IT staffing firms are not identical. They’re a lot like cups of coffee. Instant doesn’t compare to a freshly-ground, French-pressed brew. The quality of ingredients and meticulous preparation are just better. For a staffing firm, the direction from leadership, resources at recruiters’ fingertips, and even the company culture generate a drastically different quality of results. In our own experience, one rare cultural differentiator gets an even greater ROI for businesses or IT professionals: an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). For those new to the concept, here’s how an ESOP program like ours can further enhance the productivity of your company or success of your career.
When employees feel like owners, they swing for the fences. Many companies out there try to create that ownership mentality in their team, but unless they actually make them owners, the effects will be marginal at best.
For us, transitioning over to an ESOP model has led to monumental changes. The change didn’t happen overnight, but once our salespeople, recruiters, and consultants realized the implications of the ESOP, they began thinking like owners and using their voice to enhance the organization.
The shift came when we rebranded and began asking “how will this impact the shareholders?” while making decisions. Soon, our internal team and consultants, the shareholders of our company, began to recognize their stake in our future and began to feel empowered because of it. Their productivity increased, just like it does with 76% of companies that implement an employee stock ownership plan.
That has three clear outcomes for our company. Our salespeople and recruiters had more face-to-face meetings, more submittals, and more success with placing IT professionals because they now perceived the impact of their work on their own share price. Our consultants recognized that not only delivering their best work on contracts, but sticking around with our staffing firm gave them more direct control over their shares. And our clients saw that by working with IDR, they’d be getting dedicated staffing partners who could find a ready supply of vested IT consultants who were truly motivated to always produce at their best.
Traditional staffing firms are slow to change. Direct communication between their leadership and team in the trenches tends to be one-way. Any fresh idea or new strategy slowly filters up the rungs from one level of leadership to the next. That either stalls new productivity developments from going enterprise-wide or discourages salespeople or recruiters from speaking up at all.
On the other hand, an IT staffing firm with an employee stock option plan gives creativity a voice. Stock ownership means IDR’s employees and our consultants are part of the decision-making process. They are encouraged to speak up, given direct channels to express their ideas to leadership, and supported as they put those ideas into action.
For example, working with a recruiter at an ESOP staffing firm means that any issue that arises during the recruiting process can quickly be addressed up the chain to create practical solutions. That way, barriers are removed faster and top candidates are found with less hassle. On the candidate side, IDR has engagement managers who can give candidates a voice and improve overall experience. The flexibility ensures that our shareholders get what they want from contracts and generate the best results for clients.
An ESOP makes every victory a shared victory. The more revenue an ESOP company generates, the greater the financial return to the shareholders. When your shareholders are your salespeople, recruiters, and consultants, any placement made by another member of the team still benefits everyone’s bottom line. As the company thrives, they thrive.
That realization tends to dissuade our people from developing the more cutthroat or self-centered bad habits you’ll see at other staffing firms. There is definitely some healthy competition, but no one is going to hide a candidate or opportunity if it will benefit another IDR team member, whether in their office or another branch.
How does that impact you? The collaborative spirit fostered by our employee stock ownership plan moves our staffing process like a bullet train. We’re quick to connect with team members if we need assistance filling an opening or have the perfect candidate for an opportunity. We readily share our insight to help our coworkers bounce right over recognizable roadblocks. And we’re open and honest with one another to ensure that everyone on the IDR team keeps growing personally and professionally, which helps clients and candidates complete their goals faster.