Revel IT: Helping Organizations Hire Candidates With Diverse Backgrounds

Today, diversity in the workplace is a noble and compliance-related goal and has been shown in studies to improve business outcomes. A diverse workforce brings a variety of world views and perspectives into one room, which helps organizations craft a
truly collaborative structure, find multiple ways to tackle a challenge, and finally, outperform the competition. Finding and employing people from different backgrounds is a task easier said than done because often standard talent acquisition approaches don’t provide a pool of candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Revel IT helps companies address their talent pool disparities by employing a methodology and technology that ensures diversity of talent both within Revel’s 450+ consultant force and when providing recruiting services. Diversity is a core value of Revel. Revel combines advanced recruiting, candidate identification, and candidate matching technologies with experienced recruitment team professionals to attract diverse talent.

For instance, a Fortune 20 company needed to fill an SAP Transformation Director role with the goal of having candidates with diverse backgrounds. Revel IT recruited for this role and found a candidate with a diverse background and who had experience in the same industry. “Our proven delivery capabilities in IT staffing and IT recruiting is supported by our nationwide team of consultants. We are constantly growing our team to meet our clients’ talent needs and a key element in this is ensuring we provide talent with a wide diversity of backgrounds.” says Randy Dean, the President and Founder of Revel IT. Being a key driver in growing Fast Switch from $5 million in sales to $98 million, his experience includes working for AT&T as well as several software companies, including eXcelon Corporation.

Dean’s business approach is simple; he believes in treating customers and clients as he would like to be treated. This approach creates constant referrals, and subsequently, over 50 percent of its hiring is done through referrals from consultants, past consultants, and clients. “Because of this focus on client satisfaction, we are rated as #1 supplier by our clients across different verticals, including insurance, pharma, automotive, retail, and many others,” Dean mentions.

He goes on to mention that Revel IT has partnered with a minority and woman-owned business, Level D&I Solutions, that is focused on providing Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) training, D&I consulting, and recruiting with a strong focus on diversity. Working in liaison, these two organizations help businesses obtain and retain diverse talent and improve working conditions for employees. In a recent example, Revel IT was asked to work with a national distribution company to help their talent acquisition team increase effectiveness in diversifying their talent pipeline and mitigating bias in the hiring process. Revel IT worked collaboratively with Level D&I Solutions and together delivered training that the client rated as excellent—4.8 out of 5!

Such instances of client success always drive Revel IT to explore new ways to ensure client satisfaction. That’s why even during the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic, the company was able to add over 20 new clients, including several Fortune 500 companies. “We know we have to deliver every day to continue to earn our clients’ trust and our focus has paid off. We have retained over 99 percent of our clients over the past 5 years and we have a 5.0 rating at Glassdoor. These measurements show that our focus on delivery, kindness, and transparency create excellent results. The company today has 11 offices and expects to reach $500 million in sales within 4-6 years.

“We are in the top one percent of the IT Staffing industry based both on sales volume and client satisfaction and there is a lot of opportunity for us to grow quickly because every client we speak with is looking for a partner like Revel IT who will bring them quality, diverse IT talent while operating with a high level of integrity,” concludes Dean.

Revel IT CEO Recognized for Positive Impact in Diversity & Inclusion

Central Ohio Tech Power Player Awards, in partnership with the Central Ohio CIO Forum and TechLife Columbus, is celebrating the leading technology executives and companies in Central Ohio.

Revel IT President & CEO Randy Dean is nominated for this year’s Diversity & Inclusion: Positive Impact in Technology award. Dean says of the nomination, “I appreciate this nomination mostly because I and Revel IT believe in the power of diversity, and our goal is to hire the best regardless of background, ethnicity, etc.”

Revel has taken action to make a positive impact in the D&I space with the creation of Level D&I Solutions whose main focus is improving clients’ diversity and inclusiveness. “The whole intent in supporting Level is that we have a community of people who are capable but have been overlooked or have difficulty accessing opportunities. Companies want to engage this talent but are having trouble connecting to a broad diverse audience. Level is bridging that gap,” says Dean.

