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Fort Lauderdale-based Steven Douglas Associates continues to expand in the face of a challenging environment. Every year, Inc. Magazine ranks the fastest growing companies in America based on a three year growth rate in top line revenues and employees. Steven Douglas Associates is extremely proud to be included in this year’s ranking.

Making the list this year was even more rewarding given that the years being measured were from 2008-2011, arguably one of the worst recessions in history. “Now more than ever, we depend on the Inc. 500/5000 companies to spur innovation, provide jobs, and drive the economy forward. Growth companies, not large corporations, are where the action is,” said Inc. Magazine Editor Eric Schurenberg in a news release.

Steven Douglas Associates has been a leader in the search industry in South Florida since 1984, but it wasn’t until 2006 when it launched the Project Resources Division that the firm started to grow dramatically. The Project Resources Division allows the same clients that are hiring mid-level management and executive talent through the firm to now access experienced professionals on an interim or project basis. Expanding into a business that allows companies a variable alternative to getting internal work done turned out to be perfect timing given the tightening of corporate hiring budgets over the last few years. The synergies between these two business allows the firm to expand its relationships with existing long-time clients by having more product offerings. It also gives Steven Douglas the added advantage of gaining access to new clients that may not have previously been in the market to hire permanent employees but need the extra bandwidth in the Accounting, Information Technology and Human Resources departments.

In interviews, the leadership of the firm described themselves as situational opportunists that have learned that betting on talent is the best way to grow the business. The CEO and Founder of the firm, Steve Sadaka said, “When Matt Shore and Mark Viner brought the idea of this new business to me back in 2006, I knew it would work because of Matt and Mark, not necessarily because of the business model they discussed. I never would have guessed how quickly it would have taken off, especially in the face of a tough economy. It turned out to be a great counter-cyclical play and an important diversifier, as we grew profitably and organically through the recession. I am proud to say that our revenues are up over 400% since 2005.” The other thing the firm did to accelerate its growth was to re-invest profits in hiring more internal talent and expanding its geographic footprint by opening offices in New York City, Minneapolis, Orlando, Tampa, and Omaha. Additionally, the firm is currently in discussions with a potential new hire to open a new office in another top 10 metropolitan market and is hopeful this will occur over the next few months.

As with any professional service firm, the key to long-term success is building sustainable long-term relationships with clients, retaining your best talent, and attracting new talent. “What I am most proud of is the tremendous talent that we have been able to attract to our firm and the loyalty we have built with our customers,” stated Matt Shore, President of Steven Douglas Associates. “We have always had a great culture, but now we have truly become an employer of choice in our industry. The majority of our employees have been recruited to our firm by former co-workers who are now current Steven Douglas employees who tell them what a great place it is to work and how well we are doing. If you keep your best employees, you can more easily retain your top customers and, in turn, they are more likely to refer you new ones.”, concluded Mr. Shore.

The firm moved into a new headquarters last year and has been piling up awards and accolades. As busy as the firm is growing the business, it is a focused priority to give back to the community by donating time, talents and of money to various charitable organizations. As a firm, we provide leadership and oversight on a very successful United Way Campaign and send teams of employees out during company time for various Volunteer events. The firm’s leadership team each serve as Chair and/or Co-Chair of several very successful fund-raisers for The Jason Taylor Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Joe Dimaggio Children’s Hospital raising hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. The President was also Chairman of the Broward County United Way Campaign last year and is Vice Charman of The Board of Directors. Steven Douglas Associates is truly a company committed to it’s community, it’s clients, and it’s valued employees.

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