MDI Group, a leading national IT staffing and recruiting services provider, celebrates 25 years of helping IT organizations tackle “what’s next” in technology. The company specializes in IT services, but the rapid advancements and development of technology have vastly changed our clients’ needs over two and a half decades of business. Here’s a look back at how MDI Group has led the industry and supported client business objectives since before the Internet was a household word.
When Howard Leff started the Atlanta-based company in August of 1988, the “personal computer” or PC had just been introduced to the workplace. At the same time, recruiting IT consultants for contract client engagements was a relatively new business practice. The rapid adoption of PCs and computer networks sparked the demand for highly trained and experienced technology professionals, and MDI Group was quick to identify this new trend.
By 1994, Howard began looking for a partner to continue the business after he retired. The company’s name became renowned because of Howard’s integrity and business ethics. It’s this reputation that led him to identify and recruit Ella Koscik to be his business partner and ultimately his successor.
Ella’s passion for the staffing industry was inspired by her family’s strong work ethic, but also by watching her father undergo a job change in 1989. She saw first-hand how stressful a job search can be, and how recruiters can help alleviate the situation by identifying new career opportunities. Ella also had the vision to replicate the company’s business model in additional markets, which was essential for the company’s growth and provided an environment for the company’s employees to expand their career opportunities.
As CEO, she began expanding the company’s national footprint by opening its first branch office in Greenville, South Carolina in 1998. The Phoenix office opened just two years later in 2000 followed by the Dallas office in 2006, Fort Worth in 2008 and Charlotte in 2012. Now under the leadership of CEO Richey Brownfield, MDI Group recently opened the Austin office in 2013, its seventh office nationwide and third office in Texas.
Today Ella is chairperson of the board. Her business philosophy is grounded in hard work, and hiring a strong team to work collaboratively. She believes MDI Group’s success is based on the dedication and contributions of its entire team. Ella has always believed in hiring leaders who can identify their strengths and weaknesses and hire to support them. She has cultivated a culture where mistakes are used as opportunities to learn and grow in a positive environment.
With Ella’s leadership, MDI Group has stayed true to its locally focused business model by strategically developing a thorough knowledge of clients’ needs and the availability of technology professionals in the locations where we serve. This philosophy endured even when the trends of sending IT work overseas or placing candidates outside of a market where an agency operated became popular.
During the course of MDI Group’s growth and success, the company has witnessed revolutionary technology milestones including Compact Discs (1988), laptop computers (1989), the Pentium Processor (1993), Google (1998), thin client-server architecture (1999), Wi-Fi (1999), Voice-over-IP (2004), “smart” phones (2007) and Cloud Computing (2011). With these milestones have come floods of new programming languages, skill sets, job titles, and of course, client challenges. However, the rapid evolution of technology is also inspiring savvy business leaders to shift their valuation of IT departments from help desks and cost centers to strategic mechanisms of growth and profitability.
As the importance of IT professionals has evolved greatly in the past 25 years, their increase in compensation has also outpaced the average worker. In 1988, the Bureau of Labor Statistics only had a handful of computer or systems-related job categories and reported that these occupations had a salary range of $15,000-30,000 per year. The agency now reports that IT employment reached new record high levels during 2012, surpassing 4 million jobs in the U.S., and that the median compensation for most IT managers is in excess of $100,000.
After 25 years of growth and expansion, MDI Group has placed more than 10,000 IT professionals with mid-sized to Fortune 500 organizations across the country. Our distinctive combination of comprehensive IT specialization, collaborative service delivery model, local market expertise and “best fit” resources is a result of years of experience providing IT workforce solutions to a variety of client needs. With this strong foundation of experience, we look forward to seeing how IT professionals will continue to shape the future, and we will continue our focus on “what’s next” in information technology.