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CEO Q&A with John Uprichard, Part 2

Recently, FGP was named one of the best recruitment companies in the country by Forbes Magazine. FGP ranks #72 in the Best Recruiters, Professional Services category and #73 in the Best Recruiters, Executive Search category. In the second of a three-part series, FGP President and CEO John Uprichard talks about FGP’s client base, the importance of data-driven decisions, and transitioning employees out of the organization.

Who does FGP work with?

John: A lot of people assume that, because we're headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, we only work in Greenville. In reality, we have worked with clients in 44 states and 14 different countries. We have worked with a lot of well-recognized brands, such as ScanSource, World Wrestling Entertainment, McDonald's, Volvo and HCA Healthcare.

In addition to our locations in Greenville and Columbia, we have an office in Nashville, which is the hub of the healthcare industry. Our clients include some of the largest nonprofit healthcare organizations in the United States, and we have placed numerous hospital CEOs, CFOs and division presidents within healthcare across the country.

In our Columbia office, we provide talent solutions for the state of South Carolina. For example, we conducted a national search for the Executive Director for the Department of Social Services, which was a very high-profile, significant role. As South Carolinians, when we work with the state, we approach every project for the state with the mindset that we are a stakeholder, first and foremost.

Why do clients come to FGP?

John: Companies engage with us to find talent that they would not otherwise be able to access. A lot of the people that we introduce to organizations are “passive” candidates. They are in the seat performing the job at another company or competitor. Recruiting is an action verb. We proactively find qualified, passive candidates who would not be aware of the opportunity if not for the company allowing FGP to represent them in the marketplace.

What our clients see is that the resume-to-interview and the interview-to-hire ratio is significantly different when you use us versus simply posting a job. When posting a management or leadership role, or a position that requires specialized skillsets, they may get a large volume of responses, but they’re not getting the quality in the responses that they need. That is indicative of the difficult labor market we are in today and for the foreseeable future.

With FGP, they know the quality of candidates will be different, and that we’re going to engage in targeted search as their representative in the market.

What other services does FGP provide?

John: We have evolved to be much more than a recruitment company. We are a company that has built a platform of talent solutions driving success for organizations across the employment lifecycle: hire, onboard, develop, retain and transition.

In addition to temporary talent, direct placement and executive search, we perform a lot of HR, talent and organizational consulting with our clients across the country. Our work includes leadership development and coaching, outsourced HR, compensation studies and succession work. We also perform talent analytics, which is an emerging part of our business.

We use data analytics to help companies drive the selection, development and building of high-performance teams. We use team mapping to analyze the cognitive and behavioral diversity of a team and correlate that back to actual team performance. The executives and managers who oversee hiring decisions often want to hire candidates who look like them, talk like them and think like them. Research shows, however, that cognitive and behavioral diversity are key aspects of high-performing teams. Our data analytics map a team’s cognitive and behavioral diversity and correlate that back to performance.

Another way we use data is internal selection and career planning. A tenured employee who has had a high degree of success in a given role may not be successful in the next role. That's where we bring in our benchmarking data to help answer the question, “Do they truly have the skillsets and the potential to succeed in that role?”

A third area we focus on in addition to acquiring and developing talent is helping organizations transition talent. How a company transitions talent is critical because it's impacting people's lives. The manner in which a company helps employees transition out of the organization and get to a better place says a lot to the individual being transitioned but, most importantly, to the employees who remain in the organization. It’s important for companies to demonstrate a culture of caring to all their employees, even when a difficult decision needs to be made.