Stratham staffing firm taps a nationwide market

In barely more than a decade, CCSI Inc., a staffing and recruiting agency in Stratham, has grown from a startup based out of the founder’s house to one of the fastest-growing employment agencies in the country.Annual revenues for the company, headed by president Anne Moreau, have surpassed $10 million and continue to grow as the economy rebounds and employment begins a slow rise.CCSI was founded in 1998 by Anne and Michael Moreau, a wife-and-husband team who both had years of experience working in the industry. After having taken four years off to raise her children, Anne Moreau decided to re-enter the employment game, this time with her own company.”When it was time to get back into the workplace, this is what I knew,” said Moreau. “I had knowledge of the financial piece, accounting and payroll, and Michael is a great salesman, so we said, ‘Let’s go for it’.”For the first two years of business, Moreau did all the accounting and payroll out of her house. The company that launched with just a secretary and one recruiter has now grown to include 15 in-house employees who work out of the company’s Stratham location, as well as 180 temporary employees working in 37 states — though that number fluctuates from week to week. CCSI handles all taxes, insurance, payroll and accounting services for all of its temporary employees in the field.In addition to an internal database that has resumes from some 350,000 applicants nationwide, CCSI uses various methods to recruit potential candidates, from traditional media, such as advertising in newspapers, industry journals and trade publications, to social media and combing online job databases.After locating potential candidates, recruiters contact them to see if they fit the job requirement. If the client likes the candidate after an interview, it will offer a contract. CCSI’s specialties include, but are not limited to, information technologies, software engineering, finance and business administration.”Our clients are Fortune 500 companies that require a specialty in a certain department,” said Moreau. “The contractors that they require can be very experienced in their field due to the fact that their jobs are so project-oriented and that they are experts in their field.”Commitment and supportFor the client, hiring temporary workers can be beneficial because “they don’t have to commit to a permanent employee, which for most companies saves money. This works in a good economy and it works in a bad economy,” she said.That’s not to say the company, whose bread and butter is employment, did not struggle with the record unemployment resulting from the recession.When times get tough, companies often let go of their temporary employees first, said Moreau. But on the flip side, when the economy begins to turn around, companies often look to hire temps first, because they do not need to commit to a full-time, permanent employee, she said.”We always tend to ride ahead of the wave of what’s happening. Last year was a very tough year, we lost a lot of clients and employees because of the economy, but we are starting to climb back up again now,” said Moreau. “Companies are slowly starting to pull the trigger and hiring again. Slow and steady is a good thing. We are heading in the right direction.”When a client decides to permanently hire a temporary employee from CCSI after a certain amount of time, “we’re happy for that person, and we’re happy for our client. It is very satisfying to be able to help both a candidate and a client find a compatible working experience. If our client is happy, they’re going to call us again. If our candidate is happy, they will tell their friends about us,” said Moreau.Being a certified woman-owned business has been beneficial for the firm, said Moreau, because it helps certain companies fulfill their diversity commitment.Still, she said, “it gets your foot in the door, but you still have to prove yourself. You don’t just get handed anything.”Moving forward, Moreau is interested in eventually opening another office in a different location. Despite a heavy concentration of clients in Texas and California, she is eyeing someplace closer to New Hampshire, potentially in Massachusetts, New Jersey or Connecticut.As for owning her own business, Moreau believes it requires commitment and a supportive team.”I wouldn’t say it’s hard. It’s intricate, it’s sometimes nerve-wracking.” said Moreau. “You have to find good people who know what they’re doing. It is our team that makes us successful.”Citizens Bank’s In Good Company is presented in partnership with NHBR. The series spotlights growing New Hampshire businesses with unique stories to tell.