FINDING THE PERFECT MATCH
President and Founder
WHO – A Staffing Company
As Baltimore’s tech scene heats up and the competition for talent grows more intense, WHO – A Staffing Company is ideally positioned to help job seekers and employers find the perfect match. President and founder Gary Ditto also puts this philosophy to work inside WHO, where he has crafted a team that stands ready with creative ideas.
Q: Baltimore is increasingly becoming known as a hub for tech startups. What new talent challenges is that creating in the market?
A: The main challenge is one of supply and demand, with the demand for IT talent far exceeding the supply currently. That said, the allure of a career in such high demand is driving more and more talented job seekers into the tech industry. Concurrently, Baltimore’s visibility as a tech hub nationally (and globally) is on the rise, but the challenge to make potential employees feel safe about a relocation to the home of The Wire and the widespread media coverage of the civil unrest last year certainly does not help in recruitment efforts for non-homegrown talent. Lastly, it is imperative that companies not only have a strategy around talent acquisition but also talent retention. As more and more tech companies locate in the Baltimore area, the risk of losing employees to your new neighbors rises.
Q: As the competition heats up, how can companies differentiate themselves to attract the best candidates?
A: My thought is that a company must first understand, and be true to, who they are and what type of culture they are trying to create and maintain. While it is always beneficial to be knowledgeable about what your competition may be offering in terms of compensation, benefits, work-life balance, wellness programs, training and education stipends, etc., you must remain true to what your company is trying to create and the types of employees who will find that environment attractive. Understanding the needs of individuals in your organization is critical, but so is adhering to the numerous HR compliance mandates from the government. Having a story to tell potential candidates and living up to your promises made to employees is the best way to build and maintain a solid reputation as an employer of choice.
Q: How can WHO – A Staffing Company help clients compete in Baltimore’s new business landscape?
A: Our mission daily is to “grow our technology community through strong relationships and successful connections.” By this, we mean that we strive to know not only the active job seekers in the marketplace, but also the passive job seekers, those who are happy in their current positions and why (sign of a healthy workplace), companies that are hiring, not hiring, coming to the area, etc. By understanding the market from both an employee and employer viewpoint, we can provide as much marketplace intelligence as possible to those we are serving.
Q: WHO’s driving principle is that “People Matter Most.” How are you putting that principle to work inside your own organization?
A: Our philosophy is that the people truly are the key, critical differentiator within an organization, and that stands true for not only the client companies we work with, but within WHO itself. We are very proud of the team we have pulled together and feel blessed to have created a team that compliments the strengths of each individual in the company. Our environment allows for individual expression of ideas and expects respect for one another’s differences.
Q: WHO does a lot of work with nonprofits in the community. Why are these kinds of engagements important to you?
A: We ask all of our team to not only be involved in the community but to bring that passion and involvement to the team so we can share in those opportunities to give back together. This mirrors our philosophy in conducting business, as we first look to give and serve before receiving back.
Q: What’s your best piece of advice for other entrepreneurs?
A: The best advice I can give is to know what you know, and more importantly know what you don’t know. Then find people that you trust to partner with on the things you don’t know. Build strong partnerships by being a good partner, and do what you say you’re going to do. All we have in this world is our name and our reputation, so protect both at all costs.