Brittany and Joncarlo Bairos were vacationing in Santorini five years ago when the couple decided they wanted the flexibility to work from anywhere. It was a novel concept back then, in the pre-pandemic era. So, while still on the idyllic Greek island, the idea to create their own recruiting agency, Forge Recruitment, was born and the work began.
“We wanted to create a business that emphasized enjoying the journey, creating meaningful relationships with clients and colleagues, and ultimately just a place where we could wake up, love what we do, and work with like-minded individuals,” Mrs. Bairos says.
Mr. Bairos had worked in the recruitment field for a number of years before leaving to focus on Forge Recruitment, so he had a good idea of how and where to start the new business.
“We took the approach of focusing on one geographic location (Vancouver), one sector (legal), and began building close relationships with clients to fully understand what they were looking for, and tailoring searches,” Mr. Bairos says.
With this approach, Forge Recruitment grew quickly through word of mouth and referrals.
“The recruitment and staffing landscape is very competitive, so being able to stand out and build relationships with the companies that we work with takes a lot of time and ongoing creativity. We work to understand our clients and the nature of their business,” Mr. Bairos says.
Two years ago – amid the pandemic shutdowns, with a labour shortage looming and people able to work from home – the founders expanded their recruitment reach to include an accounting and finance division. The company is adding an IT recruitment division to its portfolio in the coming months, as part of its ongoing expansion.
Forge Recruitment’s annual revenue reached $2.3-million last year, and the company is on track to generate approximately $3.4-million this year through its work with businesses across Canada, including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
The founders credit their team for the success of the business. Just as they do for their clients, the founders strive to hire employees for their own team who are a strong fit, and work to create a culture where employees enjoy their work and feel valued.
“It’s not always about skill set,” Mrs. Bairos says. “Though a stellar resume is impressive, we believe recruitment is a skill that can be learned, practised and developed, whereas qualities like a good attitude, grit and work ethic, cannot.”
The company also emphasizes training and mentorship among staff, as well as giving back to the community. The team fundraises for various organizations including the Fight to End Cancer supporting The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, The Wasteland Plan Foundation and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Forge Recruitment also hosts an annual trip for employees and their families if collective billing targets are met. Last year, during the pandemic, when flying was not an option for everyone, employees were treated to a four-day trip to the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., about a two-hour drive away. The trip included wine tours and tastings, farm-to-table meals, a spa day, an evening ghost walk and a charcuterie board-making workshop.
The event was just one way for the founders to show the team their appreciation for their hard work and commitment.
“We want people to wake up every day and love what they do,” Mrs. Bairos says.
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with Forge Recruitment. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.