Direct Recruiters, Inc. and INNOVA People Join Forces to Form Healthcare and Tech Recruiting Divisions

March 8, 2024 – Direct Recruiters Inc. (DRI) and INNOVA People, Starfish Partners companies, have launched INNOVA Healthcare and INNOVA Tech staffing practice areas. “We have diligently been searching for the right firm to merge our existing staffing business with since the inception of Starfish Partners,” said Dan Charney, president and CEO of Direct Recruiters, Inc. “Joel Slenning and INNOVA People are the ideal partner based on their existing footprint in the hospital IT space. Additionally, their expertise in several other areas of hospital staffing will allow us to become a complete solution for our clients. Frank Myeroff, practice leader and managing partner of the Direct Recruiters existing staffing group will work closely with Joel to continue to grow this division for Starfish across leading medical centers and several other strategic markets that we have identified.”

Leveraging decades of experience in healthcare and technology recruiting and merging the staffing divisions of INNOVA People and Direct Recruiters Inc., this newly formed staffing company offers solutions, including contract, contract-to-hire, and temporary placements. In addition, they will offer customized staffing services encompassing consulting, sourcing, identifying, acquiring, onboarding, and retaining senior executives to organizations. Moving forward, the combined staffing companies will be operating under the INNOVA People brand.

“After investing significant time getting to know each other, it became obvious that this was the right move for INNOVA People,” said Joel Slenning, founder and managing partner of INNOVA People. “Dan Charney and Frank Myeroff of Direct Recruiters were the perfect people to build a strategic partnership with and grow our two businesses together as one. With the tenured expertise that the Direct Recruiters team brings to the table, and INNOVA’s very progressive, technology-driven, workforce solution offering I am confident that we have made a sound decision for both organizations and am excited about bringing our teams together and serving our health system clients made possible only through this collaboration.”

To further enhance and support team growth, the Starfish Partners companies will have offices in Ohio and Oregon. Operating throughout North America, the combined companies will expand their footprint to sourcing supplementary talent for the healthcare and technology sectors. Mr. Slenning, drawing from over two decades of experience, alongside the INNOVA People team, will leverage their technology stack and artificial intelligence platform.

Recently Acquired

In November, Starfish Partners, an investment and ownership platform for niched professional and mid-to-upper management search specialists, acquired INNOVA People. “Joel is one of those rare combinations of superior capabilities and production as a search professional while also establishing himself as an extraordinary leader, having built several firms in the industry,” said Jeff Kaye, managing director of Starfish. “Joel is a visionary but also one who can execute and implement with excellence. We are very fortunate to welcome Joel as an owner and are thrilled his team has joined as well.”

Related: Trends Facing the Executive Recruiting Industry

In 2022, Starfish Partners acquired Direct Recruiters Inc. DRI provides customized employment solutions for clients working in over 25 vertical markets. Since 1983, the firm has been recognized as the relationship-focused search firm specializing in building customized employment solutions. Its team offers contingency search, contract staffing, and retained “Direct Retention” search to source, identify, acquire, and retain top-performing professionals that elevate the success of its client organizations.

Starfish Partners Acquires Global People and NinjaJobs
Starfish Partners has acquired Global People and NinjaJobs. Financial terms for both deals were not disclosed. Current Starfish Partners organizations include search firms Kaye/Bassman International Corp. (KBIC), Direct Recruiters Inc. (DRI), Integrity Search, Full Spectrum Search Group, Raymond Search Group, the Sanford Rose Associates International (SRAI) network, and consulting and training firm Next Level Exchange (NLE). Global People is a local employment solutions provider for national and international corporations. Established in 2008, the company implements onsite employment solutions for leading Hi-Tech, IT, Cyber and professional services companies.

NinjaJobs is a McLean, VA-based firm that works across North America placing talent in the cybersecurity industry. CEO Drew Fearson and the NinjaJobs team will expand Starfish Partners’ reach into the cybersecurity industry by continuing to utilize their technology and job board platform.

Starfish Partners was launched in 2022 as an ownership/investment platform for the executive search market. The platform, according to its founder, was formed to allow owners to scale and monetize their business value; it will also allow independent search firm owners to participate and share in the equity of an entire family of companies, not just their own. “As the search and staffing industry has evolved, it has consolidated in most areas,” said Mr. Kaye. “We see small staffing firms acquired by regional players acquired by national ones. We see giant holding companies owning a variety of organizations operating under many unique brands. We see mergers on both small and large scales,” he said.

“The executive search industry has had a flurry of merger and acquisition activities over the years, but there is one segment of this massive world that has remained relatively untouched: the world of niche professional and mid-upper-level management search specialists,” Mr. Kaye said. “The barriers to entry are low, but the obstacles to growth are significant. There are understandable issues and reasons why investors have avoided this robust section of the market,” he said.

Related: Hunt Scanlon Media Launches M&A Advisory Service for Recruiters

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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