This was one of our most satisfying relationships and it continues to this day. The two founders of Horizon started their firm with a borrowed pickup truck. Since we started working with them in 2011, Horizon Services has evolved into one of the largest residential services firm in the US. We’ve always had an enormous amount of respect for the drive and dedication it must have required to grow a business like that in a very, very competitive space.
When Cathy and Jeff first met Mark and Dave, they had 300 employees and had just opened their second location. They were growing rapidly. Now, at 5 times that number and with locations between Atlanta and New England, their growth has become obvious on a national level. But to get to that point, ownership knew that success would require hiring key people at the executive level who could reinforce their company culture. Without that, site operations would have no support for infrastructure or framework. Things would fall apart like a house of cards.
The recruiting challenge could be broken down into three areas:
1. Ownership was concerned that their growth would outpace their corporate infrastructure, so they asked us to help them create a corporate team at the VP level. How do you construct a corporate team for a company in an industry that usually has equivalent corporate structure? If no competitors are large enough to require a corporate presence, what type of people do you need to hire as executives? What industries do you target for candidates?
2. Horizon had never really hired a professional and executive workforce before. None of these roles had a history behind them, nor were there any incumbents on which to base a candidate’s competence. We were hiring in a vacuum.
3. Beyond the executive team, we also had to develop a predictable pipeline of internal talent for the operations part of their business. Each new business unit that they opened would need 7-8 supervisors and managers, most of whom would have to be hired from the outside. That was a huge challenge.
We worked very hard to understand both ownership and the culture. We met with them a number of times and visited an operations center as well. That was important. A company composed of skilled tradespeople requires a different approach than a company comprised of accountants, for example. We decided to target people at operations intensive companies within a specific revenue band – larger than current Horizon operations, but not so large as to be irrelevant.
We successfully brought in multiple new VP’s in HR, Marketing and Operations. We added Directors and Managers in Finance and Marketing. Lastly, we started adding operations and accounting people at the new acquisitions as they closed on deals nationally. We’ve been working with Horizon for over seven years and have been proud to help them increase their revenues and facilitate growth. They have since referred us to peers in Kentucky and Idaho to help them get to the same level of success.