2 min read February 2022 — Signature Consultants had immense success in 2021, finalizing a merger while earning record profits. Geoff Gray, executive vice president, attributes this success to a strong organizational mission. “Our company’s values of honesty, hard work and how we treat our people extends to our workforce, consultants and clients,” Gray told Invest:.
What have been your main takeaways from the past 18 months?
In April 2021, we merged with Digital Intelligence Systems (DISYS) and officially sold our business. While the Signature and DISYS brands continue to operate in the marketplace, as a combined organization, we are the seventh-largest company in the industry. In terms of talent, demand is at an all-time high across every major industry vertical and continues to be a great challenge for many customers. We are going on two years running a business while hiring 250 people we have not even met in person. The top five most in-demand skill sets over this time have been cyber security, application development & support, cloud & data migrations, project management, business analysis and digital design and transformation. Demand for cyber security and technical skills remain hardest to find and most in demand. We employ over 1,000+ recruiters both onshore and offshore looking for our clients 24/7.
What is Signature Consultants’ role in addressing the labor shortage?
COVID has shifted a lot of the power to the individual worker and there will be great leadership needed if we are going to get back to normalcy with back-to-work. But approaching this with flexibility and in phases will be critical. Compensation was the driving force before the pandemic, but people have a different view of what that means today and balance between work and life. Tradeoffs are being made in this regard. Most of our talent is driven from experienced hires who possess years of experience. Today we must not only leverage experienced hires but also young talent coming straight out of college. We start early in their careers establishing relationships and stay in constant contact with computer science and engineering graduates as they advance in their careers. Leveraging talent at every level and matching them quickly with our clients unique needs sets us apart.
How does Signature Consultants approach diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives?
It is very top of mind because we are a certified diverse Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) firm. We participate in career fairs and events in diverse communities. We sponsor IT boot camps and training that helps diverse candidates obtain the necessary skills and jobs. We have several projects that our Signature team drives both at the university and community level. Civically, we are very involved in all our communities – today over 40 cities in the U.S. In Charlotte, we are one of the top investors in the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance and are engaged and in full support of Mayor Vi Lyles Racial Equity & Inclusion Initiatives. We invest every year to support initiatives around diversity, equity and inclusion that build access to our region’s corridors of opportunity.
With the great amount of movement of people to the Southeast, how has that impacted your business?
I said it last year. Charlotte continues to be “HOT”. People have Charlotte and the region on their map and they want to live and work here. Charlotte continues to be ranked one of the best places to live and work in the country. We have seen the availability of talent expand exponentially because you can hire people from any geographical location and they can work remotely. It is a great benefit because it opens up our clients to expand how they attract talent. We had one of our best years ever in 2021, having reached $1.1 billion run rate as a combined organization. We were up 58% in job orders alone, and our consultant starts were up by more than 30%. People will forever be changed by their flexibility and ability to work remotely, but you cannot solve problems in the same way as in those face-to-face scenarios, with that intimacy and empathy that you might need.
What are the main competitive advantages that distinguish Signature Consultants from its competitors?
Our company’s values of honesty, hard work and how we treat our people extends to our workforce, consultants and clients. Not only are we an MBE firm and a top performer in the industry, but we have significant depth and breadth in the U.S. and international markets. With our merger with DISYS, we now have 40 offices nationwide, in major metro areas, and are opening more in the near future. We also have 18 international offices, including four in India. As a larger entity now, we are a one-stop shop for any talent gap a client might have. Because of our size and efficiency, we can compete with some of the bigger players in the market on quality and price. Finally our people are experienced and they care. We work 24/7 for our clients to make sure they can meet any talent gap.
What are your near-term priorities and outlook?
We are certainly looking at more growth opportunities for the company. There is an appetite for consolidation and that will be a key moving forward, but it has to be the right strategic fit. In addition, the initiatives in Charlotte around the mayor’s racial equity plan and the $250 million raised is very important because it enables action. It’s being done the right way with public and private partnerships and working with our elected officials, which gives Charlotte a huge competitive advantage. We are growing and trying to support and manage that growth as we continue to meet the demand of our customers.
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