Craig Vanderburg Featured

10:07am EDT April 26, 2006

Craig Vanderburg is a true pioneer in the professional employer organization industry, and his latest success is the founding of Troy-based Presidion Corp. Vanderburg has grown the $100-million-plus company — a provider of human resources management services to small and mid-sized companies — at a rapid yet controlled pace, focusing on both organic growth and acquisitions. Vanderburg, president and CEO of the company, attributes his company’s rapid growth to great customer service. Today Presidion is the largest professional employer organization in Michigan, serving more than 2,500 companies and 30,000 worksite employees.

Smart Business spoke with Vanderburg about how he finds good employees and exceeds customers’ expectations.

Make it measurable.
I would absolutely tell anyone who is interested in being the CEO of their own company to make sure that you absolutely understand your goals and strategic vision for the company and then document that and put it into a strategic plan, so you have that measurable, regardless of whether your company is doing $1 in revenue or $100 million in revenue. Have that measurable strategic plan in place so that you can constantly be checking off the boxes of your own path as you go.

First and foremost, you need to understand what your clients’ needs and requirements are. Secondly, you must have a very strong vision for your business and be able to understand the measurables of the product that you serve.

Envision the future.
Our vision for the company is for the long term, to be the premier provider of outsourced human resource services to small businesses in America. We focus on that on a regular basis by trying to exceed our clients’ expectations.

We have a constant reinforcement of our values to our people to continue to focus on that vision. The best way that we’ve determined to get folks to buy into the vision of our company is we have to identify the right people upfront when we’re hiring talent. By trying to identify people upfront — before we bring them into the organization — who have values that are consistent with the company, that allows us to better prepare them to focus on the vision of the company going forward.

Find the right people.
We look for the right mold of an individual driven by strength of their background, their education and their performance in the past. Marrying those folks up and understanding what their values are as we bring them into our company, we think those combinations make a strong fit in identifying the right people.

We believe that we have a very solid offering that attracts strong, qualified people. We have very competitive wages, competitive benefit programs and try to have a conducive environment to understanding the different changes and demands in the workplace that offer up a competitive package overall to bring the right people into the organization.

Reward to retain.
We try to compensate as we go forward such that they want to be part of the organization. They are valued and they are rewarded through their compensation programs to be consistent with the success of the company.

In order to keep retention at our highest levels, we constantly focus on the buy-in and daily practice of our core values within the work environment. Commitment to goals and redistribution of the rewards to all equates in high levels of retention. In addition, we constantly reinforce the need to properly balance work and family life. All employees are afforded significant work/life balance time.

Exceed customer expectations.
We are constantly on an annual basis surveying our clients and asking them, ‘What are the areas that we can improve upon in our offerings?’ We consistently focus on that feedback to try to improve the overall service offerings that we have in the first place.

Secondly, we have small focus groups in the company where we have folks who essentially are sample users of our products and services, and what we are doing is challenging ourselves internally to create a better mousetrap, if you will, on our current offerings and putting ourselves in the client’s position and asking ourselves, ‘What can we do better to meet a client’s expectations of what we offer today?’

Address failure.
The key to dealing with unhappy customers is to respond immediately, accurately and consistently. Upon any service failure, management is notified and follows the client account for the next 60 days to assure accuracy and service delivery.

HOW TO REACH: Presidion Corp.,