Archway Search Consultants
Archway Search Consultants Inc., a boutique recruitment firm located in Waverley, Nova Scotia, is not afraid to go after what it wants.
“If we took a traditional recruitment approach and only focused on advertising and collateral, we wouldn’t do as well for ourselves or our clients,” says Archway Search president Jim Garland, who co-founded the company in 2006 with Mark Stiles. “But if you proactively prepare a business plan, work the business plan to find out where the talent is and what companies you’re dealing with, what their requirements and needs are, and then really go after it and try to put the two together, you can do very well for both sides.”
Archway Search uses this resourceful approach as it fills contract and permanent positions in the fields of information technology, engineering, executive search, sales and human resources. The firm, which plans to open a second location in 2008, has a deep-seated commitment to serving Atlantic Canada. It also does work for clients in Ontario, Calgary and North Carolina.
While Archway’s physical headquarters is in Nova Scotia, the firm has invested in state-of-the-art technology that allows it to operate virtual offices. It’s an investment that is already proving itself worthwhile.
“When you’re working with cutting-edge companies, they expect you to have this technology. If you don’t have it it’s very apparent,” says Garland, who has more than 15 years of information technology recruitment experience. “If I’m at a client’s site in Toronto and I have to say, ‘Well, we’ll get this search on the go as soon as I get back to the office,’ then that’s not being very effective. But if I go downstairs in the lobby with a coffee, I can call and forward the job specs to my office, explain what we need…and the employees can get started on the job immediately.”
The name of the firm is a significant indicator of its strong yet open structure. “We like to think of Archway as either a gateway for people to walk through into new careers, or for companies to use us as their strength when they need assistance,” Garland says.
David Lockhart is president of Lockhart Truck Center in Dartmouth, which sells and repairs Western Star and Sterling Trucks. Lockhart worked with Archway Search to fill the roles of both financial manager and operations manager for the company’s service department.
He is very pleased with the results. “I think they took the time to learn about my business and to learn about us – how we ran our business, what our motivators were and what our goals were – and used that information to source the proper person for our needs.”
When asked about what his message is to employers about Archway Search, Garland replies: “The message is that we can offer the best service in the fastest manner, and as a boutique, we focus on a few clients at a time rather than hundreds of clients. This way, we focus entirely on the orders we have at that time.”
As a firm with strong roots in Atlantic Canada, it seems appropriate that Archway Search has a program called “Come Back East.” The firm connects with Atlantic Canadians outside of the region to research why they left, if they are interested in returning to Atlantic Canada and what it would take for them to return.
Garland says, “We’ve had parents call us and say, ‘Listen, my son’s working in Western Canada, here’s what he’s doing, we’d love to get him back.’ And we start a dialogue.”
Archway Search also educates individuals who are not from Atlantic Canada as to why they should consider the region as a rich place for employment.
The firm keeps an active database and, when an individual’s skillset and criteria match a position, Archway Search goes after the potential candidate.
From a business perspective, Garland says Nova Scotia has many advantages,
including cost-effectiveness and the province’s concentration of universities, strong education system and very motivated citizens. “Employers are starting to hire these students as they graduate rather than allowing other companies from outside of Atlantic Canada to hire them and then hoping to lure them back once they have experience. Now they’re recognizing their skill sets and value.”
As to the future of Archway Search? “I think it’s unlimited, really,” Garland says.
“We now do quite a bit of business in Ontario as well, and the approach that we take in dealing with our clients there is very similar to the approach we take here. When we visit clients in Ontario, they’re impressed with the level of service we provide and the speed with which we provide it.”
A sense of urgency is one of the many qualities Archway Search’s team of five employees share, working in an industry where clients “need someone effective, and they need them now.” Dedication and an ability to have fun are also important attributes that employees possess.
“For us, when we have a job to do, everyone knows it’s time for us to put our heads together and to make sure we take exceptional care of that client,” Garland says. “But when we know we have extra time, for instance on a Friday afternoon, you might find us relaxing as we play hockey out at St. Margaret’s Bay arena.”
When not working, Garland is very involved in his children’s activities and enjoys fishing from his Cape Islander. He and his family live in Chester, which Garland unhesitatingly deems to have “the most beautiful basin in the world.” As for Nova Scotia’s quality of life, Garland explains, “you simply can’t match it.”