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50 Leading Companies of the Year 2017

Finding bringing and retaining the best talent across the globe for business success: upGrow

thesiliconreview-jeff-vail-ceo-upgrow-2017With the remarkable technological advances made recently, the staffing industry finds itself needing to provide faster services at a higher level of quality than ever before. The industry today works in an exceedingly dynamic business environment and has slowly emerged as a strategic partner for its clients by providing an entire gamut of employment solutions and services. But competition, economic uncertainty and high costs are making it more and more critical to find and hire quality talent that can match the needs, ethos and work of a company. To make sure that the right people get recruited for business, companies have to implement the best recruiting practices and supporting technology to potentially reduce the time to hire, cost per hire and improve recruiter efficiency. upGrow is one such company that understands these challenges and provides the strategies and processes for identifying, recruiting and retaining the human resources needed to support every business activity within an organization.

upGrow is a technology staffing and placement firm and a subsidiary of WGroup, a leading IT Management Consulting firm. WGroup provides IT optimization consulting services. Due to increasing client demand for quality talent throughout all levels of a technology organization, upGrow was established in 2015. upGrow has grown 200% year-over-year by delivering premier recruiting and placement services.

We have the CEO, Jeff Vail with us. Let’s hear it from him

Why was the company set up?

As an IT consultancy, establishing ourselves as strategic advisors and problems solvers for clients is paramount. For nearly 15 years, WGroup focused exclusively on peer-to-peer executive IT advisory. WGroup consultants are typically former CIOs or senior IT leaders with more than 20-years of experience. As we continued to grow and earn the respect of Fortune 1000 IT leaders as an advisor and strategic partner, it was apparent that a common and significant problem was finding strong talent. Given we had a group of IT consultants that themselves had wide networks of talent that they knew and could vouch for, we decided to marry the client need for talent with our vast network of known talent. And thus, our staffing business was born. After rapid growth, we ultimately decided to separate into two brands to highlight their distinct offerings, while also ensuring that we could meet and exceed all client expectations. Hence, upGrow (a clever anagram for our parent company “WGroup”) was established.

Tell us about your products and services.

As a technology staffing and placement firm, our product is our people. We specialize in placing technology professionals in the areas of Application Development, Infrastructure, Cloud, Architecture and Engineering, ERP, Big Data and Analytics, Security, IT Service Management, and Agile and DevOps, in project, contract-to-hire, and full-time roles. By focusing exclusively on technology and engaging experts with 20+ years of industry experience in our vetting process, we are able to shrink the time to value in the recruiting process and mitigate overall risk for our clients.

So you are an IT Staffing Company. What makes you different from the immense competition?

We are different because we aren’t a traditional staffing company. Most staffing companies are staffed by entry-level graduates who are dialing for dollars and flipping a stack of under qualified resumes from Job Boards to clients. As a client, getting a stack of resumes from a recruiting firm that you have to sift through, half of which end of in the waste bin – is a WASTE of time. That’s how we work! We get a better understanding of the requirement, use IT leadership to vet people, and provide a few, well-qualified people for clients to interview. Our immense referral network, coupled with heavy technical vetting by leaders in IT, makes us the best at properly finding, screening and matching candidates to client needs.

What have been some of your success stories?

As for individual stories, there are too many to count! However, I’ll tell you some of my favorites. We asked one client for their most difficult role as an opportunity to showcase our value as a partner for full-time hires. The very first candidate we submitted (which happened within one week) was hired and is still there today as a leader in their Data and Analytics team. Another client required a team of 10+ Senior Project Managers to drive a multi-year, security transformation program. The team was staffed within two weeks and is still there helping to improve the overall maturity of the security within this global organization.

Lastly, we had a client struggling to find top talent given their rural headquarters’ location. To date, our team has successfully placed multiple key leaders in the organization who are direct reports to the CIO, including a Director of Information Security, head of Application Development, and Chief Enterprise Architect.

‘It is difficult to start a venture. But far more difficult to maintain it’ - How would you and your team interpret this saying?

The same passion that enables the successful initiation of a venture is the same passion that will sustain it. You will make mistakes – learn from them. Be steadfast to your mission and passionate about what you do – you can and will overcome the obstacles.

A couple of years from now, we plan to be the most valuable advisors to IT leaders in the market – bar none. That includes everything from solving their pressing business technology challenges, to advice on how to achieve change in their organizations, helping staff their organizations and helping them with their personal brand and careers. We have the people, skills, experience, expertise, and most importantly the passion to make it happen.

Knowing the thought leader, CEO Jeff Vail

Prior to joining WGroup, the parent company of upGrow, Jeff spent over 20 years as an executive at companies such as Unisys, SAP, Siemens/Unify, Quintiq and Dassault Systemes. He is passionate about applying technology, people, and innovation to drive business value.

“A business is nothing more than a group of people working together to deliver value to a customer. It doesn’t matter what business you are in. Playing a role to ensure a business has the RIGHT people to excel at its mission is what gives us satisfaction.”