Steven Neelin remembers his first success in the recruiting field. He helped a single mother find a job that increased her salary from $20,000 to nearly $36,000. The woman had been living paycheck-to-paycheck, borrowing money from her parents for car repairs, but the job change enabled her to afford her first home.
At age 39, Neelin left his job with a small employment outfit to start his own company. It was with that first success in mind that he founded Quality Recruiting in February 2002.
Over the last decade, the firm has developed a clientele of mostly small and midsize businesses, and it has increased revenue by more than 150 percent over a three-year period.
"Our strength is really in dealing with companies 75 to 80 employees or smaller," said CEO Neelin, noting that the company had about 500 placements in 2011. "In the past I've been asked if I would want to work with the larger companies that are here, but with them our message gets lost in translation. It just comes down to how cheap they can do it rather than finding the best fit for them."
Quality Recruiting is a full-service staffing firm, but Neelin said the company would never fill a job just to fill it.
"Everything we do has to be the right fit for the client and the right fit for the applicant," he said. "Some recruiting firms will force employees in who don't fit, but that's not helping anyone."
The company has gone through a change as the local economy has shifted, Neelin said. Quality Recruiting has moved away from a concentration in light industrial work and is doing more in information technology and engineering.
Neelin says the company has seen profits rise as a result.
"There's a serious shortage of engineers we're seeing, and a lot of work for them to do," he said. "If you even look at our infrastructure, we have roads and bridges in need of repair and an energy grid that wasn't designed for how much power we're sucking up now."
The changing marketplace has Quality Recruiting changing its approach as well.
"We're not a temp agency and not an executive placement agency," Neelin said. "We're somewhere in between, and we're now trying to look for some key areas where there has been continued growth."
Mike Thieros, who has worked with Quality Recruiting as a client with Vanteon Corp., said the agency has always been one of the best at responding to client needs.
"There have been times we've given them a very short deadline on which we need to hire people, and within 24 hours they'll have resumes and people interviewing," he said. "They've also been very competitive with their rates and with making sure our needs are met. If we have different requirements for a certain job or different things we need to do with time cards, they're always able to meet our needs."
Health care reform has brought more changes to the industry and to Quality Recruiting, Neelin said. The company is taking a step back to evaluate how this reform will be implemented and what effect it will have on businesses and hiring. It is a period Neelin calls a "controlled wait-and-see."
But whatever the future brings, Neelin is confident Quality Recruiting will be able to take advantage of its relationships and its expertise to thrive.
"We have 22 years of experience on average for our recruiters, and every time we meet with a client we bring that expertise and the ethics we always hold," Neelin said. "We have to treat every client right and only do what's best for them. Rochester is too small of a city to do it any other way."
Full-service staffing company
2012 ranking: 22
Top executive: Steven Neelin, CEO
The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. This year's Rochester Top 100 event will be Nov. 6. For more information, go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com.
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