The benefits of this partnership include:

• Executive and Placement services focused on candidates with a diverse background.
• D&I Consulting services that include current state evaluation and a roadmap to help firms reach higher levels of success.
• Company branding events that provide excellent exposure to and interaction with a diverse candidate population.

Revel also instituted recruiting practices that ensure access to job seekers with diverse backgrounds for clients and internal hires. Additionally, the company is funding scholarships for those from diverse backgrounds, including upcoming Tech Elevator bootcamps.

The Central Ohio Tech Power Player Awards will be held on Thursday, November 12th from 10:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The event will be virtual.

Revel IT Partners With Diversity-Focused Firm Level D&I Solutions Launching in Columbus, OH

Revel IT announced a new partnership with Level D&I Solutions. This partnership will ensure recruiting practices allot fair access and opportunities for diverse candidates.

“The whole intent in supporting Level is that we have a community of people who are capable but have been overlooked or have difficulty accessing opportunities. Companies want to engage this talent but are having trouble connecting to a broad diverse audience. Level is bridging that gap,” says Randy Dean, President at Revel IT.

“During my time as Network Director for WITI (Women in Technology International), I was consistently approached by companies wanting to diversify their staff. I ran a network of more than 1,000 central-Ohio women in tech but regularly heard, ‘We want to hire women, but they just aren’t out there.’ Level exists to connect the dots for those companies looking for diverse talent and to provide clear paths to career advancement for underrepresented groups in business,” says Kristine Snow, CEO at Level D&I Solutions. Chelsea Akers, COO at Level, added, “Level D&I is changing the narrative around what diversity means and why companies should embrace it. We promote diversity of thought, which goes far beyond the traditional definition of diversity as ‘women and people of color,’ and the benefit to ingraining D&I into a company culture is astounding. The bottom line for companies is that maintaining a diverse and equitable workforce improves performance, and Level is creating the road-map.”

The benefits of this new partnership include:

  • Executive and Placement services focused on candidates with a diverse background.
  • D&I Consulting services that include current state evaluation and a road-map to help firms reach higher levels of success.
  • Company branding events that provide excellent exposure to and interaction with a diverse candidate population.

About Revel IT: Revel IT’s mission is finding and providing talent for our clients and excellent career opportunities for our consultants and candidates. We want to bring joy to the business of IT Staffing & Recruiting. Our goal is to do our jobs in a way that brings delight daily to the clients and people who we work with. Life’s too short to grind through every day as a small cog in some huge recruiting machine. We aim to impact people’s lives by providing opportunities for real career growth and success.

About Level D&I Solutions: Level D&I Solutions believes that for any company to succeed in today’s climate, it is crucial to embrace the differences of their staff and maintain an inclusive environment. We enable our clients to reach their maximum potential by providing a broad range of services and solutions to help organizations obtain and retain diverse talent and improve working conditions for all underrepresented groups in business.

Media Contact:

Randy Dean, CEO
Revel IT
614-336-3634
RDean@RevelIT.com

Lunch & Learn: Systems Thinking for Dev Teams

Revel IT is hosting our first event of the year! This Lunch & Learn will be led by Jason Blackhurst and help IT practitioners develop a DevOps mindset. Click here to register – space is limited!

Clogs in the pipeline to production, mega-merges before code freeze, flaky tests, never-ending meetings, and overwhelming expectations from the management layer. Many teams face these types of problems every day, but it doesn’t have to go on like that.

This session, led by Jason Blackhurst, will illustrate how any member of the development team, including QAs, BAs, POs, PMs, and Devs alike, can adopt Systems Thinking to approach these issues.

You’ll learn ways to address the problems above as well as how to get yourself excused from the risk management meeting, a means to get more continuous integration, as well as a few pointers to help a DevOps culture take root.

