A conversation with Jessica Catino, President
Please help us welcome Digital Prospectors to the NHBSR community. We hope that you will introduce yourself when you have the opportunity. We sat down with Jessica recently to learn more about how the company, what inspires their work and to get a sense of their unique culture in the recruiting world.
Walking into the Digital Prospectors office one immediately feels welcomed and is struck by the bright space and the artwork that adorns the walls. We understand that Don, Jessica’s husband and co-owner of the company, loves design almost as much as his regular job and enjoyed the process of selecting the artwork and other creative items that you find in the space.
The company’s start is the story of two friends—Don and his best friend from kindergarten, Chris Roos—who decided to embark on their own endeavor back in 1999. Don had worked for a recruiting company and was inspired to do it differently and better. He recruited Chris as his partner and they set forth to create a company built on their experience and their vision to create a company known for quality work, its people and excellent customer service. In 1999 we all know that the world was anticipating Y2K and hoping to make the transition without a hitch. Don and Chris were well-positioned to help companies with their conversion, along with providing general IT support. Jessica herself was working in finance at the time and having finished business school had been recruited by a financial institution in NYC. She was on the verge of accepting, when Don and Chris invited her to join their team as their business strategist and to oversee the company’s operations, which allowed them to focus on what they did best which was sales. Not everyone might be able to work with their spouse, but having now worked together for thirteen years it’s clear they have found the formula for success.
For many years the company was a staff of 10 and was based in a small, house-like office in Exeter. As the company started to grow it was clear that they needed more space. This was a happy reason to look for a new location, which is what brought them to their current, larger office also in Exeter two years ago. Their team now consists of 34 employees, split between their NH and Boston offices, along with over 200 consultants under contract working for their clients. As a technical staffing firm known for building teams of highly qualified IT and engineering professionals for their clients, they have a passion for making meaningful connections between the two.
In speaking with Jessica it’s clear that one of the important things as one of the people who runs the business is that they have the ability to create a company that they want to work for, and in turn work hard to make it a place that their employees want to work for as well. Their business is about people and making meaningful connections with the goal of helping people find the right job. Their tagline—Love Your Job—speaks not only to their desire to create a workplace where their own employees love their jobs, but also to their mission of helping others find work that they too love. Finding a new job can be a very unsettling time and so a top priority for Digital Prospectors’ team is to find not just any job, but the right job for people and to provide support all along the way. A great motivation for their work is not just the idea but the reality of making a difference in someone’s life.
Jessica is the first to say that recruiting is not easy work. It can be very demanding, competitive and stressful. With that said, they work hard to create an environment where there is an equal amount of fun and celebration with the goal of bringing balance to the day. Because they are a small company they have the ability to be nimble and to make adjustments and enhancements to work flow and work life that will help improve the day to day environment for employees. Open communication is an integral part of their success. Weekly wrap up meetings take place (with the Boston office connecting virtually), where employees learn what is happening with the company and they have the ability to share what is happening on their end.
Monthly block parties are held, giving everyone a chance to celebrate and connect outside of the office itself. The company recently created a mentor role which gives those who are mentoring an opportunity to share their expertise and improve their management skills and the mentee an opportunity to improve their performance. They have alsorecently started a virtual anonymous suggestion box, which allows employees to make suggestions that they may not have felt comfortable sharing in a wrap-up meeting for whatever reason.
Volunteering is also an important part of the company culture. Every employee is given 8 hours a year to spend volunteering at an organization of importance to them, in addition to two company-wide volunteer days where they their colleagues. They’ve recently created a committee that identifies philanthropic priorities and opportunities for the company to focus on for the year ahead. Jessica explains that they are excited to give employees an opportunity to engage and lead these efforts as it gives them an opportunity to help drive efforts that are important to them.
Jessica and her team at Digital Prospectors have a great many wonderful efforts underway, but acknowledge that there is always more to learn and do. Jessica shares that she is happy to have joined NHBSR and is excited to learn from fellow organizations on ways to make they are making a difference in the workplace and to bring ideas back to the team.
Jessica welcomes the opportunity to connect with fellow members and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603.637.4085.
Please join us in welcoming Jessica and her team.