"PNC completely understands my business and goals. My banker offers phenomenal guidance. I consider him a coach and mentor, clearly dedicated to our growth and success."
Taking a Stand on Work/Life Balance
Peggy Gionta was at the top of her game - one of the highest-performing account executives at a large Philadelphia-based information technology consulting company - when she walked off the job. Needing greater flexibility that would enable her to spend more time with her three-year-old daughter, Peggy had resigned, confident she'd find a way to excel at both motherhood and the career she loved.
Immediately Peggy began getting calls from contacts wanting her to recruit for them. Within 18 months, she had placed 47 IT professionals and established Partner's Consulting, Inc.
I've always loved connecting people with people," Peggy says. "My success has always been the result of placing the right people into the right roles. The core of any consultancy is understanding individuals' talents and determining where those talents are most applicable."
Peggy's gift for not only recruiting but also handling HR details including determining culture fit and conducting personal interviews, reference checks, technical and drug screenings, and new hire orientations make her consultancy stand out. Since its establishment in 2006, Partner's has grown in both revenue and profitability every year. Now staffed with four recruiters and 20+ field consultants, the firm is on track to exceed revenue marks again in 2011.
A Lifestyle Business? Really?
While it's true that Peggy established Partner's to achieve her own work/life balance and her corporate culture emphasizes work/life balance for her employees, the term "lifestyle business" doesn't feel quite right for this formidable contender. Lifestyle businesses are typically built solely around accommodating a particular lifestyle and tend to be limited in growth potential.
"In spite of Partner's size, performance and reputation, people often refer to it as a lifestyle business, as if our culture somehow diminishes our credibility or stature," shares Peggy. "I explain that I've created a business structure that works in this age - one in which employees can effectively balance their personal and professional lives. We do a great job - and we try not to ever lose sight of the bigger picture.
"The institution I banked with prior to PNC couldn't fathom why my 'lifestyle business' required a larger line of credit as it grew. But PNC completely understands my business and goals. My banker offers phenomenal guidance. I consider him a coach and mentor, clearly dedicated to our growth and success."
Growth continues to be integral to Peggy's plans. "I'm projecting growth this year similar to last year: 40 to 50 percent," she shares. "We intend to put as many people as possible back to work, enabling them to share their talents with companies throughout the region."
Read Peggy's advice on managing your professional and personal reputation online: