In early October, Talon's Founder Matthew Burzon sold his South Burlington, Vermont condo, put most possessions into storage, and embarked on a 40 hour drive west to Salt Lake City's Cottonwood Heights neighborhood. With him was Erika Evarts, soon to become Talon's first Utah Recruitment Associate.
With some generosity, support and encouragement from Dealer.com Co-Founder Ryan Dunn, Cottonwood Heights would be the official start-up location for Talon RPO's second recruitment office. "Ryan really helped to make this expansion come together," says Burzon. "Ryan invited me out to Salt Lake City in January to share some hospitality, world-class skiing and a bit of the area he grew up in. Despite the Salt Lake City opportunity being a no-brainer, I realized that expanding Talon after only 12 months in business was really aggressive. Talon needed a presence in a larger market, but also needed time to prepare. "
Ryan Dunn pictured center, enjoying a recent trip to Goblin Valley accompanied by great friends and some of Vermont's finest. Photo credit: Matthew Burzon
Following the exploratory Salt Lake City trip in January, Matt refocused on building out Talon Vermont's core recruitment team. Now at the end of 2017, the Vermont recruiting office is lead by Michelle Rawls (former Regional Director, Kelly Services), Katie Conn (former Recruiter, Vermont Country Store), Nancy Burzon (former Board-level Workforce Development Consultant), and Samantha Hemingway (experienced healthcare recruiter). "Without a doubt, this team is well-prepared to handle whatever talent acquision challenges may come their way," says Burzon. "This group delivered four times the placements in 2017 versus the same period in the year prior. The growth is exciting and we're beginning to recruit for more and more businesses throughout New England. The business really has no geographical bounds and I know for a fact that the team loves the diversity in our assignments."
At a glance, Salt Lake City offers a very similar lifestyle to Vermont - so close in fact that Forbes Magazine ranked Vermont #23rd in quality of life as compared with Utah at #25. While Vermont has the prized snowfall early this season and gets the occasional dumping of Champlain Powder, Utah's resorts typically get an abundance of Champaign Powder - a super dry fluffy snow that absolutely must be experienced by any skier or snowboarder who takes a sincere interest in the sport.
The biggest difference between markets however comes down to business opportunity. The same Forbes article that reviewed quality of life above ranked Vermont the 48th best State for doing Business while Utah was ranked 3rd in the same category. Forbes ranked Utah 9th for projected growth with Vermont ranked #49th in the same category. At this point in time it's hard to comment on these numbers as Talon's Salt Lake City Office hasn't been around long enough to compare performance, although the sheer magnitude of the economy in Salt Lake City as compared with Vermont is obvious as soon as you get boots on the ground.
2018 will see Talon RPO's Salt Lake City office off the ground, while the Vermont recruiting team will continue on the journey towards becoming a New England Recruitment powerhouse.