Recently The Silicon Valley magazine reached out to Fairwinds to do an article as we were shortlisted for a position on the “50 Most Valuable Brands 2017”. Below is that interview.
Redefining the Recruitment Experience, One Placement at a Time: Fairwinds Recruiting
Fairwinds Recruiting is a talent acquisition firm specializing in EPM Cloud Consulting Services, Oracle Hyperion Professional Services, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Cyber Risk Security, Software Product Management, and Sales Professionals for the Information Technology industry. It was founded in 2009 by Dan Counts, with the headquarters in Monterey, CA, near Silicon Valley. Fairwinds has an extensive network of highly qualified candidates, which allows them to work with companies of all sizes, from large enterprises to small and midsize businesses, with the single goal of providing the highest level of collaboration and customer service to clients.
Foundation of Fairwinds
Through experience in working with recruitment agencies in the past, the founder had experienced a lack of professionalism, follow-up and genuine care in the process of seeking a new position in a competitive environment. Fairwinds was set up to provide a better experience around the recruitment process for consulting and software companies. Initially, Fairwinds focused around the Enterprise Performance Management consulting industry. In 2011, the company expanded to include Business intelligence, Network Systems Monitoring, Cyber Security, Software Product Management and Sales amongst other specialties. “We keep a relatively small clientele as compared to other recruitment agencies in an effort to provide both job seeker and hiring manager with a better experience. Really diving into the client’s culture, technology, and what they offer potential candidates as a whole when comparing similar positions on the market, while simultaneously getting to know our candidates and what they’re looking for in terms of advancement through their next career transition. Understanding their needs, their desires, and being that sounding board to help them make the best decision for them. Volume is not our mission, but quality is”, says the Founder.
Learning From Past Experiences
The company has gone through many experiences that lead to the realization that it is very important to be a specialist in whatever industry you practice your craft in. Whether you are selling enterprise software, consulting services, or recruiting within a niche, it is equally important to notice the subtle changes that occur in that particular industry. Over the years, Fairwinds has seen numerous consolidations of software companies into larger companies that they work with. The changes taught them the importance of staying nimble and flexible, and the necessity
“Hands – on Partnership Approach Search Strategy Development Service, Professionalism, Commitment.”
of adjusting to the changing industry in order to remain both competitive and a trusted advisor to those candidates and clients that sought their advice during changing times. “When wrestling with the question of expanding the practice, it tends to come down to whether or not I will be able to continue adequately servicing the existing client and candidate base, while expanding into new domains. Being a small shop is a juggling act with limited bandwidth”, says the Founder.
The company’s vision is being a helpful expert, a coach, a good listener, understanding what the clients and candidates want and valuing their deals, while bringing their own industry knowledge to the table. Approaching every task with sincerity and professionalism are most important for the company when it comes to building a healthy relationship with clients, and those traits have given them attention on the global market. The drive to get the best candidates for their clients and the best clients for their candidates, and being strongly focused on professionalism, industry (domain) knowledge, competitive landscape and follow-up and follow-through, are qualities that have been paramount in separating them from the pack.
Fantastic team members
In terms of headcount the company is relatively small. Fairwinds Recruiting consists of the founder along with numerous research assistants. They also have a network of recruiters nationwide, who are partners that they rely on to cast large nets when the need arises to adjust to the job market as it ebbs and flows. It is one thing to start a venture, but another thing to maintain a consistent message across multiple clients, all with a different set of needs. “I am fortunate to work with many of the top thinkers within the industries that we service. I’ve been able to develop long-term relationships with them (some that go back over 13 years) as we help each other navigate through the shifting nuances of our industries”– says the Founder.
Fairwinds has expectations of their recruitment practice to grow and be more vital to the strategic growth of software companies and consulting firms nationwide. As technology and automation become more and more prevalent in different industries outside of the traditional Information Technology space, the demand for highly skilled individuals will be high in an ever-shrinking pool of qualified workers. The war on talent will grow and skilled recruiters will be at the forefront of helping early-stage companies develop and execute talent acquisition strategies. Fairwinds views the relationship between a recruitment agency and its clients/candidates as one that is hands-on, built on partnership, trust, and most important – countless conversations with hiring managers and candidates to better understand their needs. No amount of automation can replace that.
Meet the President & Founder
Dan Counts, CEO – A native of California, Dan has successfully worked with a wide range of companies, from startups to multi-billion dollar companies. Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems from South West Texas State University and now resides on the Monterey Peninsula. With two decades of experience in the Information Technology industry as a software developer and sales professional, he works with both software and consulting services. Dan started his career as consultant for a consulting company in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
After a number of successful years as a software developer, he moved into software sales for a company in Austin, Texas. He was later recruited to expand the consulting practices of Daman Consulting, Inc. a firm that provided clients with data migration, data movement and data warehousing services to Fortune 500 companies in the late 90s. After the “dot.com” crash in 2000, Dan started as an independent consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, providing software evaluation services and advice for clients seeking to implement best practices for Enterprise Performance Management, Business Intelligence, Data Quality and Extract Transform Load (ETL).