Staffing Firms Top Inc. List Of Fastest Growing in HR

From the giant IPO-bound staffing firm Staffmark Holdings, to Indianapolis’ 14-person HR services firm FlashPoint, 156 self-described human resource companies made the annual Inc. list of the 5,000 fastest growing businesses in the U.S.

Inc. ranks the companies, all privately held, by growth rate; the faster revenue increased over three years, the higher the company ranks. By that measure, HR staffing and services firm Nextaff was first among the HR companies that volunteered to participate. (Participation requires companies to divulge annual revenue, employee counts and growth, etc. Only some companies are willing to publicize that kind of proprietary information.)

Nextaff reported 2010 revenue of $72.1 million, a 1,167 percent jump over the last three years. In 2007, the company reported it generated $5.7 million with only nine employees. Now it has 12.

Of the top ten HR firms on the list, eight are staffing and placement firms, with several specializing in IT and engineering. That’s in line with the strong demand in the last 18 months for tech workers. It’s also evidence that employers turn to temps and contractors at the early stage of a recovery before committing to hiring permanent workers.

In 3rd and 5th place among the HR companies are Jobfox and BountyJobs, respectively. Both companies are familiar to recruiters.

Jobfox, launched in 2004 by former CareerBuilder CEO and founder Rob McGovern, is a network of networks where job seekers and jobs are matched, recruiters mingle with candidates, and referrals of friends who get hired earn rewards.

BountyJobs is a network of  pre-qualified headhunters and independent recruiters, and companies with reqs. Employers set fees and post jobs that interested recruiters can then bid on. It’s three-year growth of 881 percent, took it from $1.6 million in 2007 to $16.2 million last year, not only placing it high on the HR list, but 389th out of all 5,000 firms.

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CEO Mike Hard, who piloted BountyJobs though the most turbulent economic years since the 1930s, emailed to say, “Fifth place is an eye-opener, but no HR department that regularly uses headhunters is going to be shocked at the emergence of BountyJobs and the category in general. When people hear about what BountyJobs does they say, ‘What took you so long?’.”

Hard attributed a big part of the growth to existing customers,  many of whom, he noted, are among the Fortune 500. BountyJobs, he said, handles the contingent search jobs of more than a third of the Fortune 500 employers in the U.S.

I also pinged McGovern, but haven’t heard back. However, the Inc. report placed Jobfox at 352 on the 5000 list. The company grew from $1.2 million in 2007 to $12.9 million last year, a 963 percent increase.

Besides the companies that described themselves as HR, the Inc. 5000 has others with extensive HR business and clients. Jobs2Web, the SEO firm that optimizes job postings and enhances their online visibility, is listed among the software firms. It’s $9.9 million in revenue last year was 824 percent ahead of 2007, ranking it 419 overall.

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.


5 Comments on “Staffing Firms Top Inc. List Of Fastest Growing in HR

  1. is certainly not the size of JobFox, BountyJobs or Jobs2Web, but is probably growing faster than any of them.

    This weekend an interview that was shot in our offices early this week will appear on the NBC Weekend News with Lester Holt assuming it is not preempted by the hurricane.

    More and more employers, temp firms and staffing firms are hiring older workers for temp jobs and project assignments as this demographic usually needs less training and often has a better work ethic than their younger counterparts.

    Older workers are more likely be be able to work without benefits and take less time off from work, showing up on time and providing a full days work for a day’s pay.

  2. I have reservations about the “reality” of this publication and not just of the HR companies listed but in general. The list is not a result of independent market research. Each of the companies listed pay a $125 non-refundable entry fee for consideration (just a small portion of the overall process according to the application process page), $200 deposit to ensure a spot and $1095 attendance fee for the “awards” ceremony. Guests pay $1695. I guess the high fees for the ceremony are because the magazine has to rent space for the time it takes 5,000 business owners to pick up their awards.

    According to the applications page, there are benefits for applying:

    Media exposure. But media exposure for who? The publication knows that their annual list will generate lots of traffic to their site via complimentary press releases and social media.
    A complimentary 500|5000 benefits package from PR Newswire, including one free press release. In the next weeks we can look for press releases for each company that link directly to the magazine’s website. And btw, is a partner of Inc.
    High traffic company profile page. Profile pages are linked the 2011 500/5000 online list.
    Morale. I have never heard any employee (other than the VP Marketing or a CEO) rave about how their company made the 500/5000 list. Rubbish.
    Networking. Leadership opportunities by “hosting a local Inc. event”.

    And finally: Increased visibility to the Inc editorial staff.


    Do all companies who pay $125 to apply make the list? If the $125 is non refundable there is indication that they won’t. If over 5,000 companies are listed ($125 x 5,000 = $625,000) and roughly 8,000 apply it equals $1M. There is also indication that they do make the list because some company revenue is as low as 2% in 3 years. Recession revenue will be drastically lower than 2010. One company listed has over 2000% growth because of less than $500,000 revenue in 2007 to over $4M in 2010. While it is an impressive growth, the company was founded in .. 2007 and grew by 1 employee.

  3. JobFox is very unethical. They scrape job postings and OFTEN post jobs on their site without consent and authorization. What makes it even worse, is that people belive they are applying to “ABC Company” but they are just loading their resume up to JobFox. Then applicants are directed to ABC website career page and “encouraged” to apply on-line. AND, they will get a lot emails to pay for resume writing and subscription services….and for what? Nothing? “ABC Company” never authorized JobFox to use their job posting…

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