December 8, 2020 – Executive search firm StevenDouglas has expanded its search staff in recent months and named Angelica Chadwick as head of its technology search practice in central Florida. She joined the firm to help establish and build the firm’s technology practice in the Tampa Bay area, furthering both StevenDouglas’ Florida and national capabilities.
“In response to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, many competitors nationally are shuttering offices and cutting employees in 2020,” said president Matt Shore. “Conversely, StevenDouglas has quietly and strategically expanded the teams in Tampa, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta and South Florida, increasing the company-wide recruiting and client service teams by 12 percent since the beginning of the second quarter.”
With more than 20 years in recruiting, Ms. Chadwick’s focus is on building long-term business relationships with her clients and candidates. Her experience includes working with various companies ranging from mid-sized businesses to Fortune 100 corporations. She previously served as managing partner with Lucas Group. She also gained search experience with SNI Technology, Harvey Nash and RJ & Makay.
“I’ve joined StevenDouglas to help establish and build the IT practice in the Tampa Bay-and-beyond marketplace,” Ms. Chadwick said. “My team and I strategically source high-level IT talent for a wide range of leading employers throughout Florida, with a focus on the Tampa Bay area. A constant relationship-builder, I am always looking for my next new connection.”
“Our executive team made a decision early on in the pandemic – that we were going to stay committed to our staff, make sure that they felt safe and supported, and not let anyone go due to the pandemic,” said Mr. Shore. “We also found that there was a unique window of opportunity to add some incredible talent in key markets and to invest for the future. We are not just telling our clients to go out there and get top candidates; we are walking the walk and doing it in-house as well.”
StevenDouglas has focused on adding search consultants in the firm’s high-growth areas of expertise including, information technology, supply chain and logistics, finance and accounting, and general executive search. Based on client demand, the firm has recently added over 13 employees across its Tampa, New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, and South Florida offices.
“Our people and our culture are what’s most critical to our success and we felt like we had to be there for the team and look for opportunities to add more great people to be prepared for the next market expansion,” said Steve Sadaka, the firm’s founder and CEO.
Established in 1984, StevenDouglas is a boutique search and interim resources firm. Its client base is industry agnostic and ranges from start-ups and emerging middle-market to Fortune 500 companies and private equity firms. StevenDouglas has experience in a variety of key areas of expertise, as well as rapid-growth, highly competitive practices, such as IT staffing and consulting. The firm is headquartered in Miami.
Expanding During COVID-19
“Over the years, I would describe our hiring strategy to be one of being situational opportunists,” said Mr. Shore. “We do not typically go after a market and try to find someone in that market. Our approach is typically to find great people and then add them to an existing team or build a team around them in a market or practice area. As I think about where I want to invest of our money in human capital, we want to focus first in geographies where we already have a footprint to build off of and we want to continue to add talent in practices where we are already a strong player and want to add more capability.”
“As evidenced by the 14 incremental hires we have made since COVID began, we plan on bolstering our market presence in general executive search, finance and accounting search, IT search, supply chain and operations search as well as continue to invest in our interim resource business,” Mr. Shore said. “Having an interim resource business was one of the secrets to our success that allowed us to not let a single person go during the pandemic and in fact, go out and play offense and invest in incremental hires.”
“We have already hired several more people that will be joining the company in January and have a few more offers going out in our key markets and we may be opening a new market as well,” Mr. Shore said. “Our view is that this is a unique opportunity to find some great talent in our industry, given that other firms in the industry are making knee-jerk reaction decisions because they are publicly traded or PE-backed and have to appease their investors. We are building for the long-haul and will continue to add great people as the opportunities arise.”
Working with Clients During COVID-19
Mr. Shore said that the primary difference in dealing with clients is the lack of in-person interaction as expected. “From the initial introductory pitch call, to the kick-off meeting and development of the go-to-market strategy, there is little to no in-person contact,” he said. “We are conducting all of these meeting via Zoom and we are running the entire sourcing, recruiting and vetting process via Zoom as well. Even when we are working with clients and candidates that are local to a specific team, we are still doing things via video to protect everyone health-wise.”
“On the client side of things, most of our clients are running the bulk of interview process and in some case the whole process virtually,” Mr. Shore said. “As time has gone on, we are finding that for some key executive positions, some clients are now requiring that people come in for final face-to-face meetings before they consummate a deal.”
“After 24 years in the search business, I have been amazed by how many clients have hired people without meeting them in person, and this is the first year that I can remember where our firm has hired anyone internally without meeting them in person,” Mr. Shore said. “It will be interesting to see how things evolve once the pandemic is behind us.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media