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September 12, 2023

Harnessing Diversity: We Install IT Shares Its Growth Journey


Many integration companies struggle to find the talent they need to grow their businesses. We Install IT found a wealth of talent by focusing on diversity and the Latinx community.

Back in 2020, my brother Alberto and I decided to make shifts in our careers and leave the system integration company we built in Latin America. Our options were limited, but we knew we wanted to stay in California, so we decided to start a subcontracting business.

Our company—We Install IT—provides customers with AV and IT manpower by building, training, and deploying onsite and remote teams to help integrators scale.

Why a Subcontractor and Not a Systems Integrator?

We’re often asked why we chose to brand We Install IT as a subcontractor instead of a systems integrator. There are a few reasons:

  1. Field Knowhow: We understood field operations like the backs of our hands.
  2. Leveraging Networks: During this time, many integrators had let go of their field teams due to project shortages. Our network was our asset.
  3. Niche Demand: High-level expertise in an in-demand area meant that our services were also in high demand.
  4. Affordable Entry: Low financial barriers and solid margins made our startup journey feasible.



Rising Above Challenges & Nurturing Diversity

The path to starting our company wasn’t all rosy. Finding projects was tough initially. For nearly a year, we didn’t complete more than 10 room projects and had only sporadic service calls, so we didn’t get enough work to build a team.

But then came our gamechanger: landing our first midsize project with 156 rooms in downtown San Francisco, to be wrapped up in a month.

We were going to need to ramp up for this opportunity, but building a team wasn’t easy. We found it challenging to locate talent using traditional recruiting tools, so we tried unconventional recruitment approaches: using Facebook groups and WhatsApp, and even talking to Uber drivers about career options. Because of this, we grew our team in record time.

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Once the project was delivered, we took a step back to look at our team proudly, and a remarkable realization hit us: Our recruitment approach had led us to create a diverse team with a mix of talents. We were all foreigners and some first-generation immigrants.

Three years later, our team has now grown to 26 players to support our projects. More than 90% of our company is Latinx.

The majority of our team members were first-generation Americans, and they were fluent in English and Spanish. Language barriers did emerge, but we turned these into opportunities.

The company’s commitment to overcoming language obstacles led to growth-focused initiatives, including English language training as part of the onboarding process.

Among the 200+ projects we delivered, involving 2,500+ conference rooms in three years, language barriers never prevented us from delivering.

Today’s Talent Market & Embracing the Hunger Factor

The talent landscape is shifting. The market is opening up, creating a healthier equilibrium between employers and employees.

The hypercompetitive environment for talent acquisition is softening, and the pendulum is swinging toward a more balanced state. This might give conventional methods of hiring some strength once again, but there is so much more to the Latinx community than just availability of talent.

Immigrants coming to the United States are driven by the American Dream, which means they often bring unmatched determination and ambition. By fostering an environment that supports and nurtures this hunger for success, companies like We Install IT benefit from stronger, more motivated teams. We may not be the most technical subcontractor around, but we’re a subcontractor that can offer the best attitude.

With the Latinx community projected to make up nearly 30% of the U.S. population by 2060, it’s time to embrace the importance of this demographic. Hiring Latinx talent not only fosters inclusivity but also opens doors to a network of skilled professionals who are eager to contribute to your company’s growth.

Embracing the Power of Diversity

The tale of We Install IT serves as a testament to the power of diversity, innovative recruitment, and embracing that hunger for success.

By tapping into the Latinx community’s potential and providing a platform for growth, the company not only found its footing but also emerged as a leading light in the subcontractor industry.

We hope our journey and insights provide a roadmap for other businesses seeking to thrive through diversity and community engagement.

In the ever-changing world of integration companies, innovation doesn’t just mean technology—it means embracing diversity and community.

Luis Schilling is cofounder of We Install IT and a member of NSCA’s DEI Action Council.

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