Co-founder and Principal Jack Harrington of West Roxbury-based Atlantic Associates answered some questions from Patch. Harrington, of Roslindale, co-founded the business with John Fitzgerald, of West Roxbury, who shares the same title as Harrington. Their office building is at 1208 VFW Parkway.
Patch: Atlantic Associates started 15 years ago - was the focus always staffing hard-to-fill IT jobs?
Harrington: Atlantic Associates has always focused on finding candidates jobs in the IT industry. One thing we realized is that any company can fill your commoditized IT positions. Our deep database of candidates and our ability to get to know each candidate, and their respective skills personally has been a point of differentiation in finding the best candidates for our clients for even the most difficult positions to fill.
Patch: How has filling IT positions changed since Atlantic Associates started?
Harrington: There have been many changes throughout the years. The most notable one is technology. There are so many more ways to connect to job candidates today – whether through job boards such as Monster.com or social media channels like LinkedIn and Twittter. There’s also a growing use of mobile devices as a primary communication tool, making staying in front of the technology curve and understanding staffing trends critical to growing our business.
Patch: What kind of devices were you using 15 years ago?
Harrington: When AAI began 15 years ago, the internet was a relatively new way for finding jobs. People still read the “help wanted” sections of their local newspapers. That said we were aggressive in implementing new technologies such as job boards from the outset. Regardless of the avenue, though, we’ve always felt the most important aspect of our business is the personal connection and getting to know the job candidate and their skills. In an age where that personal connection can sometimes get lost in the fast-paced social media/networking world, we still feel that connection is important to finding the right candidate for the job.
Patch: Atlantic Associates is located in West Roxbury? Where?
Harrington: We are located at 1208 VFW Parkway, Suite 203 (across the Parkway from Home Depot).
Patch: AAI was ranked 70th on the SIA's 2012 List of Fastest-Growing U.S. Staffing Firms - what do you think of that recognition?
Harrington: The recognition as one of SIA’s Fastest-Growing U.S. Staffing Firms is very important to AAI. To be included on this list, a company has to achieve significant growth over the last five years. When we consider both the business climate and the job market over the last five years, any firm that makes this list has achieved tremendous success. There has been significant demand created around cloud computing and mobile application technology in recent years, but even taking that into account, AAI’s ability to continuously grow our business is a testament to the hard work of our employees.
Patch: Atlantic Associates helps people find jobs, so how many people are on Atlantic's staff?
Harrington: We current have a staff of about 20 recruiters and sales people. We also have approximately 70 full-time employees that we have placed in IT positions with our current clients.
Patch: How do you find the jobs for people?
Harrington: The process for placing candidates is a very important one. First off, we have a full range of skilled consultants that span the entire spectrum of the IT organization – from infrastructure and application development to business project management. Our experienced staff gets to understand our clients and the industry in which they do business. When a job requisition arrives from our client, we then find candidates that are the perfect fit – something that saves our client’s HR department a significant amount of time. Once we find the appropriate skilled candidate and the client hires them, we then assist in the onboarding process. But unlike many other companies, the process doesn’t stop there. Our staff makes on-site visits with the client and the employee to make sure both parties are happy. This high level of customer service is one of the critical elements in setting AAI apart from our competition.
Patch: Anything else you would like people to know about Atlantic Associates?
Harrington: In addition to being one of the leaders in finding good paying jobs in the Greater Boston market, AAI also takes tremendous pride in giving back to the community. AAI has been active members in the community by supporting established and grassroots organizations and actively fundraising to support charities that are near and dear to the hearts of the company’s owners and its employees. We feel that giving back is a responsibility for all businesses and AAI actively supports more than 30 charities in West Roxbury and around the Greater Boston area.