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Issue 04:02:01

Industry Update

FTC Top 10 List: ID Theft No. 1, Internet Auction Scams Increase

Federal Lawsuit Filed Over Check Fee Collections

Concord EFS' To-do List Gets Longer Every Day

IPP Coming to a City Near You

Certified Merchant Services Paid FTC $23.5 Million in Settlement


GS Advisory Board
MLS Disclosures


The Next Great Love Affair: Merchants and Second Generation Value-Added Applications

By Patty Colby


Street Smarts:
Diamonds in the Rough

By Ed Freedman

Training Your Competition

By Garry O'Neil

What's Behind Some Recent FTC Cases

By David H. Press

Interchange Untangled-Part 9

New Products

Spanish Language POS Terminal Now Available

"Watch" How Speedpass Speeds Up Check Out

Company Profiles



Sales Associations Can Boost Your Career



Resource Guide


Best and Brightest Plug Into Payment Industry Recruiter Network

Headhunters spend their careers putting the right people in touch with each other

There's never a dull moment in the universe of merchant services: Innovations in hardware and software technologies mean new ways to process transactions and new services to sell; companies getting started or buying other companies mean people move around and change jobs.

It's a lot of work keeping up with all the comings and goings, in order to offer your customers the best possible solutions for their businesses. There's a lot of networking and relationship-building involved-keeping tabs on who's doing what and going where.

Do you ever feel like you're not plugged in to what's going on? Do you feel like your career isn't moving forward the way you thought it might? Maybe you love what you do for work but are feeling slightly frustrated with the way your professional life is headed. You're ready to stretch your wings and test your abilities with new challenges.

Or maybe you run a company whose plans for expansion are hampered by the quality of job applicants you're attracting. How do you find the perfect candidate, the one who gels with you and the vision you have for your company's direction?

Employers and job seekers alike can benefit from using the services of employment recruitment firms, sometimes referred to as "headhunters." Employment agencies and personnel staffing firms also connect applicants with job openings, but headhunters work a little differently: They seek out candidates and then place them with their employer clients.

In many other industries, this is not a new concept. For people selling financial services, though, hiring a firm-and one that knows the industry inside and out-to help fill positions by connecting job candidates with companies is a relatively new way to solve staffing problems. One recruitment firm saw a real need in a niche market and focuses only on placing the right people with the right companies in the payments industry.

CSH Consulting, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., works across the board with acquirers, processors, independent sales organizations, equipment manufacturers, software developers, payment gateway providers and just about any other type of business related to merchant services.

CSH Consulting aims to create win-win partnerships with its clients by locating the best candidates to fill openings its clients might have. The firm provides retained and contingency-based recruiting services and industry consultants; it also provides staff-related consulting services, including on-site recruiting solutions.

While some recruitment firms work strictly from the employer side, CSH is also able to refer potential employees to companies it partners with-as long as those candidates meet high quality standards-thanks to the strong relationships it has built with its client companies.

The key is that they know the business and a lot of the people involved in it. Curt Hensley, President of CSH Consulting, said the wide network he and his staff have created help them keep pace and stay in touch. They're filling sales, management, technological, executive and consultant job requirements for the fast-growing payment industry.

The staffing industry in general has been growing by leaps and bounds, too. According to the National Association of Personnel Services, there are more than 30,000 staffing, personnel services and employment companies across the country, with annual revenues of approximately $75 billion.

That seems to indicate there are a lot of companies and job hunters seeking assistance on both sides of the employment equation. When a job placement search gets cold for either side, it makes sense to make contact with people with contacts-and lots of the right ones. Like they say, it's all about whom you know.

Especially when the business you're in is very specialized, it really helps to tap into an existing network of connections, whether you're trying to fill a position or looking for one. "More than other industries, everyone works with everyone else," Hensley said. "This is a small, tightly-knit industry.

"We're a recruitment firm specializing in payments, and we've created a gigantic network across the industry," he said. "We're different from executive recruiters who work in a number of industries. We're calling on the same industry every day; our recruiters and research staff are calling the top executives for recommendations, for information on who's who."

Hensley and his partner, Vice-President J.T. Driscoll, started out working for the same company, staffing IT positions for clients like American Express, Vital Processing Services and a major POS implementer, he said. Their own careers progressed from senior recruiters to top sales executives for employer accounts. They formed CSH Consulting in August 2000 with the intention of serving those in the payments space struggling to find talented employees.

