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Small Business Digest


Tennessee Recruiting Firm Grows in Face of Rising Unemployment

RecruitWise, a Tennessee-based technology-recruiting and -staffing-services firm is reporting healthy growth despite - or perhaps at least partly because of - the recession.

Although the Oak Ridge company’s primary focus was information-technology placements, it branched out to provide placements for executive positions. More hiring companies have sought out RecruitWise’s service, it says, despite the rise in the unemployment rate this year.

The company assists human-resource departments, which are often overwhelmed with applicants who aren't qualified for the advertised position.

“When a company works with RecruitWise, there are no piles of resumes or unqualified online applicants to trudge through,” says Glenn Zahn, RecruitWise's founder and chief executive. “We qualify and guide our candidates through the hiring process, drastically cutting the total time and effort to hire.”  That can lower costs for companies whose budgets are pressed by the economic downturn.

During the past year, RecruitWise jumped more than 1,200 spots on a national ranking of the country’s fastest-growing private companies. RecruitWise took slot 2,738 this year on the third annual Inc. 5000, a list created by Inc. magazine that represents the elite among American entrepreneurs. Zahn says he was surprised that his company moved up in rank by 1,275 positions from 2008.

“There’s a good possibility many of those companies either didn’t survive the recession or have leveled off,” he says. Zahn points to the flexibility of his staff as the reason for his company’s growth. “We didn’t stand still when the economy started to worsen.”

Despite the recession, Inc. magazine says total revenue among the 5,000 featured companies rose to $214 billion, up $29 billion from last year. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry and region can be found at Inc. Senior Editor Rod Kurtz said Inc. couldn't tell how RecruitWise's 1,275-spot jump compared with the number of spots other companies rose on the list, because Inc. doesn't track that specific comparison.

For more information about RecruitWise, visit its Web site at

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