In this article, I look at growing a talent acquisition consulting firm.
Meet Ken Hicks, the founder of Broadwing.
Broadwing is a talent acquisition consulting firm that works with companies that positively impact consumers and their communities. The talent world can be a challenging one, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Broadwing helps transform companies by finding great talent and looks to change how candidates feel about the recruiting process.
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Over to Ken . . .
What’s your background? How did you get into the business?
After serving in the United States Marine Corps, I completed my bachelors degree in Human Resource Management. This led me to recruiting as the HR function that best suited my personality and career aspirations.
I took to technical recruiting working in an agency and branched out into small to mid-size startups very quickly.
Just like any other recruiter, my path to where I am today was definitely not a straight line.
What does your business do? Who are your ideal clients?
My business is a talent acquisition consulting organization.
The largest part of our business is contingency recruiting, but we add in a lot of consulting services to bolster an organizations ability to compete in a challenging talent climate.
What are the typical outcomes they get when they work with you?
When a company works with my team (Broadwing) they will get a candidate that has been well vetted to be sure that they align with the client expectations.
The icing on the cake for our partners is that they always have a partner in Broadwing that can ebb and flow with their talent needs.
Our biggest asset is our flexibility for partners who are larger and more established or organizations making their first external hires.
What’s good about making the move from the corporate world to becoming an independent HR consultant? What’s not so good? Any advice to others?
Making the move from being an in house teammate to becoming an independent consultant or business is full of ups and downs.
The positives; I haven’t been to a meeting that was non-sense in a very long time, I don’t get asked to do things that are outside of what the talent function should be doing, a lack of organizational politics.
The negatives; Business development is difficult when you’re a small or unknown brand, creating content about your brand is a lengthy and necessary process, all administrative work falls on very few, or only one individual, likely myself.
How did you get your first few clients? What are your main marketing channels for getting new clients now?
Almost all of Broadwing’s clientele are from word of mouth.
My main channel right now for successfully gaining new clients is through doing a great job with our current partners.
Have you ever gone into a company to do a small piece of work and then ended up doing something larger or longer? How did that come about? Is the process something you could replicate?
This is actually a large part of our model.
The hypothesis for Broadwing is that if we do great work, our partners will ask us to do even more work.
Our largest partner is the model for this as we were originally brought on to hire a few teammates and now we have been partnered for almost the entire duration of Broadwings existence!
The HR industry continues to evolve at a rapid rate. What change and challenges do you see now and in the future?
The biggest challenge I see in the future is continuing to scale recruiting while becoming more human.
Tech is improving our ability to reach more candidates at a higher rate of speed, but putting the human touch on that interaction is still a big challenge.
Advice to the HR pro: There is no sidestepping the human element. If you want people to come work on your team, people are going to have to be involved in attaining/retaining that talent, make sure that your team understands this.
Any tips on interesting people that HR businesses should check out to grow faster?
There is a team in California called Fynd Talent. They are a wealth of content and different thinking around recruiting. I think they are someone to follow on LinkedIn just for a daily dose of “how am I doing, am I being thoughtful” in recruiting.
If people want to learn more about you, your business, or work with you, what should they do next?
The number one thing people can do is reach out to me by e-mail and be very frank with me about what their needs or ask at email@example.com.
Great to see the excellent talent acquisition business Ken has built – I wish him well and I suggest you adopt some of his strategies for growing a talent acquisition consulting firm.
While you’re here . . .
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