30 Great Places to Work 2019


firstPRO: A full service, independent staffing and recruitment firm

Especially for small organizations, in which personnel’ time is already stretched thin, recruiting in-residence frequently doesn’t make for a smart funding of sources. If you don’t have a devoted recruiter, you’re pulling treasured work time far from different team of workers members, time that influences your bottom line. A recruitment agency to get the right applicants (no longer only a pool of candidates) may be the way to move while you need to get the maximum bang on your buck.

firstPRO, Inc is an award-winning professional recruiting firm with more than 100 internal recruiters across its offices in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Boston. The company has a 30 year long history with specializations in Accounting & Finance, Information Technology, & Supply Chain.

“Our geographically focused approach combined with our passionate dedication within our specializations has allowed firstPRO to become the absolute leaders within our markets. By understanding the specific business environments and unique needs of our clients and professionals partners, we are able to provide the highest levels of service delivery in the industry.”

April Fawcett Nagel, CEO notes, “When I established FirstPRO in 1986, our goal was to provide the very best talent in the marketplace. We have grown to over $30 million in annual revenue and are now one of the fastest growing independently owned firms in the country. In 2007, FirstPRO was ranked #1 in Contingency Executive Recruitment, #4 Retained Executive Search, #9 in Temporary Employment and the #10 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned firm in Atlanta (certified by WBENC) by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. On behalf of all 138 employees, over 100 of whom are Atlanta-based recruiters, we remain passionately dedicated to our clients and committed to the professionals we represent.”

Let’s get into the roots of the company while in chat with April Fawcett Nagel, CEO

A company’s mission is its reason of being. What is your company’s mission? How far have you reached in fulfilling your mission?

At firstPRO, we always wanted to be known for knowing people. We build client and candidates relationships with the intent to build a lifelong relationship with professionals who learn that we are the recruiting firm that has a network of relationships that lead to success in recruitment. Success in helping our clients build the teams they need to succeed and to retain that talent.  

We’ve succeeded over the 33 years in the recruitment industry by building those type of relationships. When people see firstPRO they know we have the talent to seek out the talent that they want to hire.  

Our mission statement internally with our recruiters is widely known and supported by our entire staff and leadership. Putting faith, family, and community first, we will positively impact professionals’ careers, one person at a time.

A people-focused organization helps its employees grow to become their best. What is your say on this?

Our staff become better people by putting their clients and candidates needs above themselves. My approach to recruiting is to always focus on developing long term meaningful business relationships above any type of profit or commission. You can always spot a recruiter who is out to just get a commission. We get that career fulfillment by putting the needs of others first and see better results and customer loyalty by doing so. Our business grows and we grow as individuals by being a people-focused organization.

How is your organization best place to work? Cite with instances.

There are several ways to provide recruiting services and we believe they are all correct. In our way, first, we place a huge emphasis on our mission statement which is Putting faith, family and community first, we will impact professionals’ careers one person at a time. In addition, we provide our internal staff members a platform allowing them to earn uncapped commissions. We are known in the marketplace with having a commission hard to match. Our industry can be cutthroat, demanding, consisting of long hours. It is true, your achievement is often obtained by putting in the hours, but we ask our staff to do this by not sacrificing time with their faith and family and their involvement with the community. Our leadership team and staff support philanthropic work, contributes to our coworkers and clients fundraising needs, and truly believes in making an impact on those we professionally work with using our time, talents, and treasures. 

By working here, you not only create a successful career and living for you and your family, but you truly impact the lives of our clients and job seekers by carrying out our mission statement. This gives us a greater sense of purpose and personal achievement.

Do you agree that creating a strong culture of engaged employees is essential for attracting and retaining talent and also enhancing productivity?

Absolutely. We strive to create several career paths for our staff that involve opportunities to lead. Not just lead teams of people, but also lead projects that impact our operational growth and personnel development. Each member of our staff has the opportunity to meet with their manager weekly one on one to share their creativity and to express their interests or challenges. We want our staff engaged and heard. We want our staff inspired and challenged. We want our staff believing in our mission to impact professionals’ careers and we believe this impact and the overall firstPRO opportunity keeps our staff engaged and productive. Our division managers often delegate much of their responsibility in order to give others the opportunity to grow their skills and enhance their individual growth.

What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?

Our mission statement and the employees itself create a reputation in our business community that we will always strive to do the right thing. We don’t always get it right, but when we don’t get it right, we own up to our mistakes. We strive to conduct our business ethically with integrity and when you make this the priority, you will gain the reputation you want to have.

‘When people are having fun, they work together better and they produce better work.’ How do you interpret this saying?

Our teams produce at a high level for this very reason. Everyone hired knows the goals and responsibility they need to exceed on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. How they get to those goals and when they do it varies greatly. They pursue those goals while having fun. We just moved into a new office that is laid out in a way that fosters collaboration and encourages doing the job in a joyful manner. In our café, we have a shuffle board and a dart board. We have breakfast provided twice a week and keep our café stocked with snacks. We do quarterly team building events such as Ax Throwing, Dinner Cruises, Top Golf, etc.   We do quarterly network events for our clients and candidates. We volunteer together. This type of fun creates lasting bonds, improves retention, and makes it fun!

Mike Stanziola, Senior Vice President

Mike Stanziola has been in the IT Staffing and Recruiting industry since 2000. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Religion from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA and spending 4 years working as a youth pastor in Columbus, OH, he entered the IT industry in 2000 working as a Technical Recruiter for

MATRIX Resources in Dallas, TX. In the summer of 2004, he moved to Philadelphia, PA to work for Modis selling IT Recruiting services.

In 2009, Mike joined firstPRO and he is presently the Sr. Vice President of IT Operations managing a team of 17 staffing professionals priding himself on building successful long-term business relationships and motivating his sales and recruiting staff to do the same.

Since June 2009, Mike has also held the title of VP of Membership volunteering for the HDI Philadelphia chapter. Mike is married to his wife Jillian and has a daughter living in Exton, PA.

“We invest in building relationships with people and businesses to benefit the communities that we live and work in.”