When Jeff Stout first started talking to clients and candidates about BlueSky back in 2006, many of the people he called were using those quaint devices that we’ve come to know as “flip phones” and “slider phones.” The concept of “smart” phones was still largely a dream. In fact, the birth of first iPhone was a year away, and Siri was just a twinkle in the eye of Steve Jobs. The last decade has seen tremendous, unprecedented change on the technology front. At the same time, there are many important things that have remained the same. As we celebrate our 10 year anniversary, join us for a short walk down memory lane as we take a quick look at what’s changed, what’s stayed the same and what we’ve achieved at BlueSky in our first decade.
When BlueSky was founded in May of 2006, sending and receiving most types of digital information required sitting in front of a computer. In today’s world that concept feels hopelessly outdated. Things like sending resumes, uploading job descriptions and creating meeting invites happened at a much slower pace. The launch of the iPhone in 2007 (and Android in 2008), along with the explosion of social media, expanded our connectivity in new and exciting ways. The pace and scale of change since that time has been nothing short of phenomenal. For example, the number of LinkedIn users has increased from approximately 8 million in 2006 to over 430 million today. Facebook has gone from 12 million users to over 1.65 billion in the same time period! The numbers for photo sharing are even more impressive. It’s estimated that the total number of photos ever taken on film ranges from 2.5-3.5 trillion. This may sound like a lot, until you consider that Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp together handled around 1.5 trillion pictures in 2015 alone! It’s been suggested that more digital photos will be created in 2016 than were shot on film in the entire history of the analog camera business.
We’ve embraced these sweeping, digital changes at BlueSky. They have enhanced our ability to create the right connections between our clients and top-tier candidates. While all this change has enabled us to connect and respond faster, we still cherish Old School notions like sitting down and having lunch with a client. Or meeting a candidate over a cup of coffee. And when our own BlueSky team needs to connect, we don’t do it in a chat room. We do it face to face, behind the wheel of a go-cart at one of the local tracks. While technology can bring us closer together, it will never replace actually being there. And we’ve noticed a few other things haven’t changed much.
We continue to see that while skills and experience are important, it’s behavioral and leadership attributes which are the greatest contributors to success over time. We continue to believe that our team’s real-world experience in consulting / delivery work gives us a decided advantage in evaluating top talent. We find that candidates perceive us to be better qualified than a traditional search firm in representing them to our clients because of that real-world experience. And we continue to see great opportunities to give back to the community. In particular, we are honored to support the Ronald McDonald House and Back on My Feet organizations. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the participants of these programs never gets old.
Finally, no anniversary or walk down memory lane would be complete without taking a moment to look at the short-list of our accomplishments over the last 10 years.
o April 2009 – Launch of our Project Delivery business (first consultant hired)
o April 2013 – 100th full-time placement
o Total full-time placements – 193
o Total consultants – 34
o Total clients – 34
o Total states of BlueSky employees – 8 (Hawaii, Utah, California, Michigan, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington)
o Total ‘BlueSky babies’ welcomed by our employees – 9
o Compound annual growth rate – 28%
We are proud of everything we’ve achieved and been a part of over the last decade. But none of these things would have been possible without the incredible support of our business partners, clients and team members. We are truly grateful for all that you’ve done, and we look forward to working together in the months and years to come!