CEO, Evidence Partners
Evidence Partners trusts its employees.
The firm recognizes that to do their best work, employees need working conditions that meet them where they are. A flexible policy allows individuals the opportunity to work from home. This policy became even more flexible as the company grew, not less. And when COVID-19 hit, this practice made the transition to fulltime remote work more manageable.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’s relaxed, and people have a lot of freedom.”
When asked, Susan Sykes, Director of Marketing and Communications at Evidence Partners, spoke to why they have been able to attract the ‘right people for the job.’ She highlighted that, as a company, Evidence Partners understands its core values at the leadership level. This clarity helps those hiring attract people who are a good fit. She emphasized that that goes a long way when it comes to everyone feeling appreciated and as if they fit in.
What is most valued and sought after in a potential employee is authenticity and mutual respect.
“Everyone here is really genuine. This is what we look for in candidates.” – Susan Sykes, Director of Marketing and Communications.
Their eNPS Benchmark
Evidence Partners’ employee Net Promoter Score is 76. What’s most impressive about their results is the fact that the survey didn’t identify any “detractors,” meaning the firm had no “unhappy” employees. This speaks for itself.
Are you passionate about developing and sharing tools, technologies and methods that will shape the future of evidence-based research?
Several critical positions will be opening to fill at Evidence Partners.
We noted that ‘fit’ is essential to this scaling Ottawa-based firm; the leadership team will bring on great candidates when they find them. Is their next great candidate you? Visit their careers page today at www.evidencepartners.com/careers.