How Career Group Companies is Changing The Recruiting Industry in Texas
Founder Susan Levine Talks Success, Process, and Expanding Beyond the Lone Star StateBY PC Studios // 05.16.23
Susan Levine is focused on finding mind-blowing matches for clients and candidates.
Founded in 1981 by powerhouse Susan Levine, Career Group Companies has completely revolutionized how both companies and candidates take their next steps.
Career Group Companies is predicting 2023 to continue to be a strong year for the labor market.
Career Group Companies has a deep roster of talented recruiters who are deliberate, thoughtful and strategic.
Despite having a deep roster of talented recruiters on staff, Levine often interviews candidates herself so she can personally know and vouch for who her company is sharing with clients.
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With countless major corporations and organizations relocating to Dallas on a daily basis, recruiting is big business in North Texas. From finding the perfect candidate for a niche role to helping Fortune 100 companies on retained searches at the executive level, corporate matchmaking and recruiting have never been more essential to companies hoping to thrive in the Lone Star State. From administrative recruiting to creative, tech, and fashion, to accounting and finance — and everything in between — Career Group Companies is dominating the recruitment landscape. Founded in 1981 by powerhouse Susan Levine, the high-end recruiting firm (named by Forbes for the 6th time in 2023 as one of America’s Best Recruiting Firms) has completely revolutionized how both companies and candidates take their next steps.
The company’s unique and high-touch approach has earned the attention of countless high-net-worth individuals, leading firms, and celebrities in need of high-caliber temporary and full-time recruiting services. Now, Career Group Companies has entered the Dallas market: “It’s simple how we chose Dallas: the needs of our clients became paramount, and every single one of our clients throughout the country said that with their new presence in Texas, we simply needed to be here” states Founder and CEO, Susan Levine.
How Career Group Companies Got Started
Levine started Career Group Companies while in her early twenties with a vision of creating a more elevated, luxury people business.
“Everything for me is about high-standards and creating a memorable experience,” says Levine. “I have always had this in my DNA.”
Levine took that mindset and created Career Group Companies, maintaining her passion and focus. Immediately upon launching her business, Levine started deliberately and strategically reaching out to the best companies in the country.
“These companies want, deserve, and need a much higher caliber of candidate,” says Levine. “I’m focused on finding exceptional matches. We are often told we just get it, and are able to understand a company’s culture even better, at times, than their own HR department.”
Today, Career Group Companies is a recognized industry leader, providing a personalized and hands-on approach above and beyond the level of other firms. They continue to earn recognition from notable media outlets, recently named on Inc. Magazine’s Best in Business List (2022). Susan was also one of 200 founders across the country named to Inc. Magazine’s Female Founders 200 List in 2023, “for being a recruiting and staffing powerhouse.”
“The premise of doing extraordinary work at our level was not present in the recruiting industry before Career Group Companies,” says Levine. “It was the reason I wanted to launch a premier firm that was dedicated and committed to finding the very best talent for the most important clients. Business was done very differently back in the 80’s; it was less personalized, and only about whether or not someone could do the job. Chemistry was never that important. I like to curate the talent for each individual company. No two people are alike and no two cultures are alike. In an industry that can be very transactional, people appreciate working with a business partner who will take care of them and make them feel as though they are the only client in the world.”
The Recruiting Process
To deliver on her promise, Levine is more intimately involved in her company’s operations than many would expect from a CEO. She says she asks “five million questions” to truly understand the client, their culture, the executive, and who will thrive in the role. Despite having a deep roster of talented recruiters on staff, Levine often interviews candidates herself so she can personally know and vouch for who her company is sharing with clients.
“We’re encouraging our candidates to reach high and find the most fulfilling work” says Levine. She describes it as a very intellectual, deliberate, and consultative process, both when working with clients and potential candidates. The client has to be proud of the candidate that they’re bringing on board to represent the company, and the candidate needs to be able to thrive in the client’s culture.
“I’m the people’s architect and I’m curating people’s companies,” says Levine. “Imagine if you could start with a blank canvas, and create your vision of hiring different and interesting people who are unique but mesh perfectly. That’s what we’re all about.”
The secret to their success? Career Group Companies has multiple divisions, each with its own core focus and expertise. They are Career Group, Fourth Floor, Syndicatebleu, Event Team, and CG Search, specializing in both temporary and direct hire placement for administrative support, accounting and finance, executive search, fashion, creative and marketing, lifestyle, events, tech, as well as payrolling services. Their umbrella structure allows recruiters at Career Group Companies to hyper-specialize in 1-2 industries, while still tapping into the firm’s extensive candidate and referral network.
Levine listens to the market and to her long-term clients, many of whom have been with her for decades, to decide when it’s time to expand into new sectors. The firm recently created an Information Technology recruiting team in response to high demand from its existing client base. “My clients asked and needed this service, and that’s how I work, to please and make a difference,” said Levine.
Dallas Recruiting and Beyond
When it comes to Dallas specifically, Levine says the city is booming. She even compares it to San Francisco during the dot-com explosion. The company is seeing increased transparency when it comes to compensation, remote work capabilities, and other traits of the job, all following the pandemic.
Following widespread layoffs across a variety of industries over the past six months, Career Group Companies is also seeing a rise in temporary and contract roles that allow candidates to maintain their skill sets, but try their hands at a number of different sectors. Levine also predicts 2023 will continue to be a strong year for the labor market, but people will have to work harder on both sides of the table (clients and candidates) and not rely on opportunities to fall into their laps.
Despite being in business for more than four decades, Levine feels that Career Group Companies is just getting started. The business already serves thousands of clients a year, making tens of thousands of placements annually, and is rapidly growing in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Dallas. What’s next on the horizon? Chicago and London. Levine says her expansion philosophy is to “crush it” in every market before expanding to a new one.
“I’m a driver and teacher at heart. I haven’t lost my passion for what I do in 40 years. I’m fortunate in that I learn something new about people every single day.” says Levine. “People never go out of style, and doing perfect work will always be on the forefront of my mind.”