"This is a growing industry, and growing companies need to find top talent to fill positions and move them forward, push them to the next level," Hensley said. And that's where the benefits of hooking up with a recruitment firm, especially one that's industry-focused, become apparent.

Employment recruiters are successful because they know their clients and those companies' requirements well.

Headhunters are able to access their network of contacts, often asking for referrals based on an employer's individual situation. "We spend a lot of time really digging in with the client, finding out what they want and matching quality and personalities," Hensley said.

CSH Consulting has created successful working partnerships between companies and candidates across the United States and in Canada, Mexico and Europe. Because so much of what they do is based on their good reputation, the company is very careful in choosing with and for whom they'll work. "We're very selective about both clients and candidates," Hensley said.

"We want to partner with the most reputable companies in the payments industry. These organizations are the leaders providing great working environments where their employees have the opportunity to excel. We strive to provide them with the very best industry professionals who are a fit for their needs and their culture."

For people in all occupations in all areas of payments, CSH Consulting is the firm to contact. Other recruitment firms that cover several industries also have divisions for employment in the payments industry, but CSH is strictly dedicated to this arena. "We're the only ones who focus 100% on merchant acquiring," Driscoll said.

The firm was established specifically to recruit executives within financial services; it has expanded its efforts to include consulting contracts and staff-level recruiting as well.

The firm has completed more than 350 searches for positions from CEO/chairman, president, vice-president and CFO, to IT and network administrator, risk manager/ underwriter and customer service rep. It has placed a number of sales positions, too, including managers, trainers, recruiters, agents and support staff, Hensley said.

CSH Consulting's staff is part of the reason the firm has been able to establish the extensive network it has throughout the industry. "Our staff all have tenured recruiting backgrounds and are very knowledgeable with regard to the payments industry," Hensley said. "This experience has allowed us to develop very deep relationships and networking channels which allow us access to candidates who are not actively seeking employment."

No rolling stone ever gathered moss in payments-the rapidly changing corporate landscape, with its mergers, acquisitions and ever-shifting management team line-ups, together with the non-stop advances in technology mean companies need to stay competitive to stay healthy. And with the economy improving, hiring budgets are opening up.

"We're a good barometer for the industry," Driscoll said. "Companies expand by expanding sales. We're placing a lot of senior sales executives. We're looking for sales people who can close."

These have been busy times for CSH Consulting. Handling career moves is its business; people moving around and changing jobs is good news. Currently working with over 30 employer-clients within the industry, and so far CSH as busy in Q1 2004 as it has ever been. In fact, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the business sector that includes retail trade and finance will create 19.1 million new jobs between 1998 and 2008.

Enticing people away from comfortable jobs isn't always easy, they admit, but being selective about the organizations for which they'll recruit works in their favor. "The better companies provide better opportunities, benefits and environments," Hensley said. "There are lots of good companies with good loyalty programs."

What exactly do they look for in the candidates themselves? It all depends. "We interview people everyday, with every recruiter doing at least 10 to 15 phone interviews daily," he said. "We look at general background, who they've worked for, their career progression, their industry knowledge and personality."

Driscoll explained, though, that the idea behind recruitment is based on establishing relationships. When they talk with clients and candidates, they may not actually fill an opening for months or even years. "People we talk to today won't necessarily be applying for current positions," he said. "It's about keeping in touch and word of mouth."

Hensley and Driscoll advise sales agents who might be considering a job change to keep their options open by starting to develop good relationships with recruiters and others in the industry now. "A good resume is important," Hensley said. "Sharpening your presentation skills is also important. Advance your own sale-ability by sharpening your sales abilities. Attend sales seminars. Learn top level strategic selling."

CSH Consulting invites sales professionals in the payments industry to contact them-they're always looking for the best and brightest talent to refer to employers. Hensley said the firm's new Web site serves as an informational resource for both employers and candidates. Employers can file job requests and there's a section for job hunters to set up a profile and post rsums confidentially; the rsums go directly into CSH Consulting's database and can be updated regularly by candidates. Call Hensley or Driscoll at 480-315-8800 or visit .

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.
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