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By Emon Reiser – Managing Editor, South Florida Business Journal
Jul 14, 2022
Over the years, Matt Shore, former president of StevenDouglas, was often mistakenly introduced as CEO of the company.
On July 1, the Sunrise-based executive search firm made it official.
“I used to say, ‘Thank you for the promotion,'” Shore told the Business Journal.
Shore succeeds founder Steven Sadaka, who transitioned to the role of chairman and said he will continue to be involved in the business, with a focus on coaching and attracting talent to the firm.
“He’s really been doing the job for the last couple years,” Sadaka said.
Shore joined South Florida’s leading executive search firm 16 years ago and is credited with helping Sadaka scale the firm 2,000% since 2005.
Sadaka founded the boutique firm 38 years ago and later brought on Shore, who has been a headhunter for 26 years. The duo propelled the business toward its fastest-growing years, with Shore taking on operations and management, and helping steer the company through the Covid-19 health crisis.
This included helping StevenDouglas double in size from its pre-pandemic peak. For 2022, the company forecasts $125 million in revenue, with a growing number of offices and employees.
On July 5, the firm announced its Cleveland expansion internally after sending out eight job offer letters in the span of two weeks. All eight applicants accepted, bringing StevenDouglas’ headcount to over 150 professionals and 500 consultants across 23 offices.
Shore becomes chief executive officer amid a tumultuous “season of CEO exits” as baby boomers retire.
“It’s creating this vacuum,” Shore said. “They’re one of the hardest-working generations ever, in terms of commitment to work and what it takes to be successful … [and] it doesn’t feel like we have enough people in these next generations to fill that void.”
In his 40 years in the industry, Sadaka said he had never encountered anything like today’s candidate shortage.
“I’ve never seen such an imbalance,” he added.
The company is addressing the challenge with increased investments in research, technology and its own talent. But it also helps if clients offer workplace perks.
“People are turning down jobs if you say they have to come in five days a week,” Shore said of the rising importance of remote work options for recruitment. “We never thought we would hire people fully remotely, but we’re doing it, and it’s been incredibly successful in the access that it’s given us to talent.”
Shore, who is originally from Syossett, New York, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Florida. He didn’t always know he wanted to be in the talent acquisition business. Here’s more on how he arrived in the field.
Sadaka was named among the South Florida Business Journal’s Ultimate CEOs in 2016.
StevenDouglas’ client base encompasses Fortune 500 to middle-market companies across industries. It is a longtime sponsor of the Business Journal’s CFO Awards program.