EVP and Co-Founder Jeremy Langevin on why to work with Horizontal Talent … and singing karaoke

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Reader’s note: This is a partial transcription from the first episode of the 10-Minute Talent Show. To hear the full episodes (it’s only about 10 minutes), click the podcast embed above.

While Horizontal has been a company for 18 years, many hiring managers and job seekers are unaware of Horizontal. Ready to set the record straight about what Horizontal Talent is and why we’re different than other staffing companies is Horizontal Talent’s EVP and Co-Founder, Jeremy Langevin.

How did Horizontal start?

Sabin Ephrem, another Co-Founder of Horizontal and CEO of Horizontal Digital was working for a large staffing firm. After being on the road for a while, he was ready to put some feet on the ground and not travel so much. Sabin was recruited to come and help with the IT side of a marketing automation platform for a client of the staffing firm I worked for. He needed some resources and recruited Chris Staley, our third Co-Founder of Horizontal and EVP of Horizontal Digital. Essentially, three people from three different companies were providing services to this one customer on one big project. This was where the idea came in: we could build a company where we do the user experience design, the strategy and the technical execution. Sabin partnered up with Chris to create Horizontal Digital, and a few years later, I was ready to take the leap and join them. The rest is history.

How has Horizontal Talent sustained growth?

Horizontal has been around for 18 years. A lot of companies fizzle out for various reasons but we have been able to evolve and grow. One of the biggest reasons we have been able to grow is that we have three leaders from different industries and walks of life. The diversity of our thinking and of our backgrounds have allowed us to approach the market with a unique set of capabilities. When you take the best practices that we had learned from working with large companies and apply an entrepreneurial spirit, positive attitude and hustle, you can thrive.

How is the Horizontal Talent culture different?

I approach my day asking, “Who are our customers?” The first one for me is our employees. We need to foster an environment that people want to be a part of. We want people to be excited to come in and feel like they have a great opportunity in front of them. There is a lot of trust in relationships and that’s really where you need to start. From there you can focus on the clients and consultants, then build great solutions and experiences for them. If you keep the innovative mindset that we’re not going to do the same thing tomorrow as we did today, we will always seek improvement and strive for better services, then we’ve got a really good opportunity to be successful. What gets me excited to come in every day is that we have a lot of employees and team members that have said, “I’m joining Horizontal and I’m doing it because I see a great opportunity to learn, grow and be successful.” As leaders that means we have to help create that and guide the company down the right path, making us very close to all of our team members.

How does Horizontal help job seekers and hiring managers?

We offer job seekers deeper connections into companies and with hiring managers. We have opportunities with our clients and great relationships with our customers. We know the types of projects that they’re trying to fill, the culture of the team and of the company. At the end of the day, job seekers are taking a leap of faith on whether a company is going to be the right fit for them. What we do is articulate what the job seeker will be getting into, the experience and the relationship with the hiring manager. By creating relationships with job seekers and hiring managers we connect great talent with great companies.

What about karaoke?

Singing was a later in life thing for me. I was singing karaoke at a at a local establishment one night, and some neighbors came up and said, “You’re not afraid to sing? We’re gonna put together a band and play my wife’s 40th birthday party. You want to join us?” I can’t read music. I can’t play an instrument. But if not being afraid to get up and sing qualifies me, I’m in.

I was in it for for about three years, and we went from playing a 40th birthday party with 20-30 people to some gigs that had as many as 200-300 people. It was certainly way more than I would have ever thought I would achieve as as a musician and as a singer. It was really fantastic. I bowed out after my time was up, but they’re still playing. It’s pretty cool!


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