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Presenter: Mark Morton, President, Morton

The IT & Engineering staffing industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace. The changes occurring impact all aspects of a business and require the firm’s leadership to stay focused and involved. Mark Morton, President of Morton, a former IT professional and now owner of a growing business, will share his insights on how his firm has thrived during this period of rapid change. Topics he will discuss include: workplace culture, retention & expansion of internal staff, engaging your IT consultants, and embracing new technologies.

Published in: Business
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  2. 2. WHO IS MORTON? • Primarily mid- to senior-level IT roles • Contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire • Headquartered in Richmond, VA • 18 Internal Employees • 90 Consultants on payroll at all times throughout year • $12.5M in Annual Revenue (2018) Core Values: Teamwork, Results, Integrity, Partnership • IT Staffing Firm, founded in 2006 • Putting people first is always the right thing to do
  3. 3. 2017: LIGHTBULB MOMENT • Physical location of Headquarters • Executive Leadership Team Expansion: Marketing • Internal Staff: Size & Makeup • Staff & Consultant Demographics • Defining Our Company Culture After 3 years of steady revenue growth, it was time to think even more strategically about the future of Morton.
  4. 4. 2017: STRATEGIC DECISIONS ü Purchased a building in a revitalized neighborhood to better align with what we do; ü Hired Director of Marketing to implement tactical solutions and create strategic visions; ü Began increasing staff size to adequately support business needs; ü Loosened dress code to align with staff and consultant demographics; ü Began better articulating, internally & externally: who we are, what we do, how we do it, why we do it.
  5. 5. INTERNAL TEAM: TOUGH QUESTION Did I have the right team in place to help us reach our goals, while adhering to our core values? In 2018, I looked in the mirror and asked the tough question:
  6. 6. INTERNAL TEAM: TOUGH CHOICES Long answer: • Some managers were mismanaging their underperforming teams • Lack of support roles in Operations • Significant need to increase our Recruiting Team size to support the business growth Short answer: • No
  7. 7. INTERNAL TEAM: SIMPLE SOLUTIONS • Hired in those who we felt met core values, managed out those who did not • Hired fractional HR Director to manage the big challenges – creating/implementing performance management procedures, from performance improvement plans to annual performance evaluations • New Hire Orientation: • Made sure all new hires understood who we are, what we do, how we do it, and why we do it • Managed expectations of individual & team metrics/goals from Day 1 • Weekly one-on-one meetings with individuals and full teams to help resolve challenges quickly and open lines of communication
  8. 8. INTERNAL TEAM: INCREASED ENGAGEMENT • Slack – increased communication on both work-related and non-work related thoughts • Bi-monthly Staff Events • Happy hours, team lunches, outings • Quarterly Contests for cash bonuses and additional PTO • Provided monthly reports on progress towards goals • Solicited feedback on any and everything from internal team – then changes where we could, as quickly as we could. Examples: • Business hours altered to get out early on Fridays • Added Sonos to liven up the office • Snack choices for in-house 7-11
  9. 9. BRAND REFRESH – NOT A REBRAND • Our logo was outdated and our company name was confusing • Social media was inconsistent – from messaging to frequency • Website was new, but looked dated • Navigation worked well, the look didn’t We were already a company with a good culture, so there was no need for a full rebrand. We needed to figure out how to take our positive brand to the next level, so we refreshed. With the hire of a Marketing Director, we quickly discovered that we had a brand without a voice…
  10. 10. BRAND REFRESH – OUR PAST Dated font Underwhelming color palette What we were “consulting”? Bottom line: our look was outdated and our name created confusion
  11. 11. BRAND REFRESH – OUR PRESENT Modern Font Bright Color Palette Tagline explains what we do Purposeful decision to put ”people” first in tagline Bottom line: modern look, intentional focus
  12. 12. NEW HQ • Moved from corporate office park to trendy, revitalized neighborhood; • Purchased building and custom renovated for our team needs, community needs, and to align with our refreshed brand; • Open concept mixed with private office space; • Event space for internal and external events; • Increased visibility & branding – social media, banners in front of building, joined neighborhood association, videos, etc.
  14. 14. ENGAGING CONSULTANTS • Bi-monthly lunches hosted in our office • In a digital world, it’s nice to remind everyone that there’s a face behind the screen • Holiday gift certificates for all internal employees + consultants • Company swag bags on first day for all internal employees + consultants • M&M jars refilled by account managers once a month • Birthday cards signed by full internal staff and sent to all consultants
  15. 15. ENGAGING CLIENTS • Account managers have more focused time to build partnerships with existing and new clients. • Subtle shift to Account-based Marketing (ABM): • Morton was already fostering personalized relationships with clients; how do we take it to the next level? • Staying on top of upcoming client projects and staying in front of clients more frequently; • Hosting events at local breweries for clients to interact with full Morton team; • Courtside seats to collegiate basketball games & other 1-on-1 events for individualized attention; • Customized holiday gifts
  16. 16. EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY CHANGES Two major platforms that have digitally transformed our engagement, internally and externally: Provides automated messaging platform to an audience of our choosing • Primarily use with current working consultants – automated check-ins, referral reminders, NPS scores, and 30-day out notices to help make sure no one slips through the cracks with personal communication Provides metrics from our team’s daily activities to help track real-time highs and lows, areas for improvement, and causes for celebration.
  17. 17. FOCUS ON COMMUNITY Supporting community initiatives has always been a part of Morton’s values. Over the past 12 months, visibility and awareness of involvement and support has increased significantly. 2017: • Small, local community partner • 100 backpacks • 3 social media posts/mentions on 1 outlet • 119 engagements 2018: • Larger, local community partner • 500 backpacks • 40+ social media posts/mentions on 4 outlets • 2,500+ engagements; plus, two local TV news interviews Example: Backpack Program for Underserved Students
  18. 18. SUMMARY • In a free-response survey sent in October 2018 to our 10 new hires, 100% said our culture was the #1 thing they liked most about Morton. • Morton made very few policy changes: • One financial adjustment to the commission rates for our recruiting and sales teams to better align with competitors. • Some new hires were not the right cultural fit – and we knew it within weeks of them starting: • They were performance managed out of Morton and the team was stronger for it. • We found our brand voice – and we’re using it to grow our business: • Target 3-year growth goal: $25M
  19. 19. QUESTIONS? MARK@THEMORTONWAY.COM (804) 290-4272