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Business Observer Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 2 years ago

Staff up: Employment agency innovators return with a new venture

Veredus founders James Hawley and Dan Rodriguez are taking another shot at entrepreneurship.

James Hawley and Dan Rodriguez are at it again.

The duo founded Tampa-based IT staffing agency Veredus in 2000 and turned it into a $100 million business before exiting in 2014 with a sale to London-based recruitment firm Hays.

Rodriguez remained with the organization as CEO and chairman of Hays’ U.S. division until earlier this year, when he stepped down and reteamed with Hawley to launch NextPath Career Partners. NextPath is a boutique staffing firm that specializes in filling roles in area such as marketing, sales, HR, recruiting and consulting.

Dan Rodriguez. Courtesy photo.

In a news release, Hawley and Rodriguez say large staffing agencies concentrate on serving clients in sprawling industries like IT and health care. That leaves a gap in the market for a company like NextPath to fill. Professional service roles represent “an underserved sector” in the staffing industry, says Rodriguez — who’s been appointed president of the new company, with Hawley serving as CEO.

“Over our career in IT staffing, we consistently would get requests for help in those areas and there simply weren’t strong players specializing in those categories,” Rodriguez adds.

NextPath, the release states, was launched with $2 million in seed funding from Hawley and Rodriguez, with no outside investment or debt. The company has offices in downtown Tampa and Orlando and expects hire 30 to 50 employees by the end of 2019. The founders expect to have a workforce of between 80 and 100 within five years.

“We don’t aim to be the biggest staffing firm. We aim to be the best,” Rodriguez says in the statement. “We’re already generating revenue after just a few days in business. We’re energized by the early success we’ve been experiencing, and feel confident and prepared for our future."

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