August 27, 2014

Convergence Consulting Group: Profile of a small company

Best Small Company No. 33 - Consulting

Mike Vogel | 7/24/2012


Convergence employees (from left): Todd Davis, Doug Perusse, Brian Rimes, Sam Powell and Mary Tesar [Photo: Michael Heape]
As his graduation approached last December, University of Tampa double major — finance and management information systems — Doug Perusse headed for a university career fair. He did his homework. He researched the companies participating and settled on a few to target, including Convergence Consulting Group, a Tampa business intelligence consulting firm. At the fair, Convergence recruiter Todd Davis told him about all things Convergence, and the two discovered they both planned to attend a database tech conference coming up. At that conference, Perusse saw Davis again, met two Convergence founders and wound up having lunch, dinner and drinks with them. After a couple of formal interviews, he started work in January.

The 25-employee company initially wanted only experienced workers with the right character and customer-satisfaction attitude — “just jump up and get it done” — in order to win over clients, says partner and director of business development Brian Rimes. The company is now reaching out to Florida State University, where the partners have roots, and the University of South Florida to hire younger staff.

The company posts on job boards. Davis screens applicants by phone and then meets prospects for lunch or coffee. Then Davis and a couple of partners and senior employees meet the applicant for a tech-oriented interview, and individual managers will meet them as well. Contenders meet all five partners before getting hired. “We have no desire to get in the business of high turnover,” Rimes says.

Mike Phillips, 27, had several years of experience and was fresh off his master’s in information systems at the University of South Florida when he began hearing from recruiters about Convergence. He e-mailed a resume, talked with Davis by phone and then had a technical interview before lunching with senior partners. He came on under a “contract to hire.” While it meant no benefits, “I kind of knew it was worth the risk,” he says. Two months into the six-month contract, he was brought on full time.

Phillips likes the training budget, that everyone gets a mentor, that the senior partners are accessible and that there’s an environment that balances serious work with play. “A lot of happy hours,” he says.

As for Perusse, in the spring he went to another University of Tampa career fair — this time on the employer side of the table. He saw students he knew looking for work. “I was smiling ear to ear.”

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