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VOL. 128 | NO. 25 | Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Vaco Memphis Adds Two Divisions

By Sarah Baker

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Vaco has added two new divisions to its Memphis office, growth partners of the consulting and placement firm say is an organic extension of its service offerings.

Vaco – a Nashville-based staffing firm that provides candidates for positions in finance, accounting, technology and logistics – has recently launched a new division, Vaco Operations, which will be focused on recruiting human resources, sales, marketing and executive assistants.

Over the last year, Vaco has been placing tons of connections into those roles, so partner Cheryl Burch Citrone said Vaco Operations was a natural fit. Vaco Memphis, established in 2002, is one of 28 Vaco offices nationwide.

“We just began to look at other service offerings in the market, especially in the logistics division,” Citrone said. “As that began to grow, clients began to ask us, ‘Can you help us with an HR position?’ ‘Can you help us with a sales position?’ ‘Can you help us with a marketing position?’ We kept getting those requests over and over and over again and we thought, ‘Maybe we should look at this.’”

What added fuel to the fire was Vaco already had two experts in-house that could lead Vaco Operations. Jessica Van Eyck is focusing on HR and marketing, and Lee Ferguson is focusing on sales and executive assistants.

“It just made sense to capitalize on (their) strengths,” Citrone said.

The executive assistant division came about as Citrone talked with clients and C-level executives during networking events. Executive assistants have been a strong service provided out of Vaco’s other offices, including its home base in Nashville.

“It just made sense to capitalize on (their) strengths.”

–Cheryl Burch Citrone
Vaco, Partner

“I kept hearing, ‘It’s really hard to find a great executive assistant. We don’t know where to turn; we don’t want to do a lot of interviewing. When we need one, we need one,’” Citrone said. “I began to roll that around in my mind, having been an executive assistant early in my career, I know what you need to possess skill wise to be very effective in that role.”

Citrone said Vaco has already placed several people in sales roles in transportation. They’re also currently working on filling sales positions for a retail establishment.

Citrone said the use of recruiters is on the upswing nationwide. She cited a recent article in Inc. magazine where a business owner decided to begin to utilize recruiters simply because she needed someone to go through all of the prescreening and sourcing.

“She doesn’t have time to go through 1,000 resumes when she posts a job,” Citrone said. “So she has found in her experience with a recruiter that she can allow the recruiting agency to provide her three to five quality candidates that meet the requirements, who have been thoroughly pre-screened, and then she can take it from there. That’s a great use of her time. The savings that she has on her time running her business greatly offsets the fee.”

Meanwhile, Vaco Memphis has also formed a new legal entity, Vaco Compliance and Audit Group, which began operation at the beginning of 2013. Partner Joe Fracchia said it’s the result of Vaco merging at the end of last year with one of the firm’s strategic business partners, Orlando, Fla.-based Compliance and Audit Group.

“We were already operating in the marketplace as one company, but legally, we were not one company,” Fracchia said. “So it helped us on a lot of different fronts, forming a legal agreement rather than being strategic partners.”

The new division is going through a rebranding process that’s slated to be rolled out this summer. Vaco Compliance and Audit Group will bring Vaco Memphis’ employee headcount to 25.

“We are taking the services that we’ve been providing for clients primarily here in the Southeast and migrating those services to all of our clients,” Fracchia said. “That’s kind of our short-term focus.”

Vaco Compliance and Audit Group is primarily concentrating on strengthening its clients' information security. Fracchia said the companies his team is working with are increasing spending on services that may have taken a back seat during the recession.

“Companies are focused more on some of the projects that they may have put on the shelf until the economy became stronger and they started spending more capital on projects,” Fracchia said. “That’s not something that has to occur every year because it’s a risk management activity, and so in some cases, companies can’t afford to do all of the things that they want to do every year related to information security.”

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