Birmingham Business Journal - Friday, June 11, 2004
by William B. White, Special
"What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" Holley Ellis began to ask herself that very question years ago when she read the quote on a bookmark. In January 2000, she came up with her answer - Ellis founded the E Group Inc., which provides contract, contract-to-hire, and full-time engineers and consultants to area businesses.
"I started in the staffing and recruiting industry back in 1996, and I have loved every role I have ever had whether I was a recruiter, recruiter trainer, or client account manager," she says. "Once I realized it was my passion, it was time to go out on my own. I would not trade a day."
As a result of superior staffing placements, one of the largest utilities in the Southeast, Atlanta-based Southern Co., now identifies the E Group Engineering Services as one of their top supplemental staffing vendors. In 2003, the E Group's revenues grew by 250 percent to $1.78 million, compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of employees has gone to more than 40 employees today from just four in 2002. Ellis says she constantly focuses on doing the right thing and avoiding decisions based solely on short term financial gains.
"Our company is employee driven, so every decision we make must provide long term value to our employees," she says. "It has absolutely nothing to do with an immediate financial return - the money is an after effect. If it's not good for our employees, it's not good."
And employees like senior designer Mark Downing are more than satisfied. "I recently left a management position at a company I had been with for over 15 years," he says. "They helped me find a position with a Fortune 500 company that has provided a much less pressured environment and over a 30 percent increase in salary."
Ellis say the key to her success is employee retention. An example is the benefits package, which Ellis says is unmatched in the industry. "All consultants, after three months of employment, are eligible for benefits, 401K with matching, and complimentary banking services," she says.
"What I love most about Birmingham is that we are small enough to stay personable but large enough to have endless opportunities," she says.