Ken Aster knows a lot about staffing in the tech world. He should; Ken founded Prosum in 1996 with Ravi Chatwani. In 1996, the internet just launched. Tech was still in a basement server room along with IT leaders who were a long way from having a seat at the table.
But Ken and Ravi must have had a crystal ball to understand that—someday—technology and the experts that knew how to build and maintain it would eventually not just have a seat on the bus but be driving it. Fast forward to 2022, when we had a chance to sit down with Ken. Here’s what he had to say about Prosum’s founding and what makes the firm so successful today.
Meet The Man Behind The Mission
Ken Aster—In His Own Words
In 1996, Prosum Consulting was the anomaly. We were a technology startup that quickly pivoted when we realized we needed the talent just as much as the digital tools and consulting expertise. It was an exciting time that led us to Prosum Staffing in 2000—and we’ve never looked back.
Today, Prosum finds tech talent in Southern California, Phoenix, Arizona, and Denver, Colorado, but we’ve been scaling since 2020. The future for our firm looks incredibly positive, and I love working with the best and brightest team I have ever worked with. Words can’t express the joy I receive from watching us grow together.
On Being a CEO, Helping Clients Fill Jobs and Puzzle Pieces
Tech staffing is hard. That’s why so many companies rely on our expertise to meet their hiring goals. As a CEO, I love the challenges. If this were easy, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting.
I’ve found that Prosum is constantly iterating and learning. It’s part of our DNA. This environment parallels the typical IT worker, constantly learning new things to stay on top of tech innovation. At Prosum, our focus on growth and improving best practices sets us apart. Even after 25 years, we are still unlocking the code; it’s like a puzzle that keeps giving.
Internal and External Inspirations
I still receive most of my inspiration from my team and business partner. The market, too, is incredibly challenging and motivating. We foster a higher level of engagement here, from Prosum’s external board members to the recruiters on the ground every day. Everyone has skin in the game, and it makes a difference in both the candidate and client experience.
Prosum is dedicated to our performance management process focused on maintaining top-producing teams and motivating them through clear goals and expectations. We have an amazing leadership team that aligns to our goals and the best practices we use to achieve them. It creates a cohesive and motivating work environment unlike any other staffing company or business.
What Makes for a Good Leader Today?
The three best attributes that define today’s best leaders are patience, communication, and clarity. Whether you’re a leader on the recruiting team or at the top of an organization, these three values set you apart as exceptional, in my opinion. Top-of-the-ladder leaders must be humble enough to communicate transparently and lead with clarity. They should always seek to learn from the team of A players that they’ve hopefully surrounded themselves with. I supplement my knowledge with reading, networking, and working with a professional coach to help me deliver on the promises I’ve made.
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