Address: 1001 East Palm Ave., Tampa, FL 33605; (800) 395-5575; www.kforce.com
Business: Provides professional and tech staffing to companies
Ticker symbol, market: KFRC, Nasdaq
Market capitalization: $406 million, up from $322 million
CEO: David Dunkel
Employees: 1,900 core employees, down from 2,000; 8,500 temps on assignment, down from 10,000
Revenue: $997 million, up 2.5 percent
Net loss: ($84 million)
Per share: ($2.13)
Return on equity: (34.39 percent)
Biggest challenge: Kforce was prepping for a drop in staffing demand before the recession hit, and the readiness paid off. It has been able to protect its margins and retain most of its revenue, in particular for tech staffing positions, which account for half its business. Year over year, revenues are down 8 percent but many of its competitors are down 30 to 50 percent. One challenge, and opportunity, is to grab market share from weaker competitors. Through its national recruiting center in Tampa, Kforce tries to move swiftly to provide workers to clients across the country at the scale they desire.
Mixing fun with purpose is the company's 'secret sauce'
Serious business is afoot inside Kforce's four-story headquarters on the edge of Ybor City. So how to explain cubicles topped with a Mexican sombrero, a stuffed Winnie the Pooh, a radio-controlled car and an inflatable toy cactus?
And what about the beach towels and sheets hung across cubicle entrances like so much drying laundry?
They belong to Kforce phone solicitors trying to interest hospitals in using the firm's professionals who specialize in "health information management." Think hospital types who input code on health insurance forms.
But the fun 'n' games has a serious purpose, says Amy Simpson, a Kforce manager whose desk displays a mockup of a golden Oscar statuette. Take the towels and sheets, for example. "It's a visual reminder: 'Don't talk to me. I'm in my space,' " Simpson says.
That mix of the loosey-goosey and tightly coiled Ñ the employee basketball court juxtaposed with the banners touting corporate achievement Ñ summarizes the corporate culture. "Culture is the secret sauce," says senior vice president Michael Blackman, who despite his front-office gig wears no necktie.
Exemplifying the informality-with-a-purpose ethos is the cardboard cutout of CEO David Dunkel dressed as a race car driver. His image confronts employees as they wait at the elevators. "I was once a great recruiter," the cardboard chairman says. "Are you?"