In this presentation, you’ll hear ways to improve the entire system by addressing these issues.

EVENT DETAILS:

Thursday, January 16, 2020

11:30 AM to 1:30 PM

4900 Blazer Pkwy, Dublin, OH, 43017

How to Find Us:

Revel IT is located on the corner of Frantz Rd and Blazer Pkwy. There is ample parking located in front of the building entrance.

Lunch will be provided. Space is limited so please click the link below to register:

Revel IT Lunch & Learn

Thursday, Jan 16, 2020, 11:30 AM

4900 Blazer Pkwy
4900 Blazer Pkwy Dublin, OH

39 TechLife Columbus members Went

Clogs in the pipeline to production, mega-merges before code freeze, flaky tests, never-ending meetings, and overwhelming expectations from the management layer. Many teams face these types of problems every day, but it doesn’t have to go on like that. This session, led by Jason Blackhurst, will illustrate how any member of the development team, in…

Check out this Meetup →

 

Alternative Paths Into the Tech Talent Pool – Revel IT in the Community

On November 7th, Revel IT employee Chelsea Akers joined Dublin Professionals to help celebrate a year’s worth of I.T. workforce development successes and discuss strategies for increasing the talent pipeline. Kevin Gadd, Ohio Program Manager for Apprenti moderated the panel, which was focused on discussing alternative paths into the tech talent pool, such as hiring veterans, sourcing talent through apprenticeship programs, developing talent through educational programs, and removing barriers for members of underrepresented groups to enter the workforce.

Chelsea Akers, Senior Account Executive at Revel IT and COO and Co-Founder of Level D&I Solutions was joined by Chuck Xenakis, Executive Director of Global Technology Recruiting at JP Morgan Chase, Chris Patton, Software Developer Apprentice at JP Morgan Chase, and Pinal Patel, VP of Nexient.

Why We Don’t Have Non-Competes

In the IT consulting business, employee knowledge of clients and consultants can be really valuable. Because of this, almost every competitor requires non-competes for internal employees and some try to greatly restrict job opportunities for their IT consulting staff. Against all industry norms we have chosen not to have non-competes for our internal staff.

Why did we do this and how has it worked out?

The why is easy, we fundamentally feel that non-competes are wrong. In the IT Consulting industry and in many other industries, non-competes are often used to try to deter people from making career moves to other firms. These firms requiring non-competes are not providing extra compensation, stock options, or some other valid compensation in return for a new hire greatly limiting their future job opportunities. Rather, signing one is a requirement of being hired and people often sign them because they feel they don’t have a choice or they don’t understand that in many states (Ohio in particular) non-competes are fully enforceable even if an employee is fired.

The equation isn’t fair because the candidate’s need for a job often outweighs the their preference not to sign a non-compete. Plus, most companies handle it as a standard part of their on-boarding process so that the candidate feels that it is a typical paperwork and no big deal.

Since the goal of a non-compete is to reduce an employee’s ability to move to a position with a competitor, it would seem likely that by not requiring non-competes our internal employee turnover would be higher. However, the exact opposite is the case. Compared to every national competitor in our business, Fast Switch internal turnover is tremendously lower. This same difference has held true with our delivery consultants. Our turnover has been so much less than our competitors that we’ve had major clients amazed and asking how we’ve managed to do this.

What has occurred is that by not using non-competes, we have to do what Richard Branson recommends, treat our people well enough that they don’t want to leave. Does it work? Our unwanted internal employee turnover in 2018 was less than 0% and through Nov. 2019 it is also 0!.

Revel IT Partner With The Columbus Zoo

Revel IT is partnering with The Columbus Zoo to support an exciting technology initiative called Columbus Zoo Technology Safari. This initiative is led by the new and very innovative CIO of The Columbus Zoo, Steve Mollmann.

According to Mollmann, “The first Technology Safari will be to focus on modernizing the web experience including a great mobile experience.

