After its first year of operation, Hire Dynamics LLC was $1 million in debt and pulling in $2 million in revenue during a recession. But for CEO Dan Campbell who co-founded the firm with Jon Neff in 2001 a positive mental attitude helped the company through the hard times.
“Even though it might be a soft economy, there are always opportunities to take advantage of the economic climate,” he says.
In hindsight, he’s glad he and Neff started the staffing company at such a difficult time because it forced them to be disciplined and eliminate risk factors. Seven years later, Campbell still runs Hire Dynamics the same way, and the company has prospered, posting 2006 revenue of $43 million and more than $50 million in 2007.
Smart Business spoke with Campbell about how to build loyalty among your employees and how to make sure your company is the one that customers think of first.
Q. What are the keys to effective leadership?
Effective leadership is about laying out a vision and executing it. Stay consistent to that.
One of the biggest challenges for companies is they’re not consistent with what they’re trying to achieve, and it constantly changes.
That becomes difficult, especially if you have turnover with leaders. The companies that I have seen that have stagnated are the ones who haven’t stayed consistent and that keep changing unless change is part of the strategy of the leader.
Q. How do you portray the leadership as being consistent?
One, it’s behavior. To a certain degree, there is consistency in people knowing how I’m going to respond to a certain situation. When you are inconsistent, it’s more difficult for people to follow you and understand where you’re coming from.
I would start with your behavior being consistent in terms of how you respond. Ensure that your leadership style and the directions and decisions you make are consistent with what you set up as the foundations of the company.
Q. How do you define success?
We define success four ways: One way is growth. If we’re not growing, we don’t view ourselves as being successful. That’s everything from top-line to bottom-line growth.
The second thing is loyalty. That’s the loyalty of our internal employees, our customers, our associates and vendor partners.
The third one is the ability to attract other successful people to Hire Dynamics, whether that be employees or clients.
Finally, top-of-mind awareness. In terms of recruiting or staffing services, is Hire Dynamics the name you think of first? Is that with a positive connotation?
Q. How do you attract quality people and build loyalty?
In the early days, it was about selling the vision and having people buy in to it because you don’t have the track record of performance. Over time, as you have that track record of performance and you have that name recognition, it becomes easier.
In terms of retaining, that’s about building the culture. We’ve built a good culture where we are a fun place to work. Each generation out there has been attracted to different things, but we definitely like to position ourselves as a fun company to work for. We work hard but have a lot of fun.
We very much invest in training. We make sure that every individual within our organization gets 40 hours of outside training on an annual basis. That’s part of our performance measurements; that individual has a responsibility to ensure that happens.
We recognize people and reward loyalty. Every person within our organization gets something for each year they’ve been with the company. For example, when you get to five years at Hire Dynamics, every individual gets a Rolex watch.
It’s a way to preach the importance of loyalty. With our Rolex club, people look forward to that.
Q. How do you develop topof-mind awareness?
It certainly doesn’t happen overnight. We have been around for seven years. In developing top-of-mind awareness, it helps that we’re very good at PR and getting our name out there. We’ve been a fast-growing company, so seeing our name in print a good bit has helped that top-of-mind awareness.
The easiest way to develop that is the concept of paying it forward. You focus on what’s in it for the other person and try to achieve that, rather than just trying to get something from yourself upfront.
Here’s an example: In the recruiting/staffing space in Atlanta alone, there are 500 companies that do what we do. There aren’t a lot of barriers to entry, so when somebody has the need for staffing and recruiting, part of who they decide will be which company is top of mind. What company do they think of?
It could be either through a positive experience or by hearing somebody talk about the company or if they saw it in print.
HOW TO REACH: Hire Dynamics LLC, (678) 482-8041 or www.hiredynamics.com