13 Years of BridgeView IT: A Conversation with Chris and Tim
At BridgeView IT, we always make a point to celebrate wins and milestones for our clients, candidates, and employees. While our 13th anniversary may not seem as exciting as our 10th (or our 20th down the road!), it’s important to take a moment to reflect on the journey. Let’s pick the brains of our Managing Partners and Founders Chris Beisler and Tim Glennie to find out how BridgeView IT got to where it is today.
What was the thought process behind founding BridgeView IT 13 years ago?
TG: It all began because both Chris and I were working for large companies who really didn’t spend time going deep with clients, something we found frustrating.
CB: That’s right, we both valued the idea of investing in important long-term relationships and building strong teams, and we found that to be lacking. Plus, we didn’t want to work for “the man” anymore!
TG: The bottom line for us was that we enjoyed focusing on relationships. We both believed that a boutique approach of going after very specific partners who were looking to grow teams was not only a more enjoyable approach to this industry, but a more effective one.
What were your first impressions of each other?
CB: We actually met as competitors at a holiday party, so I’d say a healthy suspicion of the other was at play initially.
TG: While we were a bit guarded at first, things quickly warmed up when we realized we were just two normal guys trying to accomplish the same things in the same business.
Why do you work so well together today?
TG: It all comes down to mutual respect, a partnership attitude toward clients, and the fact that we truly are the ying and yang of each other.
CB: Agreed, we know how to stay in our lanes of expertise and complement each other well. Plus, a few early challenges really set it in stone. We knew if we could get through those early days, we could get through anything together.
Tell us about a big win or memorable moment.
CB: Moving into our office space was a big moment in my eyes; that’s when it hit me that we were actually doing this.
TG: Our longevity in the business is as big of a “win” as one can have in this industry. We’ve seen many competitors come and go, but we’ve always had our true north and kept driving toward it.
Hit us with the numbers. How many roles have you filled and how many clients have you worked with over the years?
TG: We’ve helped hundreds of clients fill over 8,500 roles during 13 years. In fact, we’re approaching 500,000 people in our database of profiles and ongoing relationships!
CB: And some of our very first clients are still our clients today, something that really speaks to our dedication to a mutually-beneficial and productive relationship.
What have been some “feel good” moments at BridgeView IT?
TG: Whether it’s opening day with the Rockies, ski days, or rewards trips to places like Aspen or Vegas, it’s our traditions that can be counted in the “feel good” category.
CB: Anytime we take a big step forward and build something new it feels great, such as moving into our current office, expanding into the Boston market, or launching our offshore team.
What’s different about the industry now compared with 13 years ago?
TG: Skill sets have changed, and certain new technologies like the cloud and automation have revolutionized both the IT and staffing industries. The job market has been so tight for several years now, causing a strong demand for technology candidates.
CB: Definitely, the scarcity of candidates is alarming for many hiring right now. The economy was so different when we began with more job-seekers than jobs, and that’s definitely changed in recent years.
TG: Also, it used to be a challenge to find people back then. Today, with the advent of platforms like LinkedIn and other tools, you can find anyone you want. The hard part is making an authentic connection with them amongst all of the noise.
How has BridgeView IT set itself apart amidst all the other staffing firms that have come and gone since 2005?
CB: It’s a priority here that the culture is a strong and healthy one. People should be respected, treated fairly, and enjoy the environment that they work in. You’d be surprised how often that gets lost in what can become, if left unchecked, a transactional industry.
TG: Adapting to industry changes by altering service offerings or approaches is also key. We’ve never stopped evolving, but stay grounded in the goal of building highly capable technology teams with our clients. Whereas some will attempt to fill roles without understanding why they’re filling the role, we’ve always been interested in that “why.”
CB: We empower employees and give them the autonomy they need to really dig into their roles. At the same time, we make sure to provide opportunities for those who wish to take initiative on tasks outside of their normal role responsibilities. This mentality helps them get to that “why” behind not just filling roles, but any action.
You’ve held a lot of Karma Days over the years, giving back to the community. Is there a specific one that stands out in your mind?
TG: For me, the most impactful experience was with Urban Peak in downtown Denver. We helped cook food for over 100 young adults struggling with homelessness. Watching them get help from counselors and serving them a warm meal on a cold morning is very rewarding.
CB: Absolutely. We typically try to do different things each Karma Day, but Urban Peak is one of the few we’ve done numerous times because the experience is always so meaningful and moving.
How long have you been leveraging your recruiting center in Vietnam? How has it made an impact for your clients?
TG: It’s been eight years, and that positive impact on our team really translates to our clients. It enables us to quicken the pace and pipeline candidates before roles even come open. And, because of the center, when clients want to know the viability of certain skill sets in different markets, we can give them specific research to help with their budgeting, planning, and hiring.
CB: Exactly right. I say this all the time, but the recruiting center in Vietnam allows us to take a proactive approach to what otherwise can be a very reactive business.
If you could time travel to 2005, what would you tell yourselves about starting a technology staffing firm?
CB: Start looking for App Developers and thank me later as their skill set becomes one of the industry’s hottest.
TG: Buy as much Amazon stock as you can afford. You’ll be retired in 10 years!
For more from Chris and Tim, including industry insights and recaps of our events, visit our main blog page by clicking here.