While our focus is the safety and wellbeing of all our animals and guests we have an ask of you. We need help with the modernization of our web experience so that we can take advantage of mobility to maximize our member and visitor experience. We want to develop a solution that will enable our members and customers to access information from anywhere, anytime on any device. We want to bring education and conservation to the forefront and build a much better experience for all.”

Mollman added, ” We are looking to tap into all the great information technology resources we have in central Ohio. We know we have people around central Ohio who would love to help the Zoo come up with some great ideas that can be developed into designs that will modernize the Zoo experience.”

Revel IT is very excited to be a part of this program to help improve the Zoo’s website and mobile experience. Revel IT President Randy Dean said, “We are blessed to have one of the best zoos in the nation and we are excited to help ensure that the Zoo’s web and mobile experience match the greatness of the Columbus Zoo!”

The Power of Staying in the Game

Below is an article from a great business coach- Roger Hall. I attribute a large part of our Company’s success, growing from $5M in sales to almost $100M in 10 years to staying involved with clients even when these clients are difficult. One of our fastest growing clients didn’t choose us 3 consecutive times in RFPs yet they are now a great client. We stayed in touch and involved and now this client is one of our most productive clients.

From Dr. Roger Hall, Business Psychologist (hall@compassconsultation.com):

The longer you stay in the game, the more likely you’ll be able to take advantage of a change in the rules. People who quit early, don’t get that opportunity. Resilient people may have an illusion that they have control over the outcome, but it keeps them in the game longer so that the situation can change and they can get a better outcome. It’s the difference between internal and external locus of control. If you believe that you control your events or not. You may be wrong but it may help you. (For more on this, look up my blog post about Chicago O’Hare airport).

As soon as you start to believe “I’m done. It’s the economy. There’s nothing I can do about it”. Hey! Somebody figured out how to make money in the Depression. In fact, a lot of people figured out how to make a lot of money in the Depression. All you’ve got to do is be the guy or the lady who figures out how you make money in an economic downturn. It’s hard. It takes creativity, but if you stay in the game, that’s when the opportunity will arise.

Internal locus of control is the sense that I control the outcome. External locus of control is the sense that something else controls the outcome. Successful people have an internal locus of control. When people tell me “Oh it’s the economy. The economy…” I don’t have any control over the economy but I have control over me. I control how I’m going to respond to the economy. That’s how people succeed.

H-1B visas – The Real Story

Is the H-1B Visa program good or bad? Does it hurt US workers and depress wages? Do Google and Silicon Valley firms really need the H1B visa program for their talent needs?

Overall, the H-1b Visa programs effects are generally positive and the program helps to bring in a lot of great people and talent to the U.S. However, about 25% of approved applications are fraudulent. A recent study by USC and University of Michigan researches estimated that the H-1B program has caused IT wages to be 5.1% lower than they would be without the H-1B visa program. WSJ article covering this study: https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-new-look-at-the-h-1b-visa-programs-impact-on-american-workers-1489483811

Many IT outsourcing firms (Infosys, Tata, Wipro, Cognizant, Accenture and others) use the program as a source of cheaper labor that allows them to make additional profits. These firms do this by paying below market wages to H-1B visa holders. Many of these H-1B holders are treated almost as indentured servants with their firms refusing to allow an application for a Green Card and onerous restrictions to keep the H-1B employee from seeking other employers.

On the other hand, Google and other Silicon Valley employers appear to be using the program to bring in top talent. The below graph shows a big difference between wages paid by outsourcing firms (Tata, Wipro, Infosys, Accenture, etc.) compared to wages paid by Technology firms (Google, Apple, Microsoft).

Here is a link to a more thorough article on this topic: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-h-1b_us_5890d86ce4b0522c7d3d84af

We Are All New

Randy Dean has bought out most of Fast Switch Ltd. from his partners, breaking out the Dublin headquarters and several branch offices of the IT staffing and recruiting firm – which will debut a new name on Friday.

