User Experience Staffing Firm Featured in Business Journal's All Over the Country
23 Sep 2009 - 10:31pm
IT staffing firm finds its niche in user-friendly arena
San Antonio Business Journal - by Mike W. Thomas
In just four years, Harvinder Singh has grown his small IT staffing firm,
working mostly in the local market, into a multimillion-dollar company with
clients across the nation.
In its first year of operation, Bestica Inc. had just $250,000 in revenues.
This year, the company expects to gross more than $2 million.
"There was a need in San Antonio for a small company that could find quality
players (for the tech industry)," Singh says. "Our company grew when we
began to specialize in locating hard-to-find people."
These hard-to-find people are the ones who are expert in a niche area of
technology known as user experience design, or usability. These are the
people who specialize in making technology that is user-friendly or easy to
use. The more user-friendly the technology is, the more likely it is to be
adopted by the general public, Singh says.
One of the best examples of user experience design is the iPhone by Apple
Inc. A major source of the iPhone's phenomenal success in the marketplace is
its ease of use, Singh says. The technology experts who are able to make
technology as user-friendly as the iPhone are a valuable resource and are
highly sought after by most tech companies, Singh adds. Bestica has carved
out a niche for itself by finding those types of high-quality workers and
bringing them to clients such as Yahoo!, Cisco Systems and Microsoft.
"This is the niche that we want to work in," Singh says. "Our strongest
client base is in New York City and on the West Coast in places like San
Francisco and San Jose."
Bestica built up its database of UX/IT experts over the years by attending
conferences and networking with groups such as the Usability Professionals'
Association (UPA). Bestica was soon managing and promoting the job board for
Social media connection
Bestica has also set up a blog where it invites tech companies to post
usability problems and then invites its network of UX/IT experts to respond
with suggested solutions.
Julie Marco, a senior recruiter for Bestica, says the advent of social media
sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook has made a big difference in
the company's ability to track down and find the kind of experienced
personnel that its client companies are looking for.
"Social media has helped us to get to these hard-to-find people," Marco
says. People who actively use these social media sites are "the kind of
forward looking people that our clients are looking for," she adds.
By moving within these social circles, Marco says, they will start to see
the same names come up over and over again when discussing topics on
usability. This is usually a key indication that this person has the kind of
knowledge and experience that their clients are looking for, she says.
"We have found Bestica to be a true partner in our search for top quality
candidates," says Carolyn H. Labatt, president of Computer Solutions, an IT
services company based in San Antonio. "The caliber of the candidates they
have found for us surpasses that of any other recruiting company that we
have used, and they do a good job of the entire process from the time they
identify the candidate to the time we bring the new employee on board."
Labatt says Bestica is committed to "adding value" throughout the process
and is genuinely concerned with "helping us grow our business."
"We are growing very rapidly and they are helping us keep up with high
demand so that we can continue to grow and prosper," she says.
Change of direction
Harvinder Singh's background is in information technology and he started out
working in his uncle's company doing tech-related work. Singh's uncle is
G.P. Singh, the founder of San Antonio-based Karta Technologies, which
provides engineering, comprehensive training solutions, medical
transformation and information technology services to government and
"I started out working as a technology guy and I hated it," Harvinder Singh
says. "I was more of a business/social outgoing person."
So Singh came to an agreement with his uncle to become a staffing recruiter
for the company and that soon led to the launch of his own company.
Singh says that even though many of his clients are based in New York and
California, he has no intention of moving his company out of San Antonio.
For one thing, he says, most of the work can be done online and over the
phone, and secondly, moving out of San Antonio, where the cost of living is
relatively cheap, would more than double his expenses.
Singh says Bestica had its best year ever in 2008, but has seen things
stabilize this year as the recession intensified and made companies more
cautious about hiring decisions. But he says he expects that things will
pick up again soon because it is a growing market.
"Everyone wants their products to be user friendly," Singh says. The most
successful companies today are the ones that have integrated usability
design into their products, Singh says. Examples include book-seller
Amazon.com, movie-distributer NetFlix and even the online classified service
Craigslist.com. All use technologies that are relatively easy for consumers
to manage with just a few mouse clicks to get what they want.
"And companies come to us because they are looking for people with that kind
of experience," Singh says.