For Boly:Welch, Relationships Drive Longterm Success

From left to right: Pat Welch, Andrew Welch, Diane Boly

Portland recruiting firm puts people first.

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 The more things change, the more they stay the same.

For Diane Boly and Pat Welch, the three decades of success in matching top talent with great jobs serve as a testament to the value of staying the course.

As digital technologies have rocked industry after industry, the two founders have prospered by holding on to the values that first led them into the people business—relationships, and a respect for family and community.

Now, with Andrew Welch, son of co-founder Pat Welch, representing the next generation of leadership, the firm has reinforced its commitment to helping clients attract, retain and reward their employees.

Welch joined Boly:Welch five years ago and quickly climbed the ranks. “We were looking for a leader to take our intergenerational workforce to the next level, and Andrew was a natural fit, checking all of the boxes for success,” Diane Boly says.

But how, with more than $800 million of venture capital poured into recruiting startups in the first half of 2016, can a Portland firm of 40 employees hope to compete with an army of digital destroyers lurking just beyond the horizon?

By doing what they do best—keeping people and relationships first.

“There will always be a human touch to this,” says Andrew Welch, the firm’s
new president. Or at least a human touch to the way Boly:Welch provides executive search, staffing, human resource consulting, and recruiting of accounting, office, financial services, H.R., legal, sales and marketing professionals to regional clients.

Make no mistake, the firm appreciates and uses technology to maintain a competitive edge. But Pat recalls how she and partner Diane built the company on a powerful grasp of soft skills—intuition, instinct, communication and most critically, relationships.

The leadership triad believes that Boly:Welch has grown and thrived on strong, personal connections with its employer base, which includes big name players from every sector and industry vertical in the community. “Our goal with clients is to be a true partner,” Andrew says.

Pat Welch notes happily how the firm is now “placing the grandkids of people we placed years ago.”

“And our candidates become clients, then circle back as candidates again,” Diane says. “It’s a network of connections that keeps us relevant, successful and multi-generational.”

Staying local, independent, and avoiding outside investment has kept the firm nimble in a time of rapid change. “It means that our actions aren’t driven by shareholder concerns, and we’re free to make decisions that are good for stakeholders at every level—client, candidate, community and employees,” says Andrew.

The firm nurtures local relationships through strong support of non-profits, and by building a work culture that attracts employers with a similar social ethos. The company has earned annual “best in class” awards and a recent certification as a B Corporation.

Andrew Welch says those efforts and accolades have helped Boly:Welch “become a subject matter expert and model behavior and practices on how employers can become great places to work.”

A focus on best practices and a strong employment brand has also helped Boly:Welch pivot deftly as the economy waned, then recovered. Tenured recruiters and a strong track record of success have created a pipeline for talent into the company. The firm’s management believes that focus on talent helped it weather the toughest of economies, and it continues to benefit both clients and candidates.

“Our best clients are the ones who appreciate our partnership, and where we understand their culture and curate candidates who will fit,” says Diane.
Local. Connected. Sustainable. No surprise in the tagline FIT MATTERS MOST.