Private HR Firms Are 6th in Revenue on Inc. 5000 List

Inc. 5000 top 10Human resources firms are among the top revenue-producing sectors on this year’s Inc. 5,000 list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in the U.S.

With an aggregate 2013 revenue of $12.13 billion, the 199 self-identified human resource firms cumulatively ranked sixth among the 25 business sectors on the Inc. list.

The group includes HR services firms such as Trinet, the largest company to make the list with reported revenue of $1.6 billion. Its 81 percent growth over three years ranked it 3,821 on the 5000 list. 

Ataraxis, a Boise, Idaho, PEO, was the top-ranking HR firm, placing 112 with a growth rate of 3,278 percent. Founded in 2009, the 12-person company had 2010 revenue of $1.2 million. Last year, it reported $40.7 million.

A few HR tech providers — among them Jobvite and HireVue — made the list. Other HR software vendors also appear on the Inc. 5000 list, but under different categories. Bullhorn and GreenJobInterview, for instance, placed themselves in the software category. At least one staffing firm, Rooster Park, also categorized itself that way. As a consequence, the Inc. 5000 list has more human resources businesses than the category contains.

Of the 199 firms who self-selected human resources as their primary business sector, there are screening companies, consulting firms, and some job post publishers. Among the latter are Jobs2Careers, which was the second-highest-ranking HR firm, placing 131 on the list with a three-year growth rate of 2,830 percent and $22.4 million in revenue.

Staffing firms, however, make up the largest category of HR companies.

Elwood Staffing, with $763 million in revenue last year, is the biggest placement firm to make the list. The company places temps in several areas, from administrative and clerical positions to the skilled trades. Its direct placement division — Elwood Professional – conducts searches for mid-level professionals on up to CEOs.

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At the other end of the revenue scale is Katalyst Group, with 2013 revenue of $2 million. This executive search firm is headed by Wendy Doulton. She specializes in placing senior-level people in digital media, entertainment, online, mobile, and related technologies.

You may know Doulton better as “The Headhuntress,” star of an anticipated reality series about the recruiting industry. A single hour-long episode aired on Bravo in 2011, but the series never materialized.

Firms have to apply and pay a fee in order to be considered for inclusion on the list. Financial information must be provided and is reviewed by Inc.’s staff.

To download a list of all the human resource firms that made the list, including their rank, growth rate, and 2013 revenue, click here. Click image to expand to full size.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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