Founder and CEO Mark Pukita will keep the Fast Switch name along with the market based in Hartford, Connecticut, an office that he said via email is growing fast because of the concentration of huge corporations nearby. He’s also launching a U.S. Senate campaign to try to unseat Sen. Rob Portman in the 2022 Republican primary.

Carey Pachla, the third partner who heads the Detroit office, bought that location and will run it as a separate business.

Terms were not disclosed. The deals close Thursday, with Dean’s portion to relaunch Friday as Revel IT Inc.

The Revel portion of the business represents nearly 500 of the company’s 800 employees and consultants, and about $57 million of Fast Switch’s $94 million projected revenue for this year.

“The fun challenge with that is, how fast can we get back to that old level of sales?” Dean said. “I think we can do it pretty quickly.”

Besides the headquarters at 4900 Blazer Pkwy., Revel has offices in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Pheonix/Tuscson, and plans to open soon in Austin.

“There are new markets we want to go in pretty quickly – all the hot IT markets and good places to live,” Dean said. “Previously the three of us together had differing opinions of what type of markets we want to grow into.”

The transition will be “turnkey” for customers, employees and contractors, Dean said. Protecting those constituencies was the top goal of the sale, Pukita said via email.

“I know Randy can, and will, take Revel IT to the next level,” Pukita said. “I expect he’ll be at $100 (million) in revenue … in a very short period of time.”

Though a smaller portion today, the Hartford office also can reach that level of sales within seven years, Pukita said. Led locally by Ted Woytowicz, it serves East Coast clients from Boston to North Carolina.

“The concentration of Fortune 500 prospects in that corridor is mind-boggling,” Pukita said.

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After working for big IT firms including IBM, Pukita started the business in 1996 in his basement with $1,000, according to his campaign website. His co-founder was Bob Irwin, who went on to become CEO of the former Sterling Commerce Inc. and other tech companies. The name came from their software that sped up network switches, Dean said.

Dean joined at the end of 2004, when it was still a “lifestyle” business with about $5 million in sales, he said. His job was to grow the Columbus market, while Pukita dealt with a sudden decline in Detroit.

“We didn’t have any employee benefits,” Dean said. “We didn’t have a website.”

Pukita rearranged the business to make each geographic area its own profit center, and in 2005 made Dean a partner, compensated on a percentage of profits.

“He wasn’t sure I would take it, actually, because it was going from salary to no salary, and anything I would earn was based on what I would produce,” Dean said. “That partnership model really unleashed drive and created ownership for me, and made me more interested than I would have been as a salaried employee.”

The business took off: $25 million revenue in 2010 and double that in 2012. The next year, Dean had lunch with Columbus restaurateur Cameron Mitchell, who urged him to aim for $100 million. Fast Switch hit $94 million last year and is holding steady this year, Dean said.

Dean’s goal with Revel is to make Columbus a leader in adoption of artificial intelligence, including robotic process automation. Revel is adopting software robots internally for accounting and some steps in the recruiting process, and bringing ‘bots to clients.

“It effectively creates a virtual worker,” Dean said. “It takes something routine and lets a ‘bot do that at greatly reduced cost. The person can focus on not the drudgery parts of their job, but more on value-add.”

Dean said he involved management and employees in choosing the new name. The team went through about 40 candidate names, starting with a list of available URLs.

“It was a very fun experience choosing the name with the staff,” Dean said. “Pretty much anything with ‘tech’ in it, we said, ‘No, we don’t like that.'”

Randy Dean Buys Out the Majority of Fast Switch Ltd

The winner actually came from a dictionary of unusual vocabulary words the Dean had bought for his 8-year-old son.

“It’s a people business – if it’s done right, we really believe we can improve people’s lives, find opportunities for our consultants and also solve real business problems for our clients,” Dean said. “To ‘revel’ in something is to really enjoy what you’re doing.”