HawkSoft in Canby Named One of State’s Top Workplaces for Seventh Year

If your employer is named one of Oregon’s Top Workplaces once, you should count yourself lucky. But if it’s so honored not once, not twice, but seven times in 10 years, well, you probably won the jackpot.

There’s also a good chance you’re an employee of HawkSoft, a Canby-based global leader in management software for independent insurance agencies, which The Oregonian named one of its top employers for small businesses (35 to 99 employees) for the seventh time this week.

The awards, now in their 10th year, are handed out based on the results of an employee survey that asks participants to rate their employers on criteria such as workplace culture, pay and benefits, company values, productivity and leadership.

HawkSoft was founded by still-President and CEO Paul Hawkins in 1995, but the seed of the company really started 11 years earlier. That’s when Paul Hawkins and his 9-year-old son, Sean, began learning to code on a Tandy 1000 they bought from RadioShack.

(For the kids out there, “RadioShack” was a place you could go to buy electronic devices, back in the old days when people still bought electronic devices from physical stores. Canby used to have one. It’s a liquor store now.)

The Hawkinses’ first programs included a check register, recipe book and genealogy program. Paul and Sean began developing what would become the HawkSoft Client Management System in 1993.

They founded HawkSoft on the principles of applying technology to make insurance workflows more effective, and the belief that insurance agents know how to do their own jobs better than software developers.

According to Paul Hawkins, the company’s focus on its values has been key to its success and longevity.

“Other companies I’ve worked for in the past would tout their core values when you started, and then that’s the last you heard of them,” Hawkins said an employee told him one time, in The Oregonian‘s write-up. “Here, I see it all the time in everything you do and all the decisions you make.”

The piece reveals other interesting tidbits about the company, like that they haven’t forced a return to the office for employees who would prefer to and can still work from home, and that Hawkins, a woodworker by hobby, built by hand the nearly 100 desks and other office furniture at its Canby headquarters on Southeast 3rd Avenue.

HawkSoft today employs 123 people in 18 states. Read the full story on OregonLive.com.

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