When Jennifer Gray created Market Street Talent in 2008, she wanted to keep it small — something she could run herself from her home, so she could spend as much time as possible with her soon-to-be-born son.
But someone who starts a new IT staffing business when she’s expecting is someone who is hard to slow down, and within a year Market Street Talent hired its first employee and opened an office.
“Luckily babies sleep a lot, and I was blessed with a baby that slept well!” says Gray. “In the beginning, I answered the phones, made technical placements, handled contractor relationships and met with the firm’s three courageous clients. Shortly thereafter we doubled our staff to two and really started to hit the road. Our founding clients introduced me to their friends and whenever I had a little room in our budget, I went looking for more seasoned recruiters, always focusing my search on finding the best talent out there.”
A decade later, it is a nationwide company specializing in the IT vertical with more than 50 clients across a range of industries from banking and biotech to insurance, logistics, higher education, retail and beyond.
Headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., Market Street Talent has built their reputation on quality placements, both contract and permanent. Market Street Talent does the up-front work to provide premium candidates for each position, and that approach is proven out by a 97.8% stick rate — which means their consultants finish the job.
“We do not compete on speed,” says Gray. “We compete on quality of candidate, looking specifically at skillset and culture fit, and promising clients 3-5 highly qualified candidates per job opening. We can do this well because we are heavily invested in our ‘recruiting engine,’ offering weekly trainings to our staff so they have the tools they need to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape of IT Staffing and Consulting.”
Clients have a single point-of-contact account manager, which is important in the relationship-driven service they provide.
Gray has built the pursuit of excellence into her company’s philosophy.
“In everything we do, we have empathy towards the customers’ true needs. We keep a clear focus on the important opportunities, and show honest care for the desired quality and outcomes. And treat all people with the utmost respect,” Gray says.
Gray’s energy and philosophies carry beyond the business, as shown in the regional “Women in Technology” events that Market Street Talent has been producing since 2014.
“I met two amazing women at an event hosted by Diversity Workforce Coalition of NH, and learned that we were all baffled by the vast gender gap in tech, so we decided to do something about it,” says Gray. “What started as an idea for one event has grown into six years of Women In Technology events.”
Over the years the events have explored how to “Make STEM Stick” and “Lighting a Path, Blazing a Trail,” highlighting the challenges that the younger generation of women and girls in tech encounter. They have also talked about “Cultivating Cultures in Tech where Women Succeed” and how to “Lift and Climb,” encouraging the mentor/mentee relationships throughout career progressions. In “Seeing Herself There,” they touched on the sensitive topic of ‘imposter syndrome,’ for those in the rising generation of educated young women who still find it difficult to see themselves in the roles to which they aspire, and in “Seeing Past Bias,” they dug into how biases can negatively affect how women in technology navigate their careers.
It’s another example of how the people at Market Street Talent, now at the start of their second decade, strives to truly understand the clients they serve, and truly see the people they work with.