Successful Boutique Recruitment Firm Meets Its Match with 10,000 Small Businesses

November 9, 2012 | LaGuardia Community College

Long Island City, NY–What do you get when you put together a highly skilled and experienced industrial designer and a top notch global company who both share the same business values and vision? A perfect match. That’s why Yeh IDeology has been called the “eHarmony” of industrial design recruitment.

“We have a unique methodology that traditional recruiting doesn’t take into account,” said Angela Yeh, founder and president of the Manhattan-based Yeh IDeology. “We’ve incorporated human resource retention methods, and we look at all levels of compatibility to match the right opportunities for talent (designers) as well as employers. Recruiting traditionally only looks at employers’ needs.”

Ms. Yeh, who was a psychology major in college, studied industrial design at Pratt Institute and worked for three other recruiting agencies before starting her own business six years ago, knows that in order for any business partnership—including that of employer and employee—to be fruitful, there has to be a fundamental consensus of professional culture and vision. “If it’s not a quality match, there’s no successful return on investment. We take the time to make sure we understand both sides,” she explains.

With a clientele that includes Fortune 500 corporations, manufacturers, businesses, consultancies, and creative professionals, Ms. Yeh said it’s important to explore with each company factors such as strategy, brand and investment and then bring them together with designers who concur with those essential elements in order to create an effective, productive and ultimately happy marriage.

Noting that her company’s focus is on quality and not speed, she adds, “We have a strong reputation in our industry. There’s a respect from employers and job seekers for how we conduct our business.”

Despite being a recognized presence in the design recruitment industry, and perhaps because of their focus on quality as opposed to quantity, Yeh IDeology needed assistance to get to the next level of success. After being referred to Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia Community College by Seedco, a community development financial institution that works with the program, Ms. Yeh applied to and was accepted into the fourth cohort, which ran from November 2011 through January 2012. The initiative helps small businesses across the U.S. grow and create jobs through greater access to business education, financial capital, and business support services.

“The program has been amazing!” said Ms. Yeh. “The biggest challenge when you’re running your own business is that you’re fully entrenched in the day to day issues,” she explained, noting that 10,000 Small Businesses gave her the perspective to reflect and think strategically about her own business.

Also pointing out that small business owners often work in a vacuum, Ms. Yeh said, “You need people who are in the same position as you and who are as driven. You need the network support of other small business owners and advisors to bounce ideas and challenges off of that other people don’t understand.” She noted that the program provided this network and that she is still in communication with many of her classmates and even does business with some of them. “I’ve developed incredible lifelong friendships. We still support each other on various levels, and we help support each other’s businesses,” she said.

This foundation, along with the comprehensive curriculum and other resources of the program, including guidance from experts at Goldman Sachs, has made all the difference for Yeh IDeology. “The financial section was my weakest area. The benchmarks that were provided helped tremendously,” said Ms. Yeh, adding that the section on marketing was also very eye-opening. Based on what she learned in this area, she is working to improve her own branding and is revising her web site to use more appropriate language and search engine optimization marketing, which she believes will help her capture more clients that would benefit from the company’s services.

“Every step in the program directly applied to our business,” said Ms. Yeh. “They brought information down to our size. They used examples of other small businesses and some of our fellow cohorts’ businesses, so the lessons hit home. That insight is an incredible benefit.”

To assist with her efforts, and thanks to the knowledge and support she received from 10,000 Small Businesses, Ms. Yeh will be hiring a marketing consultant as well as a freelance writer. She also plans to move her home-based business, with its staff of six (three hired during the past year), to a new office space this fall. Her projected revenue growth for 2012 is 25%.  And she is ready to apply for funding in order to expand the business.

10,000 Small Businesses is helping us develop viable steps to reaching our highest goals,” she said. “And by emphasizing the importance of giving back to the community, the program has also confirmed our commitment to speaking at business and industry conferences, which is something we have always done.”

The most significant thing, however, that Ms. Yeh said she took away from the program: “They taught us to think like a CEO, not just an entrepreneur.”

To learn more about Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia Community College, please:

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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

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