Talent scout

It’s impossible to get Eric Belcher to stop talking about the growth culture at his company.

Ask him about how InnerWorkings Inc. grew more than 45 percent from 2007 to 2008, and he’ll tell you it’s because of a culture of growth.

Ask him how the provider of managed print and promotional procurement solutions has gone from a start-up to more than 700 employees and $419 million in 2008 revenue in less than a decade, and he’ll tell you it’s because of a culture of growth that always has the next generation of talent ready.

Ask him if the Chicago Bulls have a shot at winning the Eastern Conference of the NBA next year, and he’ll tell you … well, you get the point.

But to be fair to Belcher, he’s not just talking about the culture at his company to sound like a good president and CEO. His company is growing at a breakneck rate in an otherwise stale industry. He has to have good people on hand and a stock of highly talented people ready for the next round of growth.

“So here we are, growing wild in a contracting industry, which makes recruiting of talent in our professional services world absolutely critical,” he says. “We are nothing other than the sum of the talent of our people and our reputation. We need to work as hard as we ever have to ensure that we’re really attracting the best talent in the industry, and I need to be doing that first and foremost.”

So it’s safe to say that nobody better understands how important maintaining the culture at InnerWorkings is than Belcher — and no one spends as much time as he does working on it. Despite the company’s large size, he still spends nearly half of his time recruiting talent. At any given time, Belcher has a robust list of the future superstars in his industry in Chicago and beyond, and that is what he’s using to position his company going forward.

Here, Belcher shares a few tips on how to recruit top industry talent.