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Heiden Group Extending SLAs to Recruiting

by Rawlson O'Neil King,

November 10, 2004 -- (WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- The Heiden Group ( ) is a new consultancy that aims to enhance the recruiting and corporate development needs of firms within the telecommunications sector.

Partners at the Heiden Group, formed last month through the merger of Heiden, Hopwell, Phillips, LLC and Brigantine Consulting, LLC, intend to leverage their combined experience of building successful technology ventures to benefit their clients.

Heiden, Hopwell and Phillips brought 15 years of sales force development and corporate restructuring efforts for technology and telecommunications companies. Brigantine Consulting complemented this background with over 15 years of experience in solving complex operational, product and marketing issues for the same market.

"The merger of our two companies created a recruiting and consulting firm unequalled in sales and operational strength within our industry," says partner and co-founder Clint Heiden. "No firm anywhere in the world can claim to have created over $8 billion in organic revenue within the telecom sector, built and managed 15 of the world's largest IP and data sales forces, and operated many of the world's largest IP networks and over 40 Internet data centers."

The efforts of the partners, in the individual employ of service providers, resulted in combined management of $20 billion in assets, the hiring of over 2,000 sales representatives and the retention of 99 percent of those employees.

The partners also managed some of the world's largest hosting infrastructure, collectively delivered 99 percent uptime in data centers throughout the world, were responsible for cash sales of over $155 million for service provision businesses and were involved in the third most successful NASDAQ offering.

According to Heiden, during his past tenure as VP of Global Markets for UUNet, he was directly responsible for the creation of the service level agreement concept. Heiden now wants to introduce the SLA concept to the process of hiring sales representatives for service providers.

"Over the last 15 years, we wished that recruiters had been confident about the candidates they recommended and provided a solid guarantee concerning their performance," he says "Most candidates were only guaranteed for 90 days, and that time simply applied to attendance not performance. Our model focuses on performance."

A recruiting engagement with the Heiden Group involves a fee equivalent to 20 percent of a candidate's base salary. Twenty to thirty percent of that fee, however, is linked to an SLA agreement. This means a third of the fee is at risk against the performance of the candidate. The consultancy uses the SLA guarantee to demonstrate its confidence in the recruits it recommends

"Our goal is to minimize the risk of hiring a non-performer," states Heiden. "Other recruits recommend based on compiling lists and engaging in an interview process that may last half-an-hour. We like to think that we have spent 15 years in the business training to be recruiters. Our typical screening process spans five years because we know who the sales performers in the industry are."

The Heiden Group's main objective in the recruiting process is not simply to consider the cost of hire, but to consider the cost of a non-performing hire, and mitigate that risk.

With its consulting practice, the company aims to help those outside the industry launch hosting operations, and help those within the industry enhance their current operations to make them profitable.

The firm's primary areas of expertise include sales development, technology and market evaluation, operational analysis, turnarounds, corporate integration and business restarts.

"Our goal is always to improve a provider's performance and bottom line," says Heiden.

Consulting engagements with hosting and IP providers have typically led to increased sales, increased EBITDA, and reduced customer churn. The Heiden Group also has executed business plans for service providers that have accurately gauged the revenue and costs impacts of restructuring. The partners at the Heiden Group also participated in pre-acquisition due diligence of the world's largest managed hosting provider. As a result, the consultancy is quite experienced in improving the operational prospects of Web hosts, Internet service and telecommunication providers.


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