While the Great Recession took down a lot of small companies, it was a path to growth for Tap|QA, which provides quality assurance consulting services. â€œWe originally were a niche automation company,â€ recalled Michael Faulise, founder and Managing Director. â€œWhen the economy took a little bit of a tank, we started to see the opportunity. There were people we could bring on at relatively good cost, then go back and sell to organizations as an alternative to offshore.â€
Since 2009, the company has grown from â€œliterally three or four people to 110 employees,â€ Faulise says. Unlike many consulting companies, Tap|QAâ€™s business model uses W-2 employees rather than 1099 contractors. Faulise acknowledges that can be a risky strategy, since employees get paid whether or not thereâ€™s client work available.
Lack of work isnâ€™t a problem these days, however. â€œRight now, thereâ€™s such hot demand for QA people,â€ Faulise said. â€œIf you donâ€™t show them a career path, itâ€™s easy to leave. Nobody refers to â€˜my job.â€™ Itâ€™s â€˜my gig.â€™ Weâ€™ve tried to create more career pathing, from entry-level to 25-year consultant. Both can have careers that flourish with us.â€
Managing Partner Tim Guilfoil said, â€œThe idea of the employee model is to keep people and develop them. I think that helps us deliver better continuity. We have a lower turnover rate. We know what theyâ€™re good at, what they do. It helps us deliver higher quality.â€
Another difference in the business model is that many Tap|QA employees work from the company headquarters rather than at the client site. â€œWeâ€™re a consulting firm with people physically here,â€ said Jennifer Bonine, Vice-President of Solutions. â€œWe put consultants in one space. Clients get the benefit of all the knowledge thatâ€™s housed here. Whatâ€™s nice about this is they feel connectedâ€”retention rates are very high. Itâ€™s a nice environment, with cutting edge technology. I can be working on Silicon Valley projects, but I donâ€™t have to move there.â€