In 1989, with no experience in the staffing industry, I started a boutique exempt-level contract staffing firm specializing in finance and accounting. My two partners and I where all former Big Four finance executives and knew how to do accounting ourselves, but, had only participated as “hiring managers” before starting our firm, Management Solutions Inc. in San Jose, California. We hired two people from one of the big national temp placement firms to set-up up our process and we went to work recruiting, selling and “working” contract accounting orders. Within a year we were generating over a million dollars in contract revenue and another $300,000 in “perm” billings. In late 1990, I attended a one day training class in San Francisco put on by a guy named Peter Leffkowitz. I was hooked from that session on skills building and the need to set-up a daily process to become successful in my new profession. I still use the skills that Peter demonstrated in that training session.
I loaded up with his videos, daily planners and the flip chart, full of sales and recruiting scripts and went back to our San Jose office. Over the next four or five years, Management Solutions grew to be one of the largest finance and accounting staffing firms in the Silicon Valley with over 25 placement people on staff. During this growth spurt, we used the Morgan Method training videos to start new employees off on how we did business. Then, we decided to take the company to another level and put an expansion plan in place that included a significant place for staff development. We felt we needed a way of doing business that would insure that every office we opened would have the same high quality and corporate culture as our San Jose office. In early 1995, we asked Peter to spend a couple of days reviewing our operation and then lay out an “in-house” training plan to install and make consistent for multiple office growth. Within one day, Peter opened my eyes to the power of metrics in our business. Since we were all accountants, being able to come up with measurements (numbers!) for managing our business appealed to us. We developed a Secret Sauce Recipe for daily activity that we could train to and manage to, that helped us build the foundation for our expansion. We then asked Peter to help us set-up a customized training program for our people.
The program included the Tall Pony Ranch, and a two month on-the-job, in-house training program for all new hires. We then launched our expansion plans and over the next six year period we grew organically and through some strategic acquisitions to a ten office firm, with over 200 recruiters who produced over $55,000,000 a year in revenue. Our per desk averages on the direct hire side were 2.5 deals per desk average, 20 new qualified candidates per month and a six to one send out to placement ratio. We also had less than one percent fall-offs on placements. In early 2001, we sold the firm to one of the big international staffing firms for over seven times EBITDA.
After sitting out my non-compete agreement, I started a boutique staffing firm in Santa Cruz called Kula Consulting to do finance and accounting placement in the California market place. I’ve revised my secret sauce recipe for placement success to accommodate the changes in the way we do business compared to my former firm. But, the thing that remains a constant is the training provided by Morgan Consulting. We have attended the internet search/sourcing training sessions and still use the Morgan Planners and Situational Guides and will send new staff to the Tall Pony Ranch as a reward for learning the basics from me.
CEO, Kula Consulting