The 24 companies on the San Diego Business Journal’s Permanent Placement list are inclusive of the various levels of services that are available to businesses looking for a staff addition. The list is a mix of retained search firms and contingency search firms. Retained firms receive a fee upfront to conduct an extensive search and are paid a percentage of the total compensation package. Contingency search firms are not paid unless the candidate is placed.

The criterion used to rank the list is the number of full-time local recruiters as of March 1, 2012.

Proven Solutions Inc. is No. 1 on the list with 21 local full-time recruiters, a 5 percent increase over 2011. Proven placed 150 candidates this past year for an average annual salary of $75,282. This represents an 81 percent increase in placements.

“No doubt that the specialty market in which we operate — life sciences technology, finance and accounting — picked up at the end of 2010 and gathered pace significantly through the end of 2011,” said Ingram Losner, managing partner and CFO.

Losner added that in the specialty markets his company serves there is an imbalance between the supply of qualified workers, of which there are few, and the number of jobs open, of which there are many.

Early in the Recovery

Proven is also No. 5 on the Temporary Placement Services list (see page 20) and reports revenue for this part of their business in 2011 of $9.59 million, a 68 percent increase over 2010. The average number of temporary placements working daily increased in 2012 by 25 percent over 2011.

Losner commented on the increase in temporary placements revenue as a result of what typically happens in the early part of an economic recovery. “Companies were ‘beaten down’ at the sharp end of the recession, macroeconomic visibility is still unclear, and there is a lot of internal pressure not to hire full-time workers,” he said.

The Eastridge Group of Staffing Cos. is No. 4 on the Permanent Placement list, up from No. 11 in 2011, with 11 local recruiters. The number of placements made in 2011 compared with 2010 was up 52 percent for an average annual salary of $75,000.

Seth Stein, executive vice president, general services division, said the increase in the placements made in 2012 was primarily due to an increased demand for specific skill sets where a direct hire is more desirable than a temp-to-hire employee.