Susan Marks has undergone a number of transitions in her decades as a staffing-industry entrepreneur. And they have brought her to this point: Pinstripe & Ochre House, of which she is CEO, has become the world’s largest independent provider of global-talent acquisition and “strategic-management solutions” for other brands.
Headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., the $105-million “recruitment process outsourcing” (RPO) specialist deploys dedicated teams of staffers who operate as the corporate-recruiting department for their client brands, which range from Bristol Myers Squibb to Citibank to AT&T to Agilent Technologies. The combination of Pinstripe and U.K.-based Ochre House last year created a company with about 900 employees serving 88 clients in 43 countries around the world.
“Before, there were clients we serviced in North America and Ochre House serviced in Europe,” Marks said. “But we realized that isn’t the way customers preferred to buy services, and that was becoming increasingly so.”
Marks founded Pinstripe in 2005 after selling her first staffing startup to Kelly Services and working with Kelly for several years. Pinstripe made its U.S-only RPO business model scalable with deep investments in technology that streamlined the recruitment process by allowing for a lot of online self-service by job candidates and Pinstripe hiring managers throughout the engagement process.
The stumbling global economy has raised the stakes for what her company does for their clients, she said.
“I’m very bullish on what we do and on the importance of talent in the domestic and global economy,” Marks said. “It’s never been harder to be a leader today in that regard and figuring out how you have the right people to compete for the next 10 years.
“We want to make sure our clients reduce their turnover and hire fewer, better people.”
Pinstripe & Ochre House / CEO: Sue Marks
Size: Revenues of about $105 million in 2013, on its way to “the low $130s [millions] this year,” Marks said. About 900 employees.
Location: Brookfield, Wis.
Goal: Creating what the company called “transformational talent solutions” by attracting and retaining “business-critical” talent for its clients around the world.
Fact: Though Wisconsin-based, Pinstripe & Ochre house has no Wisconsin-based clients at the moment. Marks built her first company largely on local staffing needs in the Milwaukee area.
Unique: Marks recognizes the corporate name is now clunky and wonders, “Do we change the name across the globe? No one knows how to pronounce it.”