A conversation with DMC Technology Group President, Patrick Sheehan
What do Zoom, eBay, Dell, Intel, Google, Microsoft and Amazon have in common? Aside from being household names, they join other global technology companies that have laid off a combined 95,000 employees since the beginning of 2023. The number is staggering, and yet we shouldn’t be all that surprised.
In a conversation with Patrick Sheehan, president of DMC Technology Group, we learn what is driving massive layoffs in publicly held technology corporations, and why DMC’s approach has resulted in the opposite trend: actively recruiting tech talent.
In a news spotlight on WTOL, I explained what makes our position in the market unique. Because of a culture built on long-term, sustained growth and success, we take a different approach to building our company. For publicly-held companies in the tech industry, the pandemic introduced tremendous opportunity. With people working from home, security concerns elevated as did the use of the cloud, Microsoft products, video conferencing and so on.
DMC Technology Group is hiring client executives, engineers, and programmers. How is the company positioned to recruit tech talent when so many others are trimming down their staff?
In the WTOL interview, I shared this with the reporter:
“These companies are publicly–held and that creates a very different dynamic. Their shareholders expect them to ride the wave of opportunity as it comes along and scale back during downturns. That results in mass hirings and, in the current environment, some heart-breaking layoffs. The leaders at these large companies are good people, but they’re required to direct their loyalty to their investors. We are a locally owned private business, so we are insulated from the expectations of outside investors.”
When you interview candidates applying for open technology positions at DMC, what do you want them to know about the company?
I tell the candidates I interview that I want them to retire from DMC. That might seem far-fetched, but it’s important for our company culture and clients to providing continuity and minimiz turnover. It’s my responsibility as an owner to fulfill this commitment by offering rewarding careers. Our clients depend on the consistency of working with engineers and programmers who truly know their operations.
Publicly held companies, even if they wanted to, do not necessarily have this luxury. Their stakeholders and investors want them to ride the wave. And when that swell calms down or dips, they must respond accordingly. Unfortunately, that has resulted in widespread tech industry layoffs with a lot of displaced talent in the corporate sector.
One of my proudest moments as the owner of DMC was in 2009 when the bubble burst and the economy plummeted into a recession. Like many, we were having a tough time, and I met with our leadership team and said, “We have challenges ahead of us.” We didn’t want to lay off any of our people, so I suggested that we institute a temporary across-the-board, tiered pay decrease. The people at the top took the largest cut.
Can you share an example of putting people first and avoiding layoffs, even in a tough economy?
This isn’t the type of message you want to deliver at a company meeting, but afterward, many of our team members approached me privately and said things like, “If we can avoid laying people off, I’m all for it.” There was a true sense of camaraderie and a cohesive spirit. We supported each other as a team.
We got through those tough times, ultimately growing out of the recession. Within about a year, salaries returned to their previous levels and we made up for lost wages.
As a small business, we are nimble and can pivot quickly to put in place systems, procedures and plans that will help us succeed over the long-term. That’s a real benefit for our clients and our employees. We make it a point to emphasize to our team and clients that we are focused on sustainable growth and success for everyone.
What opportunities is DMC Technology Group pursuing that will fuel long-term growth and create more jobs?
We strategically pursue opportunities that will fuel long-term growth that also allows us to hire and retain more talent. Namely, we are directing business development initiatives toward internet security, Microsoft Cloud, Microsoft 365 products and the subcategory technologies that go with them. Microsoft is a critical part of our business, and we may actually be the beneficiary of some of this talent now being available for hire.
As companies’ demands for IT managed services, tech security, cloud-based technologies and Microsoft solutions continue, many do not have an in-house IT department or a Chief Information Officer. This is where DMC fills a critical void as a VCIO – Virtual CIO, or fractional CIO. When clients engage DMC as their VCIO, they gain the flexibility and bandwidth to scale up or back depending on their needs. This helps prevent a cycle of hire-and-fire in their own operations while delivering cost savings, so that they can direct resources to other important aspects of their businesses.
The bottom line: In today’s dynamic environment, companies need more tech security measures in place to prevent breaches. They need support in place to operate in the cloud safely, to protect their clients’ privacy, and to run more efficient and collaborative businesses.
Why might a technology professional who is used to the corporate world enjoy working for a family-owned business like DMC instead?
Those working in global tech companies who wonder, “Am I next?” might seek out careers at a place like the DMC because of the family-like environment and track record for stability. We are strategically recruiting Client Executives, Engineers, and Programmers. Recently, we hired an Engineer and a Service Coordinator, and have engaged with a local Marketing Team to continue our strategic growth.
For more information on our Toledo region IT jobs please visit our careers page.